or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › TR: Lake Tahoe 3/23 - 3/26
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

TR: Lake Tahoe 3/23 - 3/26

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just got back from a 4 day weekend up in Tahoe. It was pretty warm, hard pack in the morning, slush in the afternoon, was breezy a few days which helped. Still made a good time out of it and went to 2 resorts for the first time. Sadly I missed the gathering at Squaw and Alpine.

Friday: Heavenly

This was actually my first time at Heavenly and I am sad to say I was a little disappointed. Everyone always says how big the resort is, it just doesn't feel that big to me. It also seems unnecessarily spread out, and has a lot less variety than say Alpine in my opinion, maybe it was the poor conditions, who knows). The canyons (Mott & Killibrew) and the bowl would have been fun if there was more snow, but that is really just one area of challenging terrain. There were probably the worst conditions to ski at Heavenly for the first time, but, I just can't see myself making the trip around the lake to ski there (I would probably drive right by to Kirkwood).

Saturday: Squaw Valley

Was warmer than Friday but the winds ended up helping a lot. Riding up the first chair I was amazed at how the coverage had deteriorated since the last time I was there (about a month ago). I was a little skeptical about how the day would go, but as usual Squaw never disappoints and we had an awesome day even with the conditions. The snow was holding up well on Granite Chief so we lapped that a few times and we found some decent stuff off of KT-22.

Sunday: Alpine Meadows

Conditions were very similar to Squaw. We had a blast here too. Hiked all over the place and found good stuff. Coverage on the Sherwood express side was pretty bad and they closed it early, which is a shame because it made getting over to Counterweight Gully, Our Father, and friends impossible. Mountain wasn't crowded at all. I never seem to have a bad time at Squaw or Alpine regardless of the conditions.

Monday: Sugar Bowl

First time at Sugar Bowl. I have heard a lot of people say its small but I didn't think so, especially if you like challenging terrain (there was tons of it!). We lapped the Lincoln and Disney express chairs all day hitting some nice challenging terrain. It was a little hard in the morning but softened up around noon. The mountain was totally empty (I maybe saw 30 different people all day) (yet they were scanning lift tickets at every fricken chair, so annoying). We left just as the storm was coming into the area (great timing as usual ). I am sure this place would be a blast on a powder day.

Pics from all 4 days can be found here.
post #2 of 11
Nice shot of Palisades:
(For those unfamiliar with Squaw, the "Easiest Route" sign refers to the traverse under those infamous cliffs, not the cliffs.)

To bad we didn't run into you at Alpine on Sunday -- we had a good crew together. But good thing that you made your way to Peril -- I think it was holding some of the best skiing of the day, at least without a hike.
post #3 of 11
I skied Tahoe Wednesday 3-21 thru Monday 3-26, here's my TR.
This was a total cheapo trip, traded in a timeshare for a place in S. Lake Tahoe, used frequent flyer miles and had no rental car.
Me- skiing for 30 years, been everywhere around the globe, and skied most of the legendary runs. I'm not a pretty skier, but solid. I can get down anything with speed and power, and I never fall when it counts. I guess a level 8, for those that care.
My Wife- I met her 10 years ago in her 2nd year of skiing. I brought her along quickly and she's a prettier skier than I, not as confident but will ski down anything if I talk her through the tough parts. At times I think she's better than I. She loves to be scared, but has a fear of launching cornices over 5 feet.
Neither one of us ski the groomers if we can help it.
We arrived Tuesday PM too late to ski but with the promise of a little snow. Woke up to an inch or 2 on the ground, but heard Kirkwood got the most, so there we went.
Wednesday--Unfortunately, the Wall chair was on wind hold all day, and so far with a few pockets of exception, everything we skied was dust on crunch, so we went up chair 2 to find out the backside was also on windhold. All we had to work with was chair 6. We eventually found the trees under Paradise bowl. There was a top to bottom pocket of fluffy good powder, enough that we didn't feel the frozen crunch underneath at all, and it was untouched. We kept taking a different line and found fresh the rest of the day. We had a blast skiing there and did laps on that the rest of the day.
Originally Posted by unpossible View Post
Just got back from a 4 day weekend up in Tahoe. It was pretty warm, hard pack in the morning, slush in the afternoon, was breezy a few days which helped. Sadly I missed the gathering at Squaw and Alpine.
Pretty much summed up the rest of the trip, except we made the gathering.
Thursday- We got suckered into a timeshare meeting at 2pm, so we went to Heavenly. It was mostly edgeable hardpack, but found some soft snow by the Boulder and Stagecoach lifts. Mott and Killebrew Canyons just opened when we left at 1pm o we didn't get there.
Friday- the Gathering-Hooked up with Dookie, Cirquerider,WTFH, Nova2, etal. at Kirkwood. With all the getting organized, it was a late start, but we finally got going late morning. I was surprised to here Nova only skiing for 3 years, since his ability was waaaay beyond that. We did a few runs on the front side groomers, and then moved to the backside (chair 4). It was pretty crappy off the groomers (either breakable crust, or heavy sludge). The bears were great people and can really ski well, and ski fast, but they're weren't as adventurous as we wanted to be. We skied over the Saddle and did a chute to the front that I was told was the steepest of my choices, but were bored by it, although it was pleasant as it did have nice snow. Went to the tailgate party CR put together at his car. After lunch, Jeannie and I went exploring on our own. We went up the Wall chair, and traversed across the top of the Wall. The cornice was freakin' huge. Wherever it was less than a 15 foot drop, it had a tricky rock strewn landing. If my wife, and her aforementioned fear of drops, wasn't with me, I'm not sure where even I would have dropped in. So we kept traversing till there was no more traverse, but we saw 2 skiers walking on the rocks behind the cliff at the far end of the Wall. Figuring we'll stop if we couldn't retrace our steps, we followed. They dropped into a chute unsuitable for my Wife, so we continued on. Finally got to the chute we did. it was totally visable on our approach, but it did require a climb in.
This was the entrance to the chute, 15 foot climb down over steep rocks and ice to the snow line.

We then skied down the chute, which opened to a beautiful snowfield, then into the drain. Snowfield had corn, and drain was frozen on one side and sweet soft slabby/corn on the other.
This is looking back up the snowfield.

Saturday-Went to Squaw to hook up with the Bears. Unfortunately, depending on the shuttle, we got there at 9:15 with no breakfast and hungover. So we saw Dookie and told him we'll catch up after breakfast. Went to Shirley Lake chair but didn't find the group, so we went over to Granite Chief. Found some good snow and had a blast skiing good spring conditions through the cliffs and trees there. About 2pm, we wolfed down lunch, and headed over to KT-22. Unfreakinbelievable. 75chute and the rest of the west side of KT-22 was sweeeeet soft bumps. We did 4 runs there and grabbed beers on the run back to our shuttle and home.
Sunday- we found out the downside of not having a car. There was no way to the North Shore beyond $150 cab ride, so we skied Heavenly. Found some soft trees on the Nevada side untill Mott Canyon opened at 10:30. Popped over to Mott and had a blast. Soft snow was easy to find, as were fairly steep chutes. We saw maybe a dozen people skiing it, and went exploring to find some great skiing. Mostly Bills and Y-chute and the area between there and the area to skiers right to the boundary. We did laps on the Mott Canyon chair. occasionally doing the Dipper chair, since Dipper Woods to Mott Canyon was the run of the day. Finished the day with 2 bump runs down the perfect intermediate bumps beside Canyon chair then 2 runs down Gunbarrell.
Monday was a repeat of Sunday at Heavenly. Monday night we left in a snowstorm.
Here's the only other picture we took. It's me, dropping into a chute in Mott Canyon.

SUMMARY- we had a great time, mostly blue skies and spring conditions. coverage was very good at all 3 areas, except for the skier's left side of Mott Canyon. By following the sun and doing some exploring, we found some excellent skiing, with a lot of corn skiing, and a lot of tree skiing.
I was seriously disappointed with Kirkwood. The couple of times I've been there, Kirkwood and Alpine Meadows were always my favorite, with dislike for Squaw's layout and boredom of Heavenly. I guess conditions play a big part. With the low snow coverage, the steeps I remember just weren't there. This trip, I really enjoyed Squaw and Heavenly and never got to Alpine Meadows.
I will never ever travel without a car, unless it's a single resort, and we're staying slopeside.
Wish we got to ski with the Bears some more. I would have liked to ski some more interesting terrain with them.
post #4 of 11

Too bad you didn't ride with me and Scotskier @ KW. We were fairly adventurous and did our best to stay off the groomers.

Ditto for Saturday @ Squaw where I benefited from the tour guiding of X-EastCoaster and his Missus.

the whole bit about not being able to get to Alpine on Sunday is perplexing since any shuttle that would go to Squaw would ride right by Alpine. They must have some sort of deal with Squaw, with kickbacks.

And Sunday @ Alpine, while I never bumped into the Epic contingency, I rode damn hard with my college buddy and we did nothing by hikes to open, untouched bowls.

The REAL question here is why Unpossible didn't hook up with The Gathering?!?!?!?!?!? He/she was basically at the same resorts at the same time!

post #5 of 11
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
IThere was no way to the North Shore beyond $150 cab ride
For future reference, there's always the Tahoe Queen.

And following up on Dookey's comment re passing by Squaw, I believe there's actually a free shuttle between Squaw and Alpine, but I could be wrong.
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
For future reference, there's always the Tahoe Queen.

And following up on Dookey's comment re passing by Squaw, I believe there's actually a free shuttle between Squaw and Alpine, but I could be wrong.
No, you are correct. Alpine will pick us up at Squaw, we spoke to Apine Meadows, but The Squaw shuttle doesn't run on Sunday unless it's a holiday week. Also the Tahoe Queen only does the bus/ski/boatride Tuesday thru Friday.:
Trust me, I checked it all out. Unfortunately, didn't check it out in advance.
post #7 of 11

that's like the Ski Train to Winterpark.

It only runs Saturday and Sunday.

I was planning to ride it on Monday Martin Luthor King Day and found that out the night before!


post #8 of 11
Except the opposite. Why on earth would you only run a shuttle midweek? :
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
The REAL question here is why Unpossible didn't hook up with The Gathering?!?!?!?!?!? He/she was basically at the same resorts at the same time!
I (a he) had a friend in from out of town and we had originally planned to ski at the resorts on different days, when we changed the days I was unable to determine the when/where/why and how of where everyone was meeting at Squaw and Alpine. I did at one time see a group of skiers thinking it was you guys.

Other than that I really don't have a good excuse. Next time for sure. :P
post #10 of 11
I forgot to mention what I thought was a smack to the back of the head eye opener on Gunbarrell. My wife decided to download and I skied it. Years ago, I skied under a friend downloading, and was able to ski 20-30 bumps, then wait for them, ski another 20-30 bumps, wait for them, etc. all the way down the trail. This time, when my wife went to download, I skied down a short way into some trees and figuring I had some time, watered a tree. When I came out onto the trai, I spotted my wife some ways down on the chair. I tried my best to get in front of her, but barely got within 5 chairs when I ran out of steam. I stopped for a second, then continued, but couldn't catch up to her chair!!!!:
I wasn't skiing that badly, am I just getting that old? am I not skiing as fast as I did? When I got to the bottom, I asked someone who looked like they would know, "How long has this been a high speed lift?" His answer made me sigh a breath of relief. "about 3 years." Whew!!!
post #11 of 11
Good pics 2-turn, it was fun visiting with you all on Friday at Kirkwood. I was pleased you finally got into some of the paths less taken terrain. Meeting up with you all was a good ice breaker for this newbie, now when I check out epicski I know I've got some friends to visit with. Say hi to the girls for me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Trip Reports
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › TR: Lake Tahoe 3/23 - 3/26