Sierra Resorts Wait for Snow as Christmas Nears

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Sierra Nevada ski resorts are heading into the traditionally busy Christmas holiday season missing only one thing: natural snow. Plagued by a skimpy snowpack so far, most resorts have relied on snow-making machines to open with limited operations for the season. Jon Slaughter of Boreal Mountain Resort atop Donner Summit says his resort has blown more than 32 million gallons of snow so far this season to enable it to stay open. Only five of Boreal’s 41 trails remain open. Other Lake Tahoe-area resorts report the same story, with only 8 of 170 trails open at Squaw Valley USA and 20 of 97 trails open at Heavenly Mountain Resort. According to the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Tahoe basin’s snowpack is only 39 percent of average for the date.

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