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Snow plans this weekend? Read on!

By: Loryll Nicolaisen
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Now that the skies and roads are clear, it’s going to be a lot easier to get up the hill to enjoy all the snow recent systems have dumped in the Sierra. And, as if the promise of feet upon feet of fresh snow isn’t enough, Interstate 80 resorts have plenty going on to lure skiers, snowboarders and other snow enthusiasts up the hill. Squaw Valley Squaw Valley USA softens the blow for state employees forced to take days off by offering Furlough Fridays today and March 20. State workers can bring a valid state identification card or recent State of California pay stub with valid ID to ticket booth D and get a $30 lift ticket. Have to work Friday? No worries. First-timers can take advantage of Learn to Ski and Ride Day on Sunday. First-time skiers and riders are eligible for $35 beginner packages that include a lift ticket, lesson, and equipment rentals. Lessons take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call (530) 583-6985 for first-timer information. Another option for weekend snow fun is a Tubbs Full Moon Snowshoe Tour. Tours set off from High Camp at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and guests should plan on taking the 5 p.m. or 5:15 p.m. cable car to High Camp. Cost, including rentals, is $32 for adults, $27 for youth and $21 for children. Those with lift tickets or season passes can participate for $17. Make reservations by calling (530) 452-7123. Visit www.squaw.com for information on upcoming Squaw events.   Boreal Boreal Mountain Resort hosts the third and final stop of the 3rd Rail Jam on Saturday, showcasing some of the best in snow sports, hip hop music, graffiti art and fashion. Competition includes men’s, women’s and under-15 ski and snowboard rail jams. The entry fee is $20. The 3rd Rail Jam also boasts cash prizes, MC battles, DJ performances, an on-mountain demonstration by graffiti royalty Pose II, a performance by Pigeon John and Grins & Lam, who will film for their music video “Fight to the Top.” Visit www.3rdrailjam.com to learn more. The action at Boreal continues into next week with the 2009 Cross Country Junior Olympic Ski Championships, held March 9-14 at the Auburn Ski Club’s training center, located at the far west end of the Boreal parking lot. Some 400 of the nation’s best junior cross-country skiers, ages 13-19, are scheduled to compete in events such as 1K sprint, classic, skate and team relay. “Being juniors, a lot of these kids are going to go on to be Olympians, for sure,” said Bill Clark, Auburn Ski Club executive director. Spectators will delight in Monday’s 1K sprints, Clark said. “That’s always a great crowd pleaser,” he said. The Auburn Ski Club last played host to the Junior Olympics in 2005, drawing 800-1,000 spectators the last time around. For information about the Cross Country Junior Olympic Ski Championships, see xcjuniorolympics2009.org or call the Auburn Ski Club at (530) 426-3313. Learn more about Boreal happenings at www.rideboreal.com. Northstar Northstar at Tahoe also hosts a full-moon snowshoe tour this weekend. Tours depart from the Nordic Center at 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and last approximately two hours, covering roughly six kilometers of terrain. Perks include live acoustic music, bonfire, s’mores and hot chocolate. Tickets are $35 for adults, and $25 for children 12 and younger. Rentals are $5. Call (530) 562-3270 or visit www.northstarattahoe.com to make reservations. —Compiled by Loryll Nicolaisen