Early snowfall equals great holiday timing for Tahoe ski resorts | SierraSun.com

Early snowfall equals great holiday timing for Tahoe ski resorts

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

LAKE TAHOE and#8212; Heavy snowfall is coming early this year, and area ski resorts couldnand#8217;t be happier on the eve of some big holiday weekends.

and#8220;Thereand#8217;s never enough snow and#8212; we always want more,and#8221; said Kirstin Cattell, Northstar-at-Tahoeand#8217;s communications manager. and#8220;But I think last year proved that skiers and snowboarders who want to come out will come out.and#8221;

A year ago, the Lake Tahoe Basin didnand#8217;t see its first significant snowstorm until around Christmas, and not much fell the entire season after that.

This year, two major snowstorms hit the Tahoe/Truckee area the past two weekends, leaving many downhill resorts with as much as 60 to 75 inches at upper levels. All but Diamond Peak, Homewood and Tahoe Donner Downhill and#8212; which open this week and#8212; are open for the season.

Savannah Cowley, spokeswoman at Squaw Valley USA, said the resort is optimistic about the early snow and already have more bookings than last year.

and#8220;As a lot of the locals know, the past four winters have been pretty late, and we have always been scrambling to get the resorts open,and#8221; she said.

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From December 6-13 this year, Cowley said Squaw accumulated 78 inches of snow.

While this yearand#8217;s early-season snow is appreciated, Cattell said the month of February and#8212; the ski seasonand#8217;s typical highest snowfall month and#8212; will decide if this year will be a prosperous.

According to the National Weather Service in Reno, after a likely chance of a rain/snow mix Wednesday, high temperatures should hover around 40 degrees into next weekend, with little or no snow in the forecast.

A list of updated conditions as of Tuesday at many North Tahoe/Truckee ski resorts. Look for a weekly resort round-up in every Wednesday print edition of the Sierra Sun this winter, or visit http://www.sierrasun.com for regular updates.

NORTHSTAR AT TAHOE

Open lifts: 12 out of 19

Open trails: 83 out of 91 (10 Easy, 36 Moderate, 37 Black Diamond or above)

Groomed trails: 51

Upper mountain snow: 52 inches

Lower mountain snow: 38 inches

Snow condition: Packed powder

SQUAW VALLEY USA

Open lifts: 17

Open trails: 17 out of 33

Groomed trails: 17

Upper mountain snow: 50-70 inches

Lower mountain snow: 50-65 inches

Snow condition: Groomed packed powder

BOREAL

Open lifts: 3 out 6, moving carpet

Upper mountain snow: 43and#8211;60 inches

Lower mountain snow: 43and#8211;60 inches

Snow condition: Packed powder

DIAMOND PEAK

Opens: Thursday, Dec. 17

Upper mountain snow: 36 inches

Lower mountain snow: 24 inches

ALPINE MEADOWS

Open Lifts: 5 out of 12

Open trails: 15

Upper mountain snow: 75 inches

Lower mountain snow: 47 inches

Snow condition: Powder and skier-packed powder with early season conditions; machine groomed main runs

SUGAR BOWL

Open Lifts: 9 out of 13

Open trails: 69 reported out of 95

Upper mountain snow: 55-75 inches

Lower mountain snow: 55-75 inches

Snow condition: Machine groomed/packed powder

HOMEWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT

Opens: Friday, Dec. 18

Upper mountain snow: 30 inches

Lower mountain snow: 42 inches

TAHOE DONNER CROSS COUNTRY and DOWNHILL SKI AREA

Open cross-country trails: 27

Downhill area opens: Friday, Dec. 18

Upper mountain snow: 24-28 inches

Lower mountain snow: 24-28 inches

Snow condition: Packed powder

ROYAL GORGE CROSS COUNTRY SKI RESORT

Open trails: 16

Groomed trails: 16

Upper mountain snow: 30-46 inches

Lower mountain snow: 30-46 inches

Snow condition: Packed Powder

TAHOE CROSS COUNTRY

Open lifts: NA

Open trails: 17 of 19

Snow: 31 inches

Snow condition: Packed powder

MT. ROSE

Open Lifts: 3 out of 7

Upper mountain snow: 24-48 inches

Lower mountain snow: 24-48 inches

Snow condition: Machine groomed and skier/rider packed snow