Below freezing temperatures and a heavy supply of snow the first weekend in December resulted in more terrain being opened at all three ski resorts in the South Lake Tahoe area last week.
Heavenly Mountain Resort is now offering top-to-bottom access on the Nevada side of the resort, following the opening of the Stagecoach Express chairlift Dec. 11.
Skiers now have nine miles of Heavenly terrain available to them, including one medium size terrain park with 19 features, through eight chairlifts.
The resort plans to open several more lifts closer to the holidays, including Olympic Express, Gunbarrel Express, Powderbowl Express, Sky Express, Canyon Express and Patsy’s.
With those runs open, Heavenly will also have top-to-bottom skiing in California.
Additionally, the resort hopes to open its Boulder and North Bowl chairlifts and last base area by Saturday, according to the report.
Pete Sonntag, vice president and chief operating officer at Heavenly, said the ability to open more terrain quickly results from a combination of natural snow and man-made snow, which is provided through the resort’s extensive snowmaking system.
“The recent snow was great,” he stated in a press release, “and with continuous snowmaking, we are going to open a significant amount of terrain that other resorts just can’t compete with.”
Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort now has seven lifts, 29 trails, 18 groomed runs and a terrain park open, thanks to the Dec. 7 storm, spokesman Steven Hemphill said.
“The ski season is off to a great start,” he said in an email. “The last storm gave us a great base and we are optimistic that Mother Nature will deliver us some more snow before the holiday season.”
The resort will do its best to open more runs and terrain once it receives more snow, Hemphill said. For now, riders can expect groomed runs and early season conditions.
“We continue to do our snow dances,” he said.
Sierra-at-Tahoe is also working “around the clock” to finish its newest facility, The Plaza.
“The Plaza is a $5 million base area enhancement giving guests a better overall mountain experience and creating an incredible après atmosphere where they can gather and soak up the California sun,” Hemphill said.
At Kirkwood Mountain Resort, visitors now have access to four lifts with top-to-bottom skiing, following the opening of Cornice Express on Dec. 15. More than 100 acres of terrain is now available to skiers and snowboarders.
Additionally, the Kirkwood Cross-Country Center is open, featuring 12 kilometers of skating and snowshoeing, according to a press release.
The resort will continue to work on opening more ground at Timber Creek soon, but Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s vice president and general manager, said the terrain will have to meet a standard of quality.
“We won’t open terrain just to open it,” he stated in a press release. “We have a standard of quality that we won’t compromise.”