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California ski resorts: Squaw Valley and Mammoth to stay open through Memorial Day

March 30, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • A skier makes the most of the record snowfall at Squaw Valley USA.
A skier makes the most of the record snowfall at Squaw Valley USA. (Hank deVre )

Could this be California's endless winter? The huge March snowfall from Mammoth to Lake Tahoe and beyond has prompted many resorts to rethink their closing dates. Bottom line: Skiers and boarders could be reveling in the white stuff for another few months.

Squaw Valley USA in the Lake Tahoe area plans to stay open daily through May 8 and then move to Friday-to-Sunday operations through May 30. (The resort usually closes the first weekend in May.) Yes, that could mean a white Memorial Day, so keep the ski wax handy and leave the camping gear behind.

Squaw Valley is even toying with keeping the slopes open for the Fourth of July holiday. If so, it would be the fifth time in its history that it has hosted skiing on that date, spokeswoman Amelia Richmond said.  The resort has surpassed the 662-inch  snow record set in the 1994-95 season and is on pace to reach 700 inches.

With all the snow comes the Spring Season Pass for $199 per person. It includes skiing/boarding every day that the resort is open from April 4 to May 30. The pass also adds on free use of the High Camp swimming area and cable car lifts in summer.

Other resorts have extended their seasons as well.

-- Northstar-at-Tahoe will close April 24, its website said, after receiving more than 500 inches of snow so far this season.

-- Mt. Rose plans to stay open until May 6, with a private ski session and pond skim for pass holders set for May 7 and 8.

--Kirkwood Ski Resort has extended its closing date by a week to May 1.

--Alpine Meadows plans to operate through April 24 and then shift to Fridays through Sundays for selected lifts until May 15. Check out the $99 spring pass offer on the resort's website.

Farther south, Mammoth Mountain hasn't yet set its closing date. But spokesman Chris Lyman said the plans are to remain open through the end of May. He noted that the resort received 17 feet from recent storms, setting a snowfall record for the month.

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