Warm temperatures and a lack of snow since January has resulted in earlier openings than usual for most Lake Tahoe ski resorts.
Tahoe Donner ski resort was the first Lake Tahoe-area resort to close, stopping operations on April 2. Five more resorts will close Sunday (April 7) and six more will shut down the following Sunday (April 14).
Homewood Mountain Resort will close on Sunday, along with Donner Ski Ranch, Diamond Peak, Soda Springs and Granlibakken.
“It’s what we had scheduled from the very beginning. We would have liked to extend the season if we had the snow and interest levels, but this year it’s not looking like that will come together for us,” Homewood spokesperson Paul Raymore said earlier this week.
Predictably, the region’s larger ski resorts will stay open an additional week or two. However, unlike most previous ski seasons, there may not be any skiing or snowboarding in May this year.
Squaw Valley has scheduled its tentative closing for April 28 and neighboring Alpine Meadows will continue weekend skiing and riding after stopping weekday offerings on April 14.
Sugar Bowl ski resort, which annually gets the most snow in the Lake Tahoe region, is still undecided on its closing date and could be a candidate to remain open into May, weather permitting. Alpine is also considering weekend skiing and riding in May.
Spring skiing hit Lake Tahoe resorts early. Skiers and riders have been shedding clothing and enjoying the sun-drenched days for a while. Pond-skimming events, snow golf, and other odd activities are part of the typical spring activities as the season winds down.
Like many resorts that are shutting down, Diamond Peak won’t go out with a whimper. Sunday is the 13th annual “Dummy Downhill” and the resort’s Season Pass Holder Appreciation Lunch.
“Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and that means that the 2012/13 season is ending on Sunday,” the resort issued in a press release. “One thing is for sure though, we’re not going out quietly. We’re throwing a big old end-of-the-season party. We’ll have live music from the Mark Castro band both Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.”
Despite the lack of snow in 2013, snow arrived early in November and it continued to snow quite regularly through December, which made for early openings and great early-season conditions.
“It was a tale of two seasons for Tahoe – huge snow in November and December that fortunately set us up to overcome the dry January, February and March that followed,” said Russ Pecoraro, spokesperson for Heavenly Mountain Resort. “With our snowmaking and grooming, and high elevation, Heavenly definitely provided an excellent experience for all our guests.”
Lake Tahoe ski resort closing dates:
• Tahoe Donner: Closed
• Homewood: April 7
• Donner Ski Ranch: April 7
• Granlibakken: April 7
• Diamond Peak: April 7
• Soda Springs: April 7
• Alpine Meadows: April 14 (open weekends TBA)
• Northstar California: April 14
• Boreal: April 14
• Heavenly: April 14
• Sierra-at-Tahoe: April 15
• Mt. Rose: April 21
• Kirkwood: April 21
• Mt. Rose: April 21
• Squaw Valley: April 28
• Sugar Bowl: TBA