Snowstorm leaves Sierra mountains, slopes in excellent condition | SierraSun.com

Snowstorm leaves Sierra mountains, slopes in excellent condition

A snowstorm that moved into the Truckee area last week and left the area awash in fresh powder before moving out, has local ski resort operators feeling good about mountain conditions.

The snowstorm afforded some ski resorts the opportunity to open some chair lifts, trails and terrain for the first time in the 2017-18 winter season.

"With the weekend's storm total exceeding seven feet, conditions at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows are excellent. The storm allowed both mountains to expand terrain offerings dramatically, giving skiers and riders a fantastic experience on the slopes," said Liesl Hepburn, public relations director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, which is located off State Route 89 in Olympic Valley.

"At Alpine Meadows, the Lakeview and Sherwood Express chairs opened for the first time this season while at Squaw Valley, terrain expanded in many area, including the Tower 16 run below the Funitel.

“The mountain looks gorgeous

— the kind of winter wonderland scenery that makes you want (to) ski until last chair.”

— Stephanie Myers, communications specialist for Northstar California Resort

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As of Wednesday, Squaw Valley had a base of 108 inches on the upper mountain and a season total of 243 inches.

Mountain conditions at Northstar California Resort in Truckee were in similar shape after the storm.

"Northstar California opened 100 percent of its trails on Saturday, March 3, and increased accessible terrain to 2,815 ski and rideable acres," said Stephanie Myers, communications specialist for Northstar California Resort, which is located off State Route 267.

"The mountain looks gorgeous — the kind of winter wonderland scenery that makes you want (to) ski until last chair."

As of Wednesday, Northstar California Resort had a base of 90 inches and received 59 inches of snow in the past seven days.

Boreal Mountain Resort also reported excellent conditions and a base of 121 inches as of Wednesday. Boreal is located west of Truckee off Interstate 80. Tahoe Donner said its base stood at 55 inches as of Wednesday, and has received 141 inches of snow this season. Tahoe Donner is located on Snowpeak Way in Truckee.

Each of the resorts also has a number of events planned for the upcoming weekend. Those range from a series of events with U.S. Ski Team member Mark Engel at Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort to a Star Gazing Snowshoe Tour at Northstar California Resort.

Boreal Mountain Resort will hold the 4th annual Boreal Banked Slalom, a costume race that benefits the High Fives Foundation, while Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is hosting NASTAR races at the top of Shirley Lake Express on Ramp Run.

Staff writer Wyatt Haupt Jr. can be reached at 530-550-2652 or via email at whaupt@truckeesun.com.