More resorts are popping open in the Far West, which should give skiers and snowboarders at least nine resorts between California and Nevada to visit over the Thanksgiving holidays.
The Southern California ski and snowboard season launched Nov. 11 with Mountain High leading the parade. The resort opened with top-to-bottom skiing and snowboarding with a dozen park features. Snow Summit followed Nov. 13 with Miracle Mile and Bear Bottom open and sprinkled with jibs. Both resorts plan to add more terrain and features as conditions permit. Other SoCal resorts plan to open as soon as possible, but as of press time had not announced dates for opening.
Mammoth Mountain led the Central Sierra resorts in opening first, with the Panorama Gondola running to the summit. But others are making plans for starting up lifts over the Thanksgiving holidays based on anticipated colder temperatures blowing into the mountains. Snowmaking has started up at many ski areas that traditionally open in late November, but China Peak is the only one setting a date yet. It aims to crank up its lifts Nov. 26. Dodge Ridge hosts its kickoff party Nov. 27 with a showing of Matchstick Productions The Way I See It, but the resort has not said when the lifts will start up.
More lifts at the Lake Tahoe resorts began turning this weekend, offering the most ski areas available for the Thanksgiving holidays. Boreal Mountain Resort bumped open two top-to-bottom runs in addition to the lower mountain terrain that's been open this month. Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar-at-Tahoe, and Squaw Valley USA opened this past weekend with operations continuing daily for the duration of the season.
Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, the only Nevada ski area to open before Thanksgiving, has been making snow anytime temperatures have dropped below 26 degrees with low humidity and minimal wind to keep the snow on the slopes. It planned to open for the season Nov. 19 with the Ponderosa Lift running and plans to work up the mountain to add more lifts as more snow arrives.
Other California resorts have not announced dates for opening. Some plan to delay turning lifts until early to mid-December to accumulate natural snowfall. Check on road conditions before driving to the resorts.