Back on the Slopes at Boreal

On Friday, November 11th, Boreal Mountain Resort in Soda Springs, California opened for the 2022-2023 winter season.

According to Fox 40, the excitement of opening day brought smiles to the faces of roughly 1,000 skiers and snowboarders, overpowering the minor crowds and chaos. Everyone was either enjoying carving up the groomers or practicing stunts in the park. There was even singing in the lift lines.

Boreal along with Heavenly, Mt. Rose, and Donner Ski Ranch were the first ski areas in the Tahoe area to open their slopes. All of them began operations on Veterans Day so kids had the day off of school and the opportunity to get out there. Kirkwood opened the Saturday after and Palisades, Northstar, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Soda Springs, and Sugar Bowl are now open for the season as well. 

The Tahoe area saw early snowfall this year with the first dusting occurring on September 19. There was a plethora of storms in early November, with nine inches of accumulation on the 2nd and more over the course of the following two weeks. 

According to Sugar Bowl, resorts atop Donner Summit like Boreal have obtained roughly 27 to 37 inches of snow from the recent system, yielding good coverage for skiing and boarding (varies depending on elevation.)

This year is expected to be a La Niña winter, meaning there could be warmer, drier conditions in Southern parts of California and colder, wetter weather in Northern areas. For Truckee, that’s good news for skiers who are probably hoping for the latter to build more snow onto the new base layer.

Due to the more limited coverage, Boreal has only two quad chair lifts open; California Cruiser and Castle Peak. CA Cruiser is slightly shorter than Castle Peak but both get riders approximately halfway up the mountain. 

In the current open terrain, skiers and snowboarders have access to two groomed runs and two terrain parks (a smaller, beginner park and a larger one for doing more advanced tricks.) The longer lifts that take you higher up on the mountain will open once snow conditions permit, giving skiers and riders access to more treed terrain and challenging runs.

The operation hours for open lifts currently run from 9 am to 6 pm. A day ticket costs $99 at most, depending on age, start time, and time of year. Boreal requires you to advance purchase tickets here.

Once a month Boreal Mountain Resort holds Play Forever Fridays (the first taking place on opening day) where you can buy a day pass for $25. Five of those dollars will then be donated to organizations like the High Fives Foundation. The next Play Forever Friday is scheduled for December 9th.

Maeve Kristian