Snow short all over the mountains

Here's a roundup report on selected mountain resorts:

Alpine Meadows - Open today wit two lifts; Boreal - One of 42 trails, 5 percent open, two of nine lifts; Heavenly -Packed powder, machine groomed, one of 91 trails, 1 percent open, four of 30 lifts; Kirkwood - One of 65 trails, 2 percent open, 2 acres, one of 12 lifts; Mammoth - Eight of 150 trails, 3 percent open, 90 acres, six of 29 lifts; Northstar-at-Tahoe - Six of 83 trails, 7 percent open, four of 17 lifts; Squaw Valley USA - Reopen Saturday, one of 150 trails, 1 percent open, one of 34 lifts; Sugar Bowl - Reopen Saturday, 8:26a packed powder machine groomed, one of 84 trails, 1 percent open, one of 13 lifts; Tahoe Donner - Plan to open 12/14; Diamond Peak - Plan to open 12/13.

As you can see, it's single digits for percentages open. And there's not much on the horizon for new snow. Not even rock skis will do the trick; there's just not much out there. Is it global warming or just a dry spell, with a heavy dump in the wings? We'll hold back on the GO page until things improve and we've more to write about.

Meanwhile, Northstar-at-Tahoe lift tickets are $29. Squaw Valley has beginner adult and children ski and snowboard lessons available, as well as ice-skating and snow tubing. Boreal offers beginner and intermediate terrain. Sugar Bowl has $40 lift tickets for adults. Homewood Mountain Resort's opening date is Dec. 8. Alpine Meadows open with adult, teen, and senior (ages 62-69) lift ticket price $35; ages 5 through 12 are $10; and 70 and over are $15. Kids ages 4 and under are free.


Beginners can take advantage of the 8th Annual Learn to Ski and Board Weekend, Dec. 8-9. For $25 first-time skiers and boarders receive an all-day beginner lift ticket, group lesson and gear rental. Participants have their choice of resorts: Alpine Meadows, Boreal Mountain Resort, Diamond Peak, Granlibakken, Homewood, Mt. Rose, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl. Reservations are not required, but participants should arrive early. Check here:

Alpine Meadows -, (530) 583-4232; Heavenly-, (800) HEAVENLY; Kirkwood -, (209) 258-6000; Mt. Rose-, (866O) SKI.ROSE; Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort -, ( 800.) GONORTH Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort -, (530) 659-7453; Squaw Valley - (530) 583-6985.


The 15-year-old Jeep King of the Mountain Series and The Ski Tour, an event that after only one year changed the face of mountain entertainment by bridging competition and mountain culture, have officially merged. The result is a snowsport competition series and mountain experience unlike any other that kicks off in Telluride, Colo., Dec.14-16 and includes stops at Squaw Valley Feb. 8-10 and Sun Valley, Idaho, March 14-16.

On the snow, the competition will bring together a who's who of the sports elite, including Olympians, World Champions and National Champions competing in IOC-format ski cross and snowboard cross. Additional snowboard halfpipe and ski halfpipe competitions during the season will showcase the progression of two of the fastest growing segments in winter sports.

Off the snow, the Basecamp Music Experience will be expanded to a whole new level to celebrate the mountain culture through music acts, fashion shows, film and photography exhibits, environmental awareness symposiums and other cross-cultural initiatives. Performers planned for this first stop in Telluride include Macy Gray, Blackalicious, Swollen Members, Danielia Cotton, Dirtie Blond, Steven Kellogg and the Sixers and many more.

Hang along there, snow will fall and we can all be out on the hills. I've got my first shot in the knee to get me through the winter; two more to go so maybe I'll be ready when the snow finally arrives.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or


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