US$13m spent on upgrades at Northstar for 2008/9

Wed 17 September 08

extension of trails and new express quad lift on Lookout Mountain, new snowmaking systems, tree thinning to make for improved glade skiing, increased lift capacity, and the widening of the ski area boundaries, increasing the skiable acreage by 414 acres to a total of 2,904 acres

Northstar Resort has invested more than $13 million in on-mountain improvements that will benefit skiers and riders during the 2008-09 winter season. Improvements include the extension of ski trails and the express quad lift on Lookout Mountain®—one of the areas of the resort offering advanced ski terrain—new snowmaking systems, tree thinning to make for improved glade skiing, increased lift capacity, and the widening of the ski area boundaries, increasing the resort’s total skiable acreage by 414 acres to a total of 2,904 acres.


“We’re pleased to be able to offer our guests even more terrain, improved snowmaking—which will make for even better early season conditions—increased lift capacity and more this season,” said Tim Silva, general manager, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort. “Lookout Mountain in particular has always offered phenomenal skiing, and with the extension of the lift and ski trails in that area of the resort, the ski experience will be significantly enhanced for all who choose to ski or ride that terrain.”


The new Martis Camp Express lift (formerly Lookout Express) will be a high-speed quad lift located inside the Martis Camp development, at the base of Northstar Resort’s Lookout Mountain . The lift line will be increased from 2,822 lineal feet to 5,128 lineal feet, with an increase in vertical drop from 1,247 feet to 1,722 feet, and will allow skiers and riders to reach the top of the mountain in a mere six minutes. This unique amenity will allow Martis Camp property owners direct access from their homes to Northstar Resort, and will create new skiing and riding terrain for all Northstar Resort skiers and riders.

Three existing advanced ski trails on Lookout Mountain are also being extended into Martis Camp: Prosser, Stampede and Martis, with snowmaking to be extended on Prosser and Martis. To the east of these trails, a new intermediate trail named Washoe has been added, will also terminate at the base of the Martis Camp Express lift, and will feature top to bottom snowmaking, allowing the Lookout Mountain area of the resort to be open earlier than ever before.

The resort is also investing in additional snowmaking upgrades for other areas of the resort and has purchased 16 new high-efficiency fan guns, 100 new low-energy stick snowmaking guns, and has retrofitted older snowmaking equipment, making it 24 percent more efficient and reducing the amount of resources needed to make snow.

In preparation for the upcoming season, Northstar Resort has performed tree-thinning work on Lookout Mountain , The Backside, Mount Pluto and in the Northwest Territory of the resort in an effort to provide for an enhanced glade skiing experience. Trees logged from these areas are being reused, with logs big enough to go to a lumber mill being sent to make lumber. Smaller trees and slash are also being reused, with 70 percent being chipped and used on-site for erosion control, and the remaining 30 percent going to a co-gen plant in nearby Loyalton , CA . The thinning work has allowed for five new gladed tree skiing trails to be added: The Camp Glade, Sugar Pine Glade, Monument Glade, Comstock Glade and Rendezvous Glade. All are rated black diamond and will add to Northstar Resort’s incredible tree skiing reputation. These additions bring Northstar Resort’s total trail count to 89.

Additionally, Northstar Resort has increased the lift capacity of the Tahoe Zephyr Express by 16 percent with the addition of 10 new six-passenger chairs.

[From press release]

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Snowboard Guide rating 7 out of 10 “Excellent resort featuring one of California's best parks”