Knowing Nevada: Tahoe's first snowmaking operation was in Reno


If you spend enough time in Reno, you've either seen it from afar, driven past it or even hiked to the top.

Rattlesnake Mountain sits in the middle of the valley floor just south of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport runway.

2,000 feet up in elevation sits Lake Tahoe and some of the best ski resorts in the United States.

Snowmaking began in Nevada at Ski Incline, now called Diamond Peak, in 1966 when the resort first opened on Tahoe's north shore.

Now, practically every resort around the region, and the world, relies on artificial snow to kick off the season and in overall dry winters.

The first operation in the Lake Tahoe area, however, happened 2,000 feet below lake level on Rattlesnake Mountain in Reno.

Sierra ski pioneers Bud Schoenfeld, Hal Codding and Jerry Wetzel started teaching skiing at Sky Tavern in Reno in the 1940s, but decided to make their own snow a decade later on Rattlesnake Mountain in 1958.

After a series of heat waves, followed by an unexpected rain storm, the snow didn't last longer than several weeks, but their vision is still being fulfilled across the world today.

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