Season Update from Lake Tahoe – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Snowlife Skiing Heavenly Mountain Resort Vail Zack Phelan of Snowlife approving the snow conditions at Heavenly Mountain Resort

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Up first, the bad news. The 2017-18 season in Lake Tahoe has started horrendously. In fact, through the end of December as reported by Opensnow’s snow forecastor Bryan Allegretto we’ve only received 32 inches, making this season the fourth worst start in the last 50 years. On top of that, nearly every storm we’ve had has come in warm giving us snow levels over 8,000’. FYI… Lake Tahoe is at 6,229’ and most terrain starts at around 7,000’.

The Good News

Snowlife Skiing Heavenly Mountain Resort Vail
Zack Phelan of Snowlife approving the snow conditions on Saturday at Heavenly Mountain Resort

Now that we’ve gotten past the gruesome facts, let’s look at the silver lining. Last weekend, we had a storm come through that freshened up the base above 8,000’. The snow-line started half-way up Heavenly’s Stagecoach and the conditions were excellent on any of the chairs that were above the snowline. AND another bonus – with not a lot of terrain open, the slopes were empty. The snow was like cream cheese, smooth and creamy in texture. With so little snow this winter, it was not a shock to find little monsters lurking in the trees, but when you weren’t clipping rocks and tree stumps, the conditions were definitely fun.

The Ugly News

Meadow in Lake Tahoe as of January 8th

The storm that’s hitting us right now is again another warm event giving us snow levels starting out at 9,000’ with it slowly lowering over the course of today to around 7,000′. Also, rumor has it the storms coming next week are trending towards the “warm” variety again. Let’s hope they’re wrong.

What to do?

If you live in the Bay Area or around Tahoe, the conditions are decent on the upper 1/3 of the mountains if you want to head up to a Tahoe resort and get some laps. But, if you can plan a road trip northward to ski areas like Mt Baker and Stevens Pass, do it! And even better, if you have the dough or more time off, head to places like Whistler, the Powder Highway, or even visit our friends at Lookout Pass. The cold weather and deep snow they’ve gotten equals great conditions. One thing Lake Tahoe weather has taught us is to be patient. The cold storms will come and when it does it’s going to be awesome! Until then, keep those snow dances coming.

100% Open and 199″ YTD at Lookout Pass Resort – as of January 3rd – Image courtesy: Lookout Pass

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