Ski/snowboard resorts are welcoming a pre-Halloween treat: fresh pow!

At Alpine Meadows, the white stuff was piling up this morning. (Alpine Meadows photo)

Alpine Meadows, on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, was a winter wonderland this morning. (Alpine Meadows photo)

If it’s cold and raining down here, it must snowing up there. And it is.

In the Lake Tahoe area, Alpine Meadows received 10 inches of snow at the base and 14 inches on the upper mountain last night, while the Squaw Valley totals were 5 and 10 inches, respectively.

Snow also is piling up near Heavenly. (Heavenly Mountain Resort photo)

Snow also is piling up near Heavenly. (Heavenly Mountain Resort photo)

Heavenly was reporting 6-8 inches of natural snow overnight on the mountain, and also was taking advantage of a drop in temperatures to make even more snow – all in preparation for the resort’s planned Nov. 22 opening.

“There is something about this time of year leading up to the winter season,” said Pete Sonntag, Heavenly’s vice president and chief operating officer. “It holds so much promise, and you can feel the anticipation building. Starting up the snow guns signifies the end of one season and the beginning of another.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was forecasting that Lake Tahoe could receive an additional 3 to 6 inches of snow by Tuesday morning.

At Mammoth Mountain, there was 10 inches of new snow during the past 24 hours at the Main Lodge and 12 inches at the 11,053-foot summit. Opening day is Nov. 7.

In Southern California, Bear Mountain and Mountain High were both reporting falling temperatures – and snow – by mid-afternoon on Monday, but offered no additional details via the resorts’ Twitter feeds.

– Jerry Rice

Mammoth’s opening weekend countdown continues: 21 days until…

It’s three weeks before the start of the new ski and snowboard season at Mammoth Mountain. According to the resort, here’s the plan for opening weekend:

Thursday, Nov. 7
7:30-8:30 a.m. – Coffee and cocoa served at the base of Broadway Express
8:30 a.m. – First chair of the 2013/14 winter season at Broadway Express
11 a.m. – Annual Champagne toast on the Main Lodge Sundeck
11:15 a.m. – Live music on the Main Lodge Sundeck
7 p.m. – Mixer at Underground Lounge in The Village

Friday, Nov. 9
1:30-4:30 p.m. – Live music on the Main Lodge Sundeck
10 p.m. – Underground Lounge featuring LA Riots with special guest

Saturday, Nov. 10
1:30-4:30 p.m. – Live music on the Main Lodge Sundeck
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – DJ Kane in Main Park
Noon – ThirtyTwo Insta-Jam featuring the Training Facility in Main Park
7 p.m. – Oakley “Naturally and Level 1 “Partly Cloudy movie premieres in The Village
10 p.m. – Underground Lounge featuring Shiny Toy Guns and Z Trip

And a look at the action from last year’s opening weekend:

Mammoth countdown reaches a nifty 50

Mammoth 50 DaysWhile a photo of a mountain biker and another of a lush, green golf course may dominate the home page at mammothmountain.com, the folks at the Eastern Sierra resort are continuing the countdown to the launch of the 2013-14 ski and snowboard season.

“50 DAYS” proclaimed a post this morning on Mammoth Mountain’s Facebook, referring to the planned Nov. 7 opening date. It already had 862 likes and 183 shares by 9 a.m., about an hour after its debut on the social media site.

With weather.com predicting nighttime lows in Mammoth in the mid- to upper-20s this week, by early November the conditions should be ripe for a spectacular opening with man-made and perhaps even some natural snow. Here’s hoping.

– Jerry Rice

High winds and high adventure while spring skiing at Mammoth Mountain

Skiing in the sunshine at Mammoth Mountain. (Photo courtesy of Mammoth Ski Resort)

By Marlene Greer

This week in Mammoth Mountain was the first time I’ve actually had to pole downhill. Yes, that’s right – use my ski poles to propel myself down the mountain.

On Tuesday, bone-chilling winds at the summit hit 75 mph, according to mountain staff, and mid-mountain was not much better with strong 30-40 mph winds. The temperature at the top was a chilly 20 degrees.

The gondola to the summit was closed for three days and opened again on Thursday, though Chair 23, the other lift to the top, remained open despite the high winds. Whether that was a wise choice is debatable.

Those who ventured to the summit Tuesday and Wednesday described winds nearly blowing them over and being pelted unmercifully with ice. Skiing off the summit, they told me, was a scary experience.

Caitlin, a 20-something skier from Utah, was skiing Mammoth on Tuesday with her four friends and got caught off guard at the summit by a powerful gust of wind.

“It was so bad we all huddled together for about five minutes,” she explained. “We didn’t know what to do, which way to go. I felt like I was going to get blown off the mountain.”

Inga, spending spring break at Mammoth with her boyfriend and friends, called her one and only ride to the summit and ski down “an unfortunate adventure.”

Shredding some snow at Mammoth Mountain. (Photo courtesy of Mammoth Ski Resort)

“The wind was blowing ice so hard that the ice hitting my helmet sounded like hail,” her boyfriend added. The San Diego couple did not plan on making a second attempt to the summit that day.

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Skier Cross Camp with X Games gold medalist John Teller at Mammoth

Learn the secrets to speed with X Games gold medal winner John Teller at Mammoth Mountain on May 18-19.

Combine Mammoth’s incredible terrain with Teller’s world-class talent to learn the techniques that helped Teller win X Games gold and become the first American to win a World Cup Ski Cross event.

The camp costs $299. For more information, call Pam Lonza at 760-934-0795 or email plonza@mammoth-mtn.com.

Special discounted lodging rates are available at the Mammoth Mountain Inn for the Mammoth Spring Camps at a discounted room rate of 20 percent. Rates may vary based on room type/size and availability. 

Reservations can be made at www.mammothmountain.com, and using the following information:  John Teller Skier Cross Camp Group ID: 15288, Password: 37000188

Reservations also can be made by calling 800-626-6684.

Join Stacey Cook for Chix on Stix weekend at Mammoth

Join two-time Olympian, recent second place World Cup downhiller and Mammoth team athlete Stacey Cook and friends for a weekend of Chix on Stix, May 18-19. The packages starts at $319.

Weekend itinerary

May 17

  • Welcome reception

May 18

  • Morning free skiing with personal coaching tips by Stacey and friends
  • Nutritious lunch and skiing recap
  • Outdoor yoga in a beautiful Sierra setting. Bring your own mat.
  • Late afternoon healthy cooking class with special guest chef.  Learn to cook high-energy, nutritious meals for an active lifestyle
  • Evening movie night outdoors in The Village with homemade s’mores

May 19

  • Morning free skiing and introduction to racing through gates with Stacey and friends.
  • Nutritious lunch and farewell celebration.

All ages and abilities welcome, sorry guys – women only! Groups will be created to match participant ability and provide the best experience.

Lodging special

Special 20 percent off lodging rates will be available at the Mammoth Mountain Inn to all Chix on Stix participants. Rates may vary based on room type/size and availability.

Ski Mammoth Mountain through Memorial Day, likely longer

Spring has arrived at Mammoth Mountain, and so has Mammoth Springfest. (Mammoth Mountain photo)

Mammoth Mountain announced today it will be open for skiing and snowboarding at least through Memorial Day. With several storm systems forecast in the coming weeks, it’s possible that the resort will stay open longer, a spokesman said.

Many years, the slopes have enough snow to keep lifts running through July 4.

Earlier this week, Mammoth Springfest got off to a rousing start. Here’s a look at the schedule:

Oakley Week, through Sunday – Oakley Week has tons of events going on for shredders and skiers of all ages. Participate in signature snowboard competitions, visit the Rolling O-Lab, follow the Shred Hunt plus take in all the other action.

Mammoth Winter Biathlon, Friday-Sunday – Catch the excitement of this fast-paced Olympic sport in one of the largest biathlon events in the country.

Easter weekend, March 30-31 – Easter Bunnies, slopeside egg hunts, free snowmobile rides, and a host of other family-friendly activities will be happening across the mountain on Saturday and Sunday.

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It’s snow, snow and more snow on the slopes at Lake Tahoe, Mammoth

Squaw Valley has a base depth of 2 to 8 feet, and expect that to increase as fresh powder keeps falling today at the resort. (Jeff Engerbretson photo)

As of 5 a.m. today, Squaw Valley reported up to 6 inches of new snow while sister resort Alpine Meadows said it received up to 5 inches – and the white stuff was still coming down, at a rate of about an inch per hour.

This storm follows another one that recently rolled through, dumping up to 4 inches of snow. The two-storm total was expected to be 10-15 inches by Wednesday evening.

Skies were expected to clear by mid-day Friday, making for easier travel this weekend to all of the Lake Tahoe resorts.

Mammoth Mountain already has the most snow of any resort in North America, and it could receive another 2 feet by this weekend. (Mammoth Mountain photo)

Mammoth Mountain also was reporting fresh snow this morning, with 6 to 10 inches falling in the past 24 hours and a base depth of 7 to 16 feet.

The Weather.com forecast for Mammoth has a 60-70 percent chance of snow on Thursday and Friday, followed by partly cloudy to sunny skies on Saturday and Sunday when highs are expected to be in the 40s and 50s. For more information, click here.