Going deep: ‘Miracle March’ means ski season extended at Truckee-area resorts
March 23, 2018
A whopping amount of snow in March has been a boon to local ski resorts, and should have skiers and snowboarders making turns well into spring.
About 16 feet of snow in the month of March at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in Olympic Valley has the ski resort targeting May 28 as closing day.
"We have received 16 feet of snow so far this month, making it the third biggest March in our recorded history, which dates back 48 years," Liesl Hepburn, public relations director at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, said Wednesday.
If the current storm proceeds as forecast, we could have our snowiest March on record."
“ ... We are looking at two and half more months of skiing and riding.”
— Liesl Hepburn,Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
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The snowfall record for March stands at 241 inches. The record, which was set in March 2011, appears to be within reach given the current forecast calls for up to 5 feet of fresh powder on the upper mountain by Saturday.
"So, Miracle March is doing its thing this year. Closing day has been scheduled for May 28, Memorial Day, weather and conditions permitting, so we are looking at two and half more months of skiing and riding," Hepburn said.
"We plan to host Tahoe's longest season yet again, and will be kicking off the Spring Skiing Capital on March 31 with the opening of the High Camp Hot Tub."
Tahoe Donner in Truckee said closing day, weather and conditions permitting, is scheduled for April 15.
"We've recorded 157 inches of snow in the first 20 days of March. We've enjoyed outstanding snow conditions all month, but midweek has offered some of the best days with no crowds," Derek Moore, marketing engagement lead for Tahoe Donner, said Tuesday. He said the powder is deep on the mountain and unusually light for the area.
"People were really psyched," Moore said.
Boreal Mountain Resort in Soda Springs and Northstar California Resort are also targeting April 15 as closing days for their operations.
"Well, at the beginning of the season we did set a date of April 15. We always have a date set for the final day of the year," said Tucker Norred, marketing and communications manager for Boreal Mountain Resort, Woodward Tahoe, and Soda Springs.
"I believe our executive team is talking about extending the season. We are currently in talks about one more week of operations, but nothing longer than that. We've got weeklong summer camps that we operate."
Those summer camps take a lot of preparation, and generally require the mountain to be closed in mid-April because Boreal offers guaranteed on-snow camps in June, he said.
"We would love to stay open later, but a lot of work goes into closing," Norred said.
Northstar California Resort in Truckee also plans on making the switch to spring operations from winter.
The resort has received more than 10 feet of snow in March.
"Northstar California's scheduled last day of winter operations is April 15," said Stephanie Myers, communications specialist at Northstar California Resort.
"Memorial Day weekend marks the planned opening of the Northstar Bike Park, weather permitting."
Staff writer Wyatt Haupt Jr. can be reached at 530-550-2652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.