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Lake Tahoe ski resorts hoping for 5 inches of fresh snow today

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The Lake Tahoe region is expecting its first snowfall since Dec. 7. The mild storm today (Jan. 11) is expected to come in this afternoon and Tahoe locals are hoping it drops as much as 5 inches of much-needed snow at its higher elevations and perhaps 2 inches at base areas.

There is an 80 percent chance of snow today in the Tahoe region.

Sugar Bowl hopes for 6 inches of snow
Sugar Bowl has also had its snow-making crews out regularly so it can open as much terrain as possible. Location helps for Sugar Bowl, which is hoping to get 3-6 inches from today’s snow.

It was snowing at Sugar Bowl this morning. The resort off Interstate 80 at Donner Summit has six lifts currently operating.

“Our snowmaking and grooming crews have simply done an incredible job, taking full advantage of every snowmaking opportunity presented and maintaining quality skiing and riding conditions from top to bottom,” John Monson of Sugar Bowl said this morning, “Being on the crest of Donner Summit we tend to get higher snow totals, and we're hoping for 3-6 inches out of this weekend’s system, which should
greatly help the cause.”

No snow-making at some Tahoe resorts
A small family-owned resort, Donner Ski Ranch doesn’t have snow-making capability and depends strictly on Mother Nature for its snow totals. Nearby Royal Gorge Cross Country resort has closed as well due to lack of snow.

Thanks to continuously cold temperatures and some snowstorms at the beginning of the season, Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort has opened 50 percent of its mountain without assistance from snowmaking guns.

Sierra, a ski resort off Highway 50, has no snow-making equipment and has literally been using resort staff to walk into the woods, grab a bucket of snow and dump it on unlocked ski terrain, spokesperson Steven Hemphill said.

Kirkwood ski resort had to close down the Timber Creek area this season because of the drier weather, spokesperson Kevin Cooper said. The resort has about 9 percent of its total terrain open, but conditions are still better than they were two years ago.

Heavenly, Northstar offer most terrain in Tahoe
Heavenly ski resort had put in about 750 hours of snowmaking as of Tuesday, according to a spokesperson. That’s about the same as the resort’s snowmaking usage two years ago, when South Shore experienced another shortage of snowfall at the beginning of the season.

With a massive snow-making capability, Heavenly has 18 lifts operating.

Also a Vail Resort property, Northstar says it is offering top-to-bottom skiing and snowboarding and has the most available terrain of any Lake Tahoe ski resort. Northstar is running 16 lifts that access 29 trails and three terrain parks.