Bring on the snow! Skiers ready for start of new season |

Bring on the snow! Skiers ready for start of new season

Sierra skiers are chomping at the bit this week after snow fell across the Tahoe-Truckee area.

Despite the storm systems, higher temperatures have hampered snowmaking at many resorts as they try to supplement Mother Nature and kick-start the ’97-98 ski season.

At Boreal, the picture was a little brighter as a Friday opening “is what we’re shooting for,” said Sheila Greeno of the marketing department. If Boreal opens the entire mountain, lift tickets will be $28; if only the lower half is open, billets will cost $19.

On the other side of the hill at Sugar Bowl, spokesperson Carol White said that the resort received a few inches of snow Monday and planned to “crank up the snowmaking machinery as soon as the temperatures have dropped.”

Improved snowmaking

Sugar Bowl has added $3 million in snowmaking equipment in the last two seasons and last year opened after only four days of snowmaking.

At Squaw Valley, the top of Emigrant Peak looked “nice and snow covered,” said Brent McLean of the marketing department, “but we only got a dusting down at the base. We’re still looking at opening before Thanksgiving. The lifts have all been load tested and the employees trained.”

Northstar-at-Tahoe is sticking to its opening date of Nov. 22, public relations assistant Laura Abby said.

“At this point we’re not planning to open earlier,” Abby said. “But we’re hoping for a good season.”

Mt. Rose officials were waiting for the temperatures to drop so that the snowmaking system could get to work. Thanks to special grooming, the resort can open with as little as 18 inches of snow. Target date for opening is “sometime before Thanksgiving.”

After its early opening in late October, Heavenly Ski Resort is waiting until Friday for a decision on reopening Patsy’s run.

“We’ll look at things on Friday and make a decision,” Bandows said. “If we can we’ll open Saturday. If not, we’ll open the next Saturday.” She suggested skiers call 586-7000 for the snow conditions report or check e-mail at

Kirkwood Ski Resort was largely missed by the early storm and has canceled plans to open Friday or Saturday, said resort spokeswoman Tania Magidson. “The kids center is ready, the snowmaking system has been tested and we’ll open the new $11 million lodge in December. Meanwhile, all we need is 2 or 3 feet of snow and we’re open.”

Sierra-at-Tahoe is planning a Nov. 28 opening but might move it up if weather conditions permit.

For skiers desperate to get on the slopes, the resort at Mammoth Mountain has been open since Nov. 7 and received about 5 inches of snow Monday night at base level. The resort is operating on limited terrain with lift tickets reduced to $30.

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