Tahoe Resorts Push To Late Closing Dates; Too Good To End
It’s just been too good at Lake Tahoe resorts this season – and so much better than recent years -- not to stay open longer than planned.
Leading the way is Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. Taking advantage of the highest base elevation (8,260 feet) in the region, Mt. Rose management has announced it will extend its operations after scheduled closing of April 24 for Thurday-Sunday until May 8.
“Mother Nature came back in a big way this season, and (we) are still enjoying mid-winter conditions on the mountain,” Mt. Rose’s Mike Pierce said. “The skiing and riding is so great, we’ve decided to extend the season into May, pushing the ski season to over six months and making this the longest season in Mt. Rose’s history.”
Most of the dozen downhill mountains around Northern California’s iconic lake reported snowfall in excess of 300 inches – in some cases, more than 400 inches – that recall the halcyon days. It has been more erratic in recent years.
Most Tahoe resorts closed by Easter last season – and many before that. Not so this season: For example, Northstar reported 412 inches of snowfall, compared with just 133 inches last winter.
What set this season apart was the early snow, thanks to the El Niño weather pattern that pushed wet Pacific air masses across the Sierra at a steady clip all year. For instance, Sierra-at-Tahoe started spinning its lifts earlier than it had in a decade.
At the other end of the season, Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows has already announced it plans to stay open into May. Kirkwood, Heavenly Valley and Northstar will reach their projected closing dates of April 17.
Photos: Top - Mount Rose to operate its longest season ever (Mount Rose Ski Tahoe/Facebook); Below - Northstar picks up nearly four times as much snow this season as last year (Northstar/Facebook)