Big snowstorms brighten outlook for Tahoe, Truckee area ski resorts | SierraSun.com

Big snowstorms brighten outlook for Tahoe, Truckee area ski resorts

A series of storms have pounded Truckee in the last week, and left local ski resort operators in high spirits, as more fresh powder makes its way to the area on the first weekend of March.

"We are very excited for it," said Tucker Norred, marketing and communications manager for Boreal Mountain Resort, Woodward Tahoe, and Soda Springs, on Thursday, March 1. "We have been preparing to clear all the snow out. We have staff ripping and ready.

Boreal, which is located off Interstate 80 just west of Truckee, is anticipating about 60 inches of snow from a storm that moved into the area on Wednesday evening, Feb. 28. The storm dropped 12 inches of snow at the resort in the 24-hour period ended 8 a.m. Thursday.

And with blizzard-like conditions in place on Thursday, the resort is primed for a big weekend.

"It's College Friday (March 2)," said Norred of a seasonal promotion that gives college students with active identifications the opportunity to buy a $15 lift pass for the day.

Active duty military members are also afforded the same discount rate, he said.

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The resort is also hosting a freestyle, snowboard contest on Saturday, March 3, that should end up with 50-60 contestants on the mountain. The event is unique in the sense that all the features will be man-made from snow, meaning no pre-fabricated rails and boxes.

"It's almost like bringing back ski ballet," said Norred on a style of skiing popularized by skiers, such as Suzy Chafee, Genia Fuller, and Jeff Chumas in the 1970s.

Spirits are equally high at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, which is looking at 3-5 feet of snow from the storm through Saturday, said Liesl Hepburn, public relations director for the ski resort located off State Route 89 in Olympic Valley.

"The (temperatures) will be cold, which is fantastic for skiing conditions," she said. "But be prepared for very high winds too, especially from the storm beginning on Thursday."

The outlook for Northstar California Resort in Truckee is equally optimistic for the weekend, said Rachelle Sinner, senior communications specialist for Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe and Kirkwood Mountain in Kirkwood. All three resorts do business under the Vail Resorts banner.

"The epic storm has arrived for Tahoe," she said.

The week ending storm comes on the heels of an earlier storm that came barreling into the area on Monday, Feb. 26.

The first storm of the week came barreling into the area on Monday, Feb. 26. The storm dumped 18 inches of snow at Squaw Valley and 17 inches at Alpine Meadows in a 24-hour period ended 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27.

In the same period, Boreal said it received 17 inches of snow, while Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge in Norden said it received 14 inches of snow. Tahoe Donner in Truckee received 13 inches, while Northstar came in at 7 inches.

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