AGOSTINI: Sierra resorts celebrate bounty of snow - Columnists: Ron Agostini - Skiing - Modbee.com
The entire Sierra is covered in deep white all the way to the rooftops in some spots.Near-record Sierra snow good news to parched Calif
Boreal reported a snowpack of 25 feet and a total season dump of a record 702 inches, topping the 662 inches in 1995. Heavenly at South Lake Tahoe has received nearly 500 inches.
Northstar-at-Tahoe has recorded its most snow-filled winter in 25 years. Squaw Valley USA has checked in with more than 50 feet, only the third time it's reached that number since 1970.
"We're celebrating the best winter in decades," said Andy Chapman, director of tourism with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
"I'm out plowing driveways, and we can't even find the houses," said Norm Sayler, who used to run Donner Ski Ranch along Interstate 80 and now operates a snow-plowing business near the top of Donner Summit. "I've been up here since 1954, and personally this has been the toughest winter I've ever had here."
Snow is piled so high in some areas that it is causing some roofs to collapse and stressing others.
They dumped so much snow at the University of California Central Sierra Snow Lab near Soda Springs that the 15-foot-tall measuring stake was buried. Researcher Randall Osterhuber had to extend the stake another six feet to keep up with the more than 18 feet of snow on the ground, the fourth-deepest since record-keeping began there in 1946. More than 47 feet of snow has fallen there this season.
The snow piled up above the third story windows at the house 18-year-old Luis Rico is sharing with five other employees of the nearby Royal Gorge cross-country skiing resort, which closed all last week because of the storms.
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