RENO, Nev. — Sierra ski resorts used a little snow and a lot of snowmaking to open a handful of runs in time for the holiday weekend as they anticipated the week’s second storm on Saturday.
Heavenly became the second resort to open, offering its Patsy run on Friday. Spokeswoman Kristen Aggers said snowmaking was underway on three other runs.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort was among the areas scheduled to open on Saturday with three lifts and 6-15 inches of snow.
“If the forecast is correct, projecting perhaps two feet or more by Sunday, we could have most, if not the entire mountain open in the next few days,” said President Tim Cohee.
The National Weather Service posted a winter storm warning in the Sierra for Saturday.
Early rain was expected to change to snow between 6,000 and 6,500 feet with falling temperatures in the afternoon. Up to a foot of snow was forecast for Saturday with another foot possible Saturday night above 6,000 feet before tapering off on Sunday.
The chance of 1-3 inches of snow in the western valleys from Reno south to Minden could make getting to the resorts a challenge.
Another downside of the storm for the ski areas was a forecast of nasty winds in the 40-50 mph range at the higher — and snowier — elevations.
Squaw Valley planned to open five lifts on Saturday and Alpine Meadows will offer one lift with a 12-18-inch base of natural and machine-made snow.
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort on Donner Summit will have two runs for skiers and snowboarders on Sunday.
All resorts are offering reduced prices in the $25-$30 range for adults.
Sierra-at-Tahoe, Soda Springs, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Royal Gorge and Sugar Bowl also were looking at opening this weekend.