Winter sports this season started with a bang in the autumn and cruised through one big storm after another during winter and spring, leaving several Western mountain resorts to conclude that the Fourth of July is more than beaches, picnics and fireworks. You can hit snowy slopes too. Just be prepared for limited terrain and shortened hours, in many cases.
Weather permitting, here are some snow-meets-sun options for Independence Day weekend:
-- Mammoth Mountain in California sometimes seizes the confused calendar to keep some lifts humming through Independence Day. With heaps of fresh snow, the Sierra Nevada snowpack looks more like its mid-winter self - a “June-uary” as the month has been renamed at the resort. These conditions presage a glorious finale at Mammoth, which will stay open through Monday.
-- At Lake Tahoe, Alpine Meadows spokeswoman Rachel Woods said, “We’ll reopen on July 2 to celebrate the novelty of so much snow this winter.”
Neighbor Squaw Valley USA will hold its annual Lake Cushing Crossing on July 3, the first time that the pond skimming competition makes a splash in summer. Sugar Bowl will reopen July 4, but only for the benefit of current- and next-season pass holders. At the south end of Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood will crank one chairlift on July 2 and 3.
-- When it’s all over in the U.S., the Horstman Glacier lift at Canada’s Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia will keep running until July 24.