Area resorts looking at season’s end |

Area resorts looking at season’s end

Susan Wood

With regional temperatures hovering at 11 degrees above normal, Lake Tahoe Basin ski resorts are considering the end of the honeymoon – their closings.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort and Tahoe Donner Ski Area are planning to end the season April 1. No fooling.

Sierra-at-Tahoe has set a tentative date of April 23 for closing, with a significant incentive to stay open through April 14. That is when the resort 12 miles west of Meyers off U.S. Highway 50 hosts its Boarding for Breast Cancer event.

Heavenly Ski Resort and Squaw Valley staffers and die-hard skiers and boarders wanting more available snow days will be pleased to know that these South and North Shore ski areas are holding out for May 31.

“At this point in time, we’re still projecting hanging in there until May 31,” Heavenly spokeswoman Monica Bandows said.

“That was the point of the gondola – so we could ski the top of the mountain (late in the season),” she said. In most years, the upper half of both Heavenly and Squaw Valley stay open longer than their bases.

Still, Bandows said she recognizes the ski resort is weather dependent.

“The meltdown is occurring. The snowpack has already declined by 15 percent,” Western Regional Climate Center climatologist Kelly Redmond said of the warmer-than-usual temperatures in the last few weeks.

“Once you get temperatures at night around the freezing point, the snows are ready to go,” he said. “We’re pretty much on the downhill slide to summer.”

After reviewing his data, Redmond said Thursday highs even at the 8,000-foot elevation have topped 50 degrees in 11 out of the last 12 days.

And the warming trend at Lake Tahoe will remain until at least Monday, the National Weather Service in Reno reported.

Friday’s high at Stateline should be 62 degrees, with a dip to 32 degrees that night. Saturday’s high is expected to reach 67 degrees. Sunday should be cooler, and the work week is predicted to start with a little more of a cooling trend. The weather models show no precipitation in the near future.

“We’ve been 10 to 12 degrees warmer than normal in the last few weeks,” weather service meteorologist John Corey said.

Keeping the warm spring-like conditions in mind, Mount Rose Ski Resort plans to close possibly as soon as April 14. The next day, Royal Gorge USA Cross Country Ski Resort may call it an end of the season.

Come April 22, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Boreal Mountain and Soda Springs Winter Resort expect to close up shop the. Boreal made the distinction of beating out traditional early-bird Killington (Vermont) as the first ski area in the nation to open.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Donner Ski Ranch and Sugar Bowl have projected they will stay open until April 29.

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