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Berkeley ski shop customers wait out blizzard conditions in anticipation of epic Tahoe trip

Bay Area ski shops welcoming the Sierra blizzard
Bay Area ski shops welcoming the Sierra blizzard 02:47

The buzz around a blizzard hitting the Sierra this week was all around Berkeley's California Ski Company on Thursday as staff helped customers in the store and prepared for more to show up.

"Oh man, this is really exciting because we haven't seen a storm like this in probably three years or so, four maybe," said store manager Greg Winkels. "We've been getting calls, we've getting emails, people are trying to come in and buy the widest skis we have to get some of that deeper snow. I mean, this is, this is kind of really what we've been waiting for."

Thursdays are Mondays for the store. They are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to optimize the skiing schedule most of their customers follow, with rentals picked up on Thursday and returned on Monday. So as people around Northern California were starting to appreciate the severity of this storm, the store was only beginning to feel the impact.

"The plan was to have been going up tonight and skiing for a couple of days just having a really nice time," said Dayne Wilcox, a customer getting some adjustments at the store on Thursday who was aware of the latest forecast. "That was exciting to see and also like holy cow."

Wilcox knew by the morning he would not be able to keep his plans but hoped he could still get to Tahoe by Sunday if the conditions on the roads improved. Even if he had to change his plans, he knows there will be a lot to look forward to once he does get up to the resorts.

"It's outstanding, right? I mean so far this the season usually storms have been measured in inches and now they're measuring them in feet," Wilcox said.

Winkels has worked at the store for years and loves being a part of this industry. He plans to enjoy the benefits of this blizzard next week during his weekend off when staff at the store usually get to ski. The outlook already has this storm extending the season until the end of April.

"Oh man, like, I'm a skier and I want to make sure everybody else has the same experience I have. I have great experience every time I go ski," Winkels said.  

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