‘Best Snow in Years’ has People Flocking to the Mountains

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SODA SPRINGS -- All the snow in the Sierra over the past 48 hours has made for ideal skiing conditions.

Despite several avalanches and a snowboarder’s death in the past week crowds flocked to the slopes.

There was a claim heard a lot on the slopes of Boreal.

“Oh it’s the greatest, it’s the best day I’ve skied in 20 years,” said Tori Stohlman from Yuba City.

Sunday had the best Tahoe snowpack in years, perfect for those on skis and boards.

“It’s fresh. You fall, it doesn’t hurt,” Stohlman said.

“This snow behind us is some of the lightest, best quality snow that I’ve ever seen in my 10 years in Tahoe,” said Marketing Manager for Boreal Mountain Resort Tucker Norred.

Although the drive up Interstate 80 was slow during the storm, the wait paid off for those who braved it.

“Yesterday around 3 o’clock it was starting to snow really heavy, so that’s why we got the big hills and stuff,” said 8-year-old skier Tyler Tabaracci.

While the parking lot was full, skiers and snowboarders FOX40 talked to said the lift lines weren’t too bad.

But all the snow has not been without its problems.

An avalanche Friday at Squaw Valley trapped several skiers, who were all later rescued. That was just a day after a snowboarder was found dead at the same resort. His cause of death is still under investigation.

Another snowboarder died at China Peak Mountain Resort in Fresno County when he fell head-first into about 5 feet of fresh snow and suffocated when he couldn’t free himself.

Farther south, the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort also shut down Saturday after an avalanche there.

Although Boreal doesn’t have typical avalanche terrain, the resort says it does have avalanche control. Employees are also warning skiers and snowboarders to be careful.

“Make sure that you always head out there with a buddy. Watch out for tree wells out there, so stay away from trees,” Norred said.

“I have two kids and we just try to play it safe and just take on the runs that are open," said Darryl Gould from Orangevale. "No worries when you stick to the open trails.”

Earlier in the season Boreal and many other resorts had to make their own snow with snow machines, but all the new, natural snow has a lot of people saying that this is the week to play hooky from work and to go up skiing.

“Take a day off from work, and call in sick. You won’t regret it,” Stohlman said.