Thursday, June 30, 2011

Snow skiing on July 4th? Believe it as several western ski resorts will be open


A summer that looks a whole lot more like winter has travelers across the West scrambling to revise their Fourth of July itineraries — or at least their packing lists.
Ski poles are replacing fishing poles at popular hiking and camping spots where late-winter snowstorms blanketed Western mountains from the Rockies to the Sierra Nevada.

"A lot of people are calling it the trifecta day, where they're going to ski in the morning, mountain bike in the afternoon, maybe do something on the lake in the evening," said Julie Mauer, a spokeswoman at Sierra ski resort Squaw Valley, which saw record-breaking snowfall this season. The resort plans to open four ski lifts on the upper mountain and promises free commemorative July 4 t-shirts to the first 5,000 guests who show up on Monday.

In preparation of Independence Day skiing, a snow cat grooms one of the trails at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort 

At Crystal Mountain, south of Seattle, spokeswoman Justus Harris said she expected to see "a lot of bikini tops" out on the slopes. The National Weather Service is predicting mostly sunny skies on the mountain on July 4, with a high near 59 degrees. The mountain hasn't been open this late in the year since 1999.

California's Alpine Meadows will be open Independence Day weekend for the first time since 1995, and for just the second time in its 50-year history, said spokeswoman Rachael Woods.

At Snowbird in Utah, where upper runs have remained open every weekend, resort operators are even considering trying to extend the season through July 24 for Pioneer Day, a Utah state holiday that generally sees a lot of travel, said spokeswoman Emily Moench.
"I keep telling people how good the skiing still is, which they find unbelievable until they actually get up here," she said.

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