The storms that have graced the Sierra over the last few days have brought snow, wind, and rain to the entire Tahoe region. While the valley experiences a good drenching of rain, the Sierra is seeing a combination of the two.
Snow levels have been high with this last wave of weather. The Pineapple Express is full of moisture and it is a fairly warm storm type.
The winds that accompany the storm have made it difficult for some resorts to open today, Sunday, February 9. Squaw Valley, Soda Springs, Royal Gorge XC, Mt. Rose, Donner Ski Ranch, and Kirkwood are closed, while Heavenly is on hold at the moment. Sierra-at-Tahoe is spinning one lift, Easy Rider, due to the conditions. One of the issues with this type of system is avalanche danger.
Kirkwood, with legendary steeps, is closed due to the high avalanche danger. Avalanches are completely unpredictable, and are always very dangerous.
Steve Hemphill, PR Director at Sierra-at-Tahoe, in a conversation earlier today, said the primary concern is "...always safety. Due to the conditions, high avalanche danger and wind, we are running just the one lift. The great accumulation of snow overnight is much needed."
The good news is that the area has seen snow totals from 16" to over 40" of new snow. Over the last seven days, the snow totals are pretty impressive.
Check out your favorite resort for current conditions.