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Lake Tahoe ski resorts

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Historically speaking, when do ski hills around Lake Tahoe open (in particular Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Northstar)? I am seriously thinking about going there in late November/early December!
post #2 of 10
I have not skied there, but i have been looking at things online and I would say that is historically quite early.  Takes a while for the snow to cover up the rocks and open all of the terrain.  However there are years with large early snowfalls...
post #3 of 10
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Does anyone know of a website that lists all the dates the resorts have opened in the past few years?
post #5 of 10
Don't know such a site.

In recent years, most have tried for a Thanksgiving opening and failed.  Opening at the big players is usually by first weekend of December, albeit far too frequently with a mere White Ribbon Of Death.
post #6 of 10
I lived at Tahoe up in Incline Village back from 91-96 or so and snow at Thanksgiving was rare back then

You are a lot safer shooting for late Jan to end of March

Northstar has the nicest village these days
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
True, but I would have to go there during Thanksgiving as my trip is very time sensative :(. I maybe going to San Francisco for a wedding, so Lake Tahoe would be a side trip (or maybe even Las Vegas....)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HUBBSTER View Post

I lived at Tahoe up in Incline Village back from 91-96 or so and snow at Thanksgiving was rare back then

You are a lot safer shooting for late Jan to end of March

Northstar has the nicest village these days
post #8 of 10
Wait and see.  Some Tahoe resorts are usually open by Thanksgiving, but they may have very little open.  Sometimes it has already dumped several feet; sometimes nobody has opened.  If nothing is open, then the roads through Yosemite to Mammoth will probably still be open, which makes for another beautiful trip from SF, and Mammoth is slightly more likely to be open (Thanksgiving 2006 I made a great road trip of SF --> day at Yosemite --> night in Mammoth with a a half day of skiing --> weekend in Tahoe.  Bottom line: either something will be open, or the weather will most likely still be in Fall mode, in which case the Sierras still aren't a bad place to visit.

That said, there are tons of non-skiing side-trips in Northern California that would *probably* beat a machine-blown WROD unless you're really jones-ing. 
post #9 of 10
Tony Crocker provides detailed seasonal records by region on his site http://webpages.charter.net/tcrocker818/.  We haven't had a decent early snow year since 2004 when we skied for Halloween.  One way to look at it is, we are due.

Hopefully this doesn't infringe, but here is Tahoe last year 07-08

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr/May

Total

Pct. of Normal

Squaw 8,000

8

82

191

94

25

10

410

92%

Kirkwood

16

62.5

216.5

124.5

17.5

3.5

440.5

93%

Mammoth

6

66

148

94

18

3

335

91%

Southern Cal

0

12

78

15

6

0

111

86%

Arizona Snowbowl

0

74

83

68

15

0

240

97%


06-07

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr/May

Total

Pct. of Normal

Squaw 8,000

37

81

10

134

28

62

352

79%

Kirkwood

10

64

12.5

175.5

35

33

330

70%

Mammoth

5

58

11

100

19

34

227

62%

Southern Cal

1

11

4

18

3

6

43

33%

Arizona Snowbowl

2

30

43

20

10

4

109

44%


05-06

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr/May

Total

Pct. of Normal

Alpine Meadows

18.5

54

91

30

197.5

103

494

133%

Kirkwood

43.5

101.5

140.5

44.5

201.5

92.5

624

131%

Mammoth

23

120

154

64

189

105

659

178%

Southern Cal

0

1

7

8

52

21

89

68%

Arizona Snowbowl

10

0

10

0

103

20

153

61%


04-05

Area

Oct/Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr/May

Total

Pct. of Normal

Alpine Meadows

96.3

89.5

115.5

53.5

104

55

513.8

142%

Kirkwood

138

121.5

198.5

81

130.5

52.5

722

155%

Mammoth

109

116

144

71

91

73

604

167%

Southern Cal

48

36

39

81

12

9

225

174%

Arizona Snowbowl

97

44

137

98

71

12

459

184%



In the absence of natural snow, Heavely is your best bet.  They have a large snow making system and they generally have Thanksgiving turns.
post #10 of 10
Anybody who advance-books an airfare for a ski-dedicated vacation before mid-December is bucking long odds IMHO.  Even mid-December to New Year's can be asking for trouble; if you have to do it then for family reasons, stick to the short list of resorts with strong early season records. http://www.letstalkweather.com/bskiwx/entry.php?w=bestsnow&e_id=1819

This is a different question from the one about someone who will be in SF for a family event at Thanksgiving.  Bring your ski gear just in case, but you'll just as likely be spending your free time in Napa Valley, Monterey, playing golf, or whatever else might interest you if the snow is inadequate.  Here's the 08-09 table for Tahoe.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr/May

Total

Pct. of Normal

Squaw 8,000

31

120

40

127

122

34

474

106%

Kirkwood

0

130

48.5

140.5

114.5

21.5

455

96%

Mammoth

47

123

63

142

62

42

479

138%

Southern Cal

2

54

4

72

6

0

138

108%

Arizona Snowbowl

20

92

22

58

6

5

203

82%


Probably best just to put up the link http://bestsnow.net/seas09.htm  [seasYY.htm for other years], includes selected similar data in other North America ski regions as well.  At the top of those pages are links to my archived in-season reports during those seasons.  If you check out a few Dec. 1 reports like last year http://webpages.charter.net/tcrocker818/120108.htm you will see why I don't think it's a smart idea to commit significant time and/or $ in that timeframe. 

Within your region/drive-up range it's a different story.  When it snowed early at Mammoth, I arranged mid-November ski weekends from my SoCal home in 2004 and 2008.
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