Heavenly, Kirkwood to open this weekend

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Ski season opens this weekend in South Lake Tahoe at Heavenly and Kirkwood mountain resorts.

Heavenly General Manager Tom Fortune said Thursday morning during a South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association meeting that the resort will open on Saturday with limited terrain.

He said the warm temperatures have made it difficult to make snow.

“Opening has been a real challenge,” Fortune said. “{We’ve had a} Really hard time getting snowmaking going on the mountain with these inversions.”

Fortune said resort personnel will be farming snow Thursday and Friday to the bottom of Gunbarrel and the tram to make the California Lodge accessible.

He said Heavenly is about 78% staffed, which, he added, is better than most.

Fortune said season pass sales are up about 40% and that “advanced commitment” continues to be a major effort for Vail Resorts.

He also said that a contract was just signed on Wednesday for the North Bowl chair to be replaced by a high-speed lift.

For more information about the resort, visit

Vail Resorts later on Thursday morning announced that Kirkwood would also open on Saturday while Northstar California is still evaluating conditions and the forecast.

“It is important to remember each resort is unique in location, terrain, weather patterns, altitude, and needs to open for the season,” said a Vail Resorts spokesperson. “Northstar is dedicated to providing the best early season conditions possible.

At Heavenly, Aerial Tramway, Patsy’s Chair, and Powderbowl Express will begin loading at 8:30 a.m. with skiing on Patsy’s and Maggie’s trails.

At Kirkwood, Chair 5 (Solitude) will begin loading at 9 a.m., with Outlaw trail open for skiing and riding.

Mountain dining at Heavenly includes Tamarack Lodge, Café Blue, Stein’s, and California Lodge.

At Kirkwood, Wall Bar, K Bar, Monte Wolf’s, and the General Store will be open.

The resorts do not have a mountain reservation system this season and will load lifts and gondolas at normal capacity.

Face coverings are required for guests in all indoor spaces including restaurants, lodging properties, restrooms, and retail and rental locations, and on buses.

Guests ages 12 and over will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to dine at indoor, on-mountain cafeteria-style restaurants. This requirement includes those guests 12 and over in our ski and ride school programs that include lunch.

Guests should book reservations for on-hill dining via the EpicMix app or resort website. This year, reservations will be available beginning the day before, so it’s easy to plan your weekend.

Early season conditions currently exist. Skiers and riders are to observe all posted signs and warnings. Closed trails may contain hazards due to limited natural snow coverage and snowmaking operations.

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