Skiing and riding underway at Mount Rose. (Mount Rose Ski Tahoe/Facebook)
California has two dozen ski and snowboard resorts, and the bulk of them have minimal lodging and rely upon skiers and riders who drive up for the day.
After last season’s gobs of snow, many of those smaller resorts dug into the piggy banks for some long-desired improvements. Here’s what to expect as you drive into the parking lot this season:
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe has put in a two-lane covered conveyor lift in the Show-Off beginner area right at the base. Snowmaking heightened to get Slide Bowl open sooner, and a new winch cat will groom steeper slopes.
At Boreal Mountain, a large solar array has gone up on the roof of the Woodward bunker.
Diamond Peak debuts a new progressive terrain park this season. Located on the Lakeview run with laps on Ridge chair, the park’s small to mid-sized features get riders ready for larger Spillway Park.
The first-ever quad chair went in at China Peak over the summer. Called Exhibition, the fixed-grip four-seater runs from mid-mountain Buckhorn Bar & Grill, replacing the old Chair 2.
Kids get a new headquarters at Sugar Bowl as the venerable Schule Haus got an overhaul. It’s now called Village Kids Ski & Snowboard, and has every service under one roof. Nob Hill Café also got freshened up, and nearby Royal Gorge Nordic center has new real-time conditions on website.
Kirkwood opens a new family center, called Red Cliffs Family Lodge, with movies and other apres-ski evening activities.
Summer crews hit the trees this summer at Tahoe Donner to open up more backside glade skiing and riding off Eagle Ridge chair. Base lodge got a new deck, and newly acquired terrain expanded xc trails by 16km.
Beginners get more elbow room at Big Bear Mountain with two new moving carpets, dedicated parking area and remodeled lodge.