DONNER PASS — It was around 15 degrees up at Donner Summit Friday morning, which was good news for skiers who love that light, fluffy powder.
While it was fun to play in it was making for some tricky conditions on Interstate 80.
“We left at 2 a.m. this morning and had no problems here. Two hours up to here and then it stopped,” said Walnut Creek resident Jeff Nixon.
Nixon has been planning his family’s vacation to Tahoe for three months. He delayed his travels after I-80 shut down on Thursday. When he woke up Friday he was excited to head up the hill, only to find I-80 was shut down yet again early in the morning.
“Originally supposed to be four or five days, but now we lost a couple so… ” Nixon said. “We’re just really excited about the snow. They’re talking like 3 to 5 feet, so it’s just great.”
His family was among the dozens of people parked in Colfax waiting for the highway to reopen.
“I am actually on the way to the DMV in Reno and now I am running into this lovely winter storm,” said Oakland resident Lauren Koors.
Koors checked off a couple “firsts” Friday. She’s never made the trip over Donner Pass and she’s never put chains on her car before.
“I’ve got Youtube and I’ve got some lovely people around me helping,” she said.
Once the highway reopened just before sunrise, Andrew Shrock and his friends made it up to Boreal an hour before the lifts started running.
“It was smooth sailing after chain control,” Schrock, a Vacaville resident, told FOX40. “That was the only slowdown. Caltrans has been doing a pretty good job of keeping the roads clear.”
He said they’ve been waiting for conditions like this since last winter.
“I’m so excited. I cannot wait to get on the mountain,” he said.
And as much of a headache as the icy conditions caused for drivers on I-80, many were just happy to see more snow in the Sierra.
“My understanding is it’s only like a four or five foot base, so they really need it,” Nixon said.