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Like Tahoe, I need advice ?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi I am evaluating going to LT from SouthAmerica next March for my first time... or repeating Utah for my third.

Some questions:

If you were to go to Tahoe for like 7/8 days, would you split some days skiing the north mountains and then would you move south to ski the other ones ?

I like to stay in cheap site without ski resort (for instance when I go to Colorado I stay at Frisco instead of Breckenridge) and drive every day to a different slope to get to know as much places as I can. Where would that cheap place be which may have the most skiing moutnains within an hour of driving ?

Are the roads drivable in a normal car even if it is snowing ?

Lastly, is the snow that much worse than Colorado and Utah or is it fine ? What about March season, still good ?

Thanks a lot !!
post #2 of 25
Tahoe range, my home mnts. If you want to drive in the winter in the tahoe area you must have chains or a 4wd,awd. You could ski all of those days either in the north or the south. You may be able to drive from south shore to the north resorts depending on road and weather conditions but that takes a bit of time 1-2 hrs depending. My advice would be to choose which ski areas you really want to ski then book a room on that side of the lake. March is usually a good time for snow, and the last suggestion, PRAY to the snow gods often.
post #3 of 25
"Lastly, is the snow that much worse than Colorado and Utah or is it fine ?"

It's just fine, but wetter so heavier than Colorado or Utah.
post #4 of 25
It really depends on where the storms hit. Tahoe in an average to above average year has some of the best snow in the country. Last year in March you wouldn't have had any worries about 4WD.

Tahoe sometimes has fantastic March snow. The Maritime snow makes for a deep stable snowpack that covers steep features that generally can't be skied in the mid-continent. Snow lasts well into the summer (again not this year). Anyway, comes January or February, you can start to refine where to go based on the storm pattern. If Tahoe is having an epic year, come here. If the snow is on the Pacific Northwest and Rockies, go there. Lots of options for reasonable lodging, but I'd say Utah has to be one of the least expensive, given you can stay in Salt Lake or Midvale and travel 20 to 30 minutes. Most places within 30 mintues of Tahoe are a bit more money.
post #5 of 25

Trip West

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentineskier View Post
Hi I am evaluating going to LT from SouthAmerica next March for my first time... or repeating Utah for my third.

Some questions:

If you were to go to Tahoe for like 7/8 days, would you split some days skiing the north mountains and then would you move south to ski the other ones ?

I like to stay in cheap site without ski resort (for instance when I go to Colorado I stay at Frisco instead of Breckenridge) and drive every day to a different slope to get to know as much places as I can. Where would that cheap place be which may have the most skiing moutnains within an hour of driving ?

Are the roads drivable in a normal car even if it is snowing ?

Lastly, is the snow that much worse than Colorado and Utah or is it fine ? What about March season, still good ?

Thanks a lot !!
Tahoe. Check Goggle for Tahoe Biltomore Hotel and Casino, I checked it yesterday and they're advertising Motel room at 25 dollars a night. From the Tahoe Biltmore it is:

10 minutes to Diamond Peak
20 minutes to Northstar at Tahoe
25 minutes to Mt. Rose
40 minutes to Alpine Meadows
45 minutes to Homewood Ski resort
45 minutes to Squaw Valley
1 hour to Sugar Bowl if Hwy 40 is open, 1 hour 20 min if no
50 min to Heavenly
1 hr 45 min to Kirkwood
(ALL TIMES ADJUSTABLE FOR ROAD AND WEATHER CONDITIONS)

Cheap restaurants in the Biltmore, gambling at Biltomore and Cal Neva, and Hyatt Regency 15 min away. Good to excellent restaurants of all prices. Best (to me) Soule Domain (right behind Biltomore) converted/refurbished Poney Express Relay Station, excellent food decent prices - make reservations.

Lots of shopping in North Shore area, 25 min from Donner Party Museum.

Lots of stuff to see and do. If you decide to come let us know on Epic for snow report and further details on shopping, eating and other sites.

Each Tahoe ski area is a little different but good for your intermediate family. Historically March is a great time to ski tahoe.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
If you were to go to Tahoe for like 7/8 days, would you split some days skiing the north mountains and then would you move south to ski the other ones ?
Depends on what YOU like. If you like to "sample" different resorts, yest, make it a "2 base" trip. Split the time between north and south.

Quote:
Are the roads drivable in a normal car even if it is snowing ?
For the most part, yes. Stay down by the lake. It's only 6000' elevatoin. And you have no mountain passes between you and the resorts.

Quote:
Lastly, is the snow that much worse than Colorado and Utah or is it fine ? What about March season, still good ?
It usually gets lots of snow in March. Though wetter than Colorao/Utah.
post #7 of 25
I could easily stay on the north shore for 7/8 days or even a couple of seasons for that matter.
post #8 of 25
"For the most part, yes. Stay down by the lake. It's only 6000' elevatoin. And you have no mountain passes between you and the resorts." by, at nyc

I must beg to differ with this statement. If you are staying at So Shore you can ski heavenly without driving at all, but if you wish to go to Sierra at Tahoe or Kirkwood you will have to go over mnt passes. You can however take a shuttle to SAT. Kirkwood is ofter more difficult to get to. I have stayed at No Shore and had to chain up or 4wd to get to Northstar,Sugar Bowl and Squaw. You may not need chains or 4wd but if the Caltrans says that you do then you ain't movin without.
post #9 of 25
You single? If so, you could join the ski club I belong to (you don't have to live here) and stay at our lodge in Kings Beach for $20/night. Its not fancy, but its clean and nice. There's a big kitchen where you can cook meals, there are sometimes a few people staying there, but its almost never crowded. There's a tuning shed where you can wax/tune your gear. There's an awesome hot tub for relaxing after skiing. Northstar is 10 minutes away. The above-mentioned Biltmore is a mile away if you're dying to gamble or need someplace indoors to smoke. Alpine and Squaw are 1/2 hour. Heavenly is 45-50 minutes. There are bars and restaurants within walking distance - the beach is 2 blocks away too, but the hot tub is a bit more inviting in March.

It costs $55USD to join the club. Rooms at the club cabin are $20 for a regular room and $25/night for a "deluxe" room. Regular rooms have bunks in them (bring your own linens, pillow and towel) so you may be sharing a room with a couple people in the unlikely event its crowded on a weekend. Deluxe rooms have 2 twin beds so you'll have the room to yourself. I use the lodge a couple of times each summer, plus when I go up in November and May (before and after my ski lease).

Its by far the best deal going in Tahoe. I routinely scratch my head that more people don't use it.

You can probably get away with a 2wd car in tahoe, but check the weather forecast before you fly. Reserve a 4WD and a 2WD and then pick the one that makes the most sense when you arrive. If there's no snow when you arrive, just drive to the lodge then hitchhike to the hill and back if it snows on a given day (you won't be the only south american hitchhiking to the mountain from kings beach in the morning - lots of spanish speakers in KB).

Or stay at one of the casinos in Incline Village, South Lake Tahoe or Reno.

March is often one of the best months for snow in Tahoe.

Oops. Almost forgot. Club info at www.apres.org
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkevenson View Post
"For the most part, yes. Stay down by the lake. It's only 6000' elevatoin. And you have no mountain passes between you and the resorts." by, at nyc

I must beg to differ with this statement. If you are staying at So Shore you can ski heavenly without driving at all, but if you wish to go to Sierra at Tahoe or Kirkwood you will have to go over mnt passes. You can however take a shuttle to SAT. Kirkwood is ofter more difficult to get to. I have stayed at No Shore and had to chain up or 4wd to get to Northstar,Sugar Bowl and Squaw. You may not need chains or 4wd but if the Caltrans says that you do then you ain't movin without.
My mistake for forgetting about Kirkwood.

But SAT is right at the bottom of the pass on the LAKE side of the pass. Usually the chain requirement only starts right pass SAT if you're coming from SLT. So, unless it's really dumping, there's not likely to need chains.

I've not have seen chain requiements at the lake shore drive level of all the times I've been there. I'm sure it had happened. Though my experience has been it's rare.
post #11 of 25
IIRC there is a shuttle from So. Lake to Kirkwood. I think it has limited runs, the shuttle that is.

Sierra at Tahoe is on the West side of Echo Summit prior to descending into the Tahoe Basin. So one does need to ascend/descend the summit. Chain controls, if not already required w/in the basin, will begin at Meyers which is East of Echo Summit. They run frequent shuttles through out the day as it is not a "resort" in the sense there is no housing/hotels/condos. But lots of acreage & backcountry gates.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
My mistake for forgetting about Kirkwood.

But SAT is right at the bottom of the pass on the LAKE side of the pass. Usually the chain requirement only starts right pass SAT if you're coming from SLT. So, unless it's really dumping, there's not likely to need chains.

I've not have seen chain requiements at the lake shore drive level of all the times I've been there. I'm sure it had happened. Though my experience has been it's rare.
Sierra at Tahoe is West of Echo Summit (the pass), far above the lake level and west of Rt 89. Chain controls typically start a Meyers near the intersection of Rt 89, and to the West of SAT, anywhere from Kyburz to Twin Bridges, and sometimes as low as Placerville. The road to Kirkwood is Rt 89 over Luther Pass to West 88 over Carson Pass.
post #13 of 25
Mmmm... my memory wasn't what I want it to be then. I seem to remember hitting SAT after the chain control coming from the Bay Area... But it seems I remember it wrong.
post #14 of 25
Cirquerider is correct.

Twin Bridges to SAT to Meyers and vice versa.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
Mmmm... my memory wasn't what I want it to be then. I seem to remember hitting SAT after the chain control coming from the Bay Area... But it seems I remember it wrong.
Coming from Bay Area, it is possible that you had to chain up before hitting SAT, but the others are right that it is West and not a flat drive from SLT.
post #16 of 25
Aug 20, 2008

Hi Tahoe Bears:

Hope I'm not hi-jacking the OPs thread. Just wanted to know whether going and coming from (a) Mt Rose (b) Diamond Peak and (c) Homewood from Reno (especially in late March early April), would one encounter "chain restrictions"?

To the OP, these "secondary" areas have great deals (2 for 1 passes, senior passes, lunch hour passes and just lower daily rates), great terrain and great scenery to rival the main Tahoe areas. They have "decent" veritcal and acerage.

Thanks and with apologies to the OP if I've intruded.

CP
post #17 of 25
Chain restrictions can occur at any time with stormy weather. Your odds of having chain restrictions drop considerably after mid-March. The roads are usually warmer with higher sun angles and storm frequency decreases. This past year, we had almost no significant storms after February. Lets hope that doesn't become a trend.

Anyway, chain restrictions are typically of short duration during snowfall events, and forecasts can help you anticipate them. Chain controls are much more commonly in place on the major passes than around Lake Tahoe proper.
post #18 of 25
CharlieP - The highest need & frequency for chain restrictions will be the passes which climb up & then down into the Tahoe Basin. Once into the basin the major roads are cleared pretty quickly. From Reno you can head up & down a pass. Mt. Rose is pretty much on top of a pass. Or there is Hwy 80 from Reno to Truckee which I don't believe has any summits/passes that are snow problems. The other resorts you mentioned are within the basin. If staying in the basin, it is lower elevation, maybe less snow, clears faster = easier access to most Tahoe resorts. Not all.

In my thinking, from Reno best to take I-80 into Tahoe basin when it's chain time. From the West though, 80 's miles of higher altitude & numerous passes takes much longer to clear than hwy 50. But, it's the route to the Northern resorts.
post #19 of 25

Tahoe

CharlieP. FYI
Downtown Reno to:

Mt. Rose Ski area from Reno Freeway 395/95 South to Hwy 431 West up the hill to Mt. Rose can't miss. On top of summit. Time dry about 33min, snowy/icy 40 plus.

Diamond Peak. Same as going to Mt. Rose except drive past Mt. Rose and go down the hill to the Lake when you reach the T turn right and watch for Diamond Peak signs, you will go to your right off the Hwy AND it will be a lighter intersection. Time Dry 50 minutes

Homewood Ski resort. Same as to Diamond Peak, do not turn R to Dia Pk but just keep going straight. Into tahoe City. In Tahoe city watch for a Safeway store on your right, across from Safeway you will make a left hand turn on hwy 89. You are 8 miles from Homewood which will be on your R (lake on the left). don't be disappointed when you pull into the Homewood parking lot as 95% of the mt. you can't see from park lot. Drive time from Reno 1 hr 20 min.

Notes. March is normally nice BUT some of the bigggest and best storms I have ever seen in the Sierras were in March. So who knows? If you make the trip PM be and I can tell ya some more on the phone etc.
post #20 of 25
Pete NI

I think your memory is playing tricks on you

If you come down 431 to the T and turn right you will wait a long time for Diamond Peak signs!! Take a L for diamond peak/incline Village and Right for homewood/Tahoe City!. Although diamond Peak access is actually off to the left a couple of miles before the T.

Charlie P/Argentine. Mt rose and diamond peak are relatively easy commutes from Reno via 431. Although chain controls occur regularly (we actually had one for a few hours in late April this year) unlike 80 or 50 i have never seen state patrol stop and check. They are ractually eally good at keeping 431 open which is fortunate as it is my comute to the airport. Even with the worst snow we had this winter i don't think it evver took much more than an hour from Incline to the airport or vice versa even early morning or late at night as is my norm eIf it looks like snow though I would echo the advice to get a 4wd to save messing about with chains. 4WD rentals at reno normally have all season M/S tires

To get to Alpine/Squaw/Homewood from Reno, 80 to truckee is a reasonable and flatter option although without the spectacular views you get over 431. Even though i drive it several times a week it never gets old

Oh, one point to please note though. On 431 the pull overs should be used. Please don't be like so many tourists that ignore them and drive at 20mph holding up a long line of irate locals.

You will be able to find more affordable lodging in Reno. On the South shore you can usually get reasonable deals midweek although quality can be variable!

And March can be a great time in tahoe, as is every other month - but I do have some bias!
post #21 of 25
Aug 20, 2008

Hi Tahoe Bears:

Thanks for all the responses to my query about "chain restrictions" from Reno to Mt. Rose, Diamond Peak and Homewood. I've been to the Tahoe region on at least 10 occasions. Usually I'll go up from the Bay Area in a car driven by friends so I didn't have to pay much attention to the driving. I just remembered being stopped on I-80 a few times and what a pain in the a$$ it was to stop and put on the chains in the cold, snow and what else. Recently, my friend moved out of the area. However I still plan on skiing the Tahoe region after skiing ends here in the mid-Atlantic region (usually early/mid March). Last season I had a real blast in mid-January skiing Rose, Diamond and Homewood (you guys/gals will probably remember the feet upon feet of snow then). So I now plan to fly into Reno, find a good deal with one of the hotel/casinos for lodging and get some good spring skiing in. Also, there are some real steep long runs (the Chutes) which opened up on Rose recently and which I would like to explore more of. I seem to remember getting to Rose, one had to drive up some steep, curvy sections and was wondering about "chain restirctions" maybe 3-5 miles prior to the Rose/Slide exit. If it gets too hairy, I'll just take the shuttle to Rose, otherwise drive during good weather. Am seriously thinking about getting the Rose season pass this year (they have specials for anyone who had a season pass from any area last season). Have to do some hard calculations, figuring and planning on this one though.

CP

PS: I regularly use pull-overs when I'm on a mountain highway which is new to me or in bad weather. I usually do opt for 4-w drive in sno-country.
post #22 of 25

Tahoe

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
Pete NI

I think your memory is playing tricks on you

If you come down 431 to the T and turn right you will wait a long time for Diamond Peak signs!! Take a L for diamond peak/incline Village and Right for homewood/Tahoe City!. Although diamond Peak access is actually off to the left a couple of miles before the T.

Charlie P/Argentine. Mt rose and diamond peak are relatively easy commutes from Reno via 431. Although chain controls occur regularly (we actually had one for a few hours in late April this year) unlike 80 or 50 i have never seen state patrol stop and check. They are ractually eally good at keeping 431 open which is fortunate as it is my comute to the airport. Even with the worst snow we had this winter i don't think it evver took much more than an hour from Incline to the airport or vice versa even early morning or late at night as is my norm eIf it looks like snow though I would echo the advice to get a 4wd to save messing about with chains. 4WD rentals at reno normally have all season M/S tires

To get to Alpine/Squaw/Homewood from Reno, 80 to truckee is a reasonable and flatter option although without the spectacular views you get over 431. Even though i drive it several times a week it never gets old

Oh, one point to please note though. On 431 the pull overs should be used. Please don't be like so many tourists that ignore them and drive at 20mph holding up a long line of irate locals.

You will be able to find more affordable lodging in Reno. On the South shore you can usually get reasonable deals midweek although quality can be variable!

And March can be a great time in tahoe, as is every other month - but I do have some bias!

YUP ! You're right, No I mean Left
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
YUP ! You're right, No I mean Left
NP Pete! I tend to be dyslexic left and right as well. But of course on the other side of the pond right is on the other side of the road so I have an excuse

In truth when I raced rally cars i always got my navigator to call your side/my side - by the time i worked out left/right i would be off the road
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
NP Pete! I tend to be dyslexic left and right as well. But of course on the other side of the pond right is on the other side of the road so I have an excuse

In truth when I raced rally cars i always got my navigator to call your side/my side - by the time i worked out left/right i would be off the road
What, you mean the "other left"?
post #25 of 25
Pete we've been thru this before haven't we ?

I turn left at ____ ? Right ! Right ? No, left. Left ? Correct. whew !

And this is where the term right can be so wrong.
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