or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Tahoe in February, family coming from Argentina, stay in north or south?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Tahoe in February, family coming from Argentina, stay in north or south? - Page 2

post #31 of 53

If you're coming from Argentina you should check out Squaw in any case.  I general if in Tahoe for a week I recommend splitting the lodging time between north and south shore for convenience.

 

If you're in south shore the whole time the drive to Squaw around Emerald Bay is very scenic and will take about an hour.  But plan carefully:

1) Maybe not on a weekend when traffic between Tahoe City and Squaw can be deadly.

2) Be sure to do it on a good weather day when 89 will be open and the road fairly clean.  But you want a good weather day for Squaw anyway so the whole mountain will be open.

post #32 of 53

I've had limited Internet the last couple of days, but feel like I have to respond to some of the (mis-)information that has been posted. I was also going to recommend the Tahoe Six Pack, but they have sold out. There is a lot of information about Tahoe resort at their website: http://www.skilaketahoe.com/

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

Alpine and Squaw are under common ownership with a shuttle bus between them and an area-connecting gondola under construction.

 

When you say "traveling around the West Coast," you should make a strong effort to arrange that those 4 ski days at Tahoe be midweek and not on a weekend or holiday, notably President's Day, third Monday in February.  The rest of that week after President's Day will be slightly busier than other midweek days in February.

There is no gondola under construction to connect Alpine and Squaw. While there is a planned route, there are no approved plans or permits and some of the permits for Squaw's lift upgrades that were approved have been allowed to expire.

 

I do agree with Tony's comment about avoiding President's Day weekend and the week after (which I see you will) as it will be busier than usual as many schools in No. CA have the week off. Tuesday and Wednesday are generally least crowded, then Monday and Thursday are next and about the same. Saturday is the most crowded. Fridays can get crowded as people start their weekend early. Some places empty out Sunday afternoon as weekend warriors leave early to beat traffic home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post
Sierra is a bit on the small side.

 

Coming in February gives you good chances for good snow, but nothing is guaranteed.  You should think about flexibility in your planning.

Sierra has the fourth largest vertical and acreage of Tahoe resorts and a good variety of intermediate and advanced runs on the West Bowl and expert runs on Grandview. It also has beautiful side country and great coverage this year. I skied powder all day there on Tuesday and they only had about 600 customers. They get a lot of snow and also have a great view of Pyramid Peak in Desolation Wilderness plus a view of Lake Tahoe. I would try to avoid Sierra on weekends, especially Saturdays as they get a lot of day-trippers from Sacramento and foothills. See some pictures of Sierra side-county at the end of long report here: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10861&p=68503

 

I do agree with comment on flexibility as you don't want to go to Heavenly when you can't ski from CA to NV and back because storm shuts down the top. Squaw and Alpine also get a lot of wind that closes some and sometime most or all lifts during storms and you don't want your days there to be limited to a couple of lifts at the bottom. Homewood is a great choice for weekends or during storms and has some interesting terrain including Quail Face which is open this year. They only have one high-speed lift, but the lower mountain has great views of the Lake and they are out of the way enough to not get huge crowds. Be aware that if road around West side of Lake is closed as it is (temporarily) now, the drive from South Tahoe to Homewood nearly doubles in length and will take at least 30 minutes longer (than W side/Emerald Bay). Surprisingly, according to Google Maps from the 3 Peaks Lodge to Squaw it takes the same time whether you go around either side of the lake. I find the W shore quicker as NE shore has a lot of 2-lane with no passing and the N shore goes through a lot of towns.

 

The drive from near the CA/NV stateline at South Tahoe to Kirkwood is also typically closer to an hour not 40 minutes as stated above due to traffic in South Tahoe and slow vehicles on 89 and 88. And CHP works those roads a lot so watch your speed unless you have radar or somebody ahead of you if you are going over 55.


Edited by tseeb - 1/17/16 at 6:44am
post #33 of 53
Thread Starter 

great info!! I feel like I'm already there haha, many thanks!!

post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

If you ski off piste in Las Lenas, you will be bitterly disappointed by terrain choices at Northstar (which for disclaimer is owned by the owners of this site) or Homewood. You need to make sure to hit Squaw Valley and/or Alpine Meadows (same ticket nowadays). If you just go to N* or Homewood you will be wondering what all the reputation of Tahoe terrain is about. SLT skiing choices is the same- the only comparable resort there is Kirkwood. Heavenly has some good places but not for the first time visitors.


I just completely disagree with this; there are some great off-piste runs at northstar in the trees off the backside and Martis camp t-bar.  True, there's a lot of lame groomers much of the time, but that isn't everything.  There are advantages to skiing in trees (like being able to see in front of you, for one). 

 

As far as squaw is concerned; it is true there are some treeless areas at the peaks that are more like the alpine in Argentina, but they are also quickly skied out, and/or very windy with low visibility.  There is a significant amount of squaw that can't be touched except for extreme/expert skier levels.  If you aren't that, it is of no advantage to you,  Especially if you can't see your hand in front of your face in a blizzard.

 

When the storms really kick up, Squaw/Alpine, and even most of Northstar, can be closed or visibility so poor its not worth it; while Homewood will be completely open and THE place to be on those days.

 

There are lots of places to rent skis (and boots) in and near all of the resorts.  The best (and most expensive) are current year demo skis at the resorts - around $50 USD/day.  Not essential, really, and resort rentals can be very slow/crowded depending on the day.

post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevescho View Post
 


I just completely disagree with this; there are some great off-piste runs at northstar in the trees off the backside and Martis camp t-bar.  True, there's a lot of lame groomers much of the time, but that isn't everything.  There are advantages to skiing in trees (like being able to see in front of you, for one). 

 

I have to wonder how long ago you were at Northstar as there is no t-bar anywhere. There is Lookout Link poma lift that gets you higher into Lookout Mountain than taking Lookout Bypass run. In 2008, Northstar extended (and renamed from Lookout Express to Martis Camp) high-speed quad chair to reach high-end homes that are nearly as low-elevation as Northstar's main base which means snow can get thin at bottom. But the length off the lift was increased by 82% while vertical only increased 38% so lift is not as steep as it used to be.

 

Northstar is a place to ski powder without a lot of competition as I did last Thursday AM (see http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11994 )although it is no longer the storm day secret it once was. And while trees between runs at Northstar could technically be called off-piste, they do not compare to what OP could ski at Las Lenas or what is available at many other Tahoe ski areas.

 

Note that I also cleaned up my post before yours to try to make times and distances clearer.


Edited by tseeb - 1/17/16 at 7:55am
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tseeb View Post
 

I have to wonder how long ago you were at Northstar as there is no t-bar anywhere. There is Lookout Link poma lift that gets you higher into Lookout Mountain than taking Lookout Bypass run. In 2008, Northstar extended (and renamed from Lookout Express to Martis Camp) high-speed quad chair to reach high-end homes that are nearly as low-elevation as Northstar's main base which means snow can get thin at bottom. But the length off the lift was increased by 82% while vertical only increased 38% so lift is not as steep as it used to be.

 

Northstar is a place to ski powder without a lot of competition as I did last Thursday AM (see http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11994 )although it is no longer the storm day secret it once was. And while trees between runs at Northstar could technically be called off-piste, they do not compare to what OP could ski at Las Lenas or what is available at many other Tahoe ski areas.

 

Note that I also cleaned up my post before yours to try to make times and distances clearer.


I've been there the last 24 years; how about you?  OK its a poma lift.  Everyone's entitled to their opinions.   So here's mine. N* is a fine place to ski, and has much to offer.  Squaw is also nice but incredibly over-rated and can often have nothing but vertigo and disorientation in heavy weather such as now (if lifts are open at all).

post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevescho View Post
 


I've been there the last 24 years; how about you?  OK its a poma lift.  Everyone's entitled to their opinions.   So here's mine. N* is a fine place to ski, and has much to offer.  Squaw is also nice but incredibly over-rated and can often have nothing but vertigo and disorientation in heavy weather such as now (if lifts are open at all).


Well, over-rated is a matter of personal opinion and you are entitled to yours as I am entitled to my.  

 

Objectively, Northstar is a wooded hill with many trails cut out through the woods.  It has a wide variety of excellent mellow groomers, perhaps one of the best bump runs in Tahoe, fantastic snowmaking facilities and service levels that are the envy of every other Tahoe resort (and price to match that).  However that terrain is simply in a different league than what Squaw has to offer- big bowls, large cliff faces, chutes and long sustained steeps. Vertigo and disorientation in bad weather comes with having that type of big mountain terrain, you cannot have one without the other.  The OP (who is long gone by the way) is used to skiing in Las Lenas which has terrain like the following photo (supposedly the famous TS Marte lift that is their analog of KT22).  Northstar skiing will be a VERY different experience, so the OP just needs to know what to expect.  As I said, Northstar has its charm, but its not even close to what people usually consider big mountain skiing.  

 

post #38 of 53

Yes the analogies between Squaw and Las Lenas are obvious.   Las Lenas is much worse for wind and weather closures.  At Tahoe at least you have the option to ski somewhere else on those days.

post #39 of 53

FYI, one caution about "demo" ski's.  Some rental shops rent "demo" skis as old as 2 years or more (and won't tell you).  Yes I know this for a fact, disagree if you want.  Be sure to call whichever rental place you're considering and ask if their demo skis are current model years (if this matters to you).  The more reputable shops, like Start Haus in Truckee (not SLT unfortunately) rent current model demos.

post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsan View Post
 

FYI, one caution about "demo" ski's.  Some rental shops rent "demo" skis as old as 2 years or more (and won't tell you).  Yes I know this for a fact, disagree if you want.  Be sure to call whichever rental place you're considering and ask if their demo skis are current model years (if this matters to you).  The more reputable shops, like Start Haus in Truckee (not SLT unfortunately) rent current model demos.


I don't think Starthaus rents out demos on a regular basis, but things may have changed.  Call ahead.  

post #41 of 53

I think this problem solves itself except for the most entitled narcissistic personality types.

 

If you were looking for a specific ski to actually demo (for buying), you'd already be calling ahead to find it and get it reserved, not just showing up because a shop says "demo" and somehow assuming a shop will have every single ski available for you to take out.

 

If you were not looking for a specific ski to demo, then you're picking a rental shop with the primary factor being convenience and location (or price) so you're going to go there anyway and just want the best ski they have.

post #42 of 53

Right, I misspoke.  I wish they did, because they have some of the most expert advice in the area concerning downhill equipment.

 

I believe Tahoe Dave's is good about renting current year demos, but they don't have shops in SLT.  There are many mom & pop, and chain rentals in SLT, but again, beware, many will have years old "demo" equipment that are worn, and won't perform well.

 

My best experience has been at Northstar Mid-mountain (before Vail bought them), they had a fairly large assortment of brands, models and sizes.  My recommendation, on slope (or near slope) rentals make a huge difference, cause I had the option of changing out a pair of skis right away if I "hated" it, rather than being forced to ski it for a whole day or 1/2 day.  Example, (many years ago), the Dynastar Legend was a highly recommended all mountain ski, I tried it and found it just didn't suit the way I skied.  I swapped that pair out right away!

post #43 of 53

In south lake tahoe, powderhouse is the option.  THey're partnered with Tahoe dave so they're the "tahoe dave" of SLT.   Or conversely if you consider heavenly your home as I do, "tahoe dave" is the Powderhouse of north lake. 

If you're renting from one you could drop off at the other if your ski plans take you from north to south or vice versa.  However often times with true demos they want it back at the demo shop...

 

 

Powderhouse demo has this year's model skis as true demo, which you can apply 2 days towards purchase (either new if in stock or the demo ski itself). 

post #44 of 53

IMO, the resort stores have the best demo skis; including the current year models; they run ~$53 USD/day for skis alone and are by the typically a day at a time only (not weekly rentals), and rent from the shops, not the general ski rentals.  You can exchange them during the day and try other demo skis at the exact place you took them from (the shop at the bottom of Heavenly's Gunbarrel run, for example).  You can use up to $150 of demo costs as credit to buy new skis during the season.  I'm not sure how/if you can "reserve" particular models/lengths of the demo's.  I think it is 1st come/served.  There are a very limited number of pairs of these skis.  Ergo, be there when they open the door, whenever that is.

post #45 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm planning to drive from Sacramento to Sourh Lake Tahoe. Does anyone know if the road is ok? Shall I need to carry snow chains? Thanks for answering!
post #46 of 53

you already asked in the other thread

post #47 of 53

No chain controls and none is expected for the next week as it will be sunny and warm.

post #48 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I've just had a great time in Heavenly (with an unusual warm weather). Thanks for your tips and recommendations! Cheers
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gildorossi View Post

Hey guys, I've just had a great time in Heavenly (with an unusual warm weather). Thanks for your tips and recommendations! Cheers


Thanks for the update.  Any suggestions for a future traveling family considering going to Heavenly based on your experience?

post #50 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


Thanks for the update.  Any suggestions for a future traveling family considering going to Heavenly based on your experience?
In heavenly start skiing the Nevada side in the morning, and finish your day on the California side.
No need to take the gondola up (and have problems or spend money parking the car), I found it much better to drive to the California or Nevada parking lot (free), it is a 5 minute drive from the village.
post #51 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gildorossi View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


Thanks for the update.  Any suggestions for a future traveling family considering going to Heavenly based on your experience?
In heavenly start skiing the Nevada side in the morning, and finish your day on the California side.
No need to take the gondola up (and have problems or spend money parking the car), I found it much better to drive to the California or Nevada parking lot (free), it is a 5 minute drive from the village.


What kind of problems were people having with the gondola?  The only time I've skied Heavenly was 15 years ago.  My group stayed within walking distance of the gondola so parking wasn't an issue.

post #52 of 53
On a weekend the line to download from the gondola can be very long.
post #53 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gildorossi View Post

In heavenly start skiing the Nevada side in the morning, and finish your day on the California side.
No need to take the gondola up (and have problems or spend money parking the car), I found it much better to drive to the California or Nevada parking lot (free), it is a 5 minute drive from the village.


What kind of problems were people having with the gondola?  The only time I've skied Heavenly was 15 years ago.  My group stayed within walking distance of the gondola so parking wasn't an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

On a weekend the line to download from the gondola can be very long.

 

Ah, that's why I was confused.  We were near the Tram on the California side in 2000, not the gondola from town.  I think there was talk of building a gondola when we were there.  I didn't start skiing out west regularly until 2010.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Tahoe in February, family coming from Argentina, stay in north or south?