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Countdown to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe opening day

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 9:25 PM PDT
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WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) - The countdown at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is on as opening day is often toward the start of November.

The mountain area is home to a flurry of activity where roughly 50 employees are working to prepare the slopes and equipment, but come late December around Christmas the staffing size will swell to around 700 employees to direct and manage the large number of skiers.

”We got that little gift from mother nature earlier this week that puts moisture in the ground, which allows it to freeze. That’s a big piece,” said Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe Marketing Director, Mike Pierce.

A frozen base is critical to allow the first layer of snow to stick to the ground.

Snow machines will start running once the temperature drops below freezing each night for at least four hours with low humidity and wind.

”We’ll make snow continuously until pretty much we have enough that we’re comfortable with,” Pierce said.

Workers are suspended high above the ground working on the Zephyr Express on the slide side of the mountain.

“Those guys are doing some of the last minute prep work to make sure the lifts are operable and ready to go for the season...and then we get them ready for our final inspections for the insurance company and then we’re ready to go for the season,” Pierce.

Perhaps one of the biggest jobs is preparing the heavy equipment.

”We have kind of a joke around here. If it has tracks or tires and they hit the ground. We take care of it,” said Vehicle Maintenance Manager, Aaron Fulton.

Mt. Rose is home to ten snowcats. Eight are ready to go now by the time this online report was published and the other two are scheduled to be ready by Saturday, October 16.

Workers fit the snowcats with aluminum cleats designed to distribute the weight of the vehicle to only two pounds per square inch on the snow allowing it to move with ease over otherwise difficult terrain and they can climb a 50 degree incline with the help of a winch.

Reduced season pass rates will continue before opening day.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is hiring with starting wages at $15 an hour. Free season passes are included.

Click here to buy passes or apply for a job.

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