TWIN BRIDGES (CBS13) — Sierra-at-Tahoe remains closed this ski season after being damaged during last year’s devastating Caldor Fire, but the resort is hosting a two-day-only event this weekend to commemorate its 75th anniversary.
It’s called WinterFest, and the celebration will celebrate the resort’s determination to rise from the ashes.READ MORE: Stagg High Stabbing Suspect Anthony Gray Ordered To Undergo Mental Evaluation
Today, there are far fewer trees at SIerra-at-Tahoe along with wide-open runs. The resort is in phase one of a three-phase reclamation process. So far, crews have repaired two fire-damaged lifts and removed thousands of hazardous trees charred by the flames.
“We’ve been working tirelessly since the event,” resort General Manager John Rice said. “You may not see as much as you want to see yet, but a lot of work has been done.”
Ryan Parker has worked at the resort for seven years. He says he was stunned by the damage.
“It’s definitely a different place,” he said.
There are still thousands of trees to be removed. Most that look brown are dying or already dead and dangerous.
“The plan is to have a 150-foot clearance around each and every run,” said Mark Egbert with the El Dorado and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District.READ MORE: Boosted Californians Getting COVID At Twice The Rate Of Those Vaccinated But Not Boosted
The goal is to reopen by the winter of 2022.
The challenge today is how to beat the spring weather whiplash.
Both Easy Rider Express and Rock Garden Runs are scheduled to be open this weekend.
“Three days ago, that hill was white,” Rice said.
Trucks are now harvesting snow from higher levels hoping to cover the trails made bare by the recent heat.
“We’ve faced a lot of adversity and trials and tribulations, but we are a resilient group,” Rice said.MORE NEWS: Applications Now Open For $10K Grants For Sacramento Artists
Phase 2 of the reclamation plan includes implementing a vegetation plan that will help insulate the resort from future fires. Phase 3 is re-imagining the layout of the ski runs.