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Storms Force Closures In The Sierra

Storms Force Closures In The Sierra

Snow everywhere you look around Lake Tahoe these days. (Heavenly/Facebook)

Ah, just like the old days … The trio of Pacific storms that recently slammed into the Sierra left behind record snow depths and wind speeds as high as 100 mph and forced nearly a dozen Lake Tahoe resorts to shut down their lifts.

Closed on Tuesday were Alpine Meadows and Squaw, Boreal and Mt. Rose, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl – each reported two feet in 24 hours on top of more than that previously.

Mt. Rose workers shovel a path after storms of yesteryear

Mt. Rose reported 55+ mph winds at the base after more than three feet over the weekend. Squaw Valley shuttered for two days, after getting seven feet Jan. 2-5 and another three since then –closing in on a monthly record. 

“It’s piling up like it hasn’t in years,” Squaw’s Sam Kieckhefer told SnoCountry.com.

Squaw expect to reopen Wednesday (Jan. 11) with limited terrain; most other Tahoe resorts plan to do likewise.

Snowfall hits near rooftops at Mammoth.

Heavenly posted hourly trail updates on Tuesday, but most of the mountain remained shut down. At Mammoth, some 15 feet fell in six days. Barricades went up on U.S. 395 to Bridgeport, due to poor visibility.

White stuff was falling hard on Tuesday with predictions of up to two feet at most resorts around the lake. Winds were expected to stay in the 50-60 mph range until Thursday, when forecasters predict things to quiet down – and let the powderhounds have their way.

Monarch Mountain snow

In Colorado, too much snow on Monarch Pass kept Monarch Mountain closed. Down the road, Crested Butte couldn’t open for a day and, farther north, an avalanche on the west side of Eisenhower Tunnel stalled travel on Interstate 70. Arapahoe Basin evacuated skiers, snowboarders and staff Tuesday afternoon because of avalanche danger on nearby Loveland Pass.

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