California: The Sierra region took 10 feet of snow last week in the biggest blizzard since 1847 when the 87-man Donner wagon train was all but wiped out in the passes. Virtually all traffic was at a standstill for six days. Donner Pass, Highway 40, Highway 50 and the Southern Pacific track were all blocked at the summits by drifts 10 to 30 feet deep. Officials connected with the 1960 Winter Olympics were faced with the necessity of providing some sure system of escape from the valley in the event of a blizzard during the Games, scheduled for Feb. 19 to March 1. The south had less snow, excellent conditions.
SQUAW VALLEY. Several chair-lift towers buried in snow, avalanches along the headwall slid into the top terminal and covered it. Highway 89, leading out of valley to Truckee, blocked by massive slides most of week, was finally cleared last Saturday. Olympic construction has been set back an estimated 30 days. Some skiing on rope tow. Pomalift will be dug out and used. CR 100.
HEAVENLY VALLEY. Roads were blocked until last Saturday, but lifts operated and skiers were out every day. Next weekend is Instructor Stein Eriksen's last before taking up job at Aspen's new Highlands area. CR 600.
SUGAR BOWL. Hardest hit in Sierras, area lost Mt. Lincoln chair for season when three upper towers were crushed by avalanche. Three hundred skiers marooned during week found they had plenty of time for skiing, left for the lowlands when Highway 40 was opened for one-way traffic. Skiing will continue on Disney lift.
MT. BALDY. UP 120, SN 48, CR 800.
SNOW SUMMIT. UP 108, SN 50, CR 1,200.
MAMMOTH MT. LO 240, SN 84, CR 800.
BADGER PASS. UP 175, SN 70, CR 1,000.
Nevada: RENO. Lifts buried, area isolated. Expected to open this weekend.