China Peak welcomes post-Thanksgiving crowd

FRESNO, Calif.

Hundreds packed the slopes in the Sierra, including China Peak.

It was a sunny start to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the Peak.

While the majority of people hit the stores, some hardcore winter sports fans hit the slopes, taking advantage of last week's mid-November storm to get in a few runs.

"Got a new board so just trying to adjust my board, trying to ride - it's been what, 6 months?" Shoa Xiong of Fresno said.

China Peak says about a thousand people showed up to the ski park early Friday morning.

While a mechanical issue delayed the start of one of two open lifts for a about an hour, owner Tim Cohee said overall it was a good start to the winter season.

"It's been a bit of an inversion, warmer up top then down here, but 4 is open, 6 is open, intermediate rails, boxes, the brand new beginner tow is open," Tim Cohee said.

For the first time this season, beginners have a new way to get to the top of the slopes. It's called the Magic Carpet, and it'll carry you 450 feet to the top of the run.

Chris Meyer rode the airport-like escalator for the very first time.

While he enjoyed it, he says going down on a snowboard will be his biggest challenge.

"The bunny slope is going to be my first small victory of the day," he said.

A small victory for the park and it's visitors getting an early jump on the winter weather.

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