To ski or not to ski |

To ski or not to ski

Now is the winter of Lake Tahoe’s discontent.


No way, dude. Spring’s been made glorious by all this fresh powder at the ski resorts.

For more than a week now, South Shore has been hit with snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm. And while many residents may be ready to hang themselves with tire chains, others are fighting the winter blahs another way – by hitting the slopes.

The conditions are great. Skiers and snowboarders are stoked.

“These are definitely mid-winter season conditions, and it’s almost the middle of April,” said Megan Moore, spokeswoman for Sierra-at-Tahoe. “The conditions are perfect. It’s awesome.”

Other resorts are the same way.

“The conditions are phenomenal. We’ve gotten 5 to 7 feet from this storm, and we’re supposed to get more,” said Nicole Belt, spokeswoman for Kirkwood Ski Resort. “There’s fresh powder all over the mountain right now.”

Lots of people are braving the slippery streets and going to the resorts.

“Business has been really strong these two weeks of spring break,” said Monica Bandows, spokeswoman for Heavenly Ski Resort. “Based on the reservations we have now, it looks like we’ll still see some pretty good numbers the next few weeks.”

A few weeks – but then that’s probably just about it. The resorts will soon be closing.

Sierra-at-Tahoe has a tentative closing date of April 19. Kirkwood plans to stay open until May 2; lift tickets will be discounted after April 12.

Heavenly doesn’t yet know when it will close.

“Last year, we stayed open daily through May 10, then we reopened for Memorial Day. This year it really depends on what the enthusiasm level is. If people want to stay skiing, we’ll stay open,” Bandows said.

If they haven’t done it already, all of the resorts are about to start closing parts of their mountains.

It isn’t a matter of running out of snow that closes down the resorts. With Tahoe’s fat snowpack, they probably could stay open well into the summer. It’s just that customers go from being totally stoked about skiing to being a little sick of it.

“The crowds start to dwindle around April,” Belt said. “It’s not really worth our while to keep full facilities open this late in the season. People start to become more interested in summer activities.”

Ah, summer. To sleep on the beach, perchance to dream. Yeah, but here’s the rub: It’s going to be a while before summer.

You may as well strap on your ski boots and hit the hills, because it’s going to be months before you can put on the trunks and hit the water.

The time between when the resorts close and the beaches open – that could be the winter of Tahoe’s discontent.

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