Weather gods smiling on Tahoe — resorts opening this week

Mother Nature and a bit of snowmaking means ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area are bumping up their opening dates.

Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar are opening Wednesday with a combined seven lifts and eight trails, totaling 51 acres.

“No need to bring your ‘rock skis’ to our resorts,” Pete Sonntag, Heavenly’s general manager, said in a statement.

Heavenly’s gondola will run Nov. 14 — opening day of the 2012-13 season. Photo/LTN file

The other Vail Resorts-owned property in the Tahoe area, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, is set to open Friday.

Squaw Valley is also opening Nov. 16. It could be a powder day for Kirkwood and Squaw’s opening days.

Just announced Nov. 12 is Gold and Silver Tahoe Super Passes will include Squaw, Alpine Meadows and Sierra-at-Tahoe.

For Sierra season passholders, they can ride Squaw and Alpine Meadows from opening day until Dec. 21, as well as from April 15, 2013, until closing day for free. In between early and late season, Sierra passholders may ski or ride Squaw or Alpine at the friends and family rate of $75 weekends and $50 midweek.

“We will commence operations on Friday with Searchlight, Red Dog, Squaw Creek and FirstVentures lifts, and you will be seeing even more terrain opening before Thanksgiving,” Andy Wirth of Squaw said in a statement. “I’ve asked our mountain operations teams to prepare the upper sections of the mountain including Gold Coast, Mountain Run, and with every effort possible, potentially down into the Shirley Lake area. Our snowmakers and snow guns have been absolutely going gangbusters and conditions continue to look great. We will also open Alpine Meadows earlier than our original planned date of Dec. 7.”

— Lake Tahoe News staff report