Back in the day when my bride and I were avid skiers, a long season capped by skiing on Memorial Day weekend was one of our favorite activities.
Those days came to mind as I checked the KTVU weather forecast and saw the snow was still falling Sunday and Monday in the Sierra Nevada. So much for spring skiing.
KTVU Weathercaster Steve Paulson reported Monday that it is the fifth highest snowfall on record. Rainfall for most Bay Area cities in May was three times normal and the reservoirs are steadily releasing water because there’s still so much snow left to melt.
That means the ski season will continue into July. Heavenly Valley in South Lake Tahoe was open on the Nevada side this weekend (much later than normal) while Squaw Valley managers have announced they are planning to keep the mountain open until July 4. That will mean plenty of spring skiing for enthusiasts in June.
Our ideal Memorial Day weekend would start by driving the mini-motor home to Cisco Grove on Highway 80 late Friday evening behind the traffic. It was then up early Saturday and off to Alpine Meadows (traditionally the latest closing resort until Squaw Valley expanded its offerings with High Camp).
We’d chase the sun around the Alpine Meadows slopes, often skiing right onto lifts with few people on the mountain. We’d wrap it up by around noon and then head down to Highway 89 and barbecue sausages along the Truckee River. We’d then unload our mountain bikes and enjoy the bike trail along the river and ride into Tahoe City.
These days, we’d swap the bike ride for 18 holes on one of the great golf courses in the Truckee area (Coyote Moon, Gray’s Crossing or Old Greenwood). With all the snow fall in the Olympic Valley, the Squaw Creek golf course is not scheduled to open until June. The others are open, although presumably players skipped the snow/rain over the weekend.
As I think about my May, it flew by because we spent the first 10 days in Scotland. Those days, with daytime highs in the 50s as well as plenty of rain, snow and hail, prepared me well for May weather we’ve experienced in the Bay Area. I think, with one possible exception, I have not enjoyed an 80-degree day in a month that’s normally full of them.
Last weekend’s particularly unseasonable rainy weather really spoiled Downtown Livermore’s 28th annual Street Fest that traditionally draws more than 100,000 people. What’s truly sad, as a friend pointed out, is that the vendors had to show up, regardless of the weather or the crowd. It’s rained before on the festival—that’s going to happen over three decades—so here’s hoping for better weather in 2020.