By Heather Janssen

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – Saturday was a packed snow day in the Sierra, with many people heading up from near and far to play in the fresh powder.

Hector Chavez, from Sacramento, was one of the many looking to unwind on the mountain.

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“I think people are hungry to get out of the house and enjoy an activity like this,” Chavez said.

The mindset of his family and many others, with a fresh blanket of snow from recent storms as a big draw.

“When we have fresh powder, it’s the best time – especially when it’s sunny,” Chavez said.

The perfect ski conditions are the reason why the Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort had to start turning people away at 8:40 a.m., only ten minutes after opening for the day.

“It’s the earliest I’ve ever seen it hit capacity in my ten years here,” said Katie Hunter, Director of Sales and Marketing with the Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort.

The resort must limit how many people hit the slopes due to the pandemic. It’s part of the reason why staff say they hit their limit so fast. Though more snow, means more space, and other areas are able to open up.

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“We’re hoping for even more terrain to open up so others can come and recreate with us,” Hunter said.

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Skiing and snowboarding weren’t the only popular activities Saturday. Francisco Ibarra and his family made an impromptu trip from Tracy to Tahoe to sled and throw snowballs.

“We just hopped in the truck and left,” Ibarra said. “It’s just a good place to be.”

But some, like Mario Figueroa aren’t done yet. He’s staying overnight in Placerville after making the drive from Berkley, and he’s making another run before heading home.

“We’ll be coming back tomorrow,” Figueroa said.

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The Tahoe area will likely be busy again Sunday, and possibly through next week – with even more snow in store. Some ski resorts recommend heading out early if you want to snag a spot on the slopes. Others are already sold out ahead of Sunday.