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Four more Lake Tahoe ski resorts set to open this week

Adam Jensen
ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com
Skiers and snowboarders ride Heavenly Mountain Resort's Tamarack Express lift last November. The resort is among those Lake Tahoe area resorts expected to open this week.
Adam Jensen | File photo

Scheduled Lake Tahoe Ski Area Opening Dates

Alpine Meadows: Dec. 12

Boreal Mountain Resort: Open

Diamond Peak Ski Resort: Dec. 11

Donner Ski Ranch: Conditions dependent

Granlibakken Tahoe: Conditions dependent

Heavenly Mountain Resort: Nov. 21

Homewood Mountain Resort: Dec. 12

Kirkwood Mountain Resort: Conditions dependent

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: Open

Northstar California: Nov. 21

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort: Conditions dependent

Squaw Valley: Nov. 26

Sugar Bowl Resort: Nov. 26

Tahoe Donner: Conditions dependent

The ritual hum of snow guns has returned to Lake Tahoe ski resorts, and a series of storms could kick off the 2014-2015 ski season in earnest this week.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and Boreal Mountain Resort got the ski season off to an early start last weekend. Four more Lake Tahoe area resorts are set to join those resorts this week. Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar California, Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl Resort are each expected to open by Thanksgiving. Heavenly and Northstar are scheduled to open Friday. Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley looking at Nov. 26 to launch the season. Although Kirkwood Mountain was scheduled to open Saturday, resort operators are holding off until conditions improve.

Heavenly will operate the Gondola and Tamarack Express chairlift starting at 9 a.m. Friday. The lifts will access 14 acres of terrain, including terrain park features on the left side of California Trail, according to a press release from the resort. Free shuttle buses will be available from the California Main Lodge parking area to the Gondola. Northstar will open Big Springs Gondola at 8 a.m. Friday, followed by Arrow Express, Vista Express, The Big Easy chairlift and the Big Dipper magic carpet at 8:30 a.m., according to the release.

Following snowmaking improvements since last season, Sugar Bowl Resort expects to offer top-to-bottom skiing and 1,500 feet of vertical when it opens Nov. 26, said resort spokesman John Monson.

“That’s a banger thing to open with,” Monson said. “I think we’ll see people come up here and have a full ski day.”

All access to Sugar Bowl’s slopes will be through the resort’s Village, Monson said.

What terrain will be available at Squaw Valley for opening day is still being determined, said spokeswoman Melissa Brouse Matheney, but cold temperatures have allowed the resort to be among the Lake Tahoe ski areas making snow.

“It’s looking pretty white out there with snowmaking alone,” Brouse said Tuesday. “Yesterday at Gold Coast the temperatures were so cold we were able to make snow all day long.

“It’s definitely been chilly, which means perfect conditions for snowmaking,” she added.

Some help from Mother Nature is also on the way.

Following light precipitation Wednesday, a second storm is expected Thursday afternoon and evening, with a third storm possible Friday night and Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.

Snow forecaster Bryan Allegretto, with http://www.opensnow.com, said the snow could pile up by the end of the weekend.

“Each system could bring accumulating snowfall to the mountains and possibly even lake level over the weekend,” Allegretto wrote in a recent forecast. “These are fairly weak systems, but a foot or more of snow in total is possible for the higher elevations by Sunday.”


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