Along Kingsbury Grade in Stateline, snowguns could be heard blasting away this week at Heavenly as Sierra Nevada ski resorts prepare for the first big holiday of the season.
It should be a fine holiday weekend for snowsporters, as man-made snow will go far toward making the ski and snowboard terrain parks white and fast, resort officials said Tuesday.
Last week's dump furnished the needed base; now the sharper ice crystals will add the cushion.
Only a few resorts around Lake Tahoe will not be open for sporting:
Donner Ski Ranch hasn't set a date and Homewood opens Friday. Sierra-at-Tahoe has postponed opening. Tahoe Donner opens Thursday. For the rest it's already the beginning of the annual ski and snowboard carnival.
Of course, as usual in the early days of the season, rocks and stumps will be here and there, but obstacles will be marked.
Resort officials will be urging caution on the slopes.
Plenty of activities will be offered at the resorts to mark the real opening of the season.
At Kirkwood on Highway 88 along Carson Pass all lifts on the front side will be running. Saturday, a fashion show will celebrate the opening of the new ice rink from 1 to 3 p.m. "Conditions are holding up very well," said Kirkwood spokeswoman Tanya Plinkington.
At Heavenly, spokeswoman Molly Cuffee said the resort has been making snow for the last 24 hours and will continue to do so.
"We've very optimistic about the season with all the new work on the lodges and the new trail off Dipper Knob," Cuffee said.
She said 13 trails in California and upper Nevada will be open with both Dipper and Comet lifts in Nevada up.
At nearby Mount Rose, machines have been blowing snow for the last 48 hours and, with an easy wind, conditions should be excellent for the weekend, said marketing director Mike Pierce.
Squaw Valley, site of the 1950 Winter Olympics, "hopes to have the Mountain Trail open Thursday," said marketing official Becky Moore. "We're expecting a good crowd with the skating rink opening Thursday and many of the retails shops in our new village doing business," Moore said. She said 10 lifts will be in operation.
At Sugar Bowl off I-80 near Donner pass, lift tickets will be reduced to $35 for the holiday with the Mount Lincoln Express and the Nob Hill quad in operation along with a beginner two. Entry to the resort will be by the gondola only.
Here's a rundown on Tahoe ski and snowboard areas:
Diamond Peak -- Plans to open Dec. 12
Las Vegas Ski -- Plans to open Dec. 7
Mount Rose -- packed powder groomed 12-to 30-inch base 25 of 44 trails, 48 percent open, two of six lifts, Weekday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Alpine Meadows -- packed powder groomed 24- to 36-inch base; 35 percent open, three of 14 lifts; Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Boreal -- packed powder groomed 18-to 36-inch base; 35 of 41 trails, 75 percent open, four of nine lifts, Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Donner Ski Ranch -- Reopening to be announced
Heavenly -- packed powder groomed 12- to 24-inch base; 12 of 84 trails, 40 percent open, eight of 29 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Homewood -- Plans to open Friday
Kirkwood -- packed powder groomed 10- to 44-inch base; 20 of 65 trails, 1,200 acres 40 percent open, four of 12 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; chair 7, chair 9, Timber Creek open.
Mammoth -- packed powder groomed 24- to 48-inch base; 90 of 150 trails, 2,500 acres 75 percent open, 10 of 29 lifts; Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Northstar at Tahoe -- packed powder groomed 10- to 28-inch base; 23 of 72 trails, 31 percent open, four of 15 lifts, Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Royal Gorge -- Reopens Saturday
Sierra at Tahoe -- Opening on hold
Soda Springs -- packed powder groomed 36- to 42-inch base; six of 16 trails, 50 percent open, two of four lifts, Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Squaw Valley USA -- packed powder groomed 18- to 31-inch base; 30 of 177 trails, 35 percent open, 10 of 33 lifts, Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Weekend/Holiday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sugar Bowl -- packed powder groomed 12- to 24-inch base; 10 of 83 trails, 12 percent open, three of 13 lifts, Weekend/Holiday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tahoe Donner -- Plans to open Saturday