Sunny Skies Lead To Fewer Skiers

January 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A warmer than normal holiday weekend resulted in fewer skiers in the mountains, and some tourists at Shaver Lake were surprised to see less snow than they expected this weekend. Still, very few people are complaining.There may have been enough snow for these kids to sled down a hill; but Sylvia Murrieta was expecting a winter wonderland when she and her family travelled to Shaver Lake. "When we turned the corner, we thought, 'we're not going to find any snow.' It's all hard. Everywhere it's hard, you can't find any fluffy stuff anywhere," said Murrieta.

The lack of fresh snow led to fewer skiers at Sierra Summit. "I think the perception is, 'it hasn't snowed in the mountains, you can't be skiing.' People are just waiting for more snow," said Boomer Devaurs.

Sierra Summit operators say they make new snow every night and they're constantly grooming the runs. They say despite the lack of real snow, there is still no reason to stay away. "If they're staying home, they're missing out on some good skiing," said Devaurs.

Skiers say they're taking the sunny skies in stride. For the first time in his life, Bryce Austin of Clovis skied in a t-shirt and shorts all weekend. "The weather is kind of hot, I'm even hot in this shirt, but it feels good," said Austin.

His father, Bob, also said he enjoyed the warm weather. "I've been skiing up here for 30 years and I can't remember it being this warm in a January. It's great," said Austin.

Back in Shaver Lake, business owners like Norman Kato are also looking at the bright side. "We might have lost some day trippers but all in all I think we had a pretty good crowd," said Kato.

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