Snow machines keep China Peak open


"There's a lot less snow and there is a lot more rugged terrain," said Kelly Johnson. The Johnson family are regulars at China Peak. This year, four year-old Wyatt and his friend Bode took their first skiing lesson. The family says the unusually low snowfall created the ideal conditions for their kids to learn. "It's absolutely fantastic, I don't think you want to come out and learn on the fresh powder. It's tough to stay up and turn your skis in that heavy stuff," said their father, Todd Johnson.

Staff at China Peak say very little natural snow this season is bad for business. "Business is approximately about 50% of what it should be," said the resort's Rich Bailey. Staff say they are relying on the snow making machines that pump roughly 150 gallons of snow per minute to fill up the slopes.

On Sunday four out of seven chair lifts were open. But for Jonathan Vistorino who made the drive from Visalia hoping to snowboard on fresh powder, the experience wasn't worth it. "For sixty dollars, I don't think so. I feel like they should at least give some discounts because not all the runs are open."

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