Ski Resorts Close, Transport Hit Hard & People Await Rescue as Heavy Snow Pounds California


Resorts in Lake Tahoe have so much snow they can’t open while others are hit by power cuts.  The historic winter snowfall continues. NEW

Heavenly Mountain has been closed as there is simply too much snow to open access roads, let alone the slopes.

High winds have made things worse.

“Due to dangerous road conditions, extreme winds, and limited visibility, we will be closed today, 3/5,” said the resort over the weekend.

“This decision is being made proactively out of an abundance of caution for our employees and our guests.

“Our team will continue assessing conditions, and will do our best to keep up with this storm by doing some digging and snow safety work where possible in preparation for a better day tomorrow.

“It is always our goal to open the mountain, but it is simply unsafe to do so today.”

Things improved across the weekend, but only slightly.

More than 77 cm of new snow fell within 24 hours, with more set to fall on Monday.

Mammoth Mountain has also had its problems and was forced to close over the weekend too.

Again things are improving.

“Power has been rerouted and thus restored in a number of areas across town, including Canyon Lodge at this time,” said the resort on Sunday March 5th.

“Canyon and Eagle opening will be delayed until at least 10 AM tomorrow, March 6.

“There is no estimated reopening time for Main Lodge, but we expect to open Main tomorrow as well. We continue to experience very heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions with extremely low visibility which will make for slow progress across the mountain.”

Wind also affected operations at Palisades Tahoe with some lifts starting on wind hold.

Northstar did not open on Sunday.

“Due to heavy snowfall from this storm and travel to and from the resort. Our teams will be focused on recovery of our operations,” said the resort.

Sugar Bowl resort was also closed on Sunday.

Travel has been severely disrupted.

Interstate 80 and several other routes were shut down in the Lake Tahoe area.

The California Highway Patrol said driving conditions were ‘treacherous’ with ‘blizzard conditions’.

Search crews have had to rescue several people from remote mountain locations and it is reported that some Southern California residents could remain trapped in their homes for several more days as snowploughs cannot get through.

The State Governor,  Gavin Newsom, has declared states of emergency in 13 counties across California.

It has led to skiing taking place in areas that that haven’t seen it for a while.

It’s not very often that the drought-ridden city of Los Angeles in southern California sees snow.

Mount Lukens, a peak on the north-east border of LA has been blanketed in the stuff.

So backcountry skier Andy Lewicky and his friends set off for the long hike to the summit and skied down.

For the full story and photos, see the LA Times.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this article so do check back…

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