Northstar California becomes sixth Tahoe ski resort to open

Northstar California opened Friday (Dec. 1), becoming the sixth Lake Tahoe ski resort to begin running lifts for the 2017-18 season.

Located off Highway 267 in Truckee, Northstar California offered access to terrain on East and West Ridge, with eight groomed runs and 29 trails for skiing and snowboarding. Like many Lake Tahoe ski resorts, Northstar enjoyed a record-breaking winter of snowfall during the 2016-17 season.

A snowboarder gets in some early runs Friday morning at the opening day for Northstar California.

Other Lake Tahoe ski resorts open are Mt. Rose, Boreal Mountain, Heavenly Mountain, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, and Kirkwood Mountain.

New this year at Northstar, skiers and snowboarders can begin the day at sunrise with First Tracks, where Adventure Guiding and Learning Center mountain guides take two intimate groups on a tour of the mountain before lifts open to the public. This gives private access to freshly groomed runs and sparkling powder across the entire mountain.

Women can also take part in Her Mountain, new female-specific programming designed to ski, rejuvenate and indulge. The experience is offered as a two-day luxury retreat or a women-only ski or snowboard lesson offered on weekends.

The third time was the charm for Northstar. After two previous opening days were cancelled, the resort was able to open Friday.

Northstar is the last of the Vail Resorts in Lake Tahoe to open. Heavenly Mountain fired up its lifts Nov. 17 and Kirkwood Mountain got its season underway Nov. 23.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows reported 7 inches of new snow on the upper mountain Monday, bringing its November snow total to 50 inches. With November snowfall averaging 36 inches over the past 45 years, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is currently at 139 percent of average.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and Boreal Mountain have been operating lifts on a daily basis since early November.

Mt. Rose was the first Lake Tahoe-area ski resort to open this season, running lifts in late October.

Family-friendly Soda Springs ski resort is open for snow play and tubing.

Projected Lake Tahoe ski resort openings

  • Mt Rose: Open
  • Boreal Mountain: Open
  • Heavenly Mountain: Open
  • Squaw Alpine: Open
  • Kirkwood Mountain: Open
  • Northstar California: Open
  • Sierra-at-Tahoe: Dec. 2
  • Homewood Mountain: Dec. 8
  • Tahoe Donner downhill: Dec. 8 (X-country Nov. 23)
  • Diamond Peak: Dec. 14
  • Donner Ski Ranch: Dec. 15
  • Granlibakken: Dec. 15
  • Sugar Bowl: TBA
  • Springs Soda: TBA

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