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Heavenly Trip Report - 2/20-2/24

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Our original plan was to drive up saturday and ski 5 days - but due to some last minute events - had to drive up sunday. My kids and I checked into Embassy Suites in the Heavenly village. I was feeling pretty bummed out that I missed a 6-8in powder day.

Monday- Woke up in the morning to find another 6-8in on the ground and it snowed throughout the day. Registered the kids at the california ski school and was up on Gunbarrel express at 9am. Plan was to head up to the top but with so much fresh powder everywhere - I could not wait. so I hit Powder Bowl and Powderbowl trees. Went up Sky express (no waiting at 930am). Spent the whole day hitting untracked powder on Canyon, Jackpot, Ellies, Liz, and all the trees between sky express and Nevada. at no point in the day did I have to wait more than 3 min (singles line) at Sky Express.

tuesday - Another 4-6 in on the ground, snowing lightly. Checked the kids again at the California ski school. up on top by 930am. did a couple of runs off of sky express. Saw the patroller drop the signs for Mott/Kilbrew canyons at about 10am. Followed him to the Nevada side. Visibility on the Nevada side was terrible. But no crowds at all and snow was great. Fresh, untracked everywhere. Spent the whole day doing Milky way bowl, gates 4,5,6 at Mott, take the Mott Canyon lift up, ski down to bottom of Dipper. Dipper up and repeat. My best day of skiing this season. Mott canyon had knee deep powder. By 2pm - visibility got worse, legs were tired. I headed back to california.

wednesday - it had stopped snowing. Spent the day skiing with the kids. Plan was to head out Nevada side in the morning but I kept hearing from other folks on the lifts it was a white out. By the time we reached Sky express at 10am - the lines was already 10 min long. By noon it was almost 15 min to 20 min long. we decided to bite the bullet and head out to Nevada. Visibility was poor but the lack of crowds was definitely worth it. Took the kids down little dipper bowl, Aries Trees, some trees off of Comet. Surprisingly the snow was still soft and we found untracked powder even in the afternoon.

Thursday - we were supposed to head back in the afternoon so we skied half a day only - on the california side. Lines at Sky express were pretty long so after a couple of runs there - we headed down. skied along Powder express and Groove.

What an awesome trip. Heavenly gets beaten down fairly often on this board. Cheesy town. Bad layout. crowded. long lines. $32 for a child lift-ticket (what a ripoff). all true. But it has some great
advanced terrain off of sky express on the california side and some great expert terrain in Mott/Canyon. and with the season they are having - I will be heading back there a few more times.
post #2 of 7

Marty - Some Advice????

Hey - Great post... will be at Heavenly this saturday ( mar 5th ) through Weds..
May do a day trip to kirkwood. This is a first time west trip for a group of black trail capable east coast only skiers. From there we go to Squaw/Alpine. Think we're staying in the same hotel you stayed in as well. Can I
get some trail / area suggestions and some hotel/food/drink info???? If you ever
need east info, i'll be glad to help.
post #3 of 7
Hey Marty- I need advice too.

We are heading out on Friday, Mar 4 for 10 days in Tahoe. We are staying at the Embassey Suites. Does it matter where at Heavenly we check our kids into ski school? I noticed you said your checked your kids into ski school at the California lodge (Gunbarrel). I had presumed we would ride the gondola up and check in the kids there. Husband and I have skied Heavenly but not with kids, and not since they put in the "new" gondola. Thanks!
post #4 of 7
There is a ski school registration area at the bottom of the Gondola at the Heavenly village where you can register/drop them off. The school entrance is right next to the Heavenly Sports Ski shop.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Resonses to questions:
1: Trail suggestions - Plenty of good black trails in both states. for single black - groomed - Lizs, Ellies off of sky express. also lower down off of Powderbowl express - waterfall is a nice, sometimes groomed black. I can't remember any groomed blacks on the nevada side. single diamond - Bumped Blacks - Milky way Bowl and Little Dipper on the nevada side. Double Blacks - The face and East Bowl - off of Gunbarrel express -
on california side and of course the Mott and Kilbrew canyon on Nevada side.
Don't forget the trees on either side of Sky Express. Plenty more trees off of Dipper and Comet express on Nevada.

Food: depends on how much you want to spend. Plenty of chains available - which I am sure you are familiar with. also plenty of ethnic restaurants - all along Hwy 50 - Chinese, Thai, Indian. so I will list only non-chain, non-cheap restaurants - Scusa for Italian, Cantina - Mexican, Fire+Ice - Mongolian Barbecue, Kalanis - Sushi and other American Food. Plus there are some nice steak places at the Casino's - Harrah's and Harveys. If you are staying at the Embassy suites - the conceirge has a wealth of information with Menus for all restaurants. Also Embassy suites has a great, cooked to order, free breakfast every morning. And they have a managers reception every evening serving Beer, wine and cocktails from 430-630pm.

Kids Ski school - there are a number of reasons why I did not use the Heavenly Gondola ski school. 1) When you go up the Gondola - it stops on a platform which is about 30 steps from the snow level. so the kids would have to carry their equipment down these steps and walk another 50 yds to the lifts. On the california side - the lifts are 15 paces from the ski school. My kids are small - I don't know how old your kids are. 2) on a snow day - the nevada side and top of gondola is consistently fogged in with very poor visibility. so I don't know how much skiing gets done by kids on these poor visibility days. on the california side - there are always plenty of runs/lifts lower down - which provide good access to green, blue and black runs at all times.
3) Gondola to EMbassy suites is about 2 blocks. so it is not close. Parking at the gondola is $20/day. Parking at the california base is FREE.

Depending on your situation - some of these might not be an issue for you.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
padams - check my answers to queries above. also- i might add - that you are going during a non-busy period. so if you register at one - and you don't like it - you can register your kids the next day the other ski school. I don't think you need advanced reservations.
post #7 of 7
Gondola side ski school sometimes close due to bad weather, so the safe bet would be in California side, you can get discount tickets at Albertsons store in California, save 40 dollars for kid's ski school and 10 dollars for adult lift ticket.

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