Skiing in July: Bus takes Bay Area residents to Tahoe snow for one last hurrah

After weekend of warm temperatures, people were seen in snow bibs, puffer jackets and sweatshirts as they boarded a bus for Tahoe

Amanda del Castillo Image
Monday, July 3, 2023
Skiing in July: Bus takes Bay Area residents to Tahoe snow
People loaded onto a bus outside Sports Basement in Berkeley and headed for Tahoe to ski this fourth of July following historic winter season.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Dark and early, a few dozen people loaded onto a bus outside Sports Basement in Berkeley around 4:50 a.m. on Monday and headed north for what coordinators are calling one last hurrah this historic winter ski season.

"I have no idea what we're getting into right now," Oakland resident, Phil Monson told ABC7 News. "I mean, I think it's going to be more waterskiing than anything, but we waxed 'em up good."

After the weekend of warm temperatures, it was somewhat of an odd sight seeing people in snow bibs, puffer jackets and sweatshirts. In fact, Sports Basement's Outdoor Program Director Phil Gor said the company wasn't sure whether the Tahoe Ski Bus would take off.

MORE: 4th of July events: List of Bay Area fireworks shows, festivals

MORE: You can do snow, summer sports in Lake Tahoe this 4th of July holiday weekend

Skiing in the morning, whitewater rafting in the afternoon, beach in the evening? That's just one possibility with all the outdoor activities available this Fourth of July weekend in Lake Tahoe.

But they did! Three minutes to load and leave for a three hour drive. Destination: Palisades Tahoe.

"70 to 80 degree weather at a ski resort is not ideal for excellent snow conditions," Gor shared. "But you know, it's just something that we deal with, right? And we're just grateful to be skiing on July 4th weekend."

Hitting the slopes this Fourth of July holiday is an option at Palisades Tahoe for the first time in more than a decade, at least on the Alpine side.

MORE: 700 inches and counting: Palisades Tahoe sees record snowfall this season after deluge of storms

Palisades Tahoe says it has officially reached 700 inches of snow this season after a deluge of storms hit California over the last several months.

A resort spokesperson said crowds continue to come and are invited to do so through the fourth of July. This is music to the ears of those who don't want to believe the winter season is coming to end.

Many say powder in July is only proof of the outdoor adventures afforded to Californians.

"You go surfing at Ocean Beach in the morning, you know, go water skiing on the Delta in the afternoon and make it up to Tahoe - get some turns in in the late evening," Monson added. "I mean, that's just California. That's how it goes."

MORE: Lake Tahoe water was clearest it's been in 40 years during end of 2022, report says: Here's why

The water at Lake Tahoe is the clearest its been in the last 40 years, according to the Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

And though many anticipated snow conditions would be less than pristine, they're just happy to hit the slopes. Most expressed they're sold on the Tahoe Ski Bus eliminating the need for any additional planning, pumping gas and holiday parking.

"We don't have to drive ourselves. So, it's like the best thing ever. So we both don't have to take shifts while driving," said Kaelyn Gee from Castro Valley.

Groups left from the Sunnyvale and San Francisco locations as well. Buses are scheduled to leave Tahoe at 2:30 p.m.

"This will be the latest I've skied by a longshot," Monson shared. "It'll be one of those things you remember. Remember we went skiing on July 3? Yup? Okay! And we didn't have to hike... the lifts are open."

MORE: Video shows upside down snowboarder buried alive in snow being saved from suffocating by rescuer

An upside down snowboarder buried alive in the snow was saved when a skier noticed the snowboard sticking out into the air.

Gor with Sports Basement said the Tahoe Ski Bus runs almost every weekend, but the July 3 trip would be the last this season.

For more information on the company's Tahoe Ski Bus, click here.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live