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NOW I have a dilemma...Whistler or Tahoe 4/7/07?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Before the season my 9 YO daughter and I were planning on Lake Tahoe for her spring break week. Nice to be able to hit 4-5 different mountains in five days. Last month booked airfare to Seattle instead since Tahoe was bare and Whistler was epic. Well Whistler is still epic but Tahoe has joined the party.

Never skied at either and the reason I chose Tahoe before the season began was because its easier to get to (esp with 9 yo in tow) and I liked the choice of a few different mountains to try although I would imagine NOT getting bored with 5 days of W/BC! It would cost me $50 to change plane tix to Reno from Seattle though.

Any thoughts here on more reliable conditions in early April? The Tahoe resorts (Kirkwood, Heav, Squaw) all now have bigger bases than W/BC and higher elevations although W/BC has latitude and a few glaciers on their side!!!

Also any weather freaks know who el nino typically favors late winter/early spring or what the long-range models are saying? I know Tahoe is getting hammered now but I vividly remember Jan/early Feb when they were getting nada. I am worried about W/BC notorious rainy weather although I know in the Alpine that rarely happens. I just wonder if it is worth it to switch at this late date just because Tahoe had a great two weeks.

I do tend to agonize over these decisions so any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
post #2 of 19
The Tahoe areas have gotten 4-5 feet of snow in the past 48hrs all of which passed over us in the SF Bay area as rain. And it is still raining--and hence snowing. March and early April conditions should be epic.
post #3 of 19
Hmm.. tough call... Trying to predict the weather so far ahead is pretty difficult. I can't speak for Tahoe, but I do know that traditionally Whistler gets some of it's biggest dumps in March. I usually ski up to the end of April in Whistler & generally April is good month with lots of sun & no crowds. As far as terrain goes, you definitely will not exhaust your possibilities at Whistler in a 5 day trip.
post #4 of 19
I've skied both this year and suggest you stick with whistler. It has a incredible base and is still getting more snow as well. As wizard said, march is usually a big snow month and April is usually pretty good.

What we've been getting in Tahoe (and I am in SLT at the moment) is epic but just bringing levels to more like they would be normally. (at least that is what i am told by locals - I am a newbie here)
post #5 of 19
how early in april? the kirkwood freeskiing event is the first few days and is reason enough to go to tahoe. Those events are a blast to watch. Put your 9yo in your lap, pop a corona, and teach how ridiculous skiing can get. then pray your 9yo never wants to compete.
post #6 of 19
It's spring skiing. Snow's generally not an issue, except for adequate base (which both will probably have - Whistler for sure). Regardless, you're not likely to be surfing fresh.

Just relax and go with whatever's easy. It's all sun, soft snow and easy turns.
post #7 of 19
I would have said WB for sure since Tahoe hasn't had a banner season, but now that they are getting hammered, I'd reconsider. I've skied WB many years in April and May and I have had few days I'd describe as spring skiing. I can remember lots of days with slushy snow, but very few where I ever saw the sun. Most of my "spring" days at WB have been spent in the fog...

If Tahoe is back in the game, its a no brainer. Go there for the most likely chance of seeing sun. Better yet, wait until the last minute & don't change your ticket until you can get a reasonable weather forecast.
post #8 of 19
well! as other posters have said - there is no way to know. snow conditions are a crapshoot.

But don't worry about being bored in W/B after 5 days. you won't. if that's your only reason for changing - don't.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. The main reason to change is that Tahoe is a shorter drive from the airport (flying into Reno vs. Seattle). Vancouver is not an option unfortunately. Also I think the weather would be better and snow conditions better in Tahoe than Whistler that time of year though I may be incorrect on that. Especially with the recent and forthcoming Tahoe dumps. Also I can get REALLY cheap lodging in South Lake Tahoe. And my lodging in W/BC fell through though I do have some backups.

Unfotunately because I am using air award points I cannot wait until the last minute to book airfare. So I probably need to make a final decision in the next week or so.

So far seems the most feel W/BC is a better option. Decisions...decisions....
post #10 of 19
I'm telling ya, carve yourself a bench in the coral below the Cirque at Kirkwood and sit down for a most impressive event. Few spectator-sports are as exciting as watching the huckers.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
I'm telling ya, carve yourself a bench in the coral below the Cirque at Kirkwood and sit down for a most impressive event. Few spectator-sports are as exciting as watching the huckers.
If we decide on Tahoe, Kirkwood would be on our list to hit. What date(s) is the competition?
post #12 of 19
March 29th - april 1st. bring your camera and cover you kid's eyes.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
March 29th - april 1st. bring your camera and cover you kid's eyes.
I won't be there until the 7th. Shame I will miss it.

On another note anyone have any good sites for a long range West coast weather forecast? Obviously interested in the BC and Tahoe regions specifically.

Thanks.
post #14 of 19
Look at it another way.........what would your 9 year old prefer? What does she want to get out of the trip?

I have been to Tahoe and Whistler, on various occasions, in April. Based on that experience the weather almost certainly will be better in Tahoe. Sunny days, spring conditions, crunchy first thing and a bit soft after lunch........unless you hit a storm.

Whistler may be sunny but more likely will be overcast, possibly with rain in the village and snow higher up. Over the 5 days though you may get 5 different weather patterns. We were there in mid April last year and we had everything from snow to rain to fog to bluebird days in an 8 day spell.

You could go for either and likely have a blast in terms of the snow/conditions, so I would look at some of the other issues. A big one in my book would be the proximity of Reno to the Tahoe resorts against the less proximate Seattle to Whistler. The trip up and back may be a bit of an hassle with a 9 year old...she will survive it, she may not enjoy it (though the drive from Vancouver to Whistler is especially scenic so she just might. My kids though didnt seem to get as excited by the scenery as I did !)
post #15 of 19
www.snow-forecast.com is highly accurate for my region. But it only goes a week ahead, as most forecasts do.
post #16 of 19
I believe that no one can forecast weather that far out.

But typical spring conditions are very predictable in terms of base depths, altitude and exposure. I would still pick the Whistler alpine over most Tahoe areas for second week of April. But I would pick Mammoth over either.

In think this season I would still go for Whistler. But if you come to California that late, I strongly recommend you spend at least half the time at Mammoth, probably 3 days Mammoth, 2 days staying in Carson City or South Shore skiing one each at Heavenly and Kirkwood, which are the 2 highest Tahoe areas.
post #17 of 19
For what it's worth, it looks like we'll be getting over 2 feet of fresh by the end of this week. As far as accommodations go, it will be really easy to find them for that week. I'd still suggest the Aspens as a good choice over the Creekside area. You'll appreciate the lower elevations and not having to take a couple of nights to acclimatize either. I'm always available mornings for a free tour if you'd like.
http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ove...pcpn_slp+///12
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post
Before the season my 9 YO daughter and I were planning on Lake Tahoe for her spring break week. Nice to be able to hit 4-5 different mountains in five days. Last month booked airfare to Seattle instead since Tahoe was bare and Whistler was epic. Well Whistler is still epic but Tahoe has joined the party.

Never skied at either and the reason I chose Tahoe before the season began was because its easier to get to (esp with 9 yo in tow) and I liked the choice of a few different mountains to try although I would imagine NOT getting bored with 5 days of W/BC! It would cost me $50 to change plane tix to Reno from Seattle though.

Any thoughts here on more reliable conditions in early April? The Tahoe resorts (Kirkwood, Heav, Squaw) all now have bigger bases than W/BC and higher elevations although W/BC has latitude and a few glaciers on their side!!!

Also any weather freaks know who el nino typically favors late winter/early spring or what the long-range models are saying? I know Tahoe is getting hammered now but I vividly remember Jan/early Feb when they were getting nada. I am worried about W/BC notorious rainy weather although I know in the Alpine that rarely happens. I just wonder if it is worth it to switch at this late date just because Tahoe had a great two weeks.

I do tend to agonize over these decisions so any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
I'm not a big believer in them, but I looked, and the "enso" long range weather models (based on water temperatures in the equatorial pacific etc.) are predicting warmer temperatures for the CA sierra compared to british columbia, and "equal chance" (of normal, above normal, or below normal, precip) in both western canada and CA sierra. I'm looking at maps at the "climate prediction center" website:

www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
post #19 of 19
I've lived in Seattle and now live in Tahoe, so ...

Whistler, because of the vertical, gives you changeable conditions top to bottom and the bottom may not be skiable that time of year. The drive from Seattle isn't too bad that time of year and you could always spend a day in Vacouver

Tahoe gives you perfect weather (either storming or bluebird) and choices, although not as many choices as you might think if you're based in South Lake Tahoe - Sierra, Heavenly, and arguably Kirkwood (almost an hour away). Then again you could take the paddle steamer to Squaw or drive round the lake to any of the North Shore resorts. Spring in Tahoe is special especially on the weekends at Alpine Meadows.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › NOW I have a dilemma...Whistler or Tahoe 4/7/07?