Skiers flock to Sierra as Berkeley snow lab records snowiest day of season

SIERRA TAHOE, Calif. - Mother Nature sent powder hounds a gift this weekend in The Sierra, where a late-season snowstorm delivered more than two feet of snow to parts of the region.

Palisades Tahoe, among the last ski resorts still open in the state, picked up a whopping 26 inches over 24 hours.

According to UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab, May 5 marked the snowiest day of the season at the lab, where more than 26 inches were recorded.

"I’ve taken in a bunch of skis that still had melted snow on them," said Marcelo Garcia-Sarraf, who works in the ski rentals department at Sports Basement in Berkeley, and assisted with the last-minute burst of customers hoping to capitalize on the conditions.

Garcia-Sarraf's colleague, Seth Little, said the snow was also too good to pass up for his brother, who flocked to the mountains on Saturday night.

"He said the conditions are great…We’re both powder chasers, but he’s maybe a little more addicted than I am, so he had to get up there," said Little.

"I am going up on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m going to do an overnight. My brother’s birthday is the seventh. It’s not going to be powder, but I love those 40 to 50-degree days, where you’re out in the Hawaiian shirt, and you’re riding the slush," he said.

Across town at California Ski Company, Bob Setterbo faced a similar rush, helping weekend warriors tune-up for the Tahoe dash. Others were bound for Mammoth Mountain in the Eastern Sierra, which also picked up a foot of snow.

"We’ve had a lot of people come in for boot fits and tunes and whatnot, still looking to get up and have one last hurrah," said Setterbo.