Ski and snowboard season officially begins this weekend at several major Tahoe resorts.
Heavenly, Northstar and Squaw Valley all open their slopes Friday, and Kirkwood will open Wednesday, conditions permitting.
A few other ski resorts, including Sierra-at-Tahoe, have yet to announce their official opening day. Last year, that resort opened in early December.
Vail resorts — Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood — used new, energy-efficient snowguns this season to prep the slopes. Vail will continue to sell season passes through Sunday.
The resorts figure to be packed to start the season. Northern Californians seeking respite from smoke billowing from the Camp Fire will find it near Lake Tahoe, where Air Quality Index readings have been virtually untouched by the Butte County wildfire.
An AQI of 7 was measured in South Lake Tahoe as of 6 a.m. Friday, according to the Spare the Air website. AQI in Sacramento peaked at more than 400, denoting very hazardous air quality conditions.
Weather forecasts this weekend for Tahoe predict highs in the 50s and lows from the teens to low 20s.