Skiing in July? Sierra Nevada Sees Record Snow


(AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

In this photo taken March 2, 2017, record winter snowfall is seen in the mountains around Lake Tahoe, in this aerial photo taken from above the Washoe Valley just south of Reno, Nev.

It might be July, but Nevadans are heading over the California border to ski.

That’s because snow is still plentiful in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which experienced record-setting snowfall this past winter.

Benjamin Spillman, the outdoor reporter at the Reno Gazette-Journal, said it's not unusual to see a little snow this time of year, but it's strange to see this much.

"Often times in the Sierra, you’ll see snow into summer on the high peaks and northern aspects, places that are shaded," Spillman said.

He said Mammoth Mountain, which is about three hours outside of Reno in California, expects to be open through August. Squaw Valley was open on the Fourth of July, but Spillman believes this weekend will be the last weekend it's open this season. The snow quality is not as good as it is in winter, especially in the backcountry.

“In the backcountry, it’s a little bit different because there is no grooming, and then you’re dealing more with sun cups,” he said.

Sun cups are when the snow melts in patches, creating small peaks and valleys that make for a very bumpy ride for skiers. 

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Besides the snow quality, Spillman said many people who ski regularly in the winter are onto other activities in the summer.

“A lot of customers have moved on to other things — even if they can still ski, they’re not necessarily skiing,” he said.



Benjamin Spillman, reporter, Reno Gazette-Journal

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