Heavenly Mountain Resort set to open Nov. 17

Kelsie Longerbeam
FILE — A snowboarder makes turns at Heavenly Mountain Resort on Lake Tahoe's South Shore.
Courtesy Heavenly Mountain Resort |

Heavenly Mountain Resort is opening for its 2017-2018 season on Friday, Nov. 17, and will be swiftly followed by other resorts in the Truckee-Tahoe region.

“We’re thrilled to begin the ski season at Heavenly this Friday,” said Mike Goar, senior vice president of mountain division and chief operating officer of Heavenly Mountain Resort, in a statement.

“We’ve been hard at work making snow at every opportunity, and current forecasts are calling for snow. We’re excited to begin another terrific ski season.”

If everything goes according to plan, Heavenly will be the first South Shore ski resort to open for the 2017-18 season.

Mount Rose was the Truckee-Tahoe area’s first resort to open, with a pair of days on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28. Mount Rose opened for daily operations on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort is scheduled to open Nov. 22, followed by Northstar California Resort on Thanksgiving Day. Sierra-at-Tahoe has yet to set a season opening date.

Boreal Mountain Resort became the first in California to open for the winter season, on Wednesday, Nov. 8, as dozens of skiers and snowboarders hopped on the resort’s Nugget Chairlift for the initial runs of 2017-18.

They operated only their Nugget chairlift, but the Boreal park crew made sure no one was left out on opening day, littering the run with rails, boxes and other features for more advanced riders.

“They keep the entertainment factor high and are really persistent about keeping features up, and keeping them maintained,” said Cooper Davidson, 24, of Truckee, on opening day at Boreal.

“I keep track of (opening day) all year round. This is the local’s spot, everybody comes down and they really hold it down for locals.”

This year’s opening came 10 days ahead of last year’s Nov. 18 opener, and marks the 53rd season at Boreal Mountain Resort.

Opening day also included the turning on of the Boreal and Woodward Tahoe solar panels, according to Boreal Marketing and Communications Manager Tucker Norred. The panels will generate 325,000 kilowatt hours annually or enough to power 30 residential homes. With 715 solar panels atop The Bunker at Woodward Tahoe, Boreal Mountain Resort has California ski industry’s largest onsite solar collection system.

Meanwhile, snow levels at Truckee-Tahoe ski resorts are likely to get a boost this week. A winter storm warning is in effect above 7,000 feet from 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, to 4 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17.

“Heavy wet snow and high winds expected. Plan on difficult travel conditions. Expect damage to trees and power lines as well,” the National Weather Service Office in Reno said in a statement on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

“Total snow accumulations of 2 to 3 feet (is) expected above 8,000 feet with localized amounts of (4-plus) feet along the Sierra Crest. Accumulations below 7,500 feet are more uncertain and depend on how fast snow levels fall Thursday, but 4 or more inches are possible.”

The California Department of Transportation also said motorists should plan on difficult travel conditions, especially over Donner Pass and Mount Rose and Echo summits.

Staff writers Wyatt Haupt Jr. and Justin Scacco contributed to this report. 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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