Natural snow in Lake Tahoe, Xmas week?

4 messages Options
greif greif
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Natural snow in Lake Tahoe, Xmas week?

I am thinking about a trip to Lake Tahoe for some groomed XC (Royal Gorge and others in the area). But ... is there likely to be snow there at the end of December?  Anybody know some history?
marznc marznc
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Natural snow in Lake Tahoe, Xmas week?

Don't know anything about exactly where the XC trails are in the Tahoe area.  Vaguely remember that one recent season there was supposed to either training or perhaps even a race and there was very little snow.  A friend's son is a XC coach.

Tony Crocker's recommendations for Christmas vacation ski trips don't rate Tahoe that highly.  He wrote "Sierra snowfall is abundant but volatile, so about a quarter of Christmas seasons are pretty awful, with minimal natural snow base and much less than half the terrain skiable. Conversely, the best holiday seasons feature midwinter conditions on deep snow bases of 100+ inches. Last-minute decisions can thus be well rewarded."

http://www.bestsnow.net/fam_ski.htm

TonyC TonyC
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Natural snow in Lake Tahoe, Xmas week?

I wrote that article 17 years ago but it's still applicable.

Cross country trails don't require a deep base, but they also tend to be at low altitude where early season rain is more of an issue. I suspect cross country areas don't make snow.

Royal Gorge west of Sugar Bowl is a huge cross country area.  The only place I've every cross country skied trails was a smaller one a few miles east of Tahoe City along the North Shore.

It might be worth calling Royal Gorge and asking when they opened in 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2017-18, which were particularly lean on early season snow.
marznc marznc
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Natural snow in Lake Tahoe, Xmas week?

TonyC wrote
I wrote that article 17 years ago but it's still applicable.

Cross country trails don't require a deep base, but they also tend to be at low altitude where early season rain is more of an issue. I suspect cross country areas don't make snow.
That article is the best way I know how to help families or teachers stuck skiing during school holidays.

Got curious.  I know Mt. Van Ho invested in Snow Factory to make sure there was enough snow for early season training and racing.  Looks like there are a few places out west that have invested in more traditional snowmaking.  This article dated Nov 2017 mentions nordic centers at Breck and Frisco in Colorado.  Lots of nordic centers in the northeast with snowmaking.  I know there is snowmaking in Scandinavia for nordic skiing.

http://www.xcskiresorts.com/resort-features/2016/9/12/snowmaking-pays-off-for-xc-ski-resorts
Reply