Tahoe’s Heavenly Mountain Resort kicks off ski season (Gallery/Video/Story) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe’s Heavenly Mountain Resort kicks off ski season (Gallery/Video/Story)

Sebastian Foltz


For Joe Timko, opening day at Heavenly Mountain Resort started at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Nov. 14. The eager Malibu, California, resident drove up to South Lake Tahoe Friday night and was in line at the gondola in Heavenly Village by the wee hours of the morning.

“I think it was dumb,” the middle-aged man wearing a disco ball helmet joked shortly before the resort’s 8:30 a.m. opening. “Nobody else showed up till six.”

Still, he said it was worth it, as was the speeding ticket he got on his way up.

“I really wanted to be first,” he explained.

By the time 8 a.m. rolled around, Timko was joined by a few hundred eager snowboarders and skiers in a line that wrapped its way through much of the village.

“We’re so happy with all of the excited skiers and riders who showed up,” resort spokeswoman Cassandra Walker said of the turnout.

By 9 a.m., however, the line was all but gone, rewarding those who may have hit the snooze button a few times with no lines.

Skiers and boarders saw mid-season conditions on the mountain’s limited early season terrain offering. By noon, spring temperatures greeted skiers and riders enjoying the day under bluebird skies.

The mountain was able to have enough lifts and slopes open to keep lines at a minimum.

Heavenly ran the gondola and three chair lifts, giving skiers access to beginner and intermediate terrain options.


Following Saturday’s opening, storm conditions closed the mountain Sunday, Nov. 15. High winds associated with the weather system forced resort officials to shut down the Heavenly Village gondola. The resort reported an additional 4 inches of accumulation due to the storm. The same system dropped an impressive 12 inches of snow at nearby Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

No new snow is expected in the coming week, but with cooler temperatures both resorts plan to continue snow making operations. Officials with Heavenly and Kirkwood said both mountains will open more terrain as conditions allow.

“We’ll make as much available to the public as possible,” Walker said.

Full terrain offerings for Thanksgiving week have yet to be determined.


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