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Across the flank of the Tahoe Basin, miles of forest are glazed with a white frost and tree branches are flexing under the weight of snow. This is the first week of December? The scenes across the Sierra Nevada and Shasta-Cascade ranges are a testament to early-season storms that have swept across the high country in Northern California. In contrast with last year, all 23 ski areas — big and small — are projected to be open by the Dec. 14-16 weekend, just in time for a banner Christmas holiday season.