NewsCovering Kern County


Alta Sierra Ski Resort opens early

Alta Sierra Ski Resort
Posted at 3:40 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 00:59:37-05

ALTA SIERRA, Calif. (KERO) — While cooler temperatures are bringing rain and wind in Bakersfield but the mountain communities are getting some much-needed snow.

Monday the Alta Sierra Ski Resort was finally able to open for the season – earlier than expected.

Lacing up for the season, that’s what sisters Sofia and Alexandra Zaletel did Monday during the season-opening of the Alta Sierra Ski Resort.

“I think we got lucky that they opened so early, and we’re able to actually come out and enjoy the early snow,” said Sofia.

The opening and the early snow something Alta Sierra General Manager, Brian Kelly said he didn’t think was going to be possible this year at one point.

“There were several days here I called home to my wife and said I may be staying here because it was that devastating and that horrible to see plums over the top of the hill, plums of smoke going up 4-5 thousand feet,” said Kelly.

The area where the French Fire burned near the perimeter of Alta Sierra just four months ago now has snowfall.

“The fires were it seems like for months going on everywhere, and it did burn to our perimeter – the perimeter of our resort, it burned right up to our ski runs, right up to the lifts, right up to our shops. 360 degrees around us,” said Kelly.

Kelly said this is all possible because of the firefighters.

“Those firefighters, not just Kern County, but from all over the country, just incredible people. They made this all possible. We’re still here and we’ll open as long as we have snow,” said Kelly.

Now, people can hit the slopes with their skis and snowboards but whether you know how to ski or not there’s something for everyone.

“I came up with some friends, we’re just getting done with lunch, we’ve been at it all morning,” said Max Farmer a snowboarder.

For Alexandra, she’s ready to get out there again after learning how to snowboard at Alta Sierra as a little girl.

“Such a joy to be out here again, after everything’s that happened the past few years, it just brings a bunch of joy to everyone,” said Alexandra.

Opening earlier than expected just in time for Winter break.

“We’re fortunate to have this early and before Christmas, to catch that Christmas break means a lot to us, to get the kids up here, that’s the most important,” said Kelly

Kelly said besides Christmas Day they plan to be open for the next week. But suggests calling before you go and also having snow chains to be prepared.