Royal Gorge Temporarily Closes for Cross Country Skiing - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Royal Gorge Temporarily Closes for Cross Country Skiing

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Royal Gorge will temporarily close its cross country ski trails starting today due to the lack of snow.

The cross country ski trails opened for skiing on December 9th, but a lack of natural snowfall and warm daytime temperatures have since thinned the resort's snowpack.

The resort will remained closed until further notice. Resort operators say they plan to re-open Royal Gorge when snowstorms allow the resort to provide continuous cross country skiing at the Donner Summit ski area.

Royal Gorge offers 200km of groomed trails across 6,000 acres of land.

"I think everybody understands the position we're in. It's unfortunate but with Royal Gorge, we had to make the tough decision and we certainly hope to get it open sooner than later," says John Munson.

Donner Ski Ranch is in the same situation -- where there's not enough snow to run the lifts.

Sugar Bowl is doing much better -- but only five of their 13 chair lifts are running -- and about 25% of the trails are open. Luckily, a third of the mountain is covered in manmade snow. "I think the people that are up here are finding that the snow is actually pretty good shape and we have top-to-bottom skiing and riding. So, that's 1,500 vertical."

"It's unfortunate that it's dry. Not much of the mountain is open but what is open is a lot of fun. They've made some really good snow, here," says Dan Masluk of Napa, California.

One skier says he likes these conditions because they're what he's used to on the east coast.

"I pretty much grew up skiing on this and I love it. And so does this kid. He's also from Manhattan, with me. We're definitely the best skiers on the mountain," says Alex Selden of New York City.

Munson says Sugar Bowl had a good turnout for the holidays but has seen a slow-down this week.

But he expects things to turn around once it snows again. "Tough to complain when it's really nice weather and sunny but I think we're all definitely wanting that big storm to come in. A: to give us the base. But, B: to get the moral back up and do some powder skiing."

Even though we're off to a slow start, people here at Sugar Bowl are hopeful that there's still plenty of time to get some big storms in here and extend the ski season as long as possible. Especially with Easter falling a little bit later this year.

Royal Gorge is operated by the Sugar Bowl Resort.

Reporter Paul Nelson contributed to this report

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