China Peak reopens after snowfall

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After a three week hiatus china peak in Fresno County is open again to skiers and snowboarders. (KFSN)

After a three-week hiatus, China Peak is open again to skiers and snowboarders.

While a recent storm produced enough snow to get some chairlifts moving it was not enough for the resort to operate at full speed.

"We need about a 6,500 snow foot level. We want the skiing that no one likes but builds base because we are sitting here, unfortunately, on January 26th building base when we typically we would be doing that on November 26th," said Tim Cohee.

Cohee is the owner and general manager of China Peak.

He says the resort was forced to shut down earlier this month due lack of snow and very mild temperatures.

"I have never seen this constant level of the inversion. I have seen lack of snow. I have seen it several times. But what I have not seen is the combination of lack of snow and absolutely terrible, terrible temperatures for snowmaking and that is what has really hurt us," said Cohee.

Despite having only a few chairlifts running Friday morning some season pass holders just couldn't wait to get back on the slopes.

"We were up here at 8 a.m. They didn't open until nine but I thought it would be an outrageous crowd because of the first day open but has been really good," said Warren Riemath.

"Yeah, it is the first day that the lifts are spinning. There was the Bunny Hill with some park jibs. But it is just good to come out and enjoy some fresh snow," said Skylar Kutchner.

James Witt from San Luis Obispo travels up from the central coast each winter with his children just to see the Sierra snow.

He was surprised to learn about the resort's temporarily closure.

"It just so happened that we came up last night and today was opening day so we lucked out. I didn't know I assumed it was open. Because it is usually open when we come up so we lucked out with it being opening day the day after we arrived," said Witt.
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