Lake Tahoe Ski Season Approaches


Janie Hollerbach

As winter nears, the stress of a spectacular ski season is on its way. Praying for heavy blizzards and snowfalls to reach the mountain, Bay Area skiers look forward to a successful ski season in Lake Tahoe.

Over the past seven winter ski seasons, the total snowfall at Palisades ski resort ranged from 250” in 2020 to 552” in 2016. While the snowfall increments vary, Tahoe skiers always find themselves longing for the sensational feelings that accompany skiing. Whether it is a winter wonderland on the slopes or a slushy spring ski day, Tahoe triumphantly brings Matadors to the mountain during the winter season. 

Out of the 15 ski resorts in Lake Tahoe, the most popular amongst the Lamorinda community are Palisades, Alpine Meadows, and Northstar. All resorts contain ski runs, stretching along the mountain peaks of Tahoe, and the amount of snow coverage per winter season is always unexpected. “Winter is my favorite season in Tahoe so I am hoping for an epic ski season with a ton of snow,” junior Callie Barber said. 

In the first couple of days of November, a light snowfall occurred at Palisades resort recording a total of 14 inches of snow. Although the numbers are currently low and often vary between each ski resort, there is great hope for a whiteout winter. “This ski season I’m most looking forward to trying out different mountains because I usually stay at one resort and this year I am venturing out,” senior Emma Moltyaner said.

The instantaneous switching of seasons in Tahoe makes this location incredibly unique. From temperatures reaching 90 degrees in August to 30 degrees and snowing in November, the assortment of activities Tahoe has to offer is like no other destination. The level of snow comes into play not only for a quality ski season but also for supplying the lake’s water level. When the season transitions, the weather heats up and causes snow from the mountains to melt, fueling the lake. “I visit Tahoe frequently during the winter because I truly enjoy skiing. Lake Tahoe water levels decrease during the end of summer so I am hoping for a great amount of snow this season to help solve the summer drought,” junior Tali Stryker said.

With snow levels averaging 40” in November and 123” in December, the numbers will only increase further into winter. The total amount of snowfall from 2020 to 2021 was 250” and increased to 311” this past ski season. It is undetermined what the snow coverage will look like this season, but with small snowfalls taking place this fall, Lake Tahoe is in luck for a successful season. “The amount of snow affects the ski season a lot because it determines how long the season is and how good the skiing is. It also determines how many runs on the mountain are open because some runs can’t open without enough snow,” Moltyaner said.