China Peak hoping to open soon

CHINA PEAK. (KFSN) -- The next 48-hours will be crucial for the China Peak Ski Resort in Fresno County.

Dirt on the ground and empty chairlifts at China Peak Tuesday afternoon showed that all was calm at the ski resort in the Fresno County mountains as the next winter-like storm approached. "Hopefully we get a sizeable amount of snow, the temperatures supposed to be very cold. Which case, we're going to kick snowmaking into high gear," said Rich Bailey, China Peak Mountain Resort.

Bailey is part of the team at China Peak that makes snow. He says temperatures need to drop below 26 degrees to make that happen. From late at night into the early morning in the past few days snow machines have been working at full speed. "As soon as it gets cold enough, and it's all about temperature, humidity, and the wind plays a factor with the wind chill. We'll start it up."

Bailey said there is already a foot and half of snow at the top of China Peak, but the base of the hill needs six to eight inches of snow made by machines or mother nature.

Overall he said when compared to last year they are ahead of the process. "Already we're looking a thousand percent better than last year just because we have natural snow, we're making snow."

At least one family was anxious to see if the ski lifts were running before Thanksgiving, but they opted to play in the snow for a little while.

Meanwhile, as the clouds roll in, China Peak has a staff of nearly four people ready to go if the ski resort opens the day after Thanksgiving. "The sooner you can get the ski area open, get the key core group trained and ready to go, the better for everybody."

Bailey said the decision to open will be made on Thursday night. "To be able to be open right next to Thanksgiving definitely adds momentum for the Christmas holidays."
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