Friday Jun 17 2011
Slopes still sizzle in summer
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
Record snowfall extends season for snow sports
While some people are dreaming of an endless summer, others like Jack Morgan, have their sights set on an endless winter. With record-breaking snowfall in the Sierra this year, several resorts are adding more opportunities for snow-sport enthusiasts to hit the slopes. Squaw Valley is hosting “The Ultimate Independence Day Weekend,” July 2-4. Lifts will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A concert series and fireworks are also on deck to entertain sunshine-loving snow bunnies. Morgan, who is the district coordinator for high school snowboard teams in the region, said he is considering heading to Squaw Valley for the event. “I went years ago and they went and screened up some shirts that said ‘endless winter,’” Morgan said. “It was fun. You go out and snowboard and then you kind of gravitate toward the pool. According to Morgan, many people head to Mt. Hood in Oregon for summer training, but this year conditions are ripe for people who would rather stay in California. Boreal is hosting a ski and snowboard camp June 20-24th. Auburn Ski Club Snowboard Director Dylan Omlin said he is looking forward to coaching at the camp. “Think of yourself in the summer, your mind is in a better place, your muscles and bodies function better,” Omlin said. “It takes a half hour to warm up in the summer. Their attitudes are better and it’s a lot easier to teach them.” Omlin also said that the summertime crowd is composed mainly of die-hard skiers and snowboarders versus the person who goes occasionally in the winter. Crowds are about the size of all of the attendees on weekdays in the winter combined. “It’s a lot of the same people,” Omlin said. “They are just all there at that one time because it’s more of a novelty I guess.” He advises riders to leave the long johns at home, but make sure they come armed with sunscreen and goggles. According to Omlin, Boreal has two giant piles of snow that they may use for runs as late as August. Boreal Marketing Director Jon Slaughter said more grooming is needed to create runs in summer. “It’s just leftover snow pack from the season. We push snow around with a cat and put in into huge piles and start to flatten it out for the camp,” Slaughter said. “It’s going to be just the same snow.” Morgan said summer skiing and snowboarding, whether in the Sierra or elsewhere, is all about hitting the hill early. By the afternoon, many people transition to other activities. “It’s fun for an hour and a half before it gets slow and slushy,” Morgan said. “Everyone goes surfing or rafting or hiking after. In one day you pack a winter experience and a traditional summer experience.” Reach Sara Seyydin at firstname.lastname@example.org.