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Weather delays ski season opening for two major Tahoe resorts

Skiiers ride a lift overlooking a snowy mountain and a lake in the distance.
Heavenly skiers enjoy Lake Tahoe views on opening day 2022. Northstar and Heavenly announced that the first day of skiing would not happen this weekend. | Source: Courtesy Heavenly

The atmospheric river forecast to flow into Northern California this week took a hard left when it hit the coast, making things less soggy for APEC visitors to San Francisco but delaying the start of the 2023-24 ski season at two major Lake Tahoe resorts.

On Wednesday, Northstar and Heavenly announced that the first day of skiing would be pushed back. Both Tahoe resorts had planned to open this weekend, but the week’s lack of snowy weather and relatively warm daytime temps, well into the 50s, in recent days have pushed opening day to a later, undetermined date.

Palisades Tahoe told The Standard that it does not have plans to delay its opening day. The resort is currently scheduled to open on Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving.

The delays at Northstar and Heavenly will push weekend skiers to Mt. Rose and Mammoth Mountain, the only two Sierra ski resorts currently operating.

Mammoth’s opening day on Nov. 10 drew hundreds of skiers to the Eastern Sierra mountain, which received more than 700 inches of snow at its Main Lodge last season and enabled its lifts to run into August. 

The resort said a $5.5 million investment in snowmaking capacity and efficiency contributed to its solid coverage for opening day.