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Bound for Tahoe

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Headed to Tahoe December 5-9. Outlook doesn't look good. Anybody have an suggestions as to which area will have the best conditions.
post #2 of 20


A lot can happen between now & 12/5. Kirkwood, which typically gets the most snow, has about a 36-60" base, Sugar Bowl has 12-30", Alpine Meadows has 15-30", Mt. Rose has 12-34".

One good storm can bring over a 1-2 feet of snow, and the last several years, we've had good storms in early December (I've been skiing around 12/5-9 the last two years & was skiing in storms...)
post #3 of 20
from what i hear, kirkwood still has the best conditions; but all are starting to get icy. heavenly has the best snowmaking just in case tahoe doesnt get more snow by then.
post #4 of 20
As suggested by others, one storm can make a huge difference. I have been skiing Kirkwood, Sierra, and plan to get to Heavenly soon. Coverage has been decent, but was noticably thin at Sierra this week prompting some minor base and edge repairs. Temperatures are cold and all areas are making snow, especially Heavenly which installed lots of new capacity this year.

As of now, the main trails are open and have good to excellent conditions. Steep and off-piste terrain is either closed or has some rock exposure. Typically, things improve as we move into December, but there is no forecast that goes that far forward at this point.
post #5 of 20
SugarBowl is it.

We had 2-4 on Thursday, and another 16-20 on Friday night.

Nobody is there. First 2 runs down Lincoln there were NO tracks on either run. At 2:45 we left dead tired and still found fresh powder in the trees on rollers. Now home in MN waiting for snow. GO NOW!!!
post #6 of 20

12-18" last weekend

Went to Kirkwood on Saturday, and got snowed on all day. They had about 12-18" of freshies. Schweet!

There's supposedly some more snow coming in about a week, just in time for ya'! The base is now about 45-70"
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
5 days and counting til departure. Glad to see the new snow and great conditions!! Sittin in my office on pins and needles....
post #8 of 20
Saturday was an awesome day at Sugar Bowl, cdcoral and I must have crossed tracks on Lincoln. like cdcoral, I was finding untracked powder all day. Sunday sucked 50MPH winds, cold, powder blown away.....

Villagenut- Sugar Bowl and Kirkwood are the two best early season options. If it snows between now and your arrival in the Sierra I'd put Squaw Valley first on your list.
post #9 of 20

Snow all this week in Tahoe

Looks great, just like the last few years. I'll bet Tahoe gets at least 15-20" this week, maybe 2-3'. I may call in sick on Friday....Anyone have any other predictions?
post #10 of 20

Today at Heavenly

This scenic shot is from the top of Sky Express on the California side, taken about 10:30 AM 12/5/04. Storms were forecast for today that didn't materialize, but we are supposed to see snow Tuesday. There is excellent coverage on the trails, but we need more snow to open the trees and other areas with rock. Have fun out here!

post #11 of 20
Fantastic photo Cirquerider! According to the weather reports it looks as though the Tahoe area is going to get dumped on again in the near future. One report predicted as much as 12". Whomever is out there now should have a great time. My March trip there can't get here soon enough. Did get some first turns this weekend though at Snowshoe, WV. Yeaaaa!

post #12 of 20
Awesome pic Cirquerider! I just saved this as wallpaper for my monitor! Any others?
post #13 of 20
Thanks for the compliment...and the idea. I just set the photo for wallpaper as well. I grabbed a number of pictures yesterday, and can provide you with a full resolution 4-megapixel shot (without the Biglines logo) of that scenery if you PM your email. The posted shot was the best of the day with nice reflections off the Lake and good color saturation, but there are also trail shots with the lake. I have a lot of really good seasonal shots of the Sierra i.e. fall colors, wildflowers, backcountry stuff. But Sunday was as bluebird a day as you can get with visibility well over 100 miles. In the posted photo you are looking northwest. Sky Express lift towers are visible on the left center, and Ridge trail runs just behind that. In the middle distance is the South Lake Tahoe Airport, and the Sierras on the horizon are Pyramid Peak on the left, Mt Tallac center, and the Desolation Wilderness.
post #14 of 20

My Wallpaper as well!

I have to admit....I saved Cirqueriders "Heavenly Photo" as my wallpaper as well! Thanks!
post #15 of 20
I opened my door and the weather is cold and gloomy outside here in the hills of SF Bay Area, that translates into stormy weather in Tahoe Area.
Have your finger crossed.
Squaw had a great openning day!
post #16 of 20
I wonder how Villagenut faired? Monday was cloudy with good conditions, windy in the PM and snow all night (1-foot), Tuesday was cloudy but no snow and the wind eased. Wednesday (today) is a blizzard with strong winds and rising snow levels, but at least 2 feet of additional snow overnight and today. At 7:30 am snow levels are at 4000 to 5000 feet and powder conditions should be excellent if you can get on a lift. If he missed Tuesday I would bet he only got to ski one day.

Just goes to show, you gotta get your turns at any opportunity.

Forecast for remainder of Wednesday 12/8:
Very windy with rain...snow and blowing snow...causing blizzard conditions above 7000 feet. Snow level 6000 feet rising to 7500 feet. Total snow accumulation 4 to 8 inches at lake level with 12 to 20 inches of snow above 7000 feet. Highs 37 to 47. Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 65 mph. Gusts to 100 mph over ridges.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Blizzard is right. Skied Monday it OK conditions at Sugar Bowl. Good coverage in some areas, rocky in others. Donner Pass Road is Unbelievably Beautiful!!!!!! We had heard of the bad weather approaching so we drove to South Lake Tahoe to sight see on Tuesday. (hind sight says we should have skied)... Awesome scenery!! The wife really enjoyed it. Drove to Northstar on Wednesday to find the blizzard conditions, Wind, Snow and Rain mixture. I probably would have tried it but the wife was not up for it so we returned our skis and went back to reno. Can't complain, the wife won enough at blackjack to pay for the trip!!!!!!!

Great area and I WILL return.....
post #18 of 20

Glad you liked the area

I'm heading up there this weekend with my wife!

Now you know that when it dumps, it really dumps at Tahoe. You just have to remember that the lake is at 6200', and even though it might be raining at lake level, it will be snowing at 7000'.
post #19 of 20

S Q U A W 12/13/04 Monday

Sucked!!!! All steeps were boilerplate ice or dust on steel crust. KT-22, Headwall Express: ice capades. What a waste of my time and money. Mountain workers (dudes in ski shops, patrol) noted it was one of the worst days they'd skied there. I just had to vent.

Gorgeous weather and views though.

Friday I'll hit Mt Rose again. I skied the Chutes on Saturday and they were awesome: steep, narrow, good snow, some great glades, empty.
post #20 of 20

Yeah, Alpine wasn't great on 12/10 either

The rain earlier in the week ruined the snow; Saturday was pretty much like spring conditions in December (45-50 degrees, hard or mushy snow). At least they have a decent base for later in the season. I'm heading back up after Xmas. Too bad you couldn't take advantage of the $35 lift ticket benefit day at Squaw on Sunday...
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