It's finally looking a lot more like winter at area ski resorts.

More skiers are taking to the mountains at Bear Valley and Dodge Ridge this month after a pair of mid-week storms dusted slopes across the Mother Lode.

Dodge Ridge Spokeswoman Amber Jenquin said that approximately 6 inches of snow fell Tuesday, leaving a total base snow level of roughly 24 inches. She said that skiers and snowboarders have been coming to the resort in droves since Presidents Day weekend, which was busiest period so far this season.

"The conditions last weekend were probably the best we've seen all year," Jenquin said. "We're hoping for a miracle March."

She expects many more skiers this weekend due to the Habitat for

Humanity Mountain Challenge, which will feature Alpine skiing and snow

shoeing, as well as beer and wine tasting.

Most ski resorts have also cut prices and offered special

promotions to entice snow lovers onto the slopes. All day adult passes

are $64 at Dodge Ridge, but the resort is cutting prices to $45 for

people who participate in the Habitat for Humanity charity event.

Bear Valley all day adult passes are $62, but the resort is cutting

the price of all tickets to $12 on Tuesdays for the entire month of

March, according to Communications Manager Jason Smith.

"The storms over the past few weeks got people up the mountain,"

Smith said. "It took until mid February for us to get the snow, but

since then it's picked up."

Many businesses that rely on the winter tourism in the Central

Sierras were impatiently awaiting snow storms that failed to

materialize for much of the season. Snowpack levels in the high country

were 70 percent below average according to a California Department of

Water Resources survey conducted last month.

"It's defiantly not the winter we expected, but we're definitely going to make it work," Jenquin said.

Contact Ryan Campbell at or 588-4526.