Snow levels rise in China Peak. Road closures slows down business

PRATHER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Staff at China Peak are trading in their snowboards and skis for shovels as the resort is seeing their biggest snowfall in years.

"To see what 13-feet in seven days looks like its pretty amazing," said Tim Cohee, managing partner at China Peak Resort.

Cohee says the resort will likely have snow until June.

Despite the great ski season, he's hoping the snowfall slows down so people can navigate the roadways to the park.

Cohee says 90-percent of business comes from day trippers.

Highway 168, which leads to the park, shut down just after 8 a.m. Sunday.

RELATED: Snow shuts down Highway 168 east of Shaver Lake

"It came down in a hurry at two or three inches an hour. Low visibility on the mountain and in the road 400," Cohee said.

CHP decided on the closure because of the intensity of the storm. Several accidents were reported, including a car sliding into a Caltrans snow plow.

Claudia Garcia and her family are visiting from the central coast.

"I think I was the only one to cancel last minute I kept looking at the news and Caltrans website I kept looking at how in advance I was going to have to put on chains," Garcia said.

Originally headed up to Shaver, their plans were detoured. But they still managed to make the most of their trip. They even assisted a stranded motorist that helped them find some fun on the mountain.

"A local told us about a helicopter spot, and we got three hours of play," Garcia said.

Presidents Day weekend is one of China Peak's busiest, so they are closely monitoring the forecast and hoping all roadways stay open.
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