By Tim Hauserman
For several days last week all that the newscasters in the Bay Area and Sacramento cared to talk about was this enormous storm that was about to hit California. When it finally arrived, the Bay Area did get a lot of rain, although certainly not as much as predicted. Here in the Sierra Nevada, however, it was not much of a storm. Donner Summit and the Pacific Crest was able to squeeze out about a foot to a foot and a half of new snow. Once you got past Donner Summit and started heading down to Truckee and the Tahoe basin, the snow dwindled to nothing.
What does this storm mean for visitors to the area? To find out I grabbed my skate skis and headed up to Auburn Ski Club. It’s located next to Boreal, right at the top of Donner Summit. With no snow in my yard in Tahoe City I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. The trails were well groomed, and the trees were still covered in white on the north facing slope. In other words, the cross-country ski conditions were quite good. Of course, since it was my first ski of the year, I spent much of the time gasping for breath and flagging down people I knew to chat with so I could take a break from the pounding I was taking trying to get up those hills.
How are the downhill slopes? Based on what I’ve heard the skiing and boarding at the top of the crest was good as well: Sugar Bowl’s location was probably best situated for this storm, but Kirkwood and the top of Alpine and Squaw did fairly well also. I’m not a downhill skier, but I did enjoy a lot of pictures on Facebook the last few days of happy local downhill skiers and boarders hitting the slopes. Many commented that the conditions were well worth the trip. In true Tahoe fashion, I also saw several friends heading out to surf the seven foot waves that brought in the storm on Thursday, and then skiing on Saturday. Oh Tahoe…I might be able to go bike riding tomorrow.