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Should I be panicking about Tahoe in January?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi All,
I have a 10 day drip planned to South Lake Tahoe, January 2-12. I've purchased a rather expensive plane ticket, a season pass to Heavenly, and booked an economy hotel (Best Tahoe West). Right now, Heavenly has almost nothing open, even though they just had a storm. How much more snow do they need before the trees and canyons will be skiable? Should I starting thinking about moving the trip? I know heavenly can go 0-60 overnight, but I'm starting to get nervous. What are people's thoughts in Tahoe now?
post #2 of 17
1st of all....what the hell were you thinking? Heavenly?!? When the North Shore is just like what...at the north shore of the lake? Anyway, ENSO (El Nino) is *supposed* to start having it effect on Tahoe towards late December or early January. So far the jet has been too far north (lucky for WA/BC) to impact Tahoe. That will change as the jet splits and sags south, as it always does in an El Nino year. JAN/FEB/MAR/APR should be good in Tahoe, as long as the storms entrain some of the cold air to the north.

Powdr
post #3 of 17
: I feel your pain, dude. I was out there last weekend - no snow, 4 runs open at Heavenly (which had the most snow!!), and a $64 lift ticket for those 4 open runs...

Maybe next time. :

Good luck - wishing white times for you...
post #4 of 17
Your Heavenly pass is not refundable so stick with the plan. Heavenly has a fair amount of terrain open and we are only one storm away from full opeings. While us locals make is sound gloomy, there is quite a bit of skiing here, just nothing off-piste or steep. OTOH, if you can change plans to February or March, it would be better.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr View Post
1st of all....what the hell were you thinking? Heavenly?!? When the North Shore is just like what...at the north shore of the lake? Anyway, ENSO (El Nino) is *supposed* to start having it effect on Tahoe towards late December or early January. So far the jet has been too far north (lucky for WA/BC) to impact Tahoe. That will change as the jet splits and sags south, as it always does in an El Nino year. JAN/FEB/MAR/APR should be good in Tahoe, as long as the storms entrain some of the cold air to the north.

Powdr
Yeah, I know Heavenly isn't the best, but it's way more affordable for a 10 day trip, and has better nightlife. I'm going with the a bunch of fraternity brothers, so we kind of want the whole package. If we can, we'll day trip to KW a few times.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Your Heavenly pass is not refundable so stick with the plan. Heavenly has a fair amount of terrain open and we are only one storm away from full opeings. While us locals make is sound gloomy, there is quite a bit of skiing here, just nothing off-piste or steep. OTOH, if you can change plans to February or March, it would be better.

Thanks, that's just what I wanted to hear! I have other trips planned for Feb/March and my buddies are in grad school so this is pretty much when we can all get together. I'm just hoping we get a dump soon!
post #7 of 17
Heavenly has a few snowmaking trails open -- and has not even connected Nevada to Cali yet. No Sky chair operating.

It should get heavily skied off by the Christmas crowds and resemble Killington/Huntah by Jan 1.

You can almost forget Mott & Killibrew Canyons being open while you are there - that would take 5-6ft.

No change in the forecast really....
post #8 of 17
Not looking so good for early January

http://wwwa.accuweather.com/forecast...96150&metric=0

and the snow they mention for thursday looks to be just a few inches.

I'm beginning to get depressed
post #9 of 17
Yes, but Tahoe can get 10 feet in a week if the storms line up. I thought you could ski some place else (a ski area in Colorado?) with a Hevenly pass, you might check this out. If so you could always pay the extra and switch the plane ticket.
Good Luck
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster View Post
Not looking so good for early January

http://wwwa.accuweather.com/forecast...96150&metric=0

and the snow they mention for thursday looks to be just a few inches.
In my experience, Accuweather is not.

NOAA's take is significantly different:
Quote:
NEXT STORM WILL AFFECT THE AREA STARTING ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH
INCREASED WESTERLY FLOW AND LOW PRECIP CHANCES FOR LASSEN AND
NORTHERN WASHOE COUNTIES. GFS...UKMET...AND ECMWF ARE IN DECENT
AGREEMENT WITH THE ENERGY REACHING THE SIERRA ON THURSDAY. INCREASED
WINDS WILL MIX OUT THE NEVADA VALLEYS AND IMPROVE AIR QUALITY. THE
SYSTEM APPEARS IT WILL HAVE A NICE MOISTURE TAP...WITH PRECIPITABLE
WATER VALUES NEAR 1.00 INCH. STORM WILL ALSO HAVE A REINFORCING SHOT
OF COLD AIR THAT WILL KEEP SNOW-WATER RATIOS HIGH ALONG WITH LOW
SNOW LEVELS. HOWEVER THE STORM SHOULD MOVE QUICKLY IN THE
PROGRESSIVE PACIFIC FLOW...SO THE PRECIPITATION DURATION SHOULD BE
12-18 HOURS OR LESS...WITH THE HEAVIEST BURST SOMETIME THURSDAY
AFTERNOON.

WILL HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE ON THIS ONE...BUT VERY PRELIMINARY FORECAST
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS FOR NOW ARE....
THE SIERRA FROM TAHOE SOUTH AND ABOVE 7000 FEET...6-12 INCHES.
THE SIERRA BELOW 7000 FEET INCLUDING LAKE TAHOE..UP TO 6 INCHES.
THE SIERRA IN LASSEN PLUMAS AND SIERRA COUNTIES...4-8 INCHES.
FAR WESTERN NEVADA AND EASTERN LASSEN COUNTY...UP TO 2 INCHES.
Kinda sucks for those of us on the north side, but the south should do okay.
post #11 of 17
I certainly hope so!

My Heavenly pass, plus 5 booklets of Tahoe 6-Paks are starting to gather mold and burn a hole in my pocket!
post #12 of 17
fwiw - I got my info from NOAA but put the accu weather link there for ease of communication...6" of more cold blower Thursday ain't going to do shat...and then after that NOTHING!!

THIS PROGRESSIVE PATTERN CONTINUES WITH THE RIDGE BUILDING BACK
NORTH ALONG THE WEST COAST ON SUNDAY. THIS RIDGE STARTS TO FLATTEN AGAIN ON MONDAY AS A DEEP UPPER LOW AND ASSOCIATED BAROCLINIC ZONE MOVE INTO THE PACIFIC NW. WITH THE STRONG RIDGE IN PLACE EXPECT THE MAIN DYNAMICS AND PRECIPITATION TO STAY NORTH OF THE KREV CWFA SO HAVE KEPT BOTH SUNDAY AND MONDAY DRY. TEMPERATURES WILL BE AROUND 5 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AFTER THE COLD UPPER LOW MOVES THROUGH THE REGION. THEN AS HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS IN TEMPS WILL WARM BACK TO NEAR NORMAL LEVELS SUNDAY AND MONDAY.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've also read reports that have low pressure moving back in after monday..all tahoe needs is low pressure and those 1-2 inch predictions often turn in to 6-8 on the mountain...all we can do is hope...
post #14 of 17
We had a long planned trip from the UK for 14-28 December to South Lake, so we were not looking forward to no snow.

Skied Heavenly on Saturday, good job it was cold or I would have fallen asleep, how boring can three blue runs be? You have to travel between California Base and the gondola if you want to ski all the open areas and they want $68 for it. I'm never that keen on Heavenly unless there's lots of fresh snow and all the woods and canyons are skiable but in these conditions unless you are a begginer/low intermediate there wan't anything of interest.

Skied Kirkwood Sunday after overnight snow. Now we are talking. Lots of open interesing terrain, heaps more snow than Heavenly just watch out for marked/unmarked obstacles. Chairs 6 and 10 open. Decided we will only ski Kirkwood and so bought midweek season passes as its better value than daily tickets if you ski 4 days. Prices go up tomorow so it won't be such a good deal.

High winds closed the top of the mountain today but it was still fun on and off the groomed.

One good storm and it will be great so don't worry, just pray for snow!
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for hte encouragement Bloxy! I might just get that midweek pass! Any ideas on how to get to and from KW? Should I get a rental car?
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bszekely View Post
Thanks for hte encouragement Bloxy! I might just get that midweek pass! Any ideas on how to get to and from KW? Should I get a rental car?
I have a rental car 4x4, if it snows there will be chain controls. The drive to Kirkwood is spectacular. They do run a shuttle bus from South Lake, I don't know if it's running yet check kirkwood.com.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Looks like we may be getting some:

O.NEW.KREV.WS.A.0022.061221T1800Z- 061222T1200Z/ LASSEN-EASTERN PLUMAS- EASTERN SIERRA COUNTIES- GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF... PORTOLA...SUSANVILLE...WESTWOOD... SIERRAVILLE...SOUTH LAKE TAHOE...TAHOE CITY...TRUCKEE... MARKLEEVILLE... GLENBROOK...INCLINE VILLAGE 241 PM PST TUE DEC 19 2006...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RENO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH... WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT.
SNOW WILL BEGIN IN THE LAKE TAHOE REGION NORTH INTO WESTERN LASSEN COUNTY THURSDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL INCREASE IN INTENSITY BY LATE THURSDAY MORNING...WITH PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. SNOW LEVELS WILL FALL BELOW 5000 FEET THURSDAY EVENING.
TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING COULD BE BETWEEN ONE AND TWO FEET IN THE TAHOE BASIN ABOVE 7000 FEET. UP TO A FOOT OF SNOW POSSIBLE BELOW 7000 FEET IN THE TAHOE BASIN AND AREAS OF PLUMAS...SIERRA AND LASSEN COUNTY ABOVE 5000 FEET. ALSO...AREAS OF LASSEN COUNTY BELOW 5000 FEET COULD SEE A FEW INCHES OF SNOWFALL THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY MORNING.
A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY CREATE HAZARDOUS WINTER DRIVING CONDITIONS. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
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