China Peak owner Tim Cohee says the resort is 100% ready to open its doors, but there’s one key ingredient missing: Snow.
“We’re ready to open as soon as we can. We just need natural snow,” Cohee said. “If it snows 5 feet tonight, we’ll open tomorrow.”
While that’s not exactly in the weather forecast, some snow is expected to fall on the mountain Sunday with heavier amounts expected in the middle of next week, meaning the Lakeshore resort could open soon.
Sunday’s storm is expected to leave a light layer of snow — about 3 to 6 inches — starting at the 5,000-foot level, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Durfee.
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On Tuesday and Wednesday, the storms should beef up and drop 3 to 6 feet of fresh powder at elevations above 7,500 feet, Durfee said.
“It’ll be a lot different a week from today,” he said. “You’ll see a lot more snow over the Sierra this time next week.”
That’s good news for Cohee and China Peak, not to mention wildlife, farmers and water users everywhere.
Once the fresh powder falls, whether in large amounts or small, the park can begin its snow-making process.
“The forecast is looking pretty,” Cohee said. “We’re ready to come out of the blocks hard with whatever we can get.
“Once the snow falls, we’ll be ready to open a few lifts in 48 hours.”
For the latest updates, go to www.skichinapeak.com.
• Badger Pass Ski Area at Yosemite National Park is set to open Dec. 12. Information:www.yosemitepark.com/ BadgerPass.aspx
Free winter shuttle at Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park will be providing free shuttle service into the Giant Forest area during the holidays.
The Sequoia Shuttle will operate today through Sunday and then again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 4. Shuttles run every 10 minutes or so from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The shuttle will stop at Wuksachi Lodge, Wolverton Snowplay Area, Sherman Tree main trailhead, the Sherman Tree shuttle stop, and the Giant Forest museum (which is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
All shuttles accommodate wheelchairs and bikes. Routes may change in snowy conditions.
Discovery Trail hike
When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: McKenzie Table Mountain Preserve
The Sierra Foothill Conservancy will host a guided hike on the McKenzie Preserve led by Mike Mirigian and Sue Stone.
Discovery Trail is an easy, mostly level hike of about 3.7 miles and takes about three hours with various stops along the way. The hike is free for conservancy members, with a $5 suggested donation for non-members.
The group will meet at the preserve entrance gate on Auberry Road at 9 a.m.
When: 3-4:30 p.m. Dec. 7
Where: REI Fresno, 7810 N. Blackstone Ave.
The Fresno REI Outdoor School will lead a free 90-minute session on getting to know your GoPro, the high-definition personal cameras capable of being independently mounted and operated to capture all varieties of action footage.
GoPro experts will focus on the camera’s user interface, video capture, image settings and accessories.
Space is limited. Register at www.rei.com/fresno.