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advice about Heavenly, good or bad. - Page 2

post #31 of 50

Hear, hear! (or is it here, here?!)

Excellent post. Thanks, Dino.

And no, I didn't think you were calling me stupid. Your first response showed far more thoughfulness than that.

My first visit to Tahoe was a trip to buy a glide at a gliderport in Minden, NV. My wife and I fell in love with the place. Which is to say, we also fell in love with whatever it might take to keep it pristine and clean and clear and filling the cool air with those fresh scents of wintergreen.

While there, I bought several books about Tahoe from the Sierra Bookshop (I believe it was called) in South Tahoe that detailed the history and structure of the lake. I wanted to understand it better. What an incredible place!

My "enviro-wacko" label came straight from two friends who live at Tahoe. One in Incline Village who is also a glider pilot. The other owns a home in the Squaw Valley area; I know her from business school. They both are firmly dedicated to preserving the lake and its environs. But they are sometimes frustrated by some of the stronger policies furthered by those whose only stake (again, this is from their perspective) seems to be a political agenda as opposed to what best and balanced for Lake Tahoe.

I could care less what W might or might not do. I think those who live around the lake and those of use who love to play there should take it upon ourselves to be stewards of the land. We here in Alabama generally ignore the Federal government--as you probably well know--and do what we think is best for ourselves and state. W would make a big mistake coming down here with a bunch of policies to govern our water (we work that out with Georgia), air, etc.

And I hear you about drinking the stream water! No, I avoid the cow/pesticide runoff areas. Fortunately, those are becoming fewer and fewer as the cattlemen realize better ways to farm.

Thanks again for your post. I appreciate passion! And I certainly know that we can agree on your list.

Best,

- Jim
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormatt
This is a quasi-threadjack for Jim S or any other Taho native.

How accessible are houses in the Tahoe Keys area to Heavenly? I've found some real nice rentals in this area, that are relatively cheap for their size and age. Leads me to believe they are a haul from the Mountain all the way around the lake or something. Any insight would be appreciated.
This one is easy. Looking from the Top of Heavenly from the Sky Express, you can see Tahoe Keys along the shore of Lake Tahoe due North of the Airport. Its less than 7 miles from the resort, and is near the intersection of Hwy 50 and 89. Its the development in the center of the photo below located at the apex of the bay with the mountain reflections:
post #33 of 50
Thanks Cirq. That helps a lot, 7 miles is closer than I would have guessed from the prices.
post #34 of 50

Tahoe Keys has been there a while...

I stayed at Tahoe Keys as a young kid; i.e. I was staying there the day Nixon resigned. The place has been around a long time.

FWIW: Here's an article printed last year about Tahoe Keys: http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/app...TRPA/308290102
post #35 of 50
Heavely has it's advantages, but I'm with PowderDog.

Sugar Bowl, Squaw, Alpine, Kirkwood are all great resorts in Tahoe.

I go to diamond Mountain when I want to see the lake.

Not to down Heavely, but you will be in the casino zone, and you will have lots of blue runs and people who came to ski them.

There is great terrain there, but If you like the feel of Fernie and Big Mountian, Heavely is different. Lots to do, just different.
post #36 of 50
do you think Heavenly would be super-crowded in mid-March? As a beginner skier who's never even been out west, would those crowds really bother me? Also, do the casinos detract from the atmosphere--i.e., make it cheesy--or help make it a fun place.

THANKS!
post #37 of 50
One anecdotal report...

We were in Heavenly the first week of March last season. During the week was not really crowded at all. It did take 5 - 10 minutes to get on the gondola in the morning. The only crowded chairs I remember were Dipper and Sky. They may have had waits of 10 minutes or so. Everything else was short lines that I remember. Big Dipper was the one run that was way too crowded for my tastes. The other runs aroung the two lifts I mentioned had larger crowds, too, but were tolerable. This was during the week. Saturday, I got up early, wore myself out as quickly as possible, and downloaded at lunch when it started getting packed. As with anywhere else, if you can ski the steeper lines or the trees or anywhere else the masses cannot or will not, you can get away from the people. I really expanded my comfort zone that week.

We actually stayed at one of the casinos. Got a good deal, tried to avoid giving them extra money. We would be heading out the door with skis as the others were heading to the tables with little plastic buckets. To each his own.
post #38 of 50
Thanks so much--very helpful.
Well, I assume that due to lack of experience, we would be with the masses. But then maybe during the weekend we could go to another mountain...

Which casino did you stay at? and was it in walking distance to the lifts? If not, then how did you get there? thanks!
post #39 of 50
Let the locals direct you, but there are (free?) shuttles from South Lake Tahoe to some of the other resorts. Kirkwood and Sierra, at least. I think there was a boat ride over to Alpine/Squaw. If you have a car then you have more options.

We stayed at Harvey's. It was short walk to the gondola. Maybe 2 - 3 blocks. They have a tunnel under the road to Harrahs so you do not have to cross the hwy. I would rather be a little closer, but not bad. The shuttle stops at Harveys so you can catch the shuttle to the gondola or to either the California or Nevada bases. We had to do that one morning when the gondola was having mechanical problems. Since there were so many people trying to get somewhere else, that turned into quite a wait. But, since it is a shuttle stop, when my wife would get tired in the after noon, I could ski her down to any of the bases and put her right on the shuttle. Dropped he off right at the door. Then I could go where ever and come back how ever.
post #40 of 50

You'll love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizziew
do you think Heavenly would be super-crowded in mid-March? As a beginner skier who's never even been out west, would those crowds really bother me? Also, do the casinos detract from the atmosphere--i.e., make it cheesy--or help make it a fun place.

THANKS!
My wife's very first skiing was at Heavenly. We were, of course, on the greens on the CA side...and took the lift up and tried some easy blue runs. She and I both thoroughly enjoyed it.

As for the casinos being cheesy, they were less a part of our experience than I thought they would be. They are there, of course, but it's easy to ignore them. I have heard that you can find excellent deals--as has been suggested elsewhere in the thread--for lodging in them, however. We found a great steak dinner deal at one casino one evening.

Speaking of steak, if Kennedy's Steak House is still in operation you must give it a try. The building it was in was torn down to make way for the new Marriott complex at the gondola, but we heard that Kennedy's relocated to a space in the complex.

We might be going back this season with another couple. We will most likely stay at the Marriott of Embassy Suites as opposed to a casino. We just like the atmosphere better--personal taste. And they have some decent deals, too. Another plus for both properties is their very close proximity to the gondola.

While at Tahoe, the only other ski area we tried was Sierra-at-Tahoe. It was a reasonable drive and was fun to visit.

Overall, the crowds weren't too bad except at times...then they would seem to thin out. It wasn't hard to find a good open space to ski most of the time--and we were on the greens and easier blues. I've certainly seen worse crowds. The worse were the snowboarders (inexperienced ones I suspect) who zoomed by my wife too close for her comfort. And there was one green run at Heavenly where there were always a minefield of snowboarders sitting on their rears with their boards propped up in front of them to weave your way through. FYI, we were there in early February.

All in all, a great trip! Hope you have a blast!
post #41 of 50
I live 4 blocks from the Boulder Lodge on the Nevada side. No crowds, lots of parking there. Great place to ski from.
Haven't skied much at Heavenly, since i drive semi, but the times i have skied there have been great. Just don't go over the weekends, to many people, long lift lines.
Stateline/ So. Lake Tahoe, is the best ski town, and that comes from me, who lived in Park City for 15 years.
Lots of things to do, see. Gamble , eat, shop, the LAKE !
may i suggest this property for your lodging
http://www.premier-resorts.com/resort.php/LAKELAND_VILLAGE/SPECIALS?PHPSESSID=bc4ba1ab0b7f75452bee424067572cd a
post #42 of 50
Thank you all so much for sharing your insight--I am now strongly considering a trip to Heavenly/S. Lake Tahoe area for March. (and if I don't go this year, you can be sure it will go on my must-do vacation list.)

I have found cheaper flights to Sacramento than to Reno. Is the drive OK from Sacramento, or do are the roads difficult to maneuver or get closed a lot?
post #43 of 50
Thread Starter 

How far from airport to Heavenly?

How far is the Reno Tahoe airport from Heavenly? And is it easy to drive to the other resorts in the area?
post #44 of 50

Driving from Sacramento

The trip from Sacramento airport to South Lake Tahoe via US 50 is 115 miles, vs 58 miles from Reno airport. Most people visiting South Lake Tahoe from Sacramento will travel US50. Its is usually a very scenic, easy trip, starting as an divided multilane highway, with the last 60 miles being generally 2 highway lanes through the American River Canyon to Echo Summit. You can make the trip in less than 2-hours, but its nice to take your time to enjoy things along the way. Old Sacramento is a must see if you have the time. Placerville is a very nice historic town with gold-rush roots. Lots of interesting shopping and some restaurants. You will drive past access to the Desolation Wilderness Area and Sierra at Tahoe on this route. Also keep in mind for the return trip, when in Sacramento, you are only 80 miles from San Francisco or 55 miles from Napa, just in case you are looking for some variety in your trip.

During storms, chain controls may be posted on both I-80 or US-50. You will be required to have chains or 4X4 with all season / snow tires. On rare occasions, Hwy 50 is subject to closure between Kyburz and Meyers due to either mud slides or avalance control. Road conditions on 50 and 80 can be checked online or by phone http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi / 1-800-427-ROAD (7623). You can call anytime after arrival and just punch in 50 for information on that highway.
post #45 of 50
Thanks, Cirquerider! I have another question for you and for all the other Tahoe experts out there: if in March I'm flying into Reno, what do you think of basing myself in Reno for the first few days. We're 2 couples, and I'm the most experienced skier of the bunch--and my experience is limited to small Northeastern mountains from a few years back! It looks like Mt. Rose, Diamond Moutain (or is Diamond Peak?) and Northstar are all close to Reno, which would you recommend for us beginners? After a few days in the Reno area, we will probably stay in one of the casinoes at South Lake Tahoe and ski Heavenly for a few more days. Does this sound like a good plan?
post #46 of 50
For progressing beginners and intermediates, the Northstar at Tahoe resort is an excellent pick with easy runs extending for miles from the Mt. Pluto summit to the base. BTW, they have great challenging terrain on Backside and Lookout Mtn as well, but expert terrain is well separated from beginner terrain at Northstar. Northstar offers a free skier improvement program consisting of intermediate lessons that start from the summit at Mt. Pluto, every afternoon but Saturday. I don't know what specific skills they consider intermediate, but show up and see where they put you. I assume if you are comfortable with lifts, green and easy blue runs, that you can join these groups, or just join a group or private beginner session.

Mt. Rose is another excellent mountain with top to bottom opportunities for beginner and intermediate skiers, and is generally less crowded. Of course the new Chutes area is challenging. I think upper portions of Diamond Peak is more suited to strong intermediates and advanced skiers, but they offer a beginner area that costs only $15 per day if you are willing to ski just the lower mountain. If you are comfortable on Crystal Ridge, then the whole mountain is available. Maybe sign up for a private to get up to speed?

Your plan to stay in Reno should be no problem, you will be 25 miles from Mt Rose, 40 miles from Northstar and about 55 miles from Heavenly. One word of warning; staying in Reno is hazardous to your time on the slopes. You might want to check out Tahoe City, CA accomodations if your plan is to ski the north shore.
post #47 of 50

Stay at the lake

If you stay in Reno you not only jeopardize ski time due to drive time, but you also miss the priceless lake views you would get by staying at Incline, King's Beach or Tahoe City. Incline is right below Mt. Rose, and is close to Northstar. King's Beach is closer to Northstar, and is at the lake. Tahoe City is close to Northstar, Homewood, Alpine Meadows & Squaw.

Even after spending so much time in Tahoe, I still think that if you're going to Tahoe & missing the views, then you're really missing out. We watched the sunrise over Lake Tahoe last Sunday and it was amazing.
post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino
If you stay in Reno you not only jeopardize ski time due to drive time, but you also miss the priceless lake views you would get by staying ap Incline, King's Beach or Tahoe City. Incline is right below Mt. Rose, and is close to Northstar. King's Beach is closer to Northstar, and is at the lake. Tahoe City is close to Northstar, Homewood, Alpine Meadows & Squaw.

Even after spending so much time in Tahoe, I still think that if you're going to Tahoe & missing the views, then you're really missing out. We watched the sunrise over Lake Tahoe last Sunday and it was amazing.
ditto
I live 1/2 way between Reno and Tahoe. Stay in Tahoe.
post #49 of 50
I am going to have to bust my forum cherry and chime in here. Heavenly is fun. Kirkwood was by FAR the more fun ski experience.
post #50 of 50
2planker: tell me more about your Kirkwood vs Heavenly experiences. May be heading to Kirkwood for a few days in early March and thought I'd do one add'l day at either Heavenly or Sierra @ Tahoe since they're in the neighborhood. Never been in the region and this talk of lake views makes me think I shouldn't pass up a March weekday at Heavenly for SAT. Not sure I need the close up view though if have to take crazy crowds with it.
Also, I could be traveling from Sacramento to get to Kirkwood. I assume the drive up 88 will be similar to cirqueriders description of the trip up 50 to SLT?
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › advice about Heavenly, good or bad.