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DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. - One month after it got its first and only significant snowfall, North America's largest cross country ski resort shut down Wednesday until further notice.

Royal Gorge operations director JoJo Toeppner said crews had been doing their best to move existing snow to trails that needed it most, but that it eventually became impossible to get adequate coverage.

"We were shoveling and doing every trick we had in the book, but Mother Nature always wins," Toeppner said.

Royal Gorge has no snowmaking equipment because of the impracticality of trying to cover 200 kilometers of trails with machine-made snow.

Just four miles away, however, machine-made snow has allowed Royal Gorge's co-owned downhill resort Sugar Bowl to remain open with roughly 25 percent coverage and five lifts operating.

"Thankfully, we've had great cold temperatures," spokesperson John Monson said."This next system's going to give us another window of snowmaking. So we'll be able to freshen up a lot of the trails here at Sugar Bowl."

At Royal Gorge, Toeppner said just a foot of snow from a typical winter storm would be plenty to reopen the trails.

"I know it's going to happen," she said with confidence.

By George Warren, GWarren@news10.net

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