Boreal Mountain Resort opens today, in a repeat of last year as the first resort to be up and running in California and the Far West. Resort officials said they hope it's for the season, but that depends on the weather. "It also depends on how well the snow holds up through the weekend," spokesperson Jon Slaughter told OnTheSnow.

The resort saw its first snowfall earlier this week, as did many resorts across the West, but resort officials credit the new snowmaking system for the ability to launch operations today.

Cold temperatures prompted the resort to fire up the snow guns Wednesday morning, test driving the newly completed $1.6 million upgrade to their snowmaking system and aiming at opening this weekend. Fifteen new snow guns were added this summer, which allowed crews to open Nugget and Castle Peak lifts for two lower mountain trails today, and to begin covering a top-to-bottom run.

"Nugget is open because of our new snowmaking," Slaughter said. "We're set up predominantly for snowmaking during east winds, but the winds have been coming from the west. The new Nugget line allows for snowmaking under those conditions."

The Nugget Chair will operate 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today with one groomed run and one terrain park line with four or five features. Castle Peak Chair with a second run and second terrain park line will open 4 to 8 p.m. Both lifts are Boreal's shorter, lower elevation chairs. Lift tickets will cost $15. Resort services to be open include food, beverages, rentals, and retail.

Access to the slopes will be through a gated venue due to the limited terrain. Only those with valid lift tickets and passes will be permitted inside the gated area. No beginner terrain or ski school will be available this weekend, and lift tickets are subject to sell out.

Boreal will host the 6th annual Jibassic Public Invitational tonight, 5 to 8 p.m. The terrain park jam celebration is open for anyone to enter, but a lift ticket is required. The public can watch from the base area. "You can even watch from the bar if you want," said Slaughter. The resort plans to hand out $1,000 cash during the event. "We'll be walking around giving out $10 bills for tricks, falls, and costumes," he said.

Both lifts are scheduled to run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 30 and 31. Two terrain park lines, two lifts, and two groomed runs will be available Saturday and Sunday. Lift tickets will cost $15 for children ages 5-12 and $30 for adults and teens ages 13 and older.

All season passes, including night passes, are valid this weekend. Passes are also available for purchase as Boreal's Last Chance Pass Sale ends Oct. 31. 

Boreal plans to continue operating as conditions permit. "We will try to stay open, if possible, but it all depends on the next storm that is rolling in on Saturday," said Slaughter.

The resort opened  on Oct. 9 last year, but closed again after three days. It re-pened for the season on Halloween. Plans beyond this weekend for daily or weekend operations were unknown at press time. Check the snow report before driving up.

More information. Or call 530-426-3666, ext.180.