Most sports bend nature to their will, but snow sports rise and fall at the whim of winter.
With two feet of snow already blanketing parts of Northern California, Bay Area snowboarders and skiers are looking forward to the coming season, which holds significantly more promise than last year.
“We had a very low snowfall average last year compared to previous seasons,” Simon LeComte, president of the SF State Ski and Snowboard Club, said. “Average snowfall was 70 feet lower than any other year.”
According to the Northstar California Resort’s annual snowfall report, there was no snow reported in 2011 until Nov. 8 with only 2.5 inches at the base of the mountain. On the flip side, this season there has already been 15 inches of snow reported in the month of October, previewing what many hope to be a snow-filled season.
Although the club hasn’t yet planned its first event, two feet of snow has already fallen on mountains in Lake Tahoe as of last week’s first snow. “We revolve around snow, and if there is no snow then there is no snowboarding,” he said.
Despite the distance between Lake Tahoe and San Francisco, a great number of snowboarders and skiers from the Bay Area drive to the area, usually purchasing season passes to get the best out of the experience.
With resorts like Northstar California in Lake Tahoe being a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts, snowboarders and skiers in San Francisco will be waiting for the Nov. 16 opening day, which is subject to change depending on the weather.
“We are definitely excited about the season, and I think what people realized last season is that Northstar can deliver a great product for guests to ski and ride despite what Mother Nature does,” Jessica VanPerniss, spokeswoman at Northstar California, said.
LeComte, a junior, started the Ski and Snowboard Club in 2010 during his freshman year, after he realized there was no organization on campus dedicated to snow sports. He was in need of a place to snowboard after making the move from Southern California, where he often drove out to Mountain High and Big Bear Mountain to hit the slopes.
The club currently consists of 105 members who carpool up to Lake Tahoe to save money on gas and make the trip easier on the group.
Northstar offers student discounts to help out college students who don’t always have as much disposable income. They can buy the most basic season passes at $339.
“You try to set up to see if anyone wants to travel together,” Malcolm Linton, vice president of the club, said. “That way it will be as cheap as possible.”
As the season comes upon the SF State snowboarders and skiers, they come together and enjoy the camaraderie of going up to the mountains to do what they love.
“I’m definitely optimistic this season, because the snow coverage is early,” LeComte said. “Last season we weren’t able to get out as early, and the season didn’t last as long.”