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post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Has anyone skied Heavenly in Lake Tahoe? If so, could you give a little review? And how late in the season is there quality skiing at Heavenly? Would an April trip be risky?
post #2 of 24
Only skied there once - February many years ago - so I can't give you the details you're looking for. However, standing on top and skiing down with Lake Tahoe in front of you is one of the most spectacular ski scenes I've ever seen.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yes, I am not often pursuaded by advertising, but I will admit that the ad with that photograph has me seduced!
post #4 of 24
yes anytime after march 15th is risky - if you are flying in from boston. there will
be snow - but i would concerned about the quality.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
thanks marty. my wife wants a kid soon, so if we are going to take a ski trip, i have to act fast! the "problem" is that all of my weekends are booked in the heart of the season.
post #6 of 24
Originally Posted by RotoFury
Yes, I am not often pursuaded by advertising, but I will admit that the ad with that photograph has me seduced!
The photos don't do it justice. When the weather is clear and the water is smooth, the lake is like a huge jewel. The blues and greens are intense. We took the paddlewheel ride around the lake. Typical touristy atmosphere, but get to see the lake "up close and personal".
post #7 of 24
Because Heavenly has the highest elev terrain of any in the region it should be one of you best Tahoe bets for decent late snow. Here's a recent thread of interest, did you see?

Some complain of awkward flats and crowds, however it has a lot of terrain and I would think few people in Apr. If you lucked into decent snow it could be the proverbial intermediate's paradise. Kirkwood or other nearby areas offer add'l variety. However, with the kind of snow year they are off to in Utah, you might want to consider that for Apr?
post #8 of 24
I loved Heavenly when I went two years ago. I'm a better skier now, so I'd probably try some other Tahoe ski areas. Overall, the runs were very fun, some wide tree skiing was available and the views were unbelievable. It kind of seemed like two separate ski areas what with going across the state line. I actually preferred the Nevada side slopes more as they had some serious, ass hauling blues. There is some Canyon area on that side as well which caters to the hard core but I forget the name. If you like to get the most out of a vacation where having fun off the slopes is just as important then I don't think you can go wrong here. On a side note, I proposed to my fiance' on the Gondola ride up from the base in front of her Dad and two perfect strangers so I can definitely claim it has a nice romantic flavor as well.
post #9 of 24
no. i have skied that past 2 years there in april and there was good coverage. there are some on the nevada side a little steeper if you need 'em. if its just not steep enough for you, you can drive to kirkwod or squaw that are both about an hour away. all 3 will still be open then.
post #10 of 24
Here's my short review of Heavenly:
1. On bluebird days, the view from the Sky Express lift are stunning.
2. LOTS or traversing between the CA and Nevada sides. Poor lift layout (IMHO).
3. Groomer paradise. MANY long, wide, intermediate groomers.
4. LOTS of traversing.
5. Mott Canyon is awesome and steep. Killebrew is also good, but run out at the bottom is too long.
6. LOTS of traversing.
7. Trees off the Skyline Trail are great.
8. Best to find a "local" to show you the secret stashes and keep away from the crowds.

Heavenly's nice, but I MUCH prefer Kirkwood and Squaw.
post #11 of 24
Best views for skiing I've ever seen in my life. You'll be in awe.

I skied last year weekend May 2. Not a lot was open but it was great spring skiing. Kirkwood and Squaw closed one week earlier.

Great mountain; you can't go wrong there.
post #12 of 24
Rotofury, Heavenly and other Tahoe ski conditions in April are usually outstanding and the crowds small. Many of the areas close in mid-April with some of the largest bases of the season. Why? Because everyone is out golfing, boating, water skiing and gardening in the Bay Area and Sacramento. Weekdays in April can be lonely on the ski mountain. Occasional snow storms can provide epic morning powder, which will usually warm and settle by mid-day. During dry warmer weather, the mountain sets up in corn snow which is excellent. Weekend skiing continues after April through Memorial day, not for lack of snow, but for lack of interest! Discounted passes are usually available at this time as well.

I have season passes at Heavenly and Sierra and can remember only one year when cover was thin in mid-April...well, it was last year when it quit snowing in March. Normally very dependable. Hope to see you out here, and keep me posted if you are comming.

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Cirque! Awesome post! Thanks so much for telling me exactly what I wanted to hear! I am dying to ski that mountain and see that view. I'll keep you posted for sure. Could you or anyone else recommend a place to book air/ski/stay package?
post #14 of 24
A friend and I booked a 3 night, 2 day trip for Jan 22-25 directly through Heavenly. Staying at Harrah's $350 each lifts and lodging. There were also many other cheaper options I found through Travelocity, etc., but we figured the casino would be a nice diversion. I'm sure rates will be much cheaper that late in the season as well. We found better airfare deals on our own. Currently from DC, America West has round trip flights for $188 plus taxes. You should check them out.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Walks ... will do. Thanks!
post #16 of 24
If you fly Southwest, check out their Southwest Vacations deals. Last time I looked they had package deals with several of the SLT casinos, lift tickets, etc. I stayed at the Horizon and had a very good time.
post #17 of 24
Don't mean to highjack the thread, but how is the snow compared to CO or UT? I've heard the it's wet compared. Any Truth to that? Was thinking about going there, but I won't go just cause of scenery...
post #18 of 24
wet- can be. It is sometimes called Sierra cement for a reason. Bring your rain jacket, becuase it is possible from 3rd week Feb on-
post #19 of 24
i would think you could book this on heavenlys website. not sure if the casino hotels offer the same, or if you need cheap stuff close to the gondola, try
southwest has travel packages and best airfares if you book early enough.
post #20 of 24
KEV259: "Wetness" often refers to the water content of snow. A foot of fresh snow in the sierra may contain an inch of melted water, while in Utah or Colorado it would melt to just 1/2 inch (example only, not based on any study). As of 12/1/04 at the Heavenly snowcourse at 8800 feet, there are 30 inches of snow containing 26.6% moisture or 8-inches of water or 3.75 inches of compacted snow per inch of water. Todays snowpack report for Utah indicates water equivalents of 8.4 inches at Brighton to 15.9 inches at Snowbird, but the data do not include snow depths. Snowbird reports 71 inches at mid-mountain, so 22% moisture or 4.5 inches of compacted snow per inch of water, looks to be dryer (and deeper this year).

Except for fresh powder runs, you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference. The Sierra is NOT known for rain on the slopes. There are 3 storm scenarios:

The normal storm track near Tahoe favors storms out of the Gulf of Alaska moving through the bay area and crashing into the Sierra dropping snow measured in several feet. These cold storms normally last for a day or two followed by strong high pressure ridging. This results in dry weather, with cold nights and moderate sunny days between storms, and can be a persistent weather feature. Thus the reputation for numerous sunny days. Inside sliders occur when the pacific track is blocked by high pressure, and drop from Northeast to Southwest along the Sierra. Very cold storms with smaller snowfall potential similar to storms in the interior west. The persistent coastal high pressure means zero precipitation from May to October, and greatly reduces the likelyhood of spring rain on the snowpack.

However, if the southern storm track kicks in, with high pressure east of Hawaii, persistent wet, warmer weather can occur. These conditions usually result in snow in the upper elevations at Tahoe, and rain at the lower elevations, including Pacific NorthWest and BC ski areas due to their generally lower elevations. This storm track was most notable in 1997 during the last large scale El Nino, and its strongest influence was north of California with warm moisture flowing into Oregon and Washington.

More than you ever wanted to know about our weather, but if you got this far, consider yourself a graduate in sierra weather studies.
post #21 of 24
Nice, thanks man that answers alot. So, it's not that noticeable. I've only been to UT and CO, but whenever I go, it's soo nice and dry never any ice or anything. So I could probally expect the same there? It's not gonna be like skiing through cement?
post #22 of 24
The term Sierra cement is over-used, but can be a well deserved description. I have been in it and it sucks. Imagine 3-feet of heavy wet ungroomed snow that sucks you in and stops you in your tracks regardless of pitch. If you ever experienced it, you would talk about it too. I have hit this stuff off a groomer at speed and done a double ejection; but it is NOT the common snowfall here. Sierra powder is very nice to ski,while it lasts, but is rarely as light (or cold) as the best days in the interior west. No difference on groomers. One advantage, it holds on steeper slopes better allowing for coverage on extreme lines like Squaw and Kirkwood.
post #23 of 24
i have only skied tahoe in march, april+may + have yet to have anything but snow come down on the mountain.
although i have only been in heavy snow and powder there a few times, it has not felt "wet". i skied whistler and was practically drenched by the end of the day there. i have always come off the mountain dry in tahoe.
i'm only a high-intermediate; but i havent noticed a difference between CO + tahoe.
post #24 of 24

I drove out to the Nevada side of Heavenly recently and took my dogs for a hike on what I discovered was part of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Afterwards I went in to the Boulder Lodge to have a look around, as I'd never been in there. Older feel, and lots of pictures from the 50's-70's on the walls downstairs. I thought perhaps Boulder was the original lift area for Heavenly, so I poked around to brush up on the history and found this interesting article...


  History of Heavenly Valley


For anyone who's ever driven to Heavenly on Hwy 50 pretty amazing to think that in the mid 1800's Snowshoe Thompson delivered the US Mail on skis in the wild country between Placerville, CA and Genoa, NV.

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