TAHOE NATIONAL PARK (CBS13) — What a difference an El Nino makes.

This time last year many ski resorts were either blowing snow or closing up shop. Now, Alpine Squaw Valley resort is calling this season it’s best in 5 years.

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In just a few hours several inches of snow fell over the higher elevations leaving behind plenty of fresh powder.

“Looking at this now I would say 6 inches,” said Ivan Timofeyev after coming off the slopes. “Oh it’s a huge difference I would say last year I didn’t even know if I want to come out.”

That’s because the snow pack was practically melting as fast as resorts could make it.

“Last year was like riding on rocks. This year it’s just smooth, fun powder, and when you fall it doesn’t hurt,” said Timofeyev.

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Alpine Squaw Valley ended last season early in April and a spokesman said they had only 223 inches of snow

This season isn’t even over and that snow fall total has already doubled.

Over at Boreal Mountain Resort the night manager says he’s been working the slopes since 1988 and this season has proved to be a good one.

“It’s been so many years, we’ve had so many storms. These haven’t been bunches together like some of them, so we’ve been fortunate,” said Ron Sylvia who manages the night skiing. “We get the snow, we clear it out and we get some more snow. It’s not 10 days in a row of 2 or 3 feet a day, so it’s been a real good season.”

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Last year the resorts shutdown in April, but plan to be open until May. For some making it a long and historic season.