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Seeking North Tahoe advice

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
’ll be in Reno the first weekend of February and looking to hit the slopes on Friday and maybe Saturday (if I can catch a later flight out). I am looking for some suggestions on where to go.

When I was in Reno last yeas, I hit Northstar for two days. I spent most of my time on the Backside and mixed it up with some runs on Pluto. I had a good time there, but I want to see what else is out there. I went mid-week and the crowds were non-existent, which was really nice.

I consider myself an intermediate – advanced skier. While there are very few runs that I won’t a least attempt, I really enjoy doing some big turns on steep groomers (something we don’t have in the mid-Atlantic). It’s the speed junky thing in me.

I like the idea the Mt. Rose is so accessible to downtown Reno. How are the runs there? What about Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, anywhere else?

Thanks for any input!
post #2 of 25
I would try to hit Squaw or Alpine Meadows.

They are both on my "must ski list."
post #3 of 25
I used to live in Reno so I've skied nearly every place out there and Squaw and Alpine are my two favorites in Tahoe. If you want to travel a little further, I would hit up Kirkwood.

If you're short on time for Saturday, I would head to Mt Rose. It's a pretty short drive and a fun little mountain. I haven't been there since they opened up the much needed chutes, but I bet they're sweet.
post #4 of 25
I really like the vibe at Alpine Meadows. With lots of choices in runs that are in your comfort zone and that can also challenge, I think it could be a really good choice. Another one is Sugar Bowl. Very nice broad selection of terrain and a nice central lodge. Rose has great skiing and is the closest to Reno. I think you might find the Chutes to be a bit much, but lots of other stuff to choose from. Squaw I would avoid on weekends, but with so much terrain, it can keep you occupied for a long time. Just remember its hard to meet up with others there because its so big. Squaw is the City, Alpine is the Village. YMMV
post #5 of 25
I think an intermediate/advanced skier who likes steep groomers would be very happy for a day at Mt. Rose--you should have a number of runs to chose from in that category.
post #6 of 25
Squaw's a real "don't miss" locale in my mind. You may not need to hit it on EVERY trip to Tahoe, but it's really one of the premier ski areas in the states -- you won't regret going. That being said, on a busy weekend it's a madhouse. On those days head over to Alpine -- like they say, Squaw Jr.

Haven't hit Rose, but from seeing it on the drive from Reno up to Truckee -- don't let it substitute for the other places. It'll be fantastic for a warm-up day or two though.
post #7 of 25
Another vote for Squaw or Alpine on Friday, Rose on Saturday if you need to catch a flight. It's kind of a no-brainer, actually.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

decision made - I think!

Thanks for all the advice. Squaw Valley and Mt. Rose are it.

I'm going to catch a mid-week pre-dawn flight from the east coast and be in Reno around 10AM, which should put me on Mt. Rose by noon.

On Friday, I'm going to Squaw Valley.

So, if anybody has any parking tips (Slider base at Rose? Squaw??) or knows anyplace I can score discounted lift tickets, the info. would be greatly appreciated.

Recommendations on the best runs to hit early/late would be great.

Thanks again for all the opinions!
post #9 of 25
-edited-
Oops never mind.

Just realized that it says "Bay Area stores", which probably doesn't include Reno for the discount tickets at REI that I was going to recommend, and then you also have to be a member which costs $20 for the lifetime membership, which wipes out the savings if you're only doing this once.
(edit 2: Upon further search, Northstar says the Reno REI has their discount tickets, so maybe they carry discount lift tickets for other resorts too. But it's still not worth it due to the membership fee.)
post #10 of 25

Sugarbowl

Does anyone have a guess what conditions tomorrow will be like? thx
post #11 of 25
corn to mashed potatoes after being little firm first thing in the morning.

temp are suppose to be in the mid-40's
post #12 of 25
just got back from Sugarbowl. It was a decent adventure, but not decent enough to warrant a TR. The conditions did include some corn and crust. I hiked up to Strawberry Fields in the AM, that's where I found a lot of crust -- The chutes would have been pure delight, it a tad softer..probly should have hit that up in the PM...the second half of the day, i found some nice soft terrain and bumps off of Mt Lincoln. The MT seemed crowed but never waited too long in line and didn't have any crazies also run me down. Overall it was a decent ski day and easy to get in hit some traffic on the way back to the Bay Area. (We also hit I80 at 3:30pm to avoid the traffic; which was bad but I've been in worse Sunday Sierra Parking lots, than today...) Had we stayed longer we'd likely still be on the road... Enjoy the Snow :
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdw_ski View Post
Thanks for all the advice. Squaw Valley and Mt. Rose are it.

I'm going to catch a mid-week pre-dawn flight from the east coast and be in Reno around 10AM, which should put me on Mt. Rose by noon.

On Friday, I'm going to Squaw Valley.

So, if anybody has any parking tips (Slider base at Rose? Squaw??) or knows anyplace I can score discounted lift tickets, the info. would be greatly appreciated.

Recommendations on the best runs to hit early/late would be great.

Thanks again for all the opinions!
Not sure where to grab discounted lift tickets.

As for some runs at Squaw, you may be able to find a steep groomer off of Granite Chief. I always enjoyed the groomed runs off of Gold Coast and Siberia lifts.

And at Mt Rose, you'll have time to ski almost the entire mountain. IIRC, they groom most of the frontside and the blue runs on the backside. It's a fun little mountain to rip some groomers. I always enjoyed ripping down Kit Carson.

Enjoy!
post #14 of 25
In addition to prior advice for groomers at Squaw: See if Cornice Bowl below Cornice II chair is groomed and/or try Red Dog. Not so steep, but longish groomer = Squaw Creek (never a lift line, but lift is slow).
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

slight change - how is Squaw on Saturdays?

I now have to ski on Saturday and I have heard horror stories about crowds at Squaw on Saturdays. Is Alpine Meadows a better choice or are the stories exagerated?

Thanks
post #16 of 25
you sound like that's a bad thing, lol. I honestly can't remember which is better on the weekends.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thaar View Post
I now have to ski on Saturday and I have heard horror stories about crowds at Squaw on Saturdays. Is Alpine Meadows a better choice or are the stories exagerated?
Both can get lift lines on a holiday weekends and at both mtns you can minimize the impact by understanding how the crowd tends to move around the mtn.

Alpine
At Alpine the crowd arrives around 10am, so get there early ski Summit or Roundhouse for the 1st hour (9-10am) and than leave for the backside (Sherwood) or Lakeview. If it is a nice sunny day, I would highly recommend going to the backside via the high traverse hike. Views are great and there are plenty of mellow lines. Otherwise, go Scott Chair to Ray's Rut.

The crowd starts showing up at Sherwood around 11am. You probably want to leave Sherwood by 11:30am and have an early lunch. Rest of the day lines tend not to be bad except for a brief period between 1-2pm.

Note: Scott Chair is choke point on the mtn, so does get a line when people are moving around the mtn.

Squaw
I would just try to avoid Shirley on a holiday weekend. Besides that just move to another part of the mtn if you run into a long line. Red Dog and Squaw Creek as mentioned before are good places to avoid the crowds.

Also, an early start a Squaw helps you get a bunch of skiing in before the crowd arrives.


"Have to ski on Saturday"... sooo sad

Have fun...
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all the good advice, I had a great time.

Unfortunetly, do to a travel hiccup, I did not get to ski Mt Rose. I did spend the entire Saturday at Squaw. I got there nice and early, got a parking spot a hundred feet away from the village and caught one of the first funitel cars up the mountain.

I started off making several runs (both groomed and bumped) off of the Gold Coast and Siberian lifts. I worked my way over to KT-22 hitting runs off of Squaw One and Headwall along the way. I got some prime time views of the Jeep King of the Mountain Skier Cross competion from the lifts. After taking a couple of long runs off of KT-22 starting on Women's Downhill and the GS Bowl, I rode the Red Dog up for an easy cruise down. I hit the Far East early enough that it was still hard packed and had a blast ripping some high speed turns with hardly anyone on the trail.

After another run down from Squaw One I took a lunch break and started to work my way over to Granite Chief. WOW, what great runs! I found a variety of runs over there with the bonus of no crowds. I took several runs down through the trees around the meadows - just a beautiful ski area.

I avoided the Shirley (long lines), instead hitting the runs that would take me down to Solitude. I know why they call it solitude, because I was pretty much by myself.

I got a couple more runs in off of KT-22 and Red Dog before the lifts started to close.

I was pleaseantly suprised by the lack of lift lines (only Shirley and Headwall) and the ease of getting in and out of the ski area. The weather was perfect mid 20's early on and in the 50's by the end of the day. The conditions were great - no complaints about the morning hard pack (a couple of locals described the conditions as "icy" - not be east coast standards!) or the occasional corn.

I can't wait to get back and try Alpine Meadows!
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

cheap tickets

One more thing – I found discounted tickets through the hotel concierge desk, most tickets were discounted $8 - $10. I happened to stay at the Silver Legacy, but no one asked if I was a guest.
post #20 of 25
Squaw rules. Never any crowd problems. I actually want people to go there, so they make money and maybe keep ticket prices from going up too much. You will have way more crowd problems at all the other resorts because they have so few lifts.
All the other areas are fine, but not in the same league.
post #21 of 25
Oops, just saw that you actually went. That was a great weekend,no? Spring weather and the snow was still great, and we had 48Straight going on.
I'm glad you enjoyed the area so much - Squaw is one of my favorite places in the world.
For you other travellers, I'd be happy to show you around, if I'm there, so don't hesitate to ask if you're coming from out of town.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by squawbomber View Post
Squaw rules. Never any crowd problems. I actually want people to go there, so they make money and maybe keep ticket prices from going up too much. You will have way more crowd problems at all the other resorts because they have so few lifts.
All the other areas are fine, but not in the same league.
Preserved for humor value.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdw_ski View Post
Thanks to all the good advice, I had a great time.
I can't wait to get back and try Alpine Meadows!
Squaw rules! This is by far the best mountain at North Tahoe, glad you enjoyed it.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post
Squaw rules! This is by far the best mountain at North Tahoe, glad you enjoyed it.

I have been to Squaw once before and I loved it. I am going again next weekend but the forecast for Thursday says high of 49 and I can't imagine it will drop that much by the weekend. Should I even take my skis or should I just take some sun screen and hang out at high camp all weekend?
post #25 of 25
Welcome to Tahoe, where sunscreen and skis go hand in hand. I've had major chinstrap tan lines since last weekend, which featured highs in the 50s. But tomorrow night, we're supposed to get 2-3 feet of snow.
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