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.
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.
Officials at Sugar Bowl Resort say they will seek criminal charges against a snowboarder who allegedly set off an avalanche in a closed area at the Donner Summit ski and snowboard mountain.
Yes, it’s finally a bonanza snow season in the Sierra with double-digit storms all over, but the managers of Soda Springs Mountain Resort don’t regret their decision to become the first California resort to use recycled water for snowmaking.
As serious snows return to the Lake Tahoe region, thousands of skiers and snowboarders make the trip up to a dozen mountain resorts. Once they get there, area officials work hard to provide transit options so that all those vehicles stay parked during their stay.
On any given day at winter resorts in the West, dozens of people on skis, snowshoes or foot can be seen heading out of the base area to get in a run within resort boundaries without riding the lift.
Buoyed by talk of El Niño and eternal optimism, the 14 alpine resorts around Lake Tahoe can’t wait to drop the ropes on the 2015-16 season.