Just about every ski resort in the Sierra Nevada is open for business, although the business may have a bit of a task getting to the resorts. Latest to come on board are Sierra-at-Tahoe and Diamond Peak in Incline Village.
At Sierra, freestyle mogul champ Travis Ramos will be holding four-hour clinics for wannebes every Saturday and Sunday. Twin-tip demo ski rental will be available. You've got to be an advanced skier and clinics will be limited to four participants. Fee is $100.
A clinic for less advanced skiers will be this weekend for two days with four hours of instruction daily, demo twin-tips, picnic lunches and video analysis. Cost is $200.
Diamond Peak is offering Lighten Up in the Loft this Saturday and next from 4 to 7 p.m., a great way to cool down after a day running that long ridge with all those nice blacks running off it.
At Heavenly, Gun Barrel was opened with a ton of snow on it. Unfortunately, some obstacles are there and one skier managed to delaminate both skis on hidden rocks. But Heavenly has received more than seven feet of snow since Dec. 13. And that goes on top of the massive snow gun blasts that prepared the runs for the natural snow.
Northstar-at-Tahoe reports that a power outage has limited its operations but the resort should be up and running by the weekend.
Alpine Meadows expects to have all runs open for the weekend with 111 inches at the summit.
Those who have been reading this column are aware that the author underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Nov. 14 for worn cartilage and bone damage. One month to the day of the operation I joined the media crowd at Heavenly Dec. 14. The winds were fierce and only the California and Snowbowl chairs were running, both serviced by the Patsy's lift.
My new brace hadn't arrived yet (the insurance company was quibbling about the price) so I added heel shock absorbers to my boots and mounted up.
At the top of Snowbowl the wind was howling and the runs were swept clear of snow, leaving icy hardpack. Well aware of the knee, I made a run down to Patsy's on gnarly runs. OK, I made it. But the turns went from lousy to possible with maybe one or two good ones. I was too aware of the knee, not that it hurt. But psychologically I wasn't ready yet, despite the serious physical therapy I had been undergoing at the hands of Corrie.
At Patsy's the lift was closed and only Groove was running. Heavenly staffers said the Roundabout trail was open and that those who could handle it were welcome to use it. About 100 or more took off for the Roundabout. Knowing the trail well, I decided not to risk it. A crowd on Roundabout, which is not a beginner trail, can be dangerous. And the advanced section of Roundabout was not open; that cuts off all the poling one needs to do from Patsy's.
So down the California lift and a decision to wait until after the holidays before trying skiing again.
Sam Bauman is the Nevada Appeal Diversions Editor.