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Ski, snowboard resorts in California waiting for a Christmas miracle

December 4, 2008 |  1:13 pm

Snowmaking machinery at Alpine Meadows may enable the Lake Tahoe-area resort to open Dec. 12. Natural snow has been scarce and temperatures have not been ideal for snowmaking throughout California.

What is up with Mother Nature?

Thanksgiving weekend was a bust for almost all resorts in California, as they've been unable to open, and Christmas vacation is coming fast. Wintry weather is not in the forecast until the end of next week, and that's far from a certainty.

It's bad enough that the storms aren't coming, but temperatures have not been cold enough to fire up the snow guns on most nights, at most places.

The accompanying photo was sent out today by Alpine Meadows, where an inversion layer has, until midweek, kept temperatures warmer on the slopes than at the base of the Lake Tahoe-area resort.

Alpine has scheduled a Dec. 12 opening and other area resorts are shooting for the same time frame. Currently, the only area resorts open are Mt. Rose, Heavenly and Boreal.

On the eastern slope of the Sierra, Mammoth is open with fairly extensive cover, while Southern California resort operators await a Christmas miracle.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Snowmaking machinery at Alpine Meadows may enable the Lake Tahoe-area resort to open Dec. 12. Natural snow has been scarce and temperatures have not been ideal for snowmaking throughout California. Credit: Alpine Meadows

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