Skiers happy as Sierra storm drops 3 feet of snow
Ryan Summerlin December 11, 2013
RENO, Nev. — A storm dropped up to 3 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada, helping build up the slopes and giving a fun run to skiers and snowboarders Saturday.
Around Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood resort reported getting 2 to 3 feet of snow over a 24-hour period ending Saturday morning. Heavenly resort reported 24 inches to 30 inches of new snow, and Squaw Valley resort saw 20 inches.
“This is setting us up for a great holiday season,” Kirkwood spokesman Kevin Cooper said Saturday. “Our mountain operations teams are out on snow now preparing to open more terrain and lifts tomorrow.”
While most major Sierra ski resorts have opened for the season, they need more snow to swing into full operation. On Saturday, two of 15 lifts were operating at Kirkwood, seven of 29 lifts were open at Heavenly and 11 of 30 lifts were active at Squaw Valley.
Other Tahoe-area ski resorts open for the season are Boreal, Northstar, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl and Mt. Rose. To the south, seven of 28 lifts were in operation Saturday at Mammoth Mountain, just east of Yosemite National Park.
Martin Gaughan of South Lake Tahoe was among those attending opening day at Sierra-at-Tahoe on Friday. He also attended opening day at Mammoth Mountain, Northstar and Heavenly this year.
“It’s snowboard season. That’s what I live for,” Gaughan told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
Sierra-at-Tahoe spokesman Steven Hemphill said the snowfall is stoking interest in hitting the slopes.
Around Tahoe, the Alpine, Homewood, Soda Springs and Tahoe Donner resorts plan to open Friday. Diamond Peak is scheduled to open Thursday.
In southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort about 35 miles northwest of Sin City reported all four lifts and 30 trails were open.
The storm also slowed traffic on mountain highways, including Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, as motorists were required to either have snow tires or install chains on tires.
Along the eastern Sierra, the storm left from 1.5 to 6 inches of snow around Reno; 6 to 7 inches in Carson City; 6 to 10 inches in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; and 10.5 inches in Truckee, Calif., according to the National Weather Service.
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