It’s official: February is one for the record books. South Shore area ski resorts reported 251-271 inches with snow falling 19 out of 28 days this month – previous records were around 150 inches. The Sierra snowpack, measured by the California Department of Water Resources, is 153 percent of average for this time of year. Snow totals to date are already above average with 394-487 inches and two months remaining in ski season. (http://tahoesouth.com/).
According to NOAA (www.noaa.gov) a winter storm warning is in effect until Saturday evening with snow accumulations of 12-20 inches possible above 7,000 feet in the South Lake Tahoe area.
With the historic snowfall this month, both Heavenly and Kirkwood Mountain Resorts have extended their seasons. Heavenly is scheduled through April 28, plus a 3-day weekend May 3-5; Kirkwood until April 14 with a 3-day weekend April 19-21. Sierra-at-Tahoe historically closes mid-to-late April and while they have yet to announce a closing date it’s safe to expect it to fall within the same range.
“Who knows what madness March will bring but skiers are reveling in endless, free-refill powder days,” said Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “Plus in March and April, we have non-stop celebrations with annual Spring Loaded events both on and off the slopes – it’s the place to be.”
During snowfall, a fleet of city and state snow removal vehicles work around the Lake Tahoe Basin to keep roads clear and safe for travel. Plans should remain flexible and please consider weather, driver experience, and other available information to assure smooth passage. For a complete list of tips/preparation: www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html.
- Monitor Caltrans and Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) website and social media accounts on closures, re-openings, chain controls, etc. @CaltransDist3www.facebook.com/CaltransDistrict3/ @nevadadotwww.facebook.com/NevadaDOT/.
- Utilize Caltrans District 3 cameras: www.dot.ca.gov/d3/cameras.html; and NDOT cameras: https://tv.its.nv.gov/; www.TahoeRoads.com; www.LinkingTahoe.com.
- Ski Resort websites, cams, snow phones www.skiheavenly.com: 775-586-7000;www.sierraattahoe.com: 530-659-7475; www.kirkwoood.com/: 209-258-3000.
SOUTH SHORE OWNS SPRING
Tahoe South’s Spring Loaded events feature a myriad of opportunities to experience the season on the mountain, in town and on the water. The calendar is loaded with events including:
Vans Methodology at Sierra-at-Tahoe, March 16, featuring a banked slalom concept. The inaugural Barton Foundation’s Pink Heavenly slope side fundraising event is making tracks, March 23. The Pink Glow Après Party is at The Ridge Tahoe, March 22 with food/drink specials and a raffle to benefit Barton Health. Heavenly will also host Gunbarrel 25, March 30; the Spring Fling Rail Jam, April 6; and the Pond Skim Competition, April 13.Kirkwood Mountain Resort welcomes back the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association World Tour 4 Star Qualifier, April 2-6.
Kids, 3-11, ride free with purchase of an adult ticket on the MS Dixie II Sightseeing Cruise, as well as on Snowmobile Tours at Zephyr Cove Resort. An annual tradition, with winners determined by time and ability to pass the finish line with drinks intact, the Snowshoe Cocktail Races at the Beacon Bar & Grill at historic Camp Richardson Resort returns March 16 and 30.
The Spring Loaded Brew Bus Tour, March 20-21 will take “brewthusiasts” to numerous South Lake Tahoe’s breweries. Spring Loaded Brewfest & 5k Fun Run kicks off with live music and a party presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. on March 29 then followed by the 5k Fun Run and Brew Fest on March 30.
After riding in prime conditions, a memorable après experience is in order with Tahoe South’s restaurants and bars set to deliver. Festivities continue through the evening with live music performances, comedians, magicians, burlesques shows, DJs, and dancing at nightclubs.