9.30 first chair alan?
Arrived on a bus that was held up on the road, so went for a coffee and let the initial frenzy sort itself out! Lifts officially open at 9am, but often some are loading from about 8.30, but can be delayed if avalanche control is proving particularly difficult. There's 3 miles of continuous ridgeline where cornices build up above all terrain at Kirkwood that needs to be sorted out!
Ski Patrol often spend the night at the top of Chairs 6 and 10 so avalanche control can start in the early hours, without having to operate the chairlifts (incase they need digging out or high winds are causing problems). Patrol will then return and dig out the off ramps if need be to get more staff up,
Vast majority of skiers are day tripping at Kirkwood, often several hours travelling or more and I reckon even those visiting on holiday the majority day trip up from South Lake Tahoe.