Skiing continues at some resorts
With resorts reporting more snow in April than January, February, and March combined, it is proving to be a truly unique spring. “It’s almost like winter and spring switched places this year,” said Katja Dahl, spokeswoman for Squaw Valley.
Dumping almost 10 feet of snow in a matter of days, December seemed to be the perfect start to a snow-filled season. And with a hefty storm hitting Tahoe Dec. 31, it looked like January was going to follow suit. Unfortunately, the snow practically stopped there.
January failed to provide a single powder day. People put away their heavy snow gear, and broke out their spring attire. And this was not a phase that would soon pass. February and March brought more of the same. Would-be snowstorms yielded rain instead of flakes, and the sun continued to deplete the snow base.
But just when everyone was ready to call it quits and put away there skis and boards, along came April, bringing with it a record amount of snow for this month.
“We usually close a week after Easter. But on years like this, where Easter falls in late April, it’s hard for us to stay open that long. This year that was not the case,” said Collier Cook of Homewood Mountain Resort.
Northstar-at-Tahoe closed on April 20 with a 10-foot base at its Summit. Boreal and Mt. Rose closed the same day with similar snow levels.
Sierra-at-Tahoe reported having its best conditions and deepest snow of the year during the month of April. With that in mind, the resort moved back its closing date from April 20 to April 27. “We noticed an increased interest in the weeks surrounding Easter and spring break so we decided to stay open one more week,” said Nicole Belt from Sierra at Tahoe’s marketing department. Sierra finally closed with an 11-foot base.
Kirkwood also closed on April 27 with a base ranging from nine to 16 feet. “We received 10 feet of snow in April alone,” said Kirkwood spokeswoman Tracy Miller. “Having snowstorms in April is not all that odd, but the magnitude of these storms was unusual. This is the first time in many years that we did not have one day of spring conditions in April,” said Miller.
Sugar Bowl closed on April 27 as well with a base of eight to 15 feet of snow.
With all of these resorts closing, Tahoe skiers are left with three to choose from: Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and Homewood Mountain Resort.
Alpine Meadows has set its closing date for May 25. “We could stay open far past May 25, it’s just that past that date people start to get interested in other outdoor activities,” said Rachael Wood, Alpine spokeswoman. This is the most snow Alpine has received since April of 1982. “The base in ’82 was 93 inches. This April we are at 99 inches,” said Wood. “It is definitely a record setting April,” she said.
Squaw Valley has set its closing date for May 26.
Since April 2, Squaw has received 10 feet of fresh snow. The new snow has encouraged the resort to keep open the KT-22 chair through spring operations for the first time in many years. The chair is planned to stay open through the middle of May.
Homewood Mountain resort has yet to set a closing date.
“For nearly two weeks we’ve been on a day-to-day schedule. We’re just having fun with it; all this snow in April is new to us. We want to stay open as long as it stays cold, the snow stays good, and people want to ski,” said Homewood spokesman Collier Cook. “I’ve been here 10 years, and this is by far the best April I’ve ever seen.” Homewood is encouraging people to call ahead before heading up to the resort.
Spring skiing enthusiasts have 26 days left in the season, the question is, will they be riding in powder, or will the spring conditions finally come to the Sierra?
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