RENO — The ultimate Christmas present awaits skiers and snowboarders on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada.
Some resort operators are reporting the best Christmas holiday skiing conditions in decades after a string of recent storms bolstered an impressive early-season snowpack.
The storms brought the Lake Tahoe Basin’s snowpack to 219 percent of average for the date, according to the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“The amount of snow we have seen this season is incredible,” said Jon Slaughter, spokesman for Boreal Mountain Resort atop Donner Summit. “I have never seen the snow banks as tall this early in the season.”
His resort has reported receiving 28 feet of snow in November and December, the most by far at Boreal over that period in 30 years of record-keeping.
Some of the largest resorts at nearby Lake Tahoe have reported up to 25 feet of snow so far this season, which is nearly 75 percent of the average snowfall for the entire season, said Eric Doyne of Ski Lake Tahoe.
His group represents seven of Tahoe’s largest resorts: Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and Squaw Valley.
“Some of the resorts have never seen ski conditions like this for Christmas,” Doyne said. “This is definitely one of the snowiest Christmas and New Year’s holidays we’ve seen.”
The National Weather Service says storms will bring a chance of more snow to the Sierra over the next week.
The Associated Press