Skiiers, snowboarders and snow lovers flock to China Peak during holiday weekend

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valentina and Bridget couldn't wait to make a snowman.

Their trip to from the central coast to the Central Valley started with a stormy snag.

"We were supposed to go skiing at Badger Pass this weekend, and they closed the mountain down and some of us were desperate to get to the snow for the first time, so we struck out east," said Molly O'Leary.

When the first-timer got her first sight of snow of the four-lane, they stopped to play.

This weekend's storms left their mark at this rest area and in a slushy and snow-packed Highway 168 above Cressman's, and the danger played out in at least one crash.

The trip to China Peak took a couple of hours, but it was worth it.

At 18 degrees and sunny, Garrett Jarvis hit the slopes and then lounged as if he was at the beach.

"Conditions are a lot better. The cold front made it so the snow would stick and it's not really wet at all. It's perfectly dry, powdery snow," Jarvis said.

From the bunny slopes to the top of China Peak, the entire mountain is open to skiers and snowboarders.

The resort had a decent weekend despite the storms, but Monday was as busy as it's been all year.

And with three new feet of snow bringing the year's total to at least 19 feet, they're groomed to stay open into the spring.

"We will plan to be open through the end of April. We will probably close with a lot of snow in the ground," said Lyndsie Stocker with China Peak Resort.
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