Dave Moller

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January 24, 2008
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Plenty of powder

The skiing should be great in the upper Sierra this weekend " if you can get there.

A snow advisory remains in effect through 4 p.m. today, and mountain motorists should expect plenty of snow at 7,000 feet and higher, according to the National Weather Service.

Showers are predicted for the Nevada County foothills from today through Sunday, so traffic should be smooth through the lower elevations.

The storms will dump heavy snow on the upper mountains Saturday and Sunday, the weather service said, and Donner Pass ski resorts should get another 10 to 20 inches.

"As long as the winds stay down, it won't be a problem," said Lincoln Kauffman, the general manager at Donner Ski Ranch. Winds between 15 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph, could occur at the higher elevations through Saturday night, but should calm down for Sunday skiers, the weather service said.

Next week, the foothills will see a chance of rain Monday through Wednesday as storms roll in off the Pacific.

Highs are expected in the mid-40s to low 30s through Wednesday in western Nevada County, with lows in the 30s.

Skiers and snowboarders packed the slopes last weekend, Kauffman said.

"Everybody's ready to ski," Kauffman said. "They missed out last year, and this last Saturday and Sunday were excellent.

"The snow is very deep, powdery dry, like Colorado and Utah," Kauffman added. "We don't get that too often."

The ski ranch was reporting a base of 54 inches to 100 inches Thursday, with Boreal Mountain Resort having an 89-inch to 115-inch base. Sugar Bowl reported a 71-inch to 104-inch base.

"Our weather guy says we'll get snow nine out of the next 10 days," said Matt Aspinall, at Boreal. "Compared to last year, we have a lot more snow and a full-running mountain. Mother Nature has been kind to us."

Tire chain controls were in effect Thursday over mountain passes in the Nevada County region, and they could be in effect at any time over the weekend, the weather service advised.

Those controls allow motorists with four-wheel drive and snow tires all the way around to proceed, but travelers should check on road conditions at 1-800-427-7623 before leaving.

The controls were in effect Thursday for Interstate 80 from Applegate to a few miles outside of Reno. The same controls occurred on Highway 20 from the Five Mile House restaurant to I-80, and on Highway 49 from Camptonville to Sattley in Sierra County.

Travelers are advised to pack tire chains, water, food and warm clothes for emergencies when driving in the Sierra.


To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.

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The Union Updated Jan 24, 2008 10:46PM Published Jan 24, 2008 10:42PM Copyright 2008 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.