Lake Tahoe skiing: Squaw-Alpine staying open through Memorial Day, others extend spring skiing season
Projected closing dates for Tahoe-area downhill ski resorts
Boreal: April 17
Diamond Peak: April 17
Donner Ski Ranch: April 10, then weekends after that as conditions allow
Granlibakken: April 15
Heavenly: April 17
Homewood: April 10
Kirkwood: April 17
Mt. Rose: May 8
Northstar California: April 17
Sierra-at-Tahoe: Third weekend of April, as conditions allow
Soda Springs: Will stay open as conditions allow
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows: May 30
Sugar Bowl: Will stay open as conditions allow
Tahoe Donner Downhill: April 10
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Recent Sierra storms have given Tahoe-Truckee ski resorts reason to celebrate a Miracle March, and some are extending the spring skiing season for locals and visitors.
And that means another two full months of skiing — into Memorial Day weekend — is on tap for visitors to Olympic Valley.
On Thursday, Liesl Kenney, public relations manager for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, said the resorts are projecting a closing date of Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day), this season.
“We’ll have 7-day-a-week skiing at one of the two resorts, if not both,” Kenney said via phone Thursday, adding that the resorts have benefited from 38 feet of cumulative snowfall this winter season.
“We’ve got a 13-foot base … I’m standing outside, and it looks like full-on winter out here,” she said with a laugh. “We have great coverage, and with 2 more months of skiing, we’re in a really good position.”
In fact, Kenney said, it’s not out of the question for the resorts to stay open longer — conditions permitting, of course.
The last time Squaw Valley was open until May 30 was 2011, after the snow-rich winter of 2010-11. That summer, Squaw also reopened on the Fourth of July to offer a ski day.
Back in 1998, 1999 and 2000, Squaw was also open until May 30, she said.
OTHER RESORTS EXTEND THE SPRING SEASON
On Monday, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe announced it will stay open until May 8, making the 2015-16 ski season the longest ever for the resort between Incline Village and Reno.
The resort will continue daily operations until April 24, then move to Thursday-through-Sunday ops for the final two weeks of the season, according to the resort.
“Mother Nature came back in a big way this season, and (we) are still enjoying mid-winter conditions on the mountain,” Mike Pierce, director of marketing at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, said Monday. “The skiing and riding is so great, we’ve decided to extend the season into May, pushing the ski season to over six months and making this the longest season in Mt. Rose’s history.”
Other resorts announced this week they plan to stay open longer into April, including Diamond Peak in Incline Village and Sierra-at-Tahoe near South Lake Tahoe.
Thea Hardy, public relations director for Sierra, said the resort figures to stay open until the third weekend of April, adding that the crew is stoked on the 458 inches of snow its summit has received this winter.
“We want to keep the energy alive,” she said Thursday. “We have great coverage and plenty of park options … there is plenty of terrain to explore and really great conditions.”
And with an extra 17 inches of fresh snow falling on Diamond Peak’s slopes earlier this week, the resort’s interim general manager, Mike Bandelin, announced Thursday the resort will stay open until April 17.
“It’s been a great year for us,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of help from Mother Nature this season, including a cold storm just this week. Plus, our grooming team has been doing an incredible job moving snow around the mountain to ensure the slopes that are open are all skiing and riding really well.”
Considering the Sierra Nevada has a solid El Niño-built snowpack still in place, spring conditions at Diamond Peak haven’t been this good for five years, Bandelin said.
Also Thursday, Marcie Bradley, senior communications coordinator for Northstar California, said the Truckee-area resort has 54 groomed runs and 96 open trails heading into the weekend
“Conditions are still fantastic, we have a lot of snow up top … 444 inches so far, and Mother Nature keeps giving us more,” she said. “It’s perfect spring skiing.”
Northstar plans to stay open until April 17, the same for fellow Vail Resorts-owned properties Heavenly and Kirkwood.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.