Mt. Rose ski resort near Lake Tahoe is planning to make snow this weekend in preparation for an early November opening.
Currently, Mt. Rose has the earliest projected opening among Tahoe ski resorts, announcing several lifts will be running Thursday, Nov. 9, weather permitting. The next projected resort openings in Tahoe are more than a week later with Northstar, Heavenly and Boreal all shooting for Friday, Nov. 17.
SEE PROJECTED TAHOE RESORT OPENINGS BELOW
Located off the Mt. Rose Highway and approximately 10 miles from Incline Village in North Lake Tahoe and 25 miles from Reno, Mt. Rose wants to put down a base through its snowmaking process. Mt. Rose marketing director Mike Pierce said with forecasted freezing temperatures this weekend, the resort will be running snow machines nonstop.
“If there’s a four-hour window where it’s below freezing, real low humidity and hardly any wind, we’ll crank them up,” Pierce said Thursday. “It puts moisture in the mountain. Even if we know some of it’s going to melt, we want the ground to get frozen so that when the snow does come, it sticks. If we can get open early, we’ll take it.”
Mt. Rose makes genuine snow and says that no chemicals are added. Water from a hose passes through a nozzle that breaks the droplets down into particles. When those particles hit the freezing air, they turn to snowflakes.
“Snowmaking is just our insurance policy,” Pierce said. “If it was just up to natural snow, then you would be at the mercy of the elements.”
At the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab at Donner Pass near Truckee, there was nearly 4 inches (3.9) of snow Wednesday in a 24-hour period, above what was forecast for the region.
Palisades Tahoe was reporting 2 inches of snow Thursday morning and the resort says it has started snowmaking due to the favorable low overnight temperatures. Heavenly also received 2 inches of snow.
Prior to the snowfall this week, a few Tahoe ski resorts had received a smattering of snow over the past month, although none of them currently has any accumulation.
Temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s Friday and remain there in the evening probably until early next week, which means snowmaking could be possible at some resorts.
HUGE SNOW TOTALS LAST SEASON: Last year, the Tahoe Snow Lab recorded 754 inches (nearly 63 feet). That total was the second highest in the lab’s history, behind the winter of 1951-52, when 812 inches were recorded.
Palisades Tahoe had the most snow last season among Tahoe ski resorts, getting a staggering 723 inches. Not surprisingly, it also had the longest season with closing date on Fourth of July. That’s right, there was skiers and riders still heading down the slopes on Fourth of July!
The three Vail Resorts in Tahoe – Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood – all received tons of snow and also closed later than expected. Heavenly established a snowfall record with 592 inches and Kirkwood had more to celebrate than its 50th anniversary, thanks to record-setting 727 inches. Northstar received 653 inches.
TAHOE SKI RESORTS – TENTATIVE OPENINGS
- Mt. Rose: Nov. 9
- Northstar California: Nov. 17
- Heavenly: Nov. 17
- Boreal: Nov. 17
- Palisades Tahoe: Nov. 22
- Sugar Bowl: Nov. 24
- Soda Springs: Nov. 24
- Kirkwood: Dec. 1
- Diamond Peak: Dec. 7
- Granlibakken: Dec. 15
- Sierra-at-Tahoe: TBA
- Homewood: TBA
- Tahoe Donner: TBA