Icy weather comes with the territory for skiers, snowboarders, cross-country skiers and everyone else who likes to mix in a little snow with their fun.
"If you don't live up here, when you get out of your car, it's like, 'Whoa!' " Dodge Ridge spokesman Jeff Hauff said. "But when you put on a jacket and gloves, you should be fine."
Tuesday morning, temperatures hovered in the teens, warmer than the recent single-digit readings at Dodge. By midday, it rose to 54 degrees at the summit, downright balmy and a good sign for the upcoming Martin Luther King holiday weekend.
Bluebird skies with temperatures in the 40s in other words, nearly ideal are expected this weekend. No chain requirements are anticipated, but carrying chains always is a good idea.
"Skiing and snowboarding are very physical sports," Hauff said. "You're getting on and off lifts, or hiking up a hill. You're doing things that will keep you warm if you've dressed right. And if you get cold, duck inside the lodge for a hot chocolate, relax and head on out again."
Dodge and its 300-plus staff have reached the peak of their season. Nearly 2,000 skiers and riders charged up Highway 108 last Saturday for a taste of winter recreation.
A new grooming machine arrives at Dodge today to turn its nearly 50 trails into pristine corduroy. It will improve some already good snow, enhanced by the frigid temperatures at night, though there hasn't been new snow in 10 days.
"People are appreciating the snow the way it is," Hauff said. "It's actually powdery and incredible. It is the best possible conditions that we can expect."
Live music is planned for Saturday at Dodge. Barbecues and a 25 percent discount on jackets and pants at the ski shop are featured this weekend.
NOTES Bear Valley off Highway 4 east of Arnold rings in MLK weekend with its Winter Explosion on Saturday night. Music, kids movies, dinner, a torchlight parade and firewarks are scheduled. To take part, visit www.bearvalley.com or call (209) 753-2301. Badger Pass's downhill area, cross country and tubing facilities all are available at Yosemite National Park. New cross country tracks were put down to Glacier Point last weekend. At the Alpine mountain, four chairs are open and four of the 10 runs are groomed.
Also open is Leland High Sierra Snowplay above Strawberry on Highway 108. It's the only resort that features a tow up the hill for kids and weary parents, followed by riding downhill on saucers, tubes or sleds. Check out its midweek discounts. Visit www.snowplay.com or call (209) 965-4719. North Lake Tahoe resorts are celebrating the 53rd anniversary of Squaw Valley's hosting of the 1960 Olympics with events through the weekend. One of the most appealing activities is the Olympic Walking Tour of Squaw Valley at noon Sunday. Attendees meet in front of the Squaw Valley Tram Building. Visit www.gotahoenorth.com.