Snow what? We’re going skiing! |

Snow what? We’re going skiing!

Sam Bauman

They were in shirtsleeves Sunday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, but up on Heavenly Ski Resort’s California trails they were celebrating the resort’s second closing of the spring.

Women in bikinis, bare-chested men in shorts, couples wearing matching safari hats, boarders in pirate hats … whatever fit the bonus day was there.

“I’ve never seen skiers and boarders as happy and having as much fun as yesterday and today,” said Dave McConnell (himself wearing a colorful Hawaiian shirt), ski patrol director.

On Saturday, Heavenly sold more than 1,100 lift tickets at $12 or $7.50 for kids for a total of 1,500 skiers and boarders, including season pass holders.

With only the Tram running, the lift line went back almost to the California lodge.

Sunday by noon 1,200 lift tickets had been sold and half as many season pass holders were on the slopes.

The trails had been groomed to perfection, skiers remarked. And snow conditions were precisely as they should be for spring skiing: crusty in the early morning but turning to corn and sugar by 11 p.m.

McConnell explained how the Memorial Day weekend opening came about.

“I came in last Tuesday and thought how great it would be if we could open up for the weekend,” he says. “So I called Malcolm Tibbets (director of mountain operations) and said I would round up the ski patrol if we could open the face for Saturday and Sunday.

“Malcolm said to hang tight. He called Dennis Harmon (managing director) and five minutes later it was a go.

“We had to rehang all the pads and string a lot of tape, but we were ready Saturday morning.”

Said Stan Timoshek of Carson Valley, a Heavenly instructor out enjoying a last day, “This is the best snow of all season for me.” He followed that with a run down The Face, which opened after the bumps softened about 11 p.m.

On Saturday the Tram didn’t start running until 11 a.m., creating the long lift lines. Sunday it opened at 9 and the early riders enjoyed runs all the way from the top of Sky Chair on unskied snow.

While no one would confirm a rumor that the experiment might be repeated next weekend, McConnell admitted that he had been told to leave the padding in place.

Stay tuned.

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