Boreal first to open |

Boreal first to open

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun file photoZack Woodward of Grass Valley rides a c-box at Boreal Mountain Resort during the season opener on Tuesday.

Boreal Mountain Resort became the first Tahoe area ski and snowboard area to open for the 2006-2007 season when it started up Gunnar’s Chair on Tuesday.

“It was great; it exceeded our expectations, for sure,” Jody Churich, marketing director at Boreal, said of the opening day turnout. “It definitely was a great opener.

“There was a lineup of kids hitting the features all day. One snowboarder slept in his car.”

Due to cool temperatures, recent snowfall and extensive snowmaking efforts, the resort offered trails off of Gunnar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will continue to do so daily, with conditions permitting.

“It’s going to be iffy,” said Chris McAuliffe, director of mountain operations, on the snowmaking forecast in the following week.

But that’s not to cause any alarm, McAuliffe said.

“The snow’s going to be here. We just don’t know when,” he said.

On Tuesday there was about a nine-inch base of snow on the slopes ” plenty to excite anxious skiers and boarders.

“It feels like Christmas,” said Zack Woodward, a snowboarder from Grass Valley who rode on the season opener. “I’m testing out new gear and seeing what they have.”

Boreal had several features open on the mountain, including two c-boxes, a down rail, a 20- and 32-inch flat down box and a beginner jib area with two ride-on flat boxes and one ride-on rail.

“(It’s) incredible, except I just came back from Mammoth,” said snowboarder Chris Gulick, who made the trip to the Donner Summit resort from Benicia. “But this is more fun because Mammoth was really icy and it was all fake snow. This is real soft.”

Snowboarder Greg Tuhey of Colfax said he was pleasantly surprised with the opener.

“It’s pretty good for opening day,” he said. “They made the best out of how much snow they’ve got.”

Other Tahoe-area resorts are reporting up to six inches of snow from the series of storms that hit over the weekend. Mt Rose Ski Tahoe has reported nine inches and Alpine Meadows reported a six-inch base. With continuing cold temperatures, many resorts are making snow and planning to open this weekend ” in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Churich said Alpine Meadows, Boreal’s sister resort, is tentatively scheduled to open on Friday, conditions permitting.

According to the resorts’ Web sites, Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley and Heavenly plan to open on Friday, and Northstar plans to open on Nov. 22.

Boreal’s lift tickets on opening day were priced at a reduced rate, $22 for adults and $10 for children. Full day tickets at Boreal typically run $38 for adults.

Emma Garrard and Sylas Wright contributed to this story

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