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Boreal shooting for opening day Friday

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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Skiers and boarders itching to hit the slopes will get their first chance of the season Friday, conditions permitting, at Boreal Mountain Resort. “It looks like we’ll have the cold snowmaking temperatures tonight, tomorrow and through the week,” marketing director Jon Slaughter said Monday. The resort makes every effort to be the first in the Tahoe area to open the slopes. Last year it opened for three days in early October and then re-opened for the season on Oct. 31. The storm that passed through over the weekend brought a deluge of rain initially, but eventually turned to snow, leaving two inches on the ground by the time it was over. “Our goal for opening has traditionally been Halloween, and thanks to this storm we are positioned to reach our target,” Slaughter said in a press release. The new snowpack will get an additional boost later this week with more storms on the horizon. “Our forecast is showing (Thursday) will be a colder storm and we’ll get up to 5 inches of snow,” Slaughter said. “And another storm coming in on Saturday will bring another 5 inches.” Boreal’s new season includes an upgraded snow-making system. “It was a $1.6 million program we completed this year,” Slaughter said. “That has enhanced our snowmaking facilities, taking it top to bottom … It’s a really good thing for us. When we start having inversions, it’s colder at the bottom than the top, so we can make snow at the bottom and vice versa.” The system has 15 new snow guns providing the firepower, according to the press release. Visitors to the resort this weekend will see other improvements, too. “We did a major overhaul for night lighting,” Slaughter said. “It will be brighter than ever out there. We didn’t expand it to any new trails, but enhanced existing lights.” There are also two new snowcats. “One of those is a winch cat,” Slaughter said. “It has a winch on the front, so we can hook it up to the top of the mountain and bring it up so it can groom steep slopes and the superpipe with a straight line.” If all goes as planned for the Friday timetable, Boreal will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with one run and one lift open. After that, it all depends on the weather. “It’s still a little early to tell,” Slaughter said about the schedule. “If we have snow and (the right) conditions, we’ll open and stay open.” The resort is providing updates on its website, borealski.com and a newsletter as the weekend approaches. Excitement is building to get out on the slopes, according to Beverly Mann, director of the Gift of Skiing children’s program for the Auburn Ski Club. In addition to the Cisco Kids and Boreal Bombers programs, the club is introducing the Boreal Bomber snowboard program this year, Mann said. The 15-weekend day program is for ages 5 to 12. “It’s $475 and mirrors the Boreal Bombers ski program,” she said. The Cisco Kids, an eight-weekend-day beginning level program, and the bombers start in December. “We also have the revised development team program, an all-mountain development team, that starts (in early) December,” Mann said. “Basically, they’re going to be doing gate training, half pipe, terrain parks and skier-cross.” For more information on Auburn Ski Club programs, see www.auburnskiclub.com Reach Gloria Young at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com.