Ski resorts celebrate snowfall by opening |

Ski resorts celebrate snowfall by opening

Flurries last weekend has left as much as 4 feet of snow in drifts on Sierra resorts, sparking early openings around the lake.

Sierra-at-Tahoe opens Friday, the earliest opening in the resort’s history.

Last weekend’s storm gave the ski area off U.S. Highway 50 a foot of snow at its base and 18 inches at the summit.

Opening day allows free skiing at noon on the Easy Rider and Rock Garden lifts. Nob Hill is set to open Saturday. Lift tickets on the weekend are discounted at $35 for adults and $28 for those age 13 to 22.

Alpine Meadows opened Wednesday with a 20-inch base. On Friday, the Kangaroo double chair will offer $20 access to intermediate and advanced ski runs. The next day, the Tahoe City resort will add its Roundhouse high-speed quad for ticket prices ranging from $6 for 70-plus seniors and young children to $28 for adults.

Farther north, Soda Springs Winter Resort is also getting in on the act this weekend with two lifts operating at $20 for adults, $16 for youth and $10 for young children.

The Soda Springs ski area plans to stay open weekends and holidays until Nov. 18, when full, daily operations take over.

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has decided not to open its slopes this weekend because warm temperatures through the week have significantly melted the Donner Summit area’s snow base and hampered the snowmaking process.

On the flipside of the lake at the South Shore, Heavenly pushed up its opening date to Nov. 17. The recent storm and cold, dry air that’s conducive to snowmaking left Heavenly officials believing the resort will open with some of the best snow conditions at Lake Tahoe, spokeswoman Monica Bandows reported.

“If this weather pattern holds, we’ll have mid-winter conditions for opening day,” Heavenly President Dennis Harmon said.

On Nov. 18, Kirkwood, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley plan to swing into the new season.

Kirkwood has experienced a significant dumping, spokeswoman Nicole Belt said. Kirkwood’s new high-speed quad, the Cornice Express, may make its debut run early this season.

Boreal Mountain Resort made the U.S. map by claiming the distinction as the first ski area to open this season having opened Oct. 10. With a 26- to 36-inch base, the Donner Summit area has scheduled four lifts operating on Friday and five on Saturday.

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