Winter Blast Works Wonders at Sierra Summit

FRESNO, Calif. Snow covered windshields and the road on Highway 168 at an elevation of 2,800 feet Wednesday morning, creating a wintry hazard in this second week of spring.

Drivers hurried to put chains on their tires as Caltrans plows tried to keep up with the snowfall. In Shaver Lake, business owners cleared their own snow.

"This morning, we were shoveling the deck," said Rochelle Sargentini from the deck of Bob's Market. "You know, you kind of think you're over, finished with that for the year and then here it comes again. We shoveled the deck about five times today."

But within hours, the plows and the sun combined to clear the highway. And with the work done, it was time to play.

A little further up the road at Sierra Summit, skiers and snowboarders took advantage of the new snow.

"Bunch of powder up to like your knees and waist," said Jacob Smith, who was on spring break from Fresno's Tenaya Middle School. "Some groomed, but not really."

The powdery slopes provided a thick challenge for some, including Maggie Ochsner, who came up from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for her first try at snowboarding.

"I'm really scared, just for the lift," she said. "The hill's fine, but I don't really know what to do."

The ski resort is open daily for another three weeks and they're hoping these nine inches of fresh snow will be inviting for late season skiers.

"It's gorgeous," said Lisa Bressel of Sierra Summit's marketing team. "Powder skiing. Skiers and riders here today are having a wonderful time. It is like it's the middle of the winter season."

The late season also gives the resort a chance for spring-like competitions, like skiing down a hill, then skimming over a manmade pond.

With the sun coming out, this powder should disappear in time for Saturday's pond skimming event and the Easter weekend.

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