Dreaming of a white Halloween, skiers and snowboarders are anxious to hit the slopes. And with snow falling in the Sierra, can the start of the season be far behind?
Theres plenty of snow up here; definitely more than a foot, said Matt Peterson, spokesman for Boreal Mountain Resort at Donner Summit. Were keeping our fingers crossed we might be open this weekend. Its all weather dependent, but right now theres a good chance.
Boreal officials will make the call on Tuesday or Wednesday whether to open this weekend, Peterson said. (Latest updates available at www.rideboreal.com).
Were usually first to open and we expect to be again, he added. This is definitely snowy.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an additional 3 to 6 inches of snow is possible by Tuesday morning in the Tahoe area and Donner Summit.
No matter how impressive, the seasons first snowfall usually isnt enough to open most Sierra ski runs. On Monday morning, Boreal had more than 20 snow-making machines, running simultaneously, to help beef up its fresh snow pack. With a base elevation of 7,200 feet, the resort already has a pristine blanket of white.
Its obnoxiously beautiful, Peterson said.
Although it may seem like an early start to winter, this snowfall actually is a little late compared to recent years. Boreal opened Oct. 26 in 2012, the fourth consecutive year the resort hosted an October opening day.
Last year, all the snow seemed to arrive early, noted Sierra watchers.
(In 2012), we had the most snow before Christmas we ever had, said Melissa Brouse, spokesperson for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows resorts. But then it tapered off in January and February and turned into a more normal year (in terms of total snowfall).
Forecasters have predicted an average winter for Sierra resorts, which is saying a lot. Boreal gets 400 inches in a typical winter; Squaw Valley usually tops 450 inches.
Its definitely looking like winter, Brouse said Monday. We received a significant amount of snow overnight; 14 inches at Alpine Meadows and 10 inches at Squaw Valley. And its definitely gorgeous.
As this early snow falls, most resorts are taking a wait-and-see attitude. Squaw Valley should open Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving. Alpine Meadows has Dec. 13 as its target date, weather permitting. For updates and details, check out www.squaw.com or www.skialpine.com.
At Squaw Valley, Thanksgiving is what we shoot for every single year, said Brouse, noting the resorts restaurant offers a holiday buffet. Its really great for families who want a special holiday. Skiing really builds up your appetite.
For those thinking about purchasing a ski pass, now is a good time. Pre-season discounts are still available, but not much longer. At Boreal, prices go up Friday.
Everyone should get their skis and equipment out and get ready, Brouse said. Winter really will be here before you know it.
Call The Bees Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington