The Weekend Drop: January 19 Edition

Winter has most definitely come. We are only eight weeks into the season here at Northstar California and the year-to-date snow total is already at 282 inches! Following last week's storm of the decade, a new storm arrived in the Sierra Nevadas yesterday, bringing with it even more fresh snow. Needless to say, it looks like this amazing ski season is just getting started. Let's ride!

To make things even better, Northstar Mountain Operations opened 100% of lifts and trails this week. The sun even decided to stick around for a few days, creating excellent conditions and weather for the busy holiday weekend. Furthermore, did you know that January is Mountain Safety Month? If you've ever wanted a behind-the-scenes view of ski patrol or avalanche dogs, then you're in luck. Every Saturday and Sunday through January affords opportunities to view and participate in demonstrations (see upcoming events below). 

Last weekend, for example, Northstar's avalanche dogs showed off their skills in an exciting demonstration that involved a rescue scenario. As people gathered around, a ski patroller hid himself in a snow cave at the bottom of Arrow Express, while another patroller covered the entrance in snow to simulate the scene of an avalanche. Bandit, one of Northstar's senior avalanche dogs, was then brought to the site and instructed to find the hidden patroller. In a matter of seconds, Bandit had achieved his mission and dug his way into the cave for the rescue. You can watch the video below and follow all the avalanche pups on their Facebook page!

I decided to take advantage of the sunshine this week and check out the terrain parks, which now boasts a combined total of 79 features. The terrain parks team has been getting creative to build some awesome jumps and jibs. I spent time working on my spins and backside board slides on Moonshine (Small) before taking my new moves over to Pinball (Medium). Luckily, the snow was soft and forgiving, helping build my confidence to try new tricks. Additionally, I was stoked to see that there were features for every ability level across the seven open parks.

Insider tip: Northstar's halfpipe is expected to open soon.

The snow is continuing to fall, which means more powder days are in store. Northstar California has another very busy weekend ahead, so check out the upcoming events below. Meanwhile, view the full snow report here.

Upcoming Events

  • (1/20-21) Tahoe Fat Bike Summit & Festival. Want to learn more about fat tire biking? Here's your chance. This event is largely geared (pun intended) for resorts, retailers, and other industry pros who are interested in learning more about fat bike issues, demographics, and grooming techniques.

  • (1/21) Grooming Show & Tell. Come learn how the magic happens. Northstar Grooming will have a snow cat at the top of the Zephyr lift from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to show guests how it works and answer any questions. 

  • (1/18-26) Snow Play Zone. Little ones and their parents are invited to enjoy the snow in Northstar's new Snow Play Zone located on the Overlook. The designated area will have snow features for kids to climb, build, mold, slide, play, and get their creative on.

Ahlani is a wanderlust-inspired adventurer and aspiring travel writer born and bred out of the Sierra Nevadas. She is passionate about combining her love of travel with her love of words while pushing creative boundaries and exploring the great outdoors. Ahlani received dual degrees in public relations and international affairs from the University of Nevada, Reno and plans on chasing powder and working in the mountains for years to come. She's lived in the Bahamas and New Zealand, and spent time in 47 other countries, but Lake Tahoe will always hold her heart. Read more about her adventures here.