The combination of new snow and optimal snowmaking temperatures has allowed several Lake Tahoe ski resorts to open early this month.
Heavenly and Northstar will both start spinning their wheels on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, two days sooner than expected. Squaw Valley and Kirkwood will follow the lead and open two days later on Friday, Nov. 16, a week early. Boreal Mountain Resort also re-opened over the weekend.
On Wednesday, Heavenly will be running Tamarack Express Chairlift with access to Upper California Trail and Tamarack Return and by the weekend, Dipper and Orion will the added for a total of 30 acres of skiable terrain. For the second season running, they will also play host to the ultimate high-elevation après party 'Unbuckle' at 3:30 pm at the top of the gondola.
Northstar will kick-off the season with four lifts running on Wedneday: Big Springs Express Gondola, Big Easy, Arrow Express and Vista Express. These will access Pinball, Main Street, Upper Main Street, Lumberjack, Woodcutter and Easy Street trails. New skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of the ski school opening early as well.
Kirkwood’s Chair 5 (Solitude) will give access to Race Course, Mokelumne, Lower Monte Wolfe, Lower Zachary and lower Olympic. That’s 40 acres of skiable terrain and according to Kirkwood’s general manager, Casey Blann, they have about two-and-a-half feet of natural snow plus the help of machine-made snow.
Squaw Valley will be running FirstVenture, Searchlight, Red Dog and Squaw Creek. They will also have beginner packages and private lessons available to guests opening weekend.