Alpine Meadows Ski Resort plans to open for skiing and snowboarding on December 5, 2009, conditions permitting.

The announcement of opening day almost three months in advance is new for Alpine Meadows. “Whether guests live locally or plan to visit from outside the Tahoe Basin, many tend to plan around when ski season begins,” said Kent Hoopingarner, Alpine Meadows general manager. “The idea of establishing an opening day early is that it will allow skiers to plan ahead,” he added.

Top-quality snow from day one

Behind every great opening day, there is a great snowmaker; and Alpine Meadows plans to open with access to the mid mountain slopes via Roundhouse high speed quad chair at minimum. Additional chair lift openings will be announced as conditions permit. “The mountain is committed to opening more terrain from the very beginning,” Hoopingarner said. “We want to open with superb snow conditions and more terrain choices. Alpine Meadows has one of the region’s most experienced teams for readying the mountain for opening day; and with a date in mind, snowmakers, groomers, and lift maintenance crews can also plan accordingly.”

Spring and projected closing day

Conditions permitting, Alpine Meadows plans to remain fully operational until April 18 and transition to a spring operating schedule with selected lifts running on weekends through the second weekend in May. “Traditionally, guests who visit Alpine Meadows after Easter live locally and prefer to access the great spring snow – which is a celebrated Alpine Meadows trademark,” said Hoopingarner.

The El Nino factor

The weather forecast for an El Nino winter (which is often accompanied by massive snow accumulation) may influence both opening and closure dates. “All dates aside, we at the mountain want to ski and snowboard as much as everyone else. If there is significant snowfall and strong guest interest, then those factors will certainly afford us some flexibility,” said Hoopingarner.