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Sierra Ski Season Gets Underway

LAKE TAHOE (CBS SF) – A man-made blizzard covered the slopes of the Boreal resort early Friday, a sure sign that the Sierra ski season is about to get underway.

Boreal and Mount Rose were set to open some runs on Friday with Heavenly and Northstar slated to open on Nov. 23rd.

Squaw Valley and Kirkwood have not announced their opening dates yet, but were using snow machines overnight in the frigid temperatures to begin building a base.

At Boreal a system of 40 massive snow guns have been laying down artificial powder on the slopes for the last week.

"This is one of our favorite days of the year," said VP of Operations Shaydar Edelmann. "So much excitement. So much anticipation. The sun's coming out and the (snow) guns are firing."

Edelmann said Friday's opening would not be possible without the high-tech system of snow guns laced through the slopes.

"It's (artificial snow) 98 percent of it (the base)," he said. "We had a little dusting of snow this week, which is great, but what we will be skiing on today is all man-made."

However, the resorts will not have to wait long for Mother Nature to kick in her share to the mix.

A potent weather system is zeroing in on Northern California on Friday night.

Forecasters are predicting as much as 2.5 inches of rain in some parts of the North Bay by Monday with more than an inch forecasted for San Francisco and an inch in the East Bay.

In the Sierra, the National Weather Service said there could be snow accumulations of around 10 inches on the I-80 and Highway 50 corridors. Up to 2 feet was possible for the higher elevations and at the ski resorts.

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