Heavenly, Kirkwood mountains to open more ski terrain Thanksgiving weekend
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Snow this week and cold temperatures in the forecast have area resort officials confident they will be able to open more terrain in time for the holiday weekend.
“There’s super cold air coming in,” OpenSnow.com weather forecaster Bryan Allegretto said regarding the weekend outlook.
He explained that cold temperatures should allow for ramped up snowmaking efforts at local ski areas, in addition to natural snowfall.
“We are shooting for expanded terrain Thursday and Friday,” Northstar California and Heavenly Mountain Resort spokeswoman Cass Walker said. “We hope that we can get as much help from Mother Nature as possible.”
“We have to play it by ear,” Kevin Cooper said on behalf of Kirkwood Mountain Resort. “It all depends. It’s wait, watch and see.”
Kirkwood: Cooper said Kirkwood could open Chair 2 by the weekend. As of Tuesday, Nov. 24, the mountain was running chairs 1, 11, 5, and 6, accessing roughly 500 acres of terrain. The resort reported 26 runs open of 86 total.
“We’ve been getting a system or storm per week for the last four weeks. It’s amazing,” Cooper said. “You couldn’t ask for a better setup. This is so much better than years past.”
He added that snow this week should help fill in terrain between the trees, making the existing 500 open acres more skiable. The mountain will continue to add terrain park features as conditions permit.
Some forecasts called for a foot or more of snow for Kirkwood through Tuesday night with snow continuing into the weekend.
Heavenly: Speaking to the potential for opening terrain at Heavenly Walker said, “We won’t know exactly how much until we see the flakes. We’re on track with our snowmaking to open more.”
According to OnTheSnow.com, Heavenly was running seven of 30 lifts prior to Tuesday’s storm with an estimated 178 acres of terrain on eight open runs. OpenSnow.com was calling for between 5 and 8 inches of snow for Heavenly through Tuesday night.
Sierra-at-Tahoe: As of Tuesday afternoon, Sierra-at-Tahoe was reporting five open lifts with access to 13 trails (nine groomed).