In the waning days of January, Mother Nature got to work -- dropping her glorious bounty upon the mountains of the West, and finally giving skiers and snowboarders the deep powder they've been waiting for.
The baker's dozen of ski and snowboard resorts in the Lake Tahoe region will start opening for the season in late November, and all will have policies in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Like all U.S. resorts, the list of COVID-related changes at Tahoe-area mountains reads familiar: Cashless transactions, masking up, self-grouping for lifts, state regulating size of gatherings, more weekday season pass options, rental shop spacing, group lesson capping, gearing up in the parking lot, and grab 'n' go food.
The winter 2020-21 snow season is quickly approaching. Although skiing and snowboarding are naturally socially distant activities, the social experiences that come with the snow community — such as striking up a conversation while congregating in line to wait for a lift, or grabbing a well-earned apres-ski drink after a long day on the mountain — are shaping up to look different this year.
After a "brisk" preseason for season pass sales at Sugar Bowl, the northern California resort has hit the pause button to assure safe distancing this season.
Californians love the out-of-doors but COVID has put some reins on that. However, the mountains still beckon as one place that can be safe to go -- and give the sun-and-fun fix they crave.
After a landmark season last year, California's ski and snowboard resorts are pumped to do it again, with a half-dozen more opening around Thanksgiving and plenty of snow on the way.
One California resort is already spinning chairs with more to follow in November, as the ski and snowboard season gets underway in The Golden State.
Once summer settles in, the winter resorts around Lake Tahoe become magnets for city-dwellers aiming to beat the heat – and to have a bunch of fun doing it.
With a boffo snow year all across the nation, the multi-resort season passes earned their keep in 2018-2019 as skiers and riders hop-scotched around. Now, those same passes are up for sale for next season.
Throughout SnoCountry, certain mountains always seem to get more of the white stuff than others – meaning a better chance at a powder day.
SnoCountry took a look around the country and came up with a half-dozen mountains that perennially attract the most snowfall.
OK, so we on the West Coast have been pleading and praying for powder this season, especially on the heels of a couple of subpar winters where puttin' on the fatboys and breathing through a snorkel seemed but distant memories.
All across the West you can find year-round paved roads that cross major mountain divides and offer some of the best mountain views in the nation. Plus, many are home to ski and snowboard resorts.
Many ski and snowboard resorts in the West rely upon a nearby town that is base for food, lodging and off-slope fun, so SnoCountry took a look at three well-known towns that act as hubs for the mountains that surround them.
When the hustle and bustle gets too much down below, Californians head to the hills. And, the state’s ski and snowboard resorts shift into summer gear to provide the thrills, adventures and just plain relaxation that they are looking for.
Powder Alliance, the so-called “off-beat” combined pass, is now a partnership of 19 resorts in U.S., Canada, Japan and Chile with the addition of Sugar Bowl, Loveland and two mountains in the Canadian Rockies.
White Pass Ski Area in Washington primed for much more snow. (White Pass Ski Area/Facebook)
The Northwest U.S. and Western Canada will continue to gather the most snowfall, while the East gets a light wintry mix with up-and-down temperatures.
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.
Deep powder prevails at Heavenly (Heavenly/Facebook)
"Bury the Butte." (Crested Butte/Facebook)
Starting in the Sierra and moving across the Wasatch to the Colorado Rockies, a dozen Pacific-laden storms unleashed their largesse in January to set up skiers and snowboarders for the rest of the season.