In recent years, Tahoe skiers and riders have been disappointed with the arrival of Spring, mainly because of the severe drought and poor ski conditions brought on by nearly four years of below-average precipitation in the region. But with the steady stream of rain and snow we’ve seen this year—both helping to combat the drought as well as make for prime conditions on the slopes—it’s looking like the dry season is behind us. As our friends at Tahoetopia said this morning, “conditions remain exceptional.”
With nearly 20 inches of fresh snow since the first day of Spring, rumors abound about extending closure dates into May. This heralds in a popular springtime tradition: the competition for which ski resort will stay open the longest. So far Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows has the lead, posting a projected closing date of May 30th! Other mountains have been updating their closing dates daily; this weekend marks the last time to enjoy Homewood Mountain Resort or Tahoe Donner, even though they each have more than 52” base depth.
In the meantime, Spring activities at the resorts are in full swing. Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows is ramping up for its 26th annual Cushing Crossing competition on April 24, a “pond skimming” event in which participants attempt to ski, board, or otherwise slide across a patch of icy water. The objective isn’t to get across the water safely, per se, but to wear the most creative (or silliest) costume and present the most spectacular crossing.
Spring is also the best time to renew your season pass to your favorite mountain. Not only is it the cheapest time to buy a pass, but plenty of resorts reward you for buying early, with perks for the remainder of the 2015/2016 season and discounts for 2016/17. For example, if you buy a Tahoe Super Pass--valid at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Sugar Bowl--you can ski free for the remainder of the 2015/2016 season. Similarly, if you buy an Epic Pass (for use at Kirkwood, Heavenly, and Northstar, as well as a host of mountains in Colorado) before April 10, they’ll give you six buddy passes for the upcoming season, and summer scenic lift access!
There’s bound to be a pow day or two left before we say goodbye to the snow for the season, but that hasn’t stopped the local excursion outfits from beginning to prep their Spring and Summer wares. Tahoe Sailing Charters out of Tahoe City launches its first daily sailing cruise of the season on May 12th, and such North Shore staples as Tahoe Dave’s Skis and Boards in Kings Beach prepares to close its doors, only to reopen in May as Tahoe Paddle & Oar.