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Cailfornians and snowpacked roads, an evil mix

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sunday, 2/17/02, second day of a three day weekend, 8" of new snow and Californians who don't understand.

It was supposed to be a blackout day on my Mt Rose pass so I made plans to leave early(7:30 am) and commute to Alpine Meadows, report said 6-8 inches of new snow. My mode of transportation choices were the company car, free gas, front wheel drive or the trusty '91 Subaru Legacy AWD. Road report said chains or snows on 89 so I figured the front wheel drive would not make it up the Alpine access road w/o chains, I refuse to use chains so into the Suby we went.

Upon arrival at the Alpine access road traffic was at a crawl. Gee, lo and behold the road was icy and slick. Front wheel drive
american and japanese cars sans chains stopped in the middle of the road chaining up, rear wheel drive sport utes spinning away and front wheel drive vans with chains on the rear wheels. Are city folk really that dumb? We finally picked our way through the maze, should have been there by 8:30 but didn't arrive until 9:30 due to driver ignorance. Many people were bitching to Alpine personnel who finally sent someone to the turn-off to insure that chains or 4WD were on all vehicles.

Crowds were non-existant all day and the riding was fabulous, left at 3:45 so I wouldn't have to deal with the ignorance again. Home in 55 minutes. CHP should slap each person who blocked the road with a minimum $500 fine. This is not the first time I've encountered this phenomenon and I'm sure it won't be the last.
post #2 of 23
yeh I saw some ridiculous driving at Tahoe on Sunday. We passed some idiots trying to drive over a sheet of ice, downhill, nice 360s guys ! maybe nexttime they'll stop and figure out why everyone else was crawling down the edge of the road.

I spoke to some staff at Alpine on Sun who had the car park full sign up....car park was no way near full they just wanted to stop the morons driving up there unprepared.
post #3 of 23

Mt Rose actually withdrew on the black out that weekend and let all passholders ski. I went on Saturday and it was terrible. Appearently lightning had struck the 6-pack over night so they didnt have it running all morning. That meant no access to the east bowl if you parked on the main side lot. Basically you had to choose between a crowded slow east bowl (zephyr) chair or a crowded slow lakeview chair to get up the mountain. Mt. Rose really needs another high speed detachable lift on the East side. Or as the hip locals call it...Slide Side.
post #4 of 23
Alpine management probably could have done a better job of coordinating with the CHP and/or Caltrans to set up a checkpoint before people turned off 89. Hello, it was/is a holiday weekend!

It appears that if 80 is open without restrictions, many people just assume the secondary roads will be clear and dry.

The roads were a sheet on Sunday morning! I locked my center differential, and kept my right tires in the snow on the edge of the road to try to get some traction coming out of my subdivision Saturday AM. I think that pissed off the Subaru coming down the hill behind me, who felt compelled to pass me on a blind curve and almost nailed the pickup coming around the corner! Somehow, I did not feel compelled to whip out my tow strap and pull him out of the snowbank he landed in! :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 19, 2002 07:17 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Serenity ]</font>
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

I was aware of the blackout removal however I already had Alpine plans for Sunday. The beauty of Mt Rose is that I showed up at the crack o'noon parked in my usual second row spot on the Slide side (not a hip local but someone who has 19 years on that hill)and when I got up to the top of Zephyr, the six-pack had just opened, first tracks in 2-3 inches of fluff on Upper Ramseys then off to the trees for more untracked, I love it when locals don't know their blackout days were lifted.

And I think a high speed lift on the Slide side is not needed. Keeps the crowds down. Why does anyone park on the Rose side?
post #6 of 23
i was there too. total disaster. my favorites were definately the front wheel drive vans with chains on the rear tires. alpine was great sunday, but kirkwood was epic today. many runs of knee to thigh deep. yum
post #7 of 23
If y'all think that's bad, wait till us folks from Augusta, GA fly into town this Thursday. God forbid if you guys get dumped on again. Actually, pray for snow. We don't get to see much of it around here and I need practice putting on snow chains. I think I could figure out the drive axle on the rental though.

What's the forcast and snow conditions looking like for this weekend through the following week?
Heavenly - Friday (never been and I need some blue cruisers)
Sugar - Saturday
Alpine - Sunday
Squaw - Monday and Tuesday
post #8 of 23
Rusty -

The forecast is for 12 to 18 inches of new snow in the next 24 hours! The storm door is definately open!

Have you rented a 4 wheel drive? Where are you staying...as Heavenly is kind of a long haul if you are staying on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.
post #9 of 23
California is not the only place with problems like that. I've seen plenty of idiots here in Utah as well. As you drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta or Snowbird, we must pass multiple signs and flashers that activate when the chain law is in effect. There is also a radio broadcast. Now the LCC and BCC roads don't go anywhere except to ski resorts, so you would think people would be prepaired, but no! Idiots actually wait in line to get up the road without chains/4x4! Which in turn makes the line longer! Now the Highway Patrol is standing at the base of the canyon turning people around that didn't bother reading the flashing signs that have been activated for miles! Thus keeping me away from the ski areas for longer! Ugh...! Deep Breaths...
post #10 of 23
Reminds me of a time years back, coming back form Big Bear in S CA snowing hard, chains required. A guy in a brand new Mercedes spun out and blocked both lanes. He then decided to put on chains, still blocking both lanes. A CHP pulled up and through the loudspeaker "MOVE YOUR CAR” the guy said something about putting on the chains, again "MOVE YOUR CAR OR I WILL” he had a cow pusher on the front his car. The CHP started to move slowly towards the Mercedes. The driver, seeing that he was serious, jumped up got in his car and punched it. Right into the ditch.
post #11 of 23

I am glad to see that it's snowing again! I'm psyched! Leave some great snow for us!

I requested a 4X4 from Budget but I am on a waiting list. So maybe we'll get lucky. If not, we'll mess with the chains if we get snow.

We are staying in Reno. I've done it before and it proves to be a good base (i.e cheap lodging... more money to lose in the casinos). Squaw is less than an hour and I have gotten to Kirkwood in less than 90 minutes on clear roads. We are on a ski vacation so the drives won't be that big of a deal. Besides, if we want snow around here, it takes us four hours to get to North Carolina.

Se you on the slopes!
post #12 of 23
IMHO, mixing Californians with anything is a bad idea. Mixing Southern Californians with anything is even worse. When it comes to looking at California, I agree with Scott Kannberg of Pavement in "two states" (from Slanted & Enchanted) -

two states
we want two states
north and south
two states

40 million daggers (4x)

two states
we want two states
there's no culture
there's no spines

40 million daggers (4x)

OR with Steve Malkmus of Pavement in "Unfair" (off of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain)

down to Santa Rosa
and over the Bay
across the grapevine
into LA
we got desert and we got trees
we got the Hills of Beverly
let's burn the Hills of Beverly

with your credit card in the air
swinging nachos like you
just don't care
this is the
slow sick sucking part of me
this is the
slow sick sucking part of me
and when I suck
you kiss it downward

to the top of the Shasta gulch
to the bottom of the Tahoe lake
man-made deltas
and concrete rivers
the South takes
what the North delivers
if we don't hack off
and use your leg

in the foothills
of my mind
drink enduro
say goodnight
to the last psychedelic band
from the Sacto-Northern cow
some Sacto-Northern cow

you're the neighbors
and I don't need favors
post #13 of 23
Question for all of you Tahoe/Reno folks.

Where do the locals get there gear? Best Deals? North Shore and South Shore?

How about performance rentals and or demos? Daves?

I'm looking to demo some of the new equipment even though I'll be bringing my 15 year old 200cm K2 5500s.

post #14 of 23
Well I went up to Kirkwood yesterday. About a half mile before the chain control I saw 3 4X4's in the snow. Amazing!!!!
post #15 of 23
Very good place for rentals in the south shore/stateline area is Mountain Mikes. Tiny shop, Right by the gondola, and cheapest demo skis in the area. (coooool new bandits & salomons!! [img]smile.gif[/img]


My favorite shop in north shore is "the backcountry" It's in Tahoe City behind the naughty dawg. Don't know about prices though.
Nice folk there.

the backcountry
post #16 of 23
I work at Tahoe Bike & Ski, Kings Beach, North Shore. We've got Rossi XXs & Salomon X-Screams for $24 (full package w/boots & poles) and a couple pair of the Pilots for $28. Come say Hi!

post #17 of 23
Ze trick on poder days is to vake up an hour earlier. I hef left for Kirkvood at 7am, und got zere at 8. I vas ze only one on ze road at zat time unt got 2+ feet of fresh ze entire day.

On ze vay home I honk my horn, roll my vindows down, point und laugh at all idiot Bay Area gapers who spun out, slammed into ditch or crash into roadside barrier....stupid fokkers! stay home gapers!
post #18 of 23
I recall talking my way out of a few tickets in the Sierra when I had Wyoming plates on my truck... "oh, sorry sir, everyone drives 70 in Wyoming"

post #19 of 23
Irulan, The CHP in the Eastern Sierra's can be very forgiving depending on the circumstances. An example of this is when the weather is bad or very bad. The ChiPers are simply unable to deal with every infraction they see. Rather than spend time writing citations, they pull over people and issue warnings in the hope that those individuals will cease driving like knuckleheads, at least until they get out of the snow/ice zones. The goal is to prevent potential accidents which is a huge drain on their resources rather than generate revenue through fines.
post #20 of 23
The goal is to prevent potential accidents which is a huge drain on their resources rather than generate revenue through fines.

Highway Cops not raising revenue??? Actually concerned with highway safety??? I'm speechless :
post #21 of 23
Yeah, you'd think they're public servants or something.
post #22 of 23
post #23 of 23
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Irulan:
I recall talking my way out of a few tickets in the Sierra when I had Wyoming plates on my truck... "oh, sorry sir, everyone drives 70 in Wyoming"


That's when their NOT in a hurry!
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