At Heavenly today. (photo: Vail Resorts)

Heavenly and Northstar to Open Early

Lake Tahoe, CA/NV – The wait to ski and ride at two of Vail Resorts’ Tahoe-area mountains is nearly over. With El Niño serving up a healthy dose of new snow at Lake Tahoe over the weekend, and with forecasts calling for another storm to hit the region Monday night, Heavenly and Northstar have announced both resorts will open six days early, kicking-off winter 2015-16 on Saturday, Nov. 14.

At Heavenly today. (photo: Vail Resorts)
At Heavenly today. (photo: Vail Resorts)

“We’ve already received about three feet of snow overall this season which, combined with around-the-clock operation from the West Coast’s two largest snowmaking systems, has created a great early season base and the best snow surface conditions at Lake Tahoe,” said Pete Sonntag, Tahoe region vice president and chief operating officer.

Northstar's snowmakers have been gearing up for an early opening. (photo: Vail Resorts)
Northstar’s snowmakers have been gearing up for an early opening. (photo: Vail Resorts)

This is the earliest the resorts have opened since 2012, and the first time opening six days ahead of schedule since at least 2009. Heavenly plans to operate the Gondola, Tamarack Express and Dipper Express, accessing upper California Trail and Orion’s which, at over a mile long, will be the longest run available in the Tahoe basin. Northstar will open top-to-bottom, spinning the Big Springs Gondola, Vista Express, Arrow Express and Comstock Express accessing West Ridge, Luggi’s, Skid, Pinball, Lumberjack and Lower Main Street. Northstar will also operate a surface lift near the Big Easy Chair to offer children’s ski and snowboard lessons.

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Kirkwood received 18 inches of new snow overnight at its summit. Resort officials have yet to determine if they will open Kirkwood prior to its scheduled Nov. 21 opening day.

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