‘Side-hit searching’ at Northstar’s opening day | SierraSun.com

‘Side-hit searching’ at Northstar’s opening day

Justin Scacco | jscacco@sierrasun.com

It may have taken a couple of rescheduled dates due to a lack of snowstorms hitting the area to start the 2017-18 ski season, but the wait was well worth it at Northstar California Resort, with more snow and more open terrain than many expected, making for a day of riding fresh powder, launching off stumps and boulders, and covering as much of the resort's 21 open trails as possible.

"We've been side-hit searching all day," said Joey Spaziani of Kings Beach. "No (lift) lines, fresh snow at the top, side-hits everywhere."

Spaziani said it was his first time riding at Northstar, and that he found plenty of open lines and gnarly terrain to take advantage of on opening day.

"There was good snow at the top. It was fun, definitely fresh, good snow," he said. "Then it gets to a certain point where you can tell it turns into fake snow, but it's still early."

The resort opened on Friday, Dec. 1, with a solid blanket of snow covering the upper mountain and enough lifts in operation to keep lines short, allowing for hours of laying down fresh tracks in the trees along East Ridge and down into Powder Bowl. Northstar opened on Nov. 22, 2016 last season.

"Endless corduroy, I love it," said Northstar California Resort Communications Specialist Stephanie Myers. "We've got six lifts open, 21 open trails, the mountain looks beautiful. We're ready."

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Guests started the day by taking Big Springs Express Gondola to Mid-Mountain for 2017-18's first chairs on a sunny, warm Friday morning with highs in the mid-40s.

From there, Northstar's Arrow Express and Comstock Express chairlifts brought skiers and snowboarders to the mountain's summit. The resort was also spinning Vista Express, and had several terrain park features set up near the West Ridge.

Austin Rodgers, also of Kings Beach, was at the resort for his second season at Northstar, and was showing Spaziani around on opening day.

"Last year was dumping like crazy. It was absolutely ridiculous last year," said Rodgers on the conditions. "It's definitely different, but I'm just happy to be riding. It's fun to be out here."

Rodgers said he'd ridden at Boreal Mountain Resort and Heavenly Mountain Resort already this season, and that Northstar was in the best shape of the three at this early point in the year.

"I've just been getting the legs warmed back up," he said. "I was a couple days behind (Boreal and Heavenly's opening days.) This is the best I've ridden out of those three."

Northstar also celebrated its opening weekend with a tree lighting ceremony in the Village at Northstar, and was one of the sites for this year's Tahoe Film Festival.

For more information on upcoming events, lift and trail openings, and tickets, visit NorthstarCalifornia.com.

Staff writer Justin Scacco can be reached at 530-550-2643 or via email at jscacco@sierrasun.com