Sierra at Tahoe

Hope springs eternal, a wise man once said, and nowhere does that old saying apply this year more than in Northern California ski and snowboard country.

As the modest melt comes down from a snowfall-challenged 2011-2012 season, resort operators turn their attention to luring skiers and riders back next season. One of the best ways to do so is to offer deeply discounted season passes for 2012-2013.

So here’s a survey of some of the season pass deals for next season available from NoCal’s resorts:

Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area. Unlimited season pass for $229 through July 6. Passes available for seniors, families and dogs, too, with money-saving perks.

Sugar BowlUnlimited renewal with blackouts $529, new $579, until June 1. Midweek renewal $329, new $379. All season passes earn CORE points toward free parking, tickets, lessons, rentals, retail, lodging, dining and more.

Sierra at TahoeKeepin’ It Real pass $249 for unlimited adult, $199 weekday with blackouts, through May 15.

Northstar California, Heavenly, Kirkwood. New Tahoe Localsl Pass for all three Vail Resort-owned resorts $419, with blackouts.

Mount RoseUnlimited adult $377, Raw Pass with blackouts $247. Deadline Oct. 31.

Boreal Mountain ResortUnlimited adult $279, weekday adult with blackouts $229, and night-skiing pass $129.

Mount Shasta Ski ParkAdult season pass $299, teens $249, seniors to 69 and juniors 8-12 $99, children under 7 $39. Spring sale runs through July 31.

Squaw Valley/Alpine MeadowsTahoe Super Pass for both resorts (now linked by shuttle) costs unlimited adult $749 (“Gold”), adult with 10 blackout dates (“Silver”) $519, and adult with 16 blackout dates $429. Sale runs into September.

Photo: Sierra at Tahoe corduroy, courtesy Sierra at Tahoe.