Sierra storm delights skiers, causes delays

December 19, 2008 6:43:10 PM PST
You will have a slow journey if you are heading to the Sierra. Snow is making travel tough but once you get there, skiers and snowboarders alike will rejoice.

It's been snowing all day in Lake Tahoe and everyone is pretty excited about it. In fact, the people who run the North Star resort said that their calls have doubled since the snow started flying. Everyone is very excited for winter and all that comes with it.

You've heard the old adage; it's the journey, not the destination. Driving to the Sierra is one occasion, that's not necessarily the case.

"Sometimes it's not very pretty, but it's beautiful up here," said trucker Tom Raff.

Raff got stuck in California when I-80 closed because of a storm that brought up to a foot of new snow last night.

"It was miserable on top, snow was deep. I'm surprised Caltrans opened it at all," said Raff.

"There are a lot of motorists who don't think it's so funny, but it is for us," said Chris Lotito from Soda Springs.

Lotito makes a living putting on people's chains.

"I'll tell you what, in these times, this is heaven-sent," said Lotito.

Chains were required over the summit all day.

"And why don't you put them on yourself?" asked ABC7's Anne Makovec.

"I wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to do it," said driver Catherine Von Sickle.

However you get to Lake Tahoe, these skiers at Sugar Bowl say it's worth the trip.

"We're just having a great day on the hill, cutting work," said one skier.

"We wanted to come up as soon as there was going to be snow -- a pre-Christmas present to ourselves," said skier Nicole Schweickert.

"This is absolutely the start of the big week for us, we're expecting a solid numbers this weekend. Next week, it's going to be pretty strong and this recent weather has definitely helped," said John Monson from Sugar Bowl Resort.

It's an enthusiasm that starts on the journey itself.

"It's beautiful, I hope everyone comes up and skies a lot," said Von Sickle.

The good news is that more snow is expected to start off next week just in time for the holiday rush.


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