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Heavenly 1.27 / Alpine Meadows 1.28

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I loaded up the Tacoma and headed up to Tahoe early Saturday morning. Okay, not too early as I didn't get on the road until 5:45.

I rolled into the Nevada side of Heavenly around 9:30, took my time suiting up, stashing the extra skis in the cab and then hit the hill on my No Ka Oi's around 10:15.

For a Sunny Saturday Heavenly was relatively empty. Then again due to the conditions, Tahoe has been pretty sparse with people the past month. The upside is that there were virtually no lift lines, which is a rarity/Godsend for Heavenly. The downside was that since so little terrain is open, what few people that were on the mountain were all on the same runs.

Did a couple laps on Olympic then headed to Cali to check out the runs by the Gondola. Several were closed due to lack of snow. Again, the ones that were open became traffic jams within an hour (around 11ish), so I headed back to Nevada and wrapped up my day cranking down Olympic to Stagecoach then riding the two lifts back to the top and repeating. I quite around 2, mostly out of boredom from riding solo and lack of terrain to keep me interested.

Drove around the lake taking 89 (west side of the lake), which in a good year would be shut due to snow. Drove by Homewood, which suprisingly had the front run by the old main lodge open and packed with snow (they must be blowing it at night as I've never seen the base covered, even on good years). Place was hopping with folks.

Slipped into Tahoe City and dropped my Mantras and Karmas off at Porter's for a serious tune (Karmas have more or less become rock skis, but got the gouges filled).

From there I headed to our cabin in Truckee and connected with my pops, who had skied Homewood on Friday and Sugarbowl that day. Called my college roomie Trevor to see about connecting at Alpine on Sunday and then had dinner at Cottonwood with pops.

Sunday I got up leisurely. My pops split back for the Bay Area, making a stop at Sierra Jim's shop to pick Jim's brain about B2's and B3's (he's about to buy some new skis).

Me, I called my buddy Trevor again, but freakin' Cingular doesn't work for sh@t in Tahoe (time for a class action suit against their "fewest dropped calls" adverts!), geared up and headed to Alpine. Tossed out a $42 Tahoe 6-Pack ticket and hit the slopes around 10.

Rode Roundhouse up and hit one of the groomers. Then took the summit chair up and traversed over to the Alpine Bowl chair and rode the sparse trees down to the cliff area before cutting back to Alpine Bowl. Rode the AB chair 3 times and repeated, working on the icy bumps and trees trying to muscle my No Ka Oi's early in the morning. Had a little trouble getting them into the groove (they're my stiffest of my quiver and usually take me a day or two to re-locate the sweet spot, not to mention I need to drive the tips a bit more than either my Karmas or Mantras).

Around the 6th or 7th run I headed over to Wolverine Bowl, traversed on some slick ice and cut down. Side of the bowl was hard, hard, hard. Marblized with frozen death cookies/corrugated terrain. Cherry picked my way down and headed back to Alpine Bowl.

Rode Sunspot and it was the same frozen, corrugated slab as Wolverine, but a little softer. From there I went down Yellow/Red which was a mogul minefield and again cherry picked my way through. Whipped on over to Scott chair and rode that up and hit a few of the open runs on the Lakeview side of the resort. By now the hardpack groomers had softened up a bit and if you stayed to the side you got what I call "faux fresh" from all the spit up and spray from folks skiing the middle of the run.

Did a lap over there and then hit Yellow again to work the moguls. From there returned to Sunspot, which by now had gotten a wee bit of sun and had had a few more folks running down it, so it was softened up a bit. Did two runs there and then hit the moguls on Yellow again before a final lap off of Alpine chair. By this time I'd gotten in the groove, locked into the sweet spot of the skis and was having a grand old time. In hindsight, I should kept riding, but was getting bored skiing solo, so I packed it in and headed to TC to pick up my Mantras and Karmas and drop off the No Ka's for a tune.

After that headed back to the cabin where I showered, relaxed, and eventually fell asleep. Got up this morning and headed back to the City, smacking into Sacto traffic around 8 (which sucked). Other'n that no freeway snafus.

Recently I went to Telluride and commented that they're conditions were as bad as ours. I'm not so sure about that now. Then again they've got a few 1,000 feet of vertical on most of the resorts I ride in Tahoe.

Overall, it’s what I have now dubbed Winter Spring conditions. What this means is that the groomers and what off-piste is open is hardpack and borderline icy in the morning. Depending on the weather, it usually gets softened up by around 1ish, making for crisp Spring like conditions on most runs.


I found the groomers at both Heavenly and Alpine were decent. They were hard, borderline icy, but enough people had carved off the top layers of “marble” and kicked some soft windblown side effects to the curb of the runs. If you stuck to the edges you got faux fresh.

Not great conditions by a long shot, but decent enough for 4 hours of hard riding by yourself.

Also the crowds are thin by normal standards. But if you factor in how much of each mountain is closed, that's still a lot of folks concentrated on just a few runs. Still, being able to zoom down and more or less get right back on the lift has its merits.
post #2 of 5
Sounds like a nice weekend considering the lack of snow. I went to Kirkwood Saturday and never waited in a lift line. conditions are fine on the groomed runs, but you clearly could lose some base off-piste. We even had some fairly heavy snow showers in the afternoon that softened things up and left a nice new (thin) layer.


Dookey...buy a camera.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Dang!

That's where that impending brood of dark clouds got to!

Alpine was overcast in the morning and looked like it was going to dump (or rain) but the wind blew the clouds away rather quickly and we ended up with blue skis by 1:45.
post #4 of 5
Nice report Dookey.....I just returned from a similar 3 day weekend in Tahoe (my first time there). We skied Homewood on Sunday, Alpine on Monday and Diamond Peak on Tuesday.
No crowds/lines anywhere and although it was mostly man-made, the snow wasn't too bad, especially what warmed up a bit.
And of course the views.... :-)

ps: is it just me or does Alpine Meadows seem just like a lower elevation cross between A-Basin and Loveland????
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
hmm, i've only ridden Loveland once, a few weeks ago. but I could see the comparison.

i kinda liken AM to a smaller, lower elevation Alta.
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