Get snowed

Ski season opens

People line up to ride the lift at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe on opening day 2018.

People line up to ride the lift at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe on opening day 2018.

COURTESY/MT. ROSE SKI TAHOE

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe will be the first of the region’s ski resorts to open this season. Friday, Oct. 25, is opening day at the resort. It’s something the resort has been planning on all summer, said Siani Nau, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe community relations manager.

“We aim for a six-month season, so that's always our goal,” she said.

To achieve it, the resort relies on snow-making early in the season.

“We're always snow-making as early as possible,” Nau said. “We aim to make snow as early as Oct. 1, and we actually were able to do it early this year, on Sept. 28.”

Last year, the resort installed 17 new snow-making towers—and, over the summer—they added an additional nine. These were part of $1.5 million in on-mountain improvements made. Others include the resort's new ticketing and lift gate system, designed to give skiers and snowboarders simplified lift access.

Opening day is Friday, Oct. 25, but the resort will be open all weekend.

“All tickets will be $20 this weekend,” Nau said. “It's going to be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. … We'll have DJs and live music out there on Friday morning. … It always gets our passholders excited. People just can't wait to get back on the snow, so it's always just a good, fun party.”

In addition to patrons, the resort is also seeking employees for the season and has already hosted hiring events for seasonal jobs at Sierra Nevada College, Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno.

“We hosted an open-house and a hiring mixer last Saturday here at the main lodge,” Nau said. “People were able to get information and on-site interviews. … But they can still go online to apply at skirose.com. We're still looking for all kinds of positions, including ski patrol, lift operations, ski team and ski and snowboard instructors. And there are ‘inside' jobs available as well, so it's not like you have to be a skier or snowboarder, but it's pretty fun—because one of the perks includes a free season pass.”

Other ski resorts are seeking seasonal employees as well as they prepare for opening dates in November.

Sierra-at-Tahoe Boreal Mountain Resort is set to open Nov. 8. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort plans to open Nov. 15. Both Heavenly Lake Tahoe and Northstar California are set to open Nov. 22—and Kirkwood Mountain Resort is set for Nov. 27. Sugar Bowl is set to be the last resort to open before December, on Nov. 29.

Many who are anxious to hit the slopes this season will be looking for information on snow forecasting websites run by professional and self-taught, amateur meteorologists in resort regions around the nation. In the Tahoe region, they're likely to turn to Bryan Allegretto of opensnow.com, a website that's been forecasting snow for the region since 2011. But they might not get much information—yet.

On Oct. 21, Allegretto published a daily snow report saying that he was “watching a cold trough that may” push into our area from the east on Sunday and into early next week.

“Right now it looks like just colder air and maybe a few scattered snow showers if any,” he wrote, adding, “We are not big fans of seasonal forecasts since they are very hard to predict. We know that the forecast models lose a lot of accuracy over a two-week period, so how can they predict anything beyond that?”