Ski resorts set opening dates | SierraSun.com

Ski resorts set opening dates

David Bunker

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra Sun Mike Stilson does survey work for GE Johnson at the new village at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Northstar plans to open its mountain Wednesday, running two chairlifts and the gondola

Some ski resorts are open, and others will begin spinning lifts soon after a steady Sierra snow storm blanketed the Truckee area in white Monday.But the Sierra’s first significant, moisture-laden storm was bad news for unprepared motorists, many of whom spun out or crashed in the slippery conditions, but excellent news for local ski resorts chomping at the bit to begin running lifts.Although the storm turned soggy on Tuesday, Northstar-at-Tahoe announced it will open on Wednesday. The resort will begin running two chairlifts and the gondola on Wednesday.

Sugar Bowl and Alpine Meadows are scheduled to open Friday. Squaw Valley announced it will open on Saturday.Boreal Mountain Resort opened one lift the day after Thanksgiving, and since has opened additional lifts.Snow was still falling at Sugar Bowl on Tuesday, said the resort’s marketing manager Kris York.”We’re right at the snow level,” said York on Tuesday morning.

While the first good snow storm of winter prompted resorts to begin spinning lifts, a second storm that is forecast to hit the Sierra on Wednesday night might bring an additional blanket of fresh powder for weekend skiers and snowboarders, according to meteorologists.The jet stream and an absence of low pressure has primed the Sierra for additional precipitation in the coming days, said John Bonk, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno.”Right now it looks like we have a pattern set up that will allow storms to come over the Sierra as they come onshore,” Bonk said.The main questions will be whether the storm, which is coming from north of Hawaii, will be cold enough to bring snow to the Truckee area. Initial forecasts from the weather service predict snow levels around 7,00 feet on Wednesday night and Thursday.

These late November storms should bring a snowpack that will last through spring on the Sierra Crest, said Randall Osterhuber, the manager of the Central Sierra Snowlab on Donner Summit.”This may very well be the start of our first permanent snow cover for the year,” said Osterhuber, a snow researcher at the University of California, Berkeley’s snow research station.- The Associated Press contributed to this article.