Two more Lake Tahoe ski resorts are scheduled to open today (Nov. 16). And they might start running their lifts with snow hitting the mountain.
Squaw Valley and Kirkwood ski resorts will kick off their 2012-13 season on a day when snow is predicted. Sugar Bowl is expected to open on Saturday, bringing the number of Tahoe ski resort openings to six.
The Weather Channel is calling for light snow today and through the weekend. Due to temperatures expected in the mid- to high-40s, that snow could turn into rain.
Thanks to several feet of snow last week and low evening temperatures that has been perfect for snowmaking, Squaw is opening six days earlier than expected.
For its opening, Squaw will operate Searchlight, Red Dog, Squaw Creek and FirstVentures lifts, and more terrain is expected to be open for skiing and snowboarding before Thanksgiving.
Squaw was the first Lake Tahoe ski resort to open this season on Oct. 25 for a one-day special fundraising event.
“We are genuinely thrilled to welcome winter back to Lake Tahoe,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. “Thanks to last week’s two feet of snow and cold temperatures that have allowed us to optimize our new vast and fully automated snowmaking system, we’re pleased to announce that we will be opening this Friday – nearly a week earlier than anticipated.”
Operating hours are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult and child ski and snowboard lessons (age 5 and above) will be available. Half-day beginner packages will be offered in the morning and afternoon (starting at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.) for $129. Private lessons will also be offered at reduced rates of 40 percent off. The rental shop will also be open for equipment rentals.
Squaw Valley will be expanding operations for the Thanksgiving holiday to include additional terrain, Aerial Tram rides and SnoVentures operations – which includes snowtubing and mini snowmobile rides.
At Kirkwood ski resort off Highway 88, Chair 5 (Solitude) will access about 40 acres of terrain including Race Course, Mokelumne, Lower Monte Wolfe, Lower Zachary and lower Olympic.
“We’ve got 2½ feet of Mother Nature’s finest augmented by some machine-made snow,” said Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s general manager. “If the amount of people hiking our terrain over the weekend is any indication, we’ve definitely got the goods at Kirkwood.”
Heavenly and Northstar both opened earlier this week (Wednesday) and Boreal started running its lifts again last weekend. It was Northstar’s earliest opening in its 40 years of operation.
Mt. Rose ski resort is scheduled to open the day before Thanksgiving – Wednesday, Nov. 21, and Homewood has moved up its date to Nov. 23.
Boreal ski resort reopened last Saturday and Mammoth Mountain in Eastern California opened two days earlier.
Here are the projected openings for Lake Tahoe ski resorts:
Sugar Bowl: November 17
Mt. Rose: November 21
Homewood: November 23
Alpine: December 7
Diamond Peak: December 13
Donner Ski Ranch: TBA
Soda Springs: TBA
Dodge Ridge: TBA
Bear Valley: TBA