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Tips for Tahoe in December with Epic Pass, staying near Heavenly

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey guys. Due to points, and having an Epic Pass, I'm doing a trip to Tahoe the second weekend of December. Ive never been, and never skied out west.

 

I've been skiing for two seasons on the east coast, all the major Vermont mountains, Killington, Stowe, Sugarbush, etc. I can ski moguls and trees as well, though I could use improvement in those areas. I've trekked off piste as well, from the Hellgate at Stowe, to the backside of Annapurni in Japan.

 

What tips can you give me for Tahoe, specifically Kirkwood and Heavenly (I found a cheap deal for lodging right at the base of Heavenly).

post #2 of 9
If you bring up the webpage there is a tab ,unofficial guides' which has a detailed write up on both places
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoben02 View Post

If you bring up the webpage there is a tab ,unofficial guides' which has a detailed write up on both places

read the one for Heavenly, but seemed to have missed the one for Kirkwood.
Edited by Jonathan Keller - 11/16/15 at 7:45am
post #4 of 9
thought i saw one
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Keller View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoben02 View Post

If you bring up the webpage there is a tab ,unofficial guides' which has a detailed write up on both places

read the one for Heavenly, but seemed to have missed the one for Kirkwood.


I added tags for Kirkwood and Heavenly.  Those are links to the EpicSki Resort pages.  If you scroll down to the bottom, will get a list of relevant threads.  Since tags are added manually, those threads are more likely to be helpful than if you do a generic search.

post #6 of 9

A directed Google search "kirkwood unofficial: epicski" turned up the Article by @Jamesj 

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/kirkwood-ca-a-pictorial

 

There isn't an Unofficial Guide for Kirkwood.  Easiest way to know is to look on the Ambassador Roster.

post #7 of 9

2nd week of december things may not be fully open, so there might not be much advice needed, just hit everything that's open and repeat whatever is fun.  

 

Heavenly may only have groomers open and be enforcing inbounds only with yellow jackets.  Kirkwood is more laid back and will let you ski whatever you want, it's up to you if you want to trash your skis if you want to.

 

In general, the terrain at kirkwood will be choppier even the groomed runs, whereas heavenly is best known for it's really smooth manicured intermediate cruisers where you can carve pretty much with perfect transmission of your effort-especially if you've got first tracks on the corduroy.  

 

Heavenly for smooth cruising and hot fast laps and racking up the vert on the high speed lifts.  Stay high as possible for best snow in early season, so I doubt the bottom half of the mountain or any of the double black areas are open.  Typically the 2 main areas are the East Peak lift area which opens first.  Matching area on CA side is the Sky/Canyon lift area which opens 2nd. Then possibly olympic through stagecoach will be open which is a great long groomer.

 

Kirkwood you go for the more unique and interesting terrain.  Bring your A game and fat skis for choppier terrain.  Because the lifts are relatively slow, take your time and enjoy each run for it's unique features like gullys and rollers and random stuff like that.  Don't just blast down the run the easiest way possible, otherwise you'll be spending the majority of your time on the lift.  You can pretty much see what you get at kirkwood, you don't need to go to the beginner's area.  So it;s just the main village area + backside if that's open.  Doubtful to recommend to do any of the serious off-piste that's not yet officially open yet.

 

On your kirkwood day wake up early, it'll still take you an hour before you get to your first run.  

Don't park in the first parking lot (that's the dedicated beginner's area).  Drive past and park at the "main" village.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

2nd week of december things may not be fully open, so there might not be much advice needed, just hit everything that's open and repeat whatever is fun.  

Heavenly may only have groomers open and be enforcing inbounds only with yellow jackets.  Kirkwood is more laid back and will let you ski whatever you want, it's up to you if you want to trash your skis if you want to.

In general, the terrain at kirkwood will be choppier even the groomed runs, whereas heavenly is best known for it's really smooth manicured intermediate cruisers where you can carve pretty much with perfect transmission of your effort-especially if you've got first tracks on the corduroy.  

Heavenly for smooth cruising and hot fast laps and racking up the vert on the high speed lifts.  Stay high as possible for best snow in early season, so I doubt the bottom half of the mountain or any of the double black areas are open.  Typically the 2 main areas are the East Peak lift area which opens first.  Matching area on CA side is the Sky/Canyon lift area which opens 2nd. Then possibly olympic through stagecoach will be open which is a great long groomer.

Kirkwood you go for the more unique and interesting terrain.  Bring your A game and fat skis for choppier terrain.  Because the lifts are relatively slow, take your time and enjoy each run for it's unique features like gullys and rollers and random stuff like that.  Don't just blast down the run the easiest way possible, otherwise you'll be spending the majority of your time on the lift.  You can pretty much see what you get at kirkwood, you don't need to go to the beginner's area.  So it;s just the main village area + backside if that's open.  Doubtful to recommend to do any of the serious off-piste that's not yet officially open yet.

On your kirkwood day wake up early, it'll still take you an hour before you get to your first run.  
Don't park in the first parking lot (that's the dedicated beginner's area).  Drive past and park at the "main" village.

Awesome. This is exactly what I was looking for. And yeah, I know not much might be open, but it's still way more than is open on this side of the country right now. And for less money thanks to epic and points.

Question, I only have a one ski quiver, Blizzard Brahmas (125/88/110) @173. I've skied them in ten inches of fresh here and found them to be fine. What do you think of those for Kirkwood?
post #9 of 9
You will be fine on any skis.
It will just be more difficult or tiring so be prepared for it.
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