Resorts to open in a week or so - hopefully

In just a week or so mountain area resorts are expected to open. But don't count on it.

The snow guns are firing away at Heavenly and elsewhere around the Sierra Nevada, and nighttime temperatures have been cold enough to make snow. But that isn't enough to get off to a good start; the resorts need an early dump of natural snow to smooth out those runs. But don't despair, snow is coming, just don't know when. Meanwhile, that means another chance to explore the Santa Cruz mountains in the Bay Area.

Meanwhile, if you haven't waxed you skis or boards, now is the time to do with it. You ride better, turn easier and go faster with wax. Hot wax melted is best, but the spray on stuff works for a couple of hours.

Incidentally, if you plan to hike Dead Man's Creek at Washoe Lake State Park, don't take the old trail that winds through the brush at the creek as outlined last week in a different section of the Appeal. The park people aren't maintaining that trail because they want the brush to be a haven for wildlife. Instead, take the long, straight trail to bypass the trees and brush. It's well marked. If you get on a trail and it suddenly begins to have stairsteps, you're on the old closed trail.


The newest Warren Miller winter sports film will be screened Saturday night at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. and it's free. Heavenly will show the same film the first weekend of December, but times and places have not been announced.


Squaw Valley announces that the Military Discount Program will return for the 2005-2006 season. Active military personnel will be able to ski and snowboard for free.

The program has proven to be extremely popular as Squaw has given away more than18,000 tickets to date. It has saved Military Personnel over $1.1 million.

This year Squaw will provide free tickets for military personnel seven days a week.

Squaw also says that Squaw Kids will be opening this weekend for both indoor and outdoor mountain activities. Squaw Kids is Squaw Valley USA's children's ski school. The program separates children into three groups based on age: Snow Cubs (3 and 4 years olds), Snow Sliders (5 and 6 year olds), and Junior Mountain (7-12 year olds).

The full day will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the morning half day will run from 8:30-12:30 am and the afternoon half day will run from noon to 4 p.m. Prices are $49 for a half day and $79 for the full day.

This program will also be offered November 25-27 of Thanksgiving weekend.

Squaw ski movies are an annual tradition for everyone who has been craving snow for the last five months to come together and celebrate winter sports. The sixth annual Squaw Valley USA Film Festival will be held on Friday Nov. 25 in the Olympic Plaza.

Admission to the Film Festival is $5 (kids 12 and under are free) and the shows begin at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6) in Squaw Valley's Olympic House. Call (530) 583-6985 or visit


Molly Cuffe, former information person at Heavenly, reports that a powerful, early season winter storm left more than two and a half feet of fresh powder blanketing the mountains. Thanks to the big snowfall, Arapahoe, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Loveland all announced they have added more terrain options for skiers and riders to enjoy, including several expert runs. Crested Butte and Vail Mountain are also gearing up for a great opening this weekend.

"At Breckenridge, we've received upwards of five feet of snow since the middle of October and this is the best snow yet," stated Rich Srameck, vice president of operations at Breckenridge Resort and longtime Breckenridge local. Call (800) 825-SNOW, Molly suggests.


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