Ski resorts handle unseasonable weather in 2017-18 winter |

Ski resorts handle unseasonable weather in 2017-18 winter

Kelsie Longerbeam
There is some snow in higher elevations at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows on Jan. 2, 2018. The resort currently has 69 inches of total snowfall, down from the 101 inches compared with last year at this time.
Emily Kaiser / Sierra Sun

The Truckee and Tahoe area have experienced a lack of snow in the past week, but the local ski resorts are doing just fine.

With minimal precipitation and temperatures rising into the 50-degree range since Christmas, the Truckee and Tahoe ski resort communities have seen better days. According to the National Weather Service Office in Reno, the next seven days are more of the same with a chance of rain later in the week.

“Toward the end of (the) week, there’s potential for a pattern shift, but forcast confidence concerning percipitation type and timing is extremely low at this time. Something is better than nothing though,” said Marvin Boyd, meteorologist for the National Weather Service Office in Reno.

The resorts don’t seem too worried about the lack of weather, and are prepared with snow-making machines and extra activities.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort is doing well. The resort currently has one more inch of snowfall compared with last year, with 36 inches of natural snowfall for the season.

“We are making snow as much as we can. Whenever temperatures and conditions allow, we’re turning on our snow guns and making as much as possible. We’re optimistic that it’s still going to be a great season and we’re excited for what Mother Nature’s going to bring us in January,” said Paul Raymore, Diamond Peak’s marketing manager.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is also optimistic. The resort currently has 69 inches of total snowfall, down from the 101 inches compared with last year at this time. The resort’s snowmaking teams have done a solid job of maintaining the snow surface, with over 1,000 skiable acres, and activities to do for everyone.

“I think there’s a misconception that we’re so far behind with snowfall, but you can get 30 inches in 24 hours really. Historically, we’ve seen 30-inch storms in 24 hour periods,” said Sam Kieckhefer, Public Relations Coordinator at Squaw Valley Ski Holdings.

Squaw has a SnoVentures activity zone that has snow tubing, mini snowmobiles for children, and a craft and game room. They also have the Skyjump, a trampoline on bungee cords.

Boreal Mountain Resort has been making a ton of snow, with a good snow product because of its elevation and state of the art snow-making system. The resort has invested in technology that can cool the water, which allows it to make snow at even higher temperatures than in the past.

“We’re still expanding terrain with our snow-making efforts. We just opened Jibassic Park, and we expanded our beginner terrain. We’re looking forward to some natural snowfall and colder temps for the rest of the season,” said Matt Peterson, director of marketing and communications at Boreal Mountain Resort & Woodward Tahoe.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Matt Peterson as the vice president of marketing and brand management at Northstar.

Kelsie Longerbeam is the news, business and environment reporter for the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. She can be contacted at or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram @kelsielongerbm.

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