Back for the transition |

Back for the transition

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunSkiers and snowboarders ride through man-made snow mist on Sugar Bowls Crowley's run on Monday. The resort received between 24 and 30 inches of snow during last weeks storm.

A week away from work versus a maiden snowboard outing of the season. Im not sure which is better for peace of mind. It may be a draw.The very concept of both is brilliant: Do as you wish on accrued vacation time and get paid for doing it let gravity sweep you down a groomed mountain, hop on a lift, then repeat the process. Brilliant.Combining the two can work wonders for ones head. Coming off a weeklong vacation and first day on the slopes in eight months, I know. In fact, I was just accused by a colleague of being in a good mood. I heard no such accusations prior to vacation. Coincidence? I think not.While its never easy to ditch my Sierra Sun Sports andamp; Outdoors duties thus handing them off to busy co-workers on deadline this particular week off came at a good time. Late November and early December marks a transition period for both prep sports and the local outdoors scene. Many athletes during this time are somewhat in limbo, with fall prep sports giving way to the winter seasons and outdoor enthusiasts impatiently awaiting the first big dump.That transition is nearly complete, thanks in large part to a timely storm that settled over the Sierra this past weekend.Most North Tahoe-area resorts are open, and those that arent will be firing up lifts Saturday.As far as preps, basketball and wrestling are under way, while Nordic and Alpine skiing as well as snowboarding are still preparing for their respective seasons. The Sierra Sun, as always, will be writing season previews for each Truckee and North Tahoe sport. (May this be a warning, coaches, as you can expect to be pestered about sending rosters and schedules soon.)When it comes down to Tahoes winter season, though, its really all about snow. Like few other places in the world, the white stuff brings out throngs of ridiculously talented athletes, both locally and transplanted. Its a sportswriters dream. And for that Im thankful for my job. After all, how many journalists can break away from the office for a couple hours to ride at a local resort? Not a high percentage.Though thats just what my photographer Emma and I did Monday morning, when we made a quick dash up Old Highway 40 to the slopes of Sugar Bowl for these photos you see and this copy that veered from its original purpose. Dont get the wrong idea, however, as most days do not afford such luxuries. But this day did, and Im feeling pretty good about it. That week off helped.Sylas Wright is the sports editor at the Sierra Sun. He may be reached at

Sugar BowlOpened: Dec. 1Base Depth: 30 inches top, 24 inches bottomNorthstar-at-TahoeOpened: Nov. 15Base depth: 17 inchesSquaw Valley USAOpened: Nov. 17Base depth: 16-24 inchesAlpine MeadowsOpened: Nov. 30Base depth: 23 inches top, 17 inches bottomBorealOpened: Nov. 12Base depth: 26-30 inchesDonner Ski RanchOpening: Dec. 15Base depth: 33 inches top, 24 inches bottomSoda SpringsOpening daily: Dec. 15.Base depth: 36 inchesHomewoodTentative opening: Dec. 15Base depth: 8 inches bottom, 12 inches top. Info provided by resort Web sites

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