A weather system that could dump up to six feet of snow in the Sierra range naturally comes as timely news for Lake Tahoe area ski resorts, who are hoping to draw sizable Thanksgiving crowds next week.
Friday’s storm dumped an estimated 1-1½ feet of snow at most resorts. That was great news for Northstar-at-Tahoe and Mt. Rose, who both opened on Friday. High winds kept Heavenly from running its lifts for the first time. However, both Heavenly and Squaw were operating on Saturday morning (Nov. 20).
According to weather experts, the Lake Tahoe region hasn’t witnessed a November snowstorm this large in the last six years.
“I’ve been here for 20 years and I’ve never before seen a storm set up like this before Thanksgiving,” said Mike Livak, General Manager of Squaw. “With snow totals predicted to total up to six feet at 5,500 feet elevation, just imagine what great conditions we’ll have above our base area located at 6,200 feet.”
Squaw skiers and snowboarders can make their first turns of the season today (Nov. 20) on the slopes accessed by Exhibition Chairlift and Pony Tow, scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this weekend. Lift ticket prices are discounted right now at $59.
Northstar was reporting 16 inches of fresh snow that dropped on the Summit overnight. For a discounted $55 lift ticket, visitors can have access to four lifts and six trails, which includes beginner and intermediate terrain, and a handful of features to jib.
Northstar spokeswoman Jessica VanPernis said the resort typically gets just 4 percent of its seasonal snowfall in November, so a big storm of this nature is naturally a very welcome sight.
Although conditions were windy on Friday, Mt. Rose opened its Ponderosa lift as planned on Friday.
Heavenly reported a foot of fresh snow has fallen overnight. The California Trail is freshly groomed and can be accessed via the Gondola and Tamarack Express chair. But winds could affect lift operations once again on Saturday.