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Kirkwood on 12/30 (report)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Did a daytrip to Kirkwood today. I was foolishly encouraged by the reports of the snow brought in by the previous storm and by people saying that Kirkwood has the best snow in Tahoe. That's probably true given all the people that flooded the place, but the conditions were less than ideal to say the least.

The mountain now is a rock-garden central, the coverage is very thin at best. I was catching rocks on almost every run and despite being extra careful I got a couple of dings in my bases.

The Wall was icy and very rocky- not a good combination. I could not believe how many rocks are visible on the slope that usually has a monotone white color. The chair 6 main run was all scraped off and also quite rocky (I didn't even dare to ski it for fear of completely trashing my skis by the time I get to the bottom). The best snow was to the right of the chair 10, upper Monte Wolf, and in the vicinity of the Palisades bowl. It was bumpy, but still soft; however even there rocks were just under the snow quite close to the surface (and most of them on the downhill side of the bumps...)

Today it seemed like everyone in the driving distance decided to ski at Kirkwood, the mountain was extremely crowded and when the lifties turned off the chair 6 at 2pm (due to alleged engine overheating), it became even worse: huge lines on all lifts except the Wall (see above for the explanationwhy it was not too popular).

Kirkwood today was an exercise in frustration- I was always on alert trying not to blow an edge on the next rock and had to change my line constantly at the last moment: it just does not make for pleasant skiing. And, yes, Kirkwood charged me $70 for the privilege of practicing rock avoidance maneuvers and damaging my skis in the process.

The bottom line- Tahoe desperately needs a few feet of new snow to become a decent place to ski. Right now- save your money and stay home until the new storms come in.

A.

P.S. The scary thing was that everyone was saying how these conditions were a lot better than Heavenly and Northstar. There was no word about Squaw, but I doubt that it is any different.
post #2 of 16
sheesh...twist the knife why don't you
post #3 of 16
It's probably better than heavenly in the sense that they have some difficult terrain open..but Heavenly has tons of groomers and the face open with no rock problems...I'm heading out there next week...looking forward to some nice weather, groomers, terrain park, and if it snows..great..otherwise we'll spend more time at the clubs at night!
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster View Post
sheesh...twist the knife why don't you
No, just an honest attempt to save you some lift tix' $ and some base repair costs. Just spent $50 today to fix my bases...

A.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post
No, just an honest attempt to save you some lift tix' $ and some base repair costs. Just spent $50 today to fix my bases...

A.
I definitely appreciate the warning. I was thinking of buying some KW lift tix online but now I'm goign to stick to heavenly unless there is another serious dump...
post #6 of 16
yikes, i hope it starts dumping soon. i just booked my trip to tahoe for feb.24-march 4, i had alot of fun last year around that time and conditions were great.
post #7 of 16

so what is kirkwood to do?

is it their fault conditions are less than ideal? do you think they like it? why do you feel
Quote:
And, yes, Kirkwood charged me $70 for the privilege of practicing rock avoidance maneuvers and damaging my skis in the process.
is wrong? should they charge you less for the same overhead costs to run the resort when the snow isn't ideal? and how do they stay in business that way? i'm sorry you didn't experience ideal conditions but, based on your report, i fail to see any liability on kirkwood's part.
post #8 of 16
I dont think he feel's that the resort is liable... he is just making the point that currently, Kirkwood sucks, and he is warning everyone to be careful if they decide to go.

I appreciate the info, alexzn, thank you. I had a trip out to Heavenly for the end of the month, but I am thinking more and more that I will go to Colorado instead.
post #9 of 16
Unfortunately for those of us that despise groomers Kirkwood is the only viable option right now.

This is why every respectable skier owns a pair rock skis.
post #10 of 16
Every respectable skier also makes the most out of whatever conditions are provided and doesn't despise any good terrain. I'll take nice fresh groomers at heavenly over rock infested bowls at kirkwood anyday. Why would I choose picking down a mogully rock bowl when I can bomb down quality groomers, practice riding switch, hit the terrain park, and have a fullfilling day?
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by volball View Post
is it their fault conditions are less than ideal? do you think they like it? why do you feel is wrong? should they charge you less for the same overhead costs to run the resort when the snow isn't ideal? and how do they stay in business that way? i'm sorry you didn't experience ideal conditions but, based on your report, i fail to see any liability on kirkwood's part.
what kind of an argument is that? if I go to a movie and the speakers fail - should the cinema be charging the full ticket price??

who cares how much it costs them to run the operation. if you are charging me the full holiday ticket price - you better have all lifts open and all runs open. i understand weather is unpredicatable. but don't expect the customer to pay full price - if you are not offering full service.

else the customer is going to walk. I had the same experience at sugarbowl and squaw last week. i am not going back there again to pay full price - until they get a few more feet.
post #12 of 16

half empty or half full?

It's obvious that alexzn had a horrible day at Kirkwood and he probably should have stayed home.

But I've been up here at Kirkwood since December 26th and I've skiied every day. Yep, there are rocks but I certainly wouldn't call it a rock garden. It's been great skiing, early season skiing. We need some more snow, but the lack of snow isn't going to stop me from skiing.

I think it is what you make it, some of us value getting out and skiing any which way we can and others would rather stay home, save their money and protect their skis for better days.

Pick your poison.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxbert View Post
I dont think he feel's that the resort is liable... he is just making the point that currently, Kirkwood sucks, and he is warning everyone to be careful if they decide to go.

I appreciate the info, alexzn, thank you. I had a trip out to Heavenly for the end of the month, but I am thinking more and more that I will go to Colorado instead.

Yeah its all Kirkwoods fault they dont have snow I think people should just come onto all the internet ski web sites and talk crap about Kirkwood and how much it sucks.

If you do 50 bucks of damage to your bases then its your fault. Not the ski areas. Maybe the complaining whiner should try a new sport like knitting or mumblety peg. No wait hey I have a better idea we should find out who is alexzn and get him banned from all the ski areas in the USA and Canada. Its clear he wont ever be satisfied unless everythings perfect. Either that or we could start the first Whiny Gaper Awards and call the award statue The Alexzn.
post #14 of 16

Kirkwood

Lines and high ticket prices on a sunday during the busiest ski/snowboard week of the year? YA THINK?!! Should this be a suprise?

I went to KW yesterdy, (had a 2-1 coupon). Lines were not horrible, but did stack up a little after wind shut down backside and summit chairs. Snow coverage could be better but you just gotta find something fun or something to work on and make the best of it. I hit the gully off of chair 2, some nice snow after a short hike(yes ther were rocks, but scout your lines), some jumps and no lift line in the AM.

KW needs about 3-4 feet of snow to make everything accessable for bomber fearless runs. Hopefully soon.
post #15 of 16

pretty lame arguments here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty View Post
what kind of an argument is that? if I go to a movie and the speakers fail - should the cinema be charging the full ticket price??

who cares how much it costs them to run the operation. if you are charging me the full holiday ticket price - you better have all lifts open and all runs open. i understand weather is unpredicatable. but don't expect the customer to pay full price - if you are not offering full service.

else the customer is going to walk. I had the same experience at sugarbowl and squaw last week. i am not going back there again to pay full price - until they get a few more feet.
kirkwood cant make it snow. the cinema does control the operation of speakers

you should care how much it costs. if people like you DONT support the resorts then they go out of business. would that make you happier? and when your fixed expenses are what they are for ski resorts then you charge full price whenever you can. during the holiday season they can.

then dont ski. i'm sure there will be more than 1 or 2 folks who dont miss your cheery demeanor...
post #16 of 16
have to say I think this report is more or less accurate, but beauty is in the eye. I skiied kw the 23rd-the 27th and overall it was solid skiing and a great time. Now granted I know the resort real well and I did a bunch of damage to my skis...but if you include the 2 foot powder day on the 27th, this was great skiing. On the 24th (i think) they opened the backside for the first time and it was pretty good.
Now its true that if you're anal about your skis (personally I don't care too much about a few scratches on my base) or if you're looking for midwinter conditions, you should wait.
There's a big storm coming and i guarantee you some A+ skiing if you get there early the day after. Its not midwinter conditions yet, but its still a really good time. And a helluva lot better than not skiing.
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