Boreal’s slopes open using manmade snow
Don’t let the blue skies fool you – Boreal Mountain Resort in eastern Nevada County opened Thursday for skiing on manmade snow.
“You’re kidding me. Come on – is this an April Fool’s joke?” asked Walt O’Dwyer, sales specialist at Mountain Recreation, a ski and snowboard shop in Grass Valley.
Boreal is known for its early openings, O’Dwyer said.
“But usually there’s some rain to give an indication it’s coming,” he said. “Looking outside, the sun is shining, and we’ve got people in T-shirts and Halloween costumes.”
Though somewhat surprised by the opening, O’Dwyer’s not complaining. “Our store is ready to go for the ski season,” he said. “We’re just waiting, so that’s good news.”
It’s great to see the ski season get off to such an early start, said Tim Zeh, ski department manager at Free Flight Sports in Grass Valley. “But we’re a ways away from good conditions,” he added.
Thursday’s debut makes Boreal the first resort to open in California this year, said its public relations director, Carrie Roberts.
“A Halloween opening is kind of our style,” and it’s the fourth time since 1989 Boreal has been open for Halloween, Roberts said.
Just off Interstate 80 at Donner Summit, Boreal reported 7 to 8 inches of manmade snow Thursday, with just one run open on the Gunner’s Chair due to limited conditions.
“We definitely need to get some natural snow to open up more terrain,” Roberts said. “But people are kind of chomping at the bit, so this will give them something to play with until the real snow comes.”
If temperatures stay cool in the high country, Roberts said, Boreal should be open today and Saturday.
Operations will continue thereafter on a day-to-day basis.
Roberts suggests that skiers and snowboarders call (426-3666) or check the Boreal Web site (www.rideboreal.com) before heading up the mountain.
Lift tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for kids aged 5 to 12.
Other Northern Sierra ski resorts are also making snow and gearing up to open in November.
On the Nevada/Placer County line just east of Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl is expected to open Nov. 27, said marketing manager Bill Hudson.
“That’s our plan,” he said. “But if we get some cold temperatures and a little natural snow, we could open earlier.”
Heavenly at Lake Tahoe is making snow and is scheduled to open Nov. 22.
Six miles north of Tahoe City on Highway 89, Alpine Meadows will start making snow next week and is expected to open before Thanksgiving, said public relations manager Rachael Woods.
“You never know this time of year,” she said. “One day it’s sunny, and the next day it’s snowing.”
Woods said Alpine Meadows got a dusting of natural snow last week. “It wasn’t a lot, but it’s very encouraging.”
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