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Lake Tahoe For Beginners

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My wife and I (ages are mid-thirties) are going to Reno, NV for a conference in late January. We will have a rental car as well. We have scheduled two days at the end of our trip for our first time snow skiing around Lake Tahoe.

We will be on the slopes on a Friday and Saturday. We are planning on lessons at the ski slope and rental equipment at the facility also. My question is which ski slope should we pick? We have no desire for gambling, just learning to ski.

Thanks in Advance.
post #2 of 23
NorthStar. Given where you are arriving and the desire for beginner terrain and good instruction, it would be hard to beat this area. With some instruction you could easily be gliding nice long boulevards on the lower mountain that should give you a sense of confidence and a satisfying feeling of being on a mountain with a very nice ski village at the base.

Get one of the packages with lessons, equipment rentals and lifts.

If you don't mind going a little farther Alpine Meadows has a good beginner package and is a more laid back resort.

Squaw Valley's beginner area is at a higher elevation at High Camp and a beginner package. They have a pool and ice rink if you are so inclined. This is the destination type resort and has a lot to offer.
post #3 of 23
I had good luck with my wife at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Mt. Rose. She's not a never-ever but she still skis greens. She loved Mt. Rose especially.
post #4 of 23
Another vote for Northstar. Good cruiser resort.
post #5 of 23
post #6 of 23
As you'll be in Reno, I would highly recommend Mt. Rose. Best proximity to Reno, with plenty of beginner terrain and good instruction.
post #7 of 23
Northstar came to mind first for beginners b/c nobody who actually likes to rip it up would go to Northstar with all the other places to ski in Tahoe. That place is a cookie-cutter resort.

Mt Rose would be an excellent choice. More local Tahoe flavor.

For first class resorts you can't beat Alpine or Squaw, but the true benefits of those two are the terrain, which you might not be too interested in. Still, you would have a good time there b/c they are just great resorts.

Sugarbowl is great coming from the CA side, but coming from Reno there's no reason to drive past Mt Rose to go to Sugarbowl IMO.

For reference:
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawkskier View Post
Northstar came to mind first for beginners b/c nobody who actually likes to rip it up would go to Northstar with all the other places to ski in Tahoe. That place is a cookie-cutter resort.
I love the guy from KC dissing NS!



NS is a lot like Heavenly and Keystone...if you know where to go there are plenty of goods to be had. Additionally, since it has a rep for being "Flatstar" and more beginner/intermediate oriented, that means the goods stay good longer.

But I digress...

To echo Cirque, Northstar is a solid option. The only downside to NS is that the beginner area is at the base of the mountain, so it can get a bit crowded and clustery as most of the beginner/intermediate terrain is the main thoroughfare to get down to the base lodge/village.

If you get easily spooked by more experienced skiers whizzing by you then the advantage might be had at Squaw. Quite a bit of their beginner terrain is set aside so you won't have crazy fast skiers charging by you.

I'd also toss out Homewood or Diamond Peak. Both are much, much smaller and tend not to attract the hardcore, speed demons and chargers. They tend to be more "family" oriented and due to their smaller size are less crowded and have enough terrain to keep the aspiring intermediate quite content without all the hype, fluster, and flurry of Northstar or Squaw.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
I love the guy from KC dissing NS!


I used to live in east bay, worked at California Ski Company in Berkeley. My point was that most people don't go to Northstar if they can go other places. Only times I would ski northstar was on Sundays b/c it was the only place that took shop passes on weekends. It's not terrible, it sure beats skiing in KC!!!
post #10 of 23
^


I frequent Cali Ski Co...like talking equipment with Greg and the gang (actually stopped by there back in early November on my way home from Mammy to show them the Magnetraction on my Lib-Techs...Greg took my number as he said he'd like to ski 'em).



I've found that NS on a pow day is pretty sweet because the general crowds won't venture out on a storm and the hardcore locals will go to Squaw/Alpine/Sugarbowl/Kirkwood.

I've actually hit NS a few days after a storm and had the trees and fresh all to myself since the only other folks out were the park rats.
post #11 of 23
Probably a good point about NS. You're thinking outside the box!

I worked at Cal Ski Co back when Dan owned the place. I was just out there the week before Thanksgiving. I always try to stop in the shop when I'm in the Bay area. Greg's the big guy right? The new owner? Saw they started carrying Line this year, and they can't seem to move those Stocklis!
post #12 of 23
Rose or Northstar is the way to go.

They are both similar distance to most the places you would probably be staying for a conference.

I'd say hit Northstar. More of a destination feel with a little village at the bottom that would be fun for first timers. Lots of families.

If you're not used to driving in the snow, in a rental car nonetheless, the drive to Northstar will feel much less intimidating than Mt. Rose highway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawkskier View Post
Sugarbowl is great coming from the CA side, but coming from Reno there's no reason to drive past Mt Rose to go to Sugarbowl IMO.
It's pretty hard to drive past Rose headed to Sugar Bowl if you're going the right way.
post #13 of 23
Another vote for Northstar and Mt Rose. Enjoy your visit.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitter View Post

It's pretty hard to drive past Rose headed to Sugar Bowl if you're going the right way.
touche, I guess I meant further...though it is a straight shot on the interstate!! For that matter they could go to Boreal!!
post #15 of 23
I take back what I was goingto post. I didn't see that they were in Reno. I would vote for Mt. Rose for beginners.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info and all the responses. We appreciate the insight on where we can go. Now we just have to choose.
post #17 of 23
Having only been to Heavenly and Squaw, I can say that Heavenly is in no way for you! There's VERY few green runs and they're not the greatest first timer runs. Squaw would be good FOR A FIRST TIMER because its greens are in a very good area and are expansive and wide (also above treeline with multiple entertainment!). I can't give a comparison to the other resorts but Squaw would definitely work... the only problem is the annoying tram up...
post #18 of 23
If you're a beginner and in Reno it is a no-brainer. Head to Mt. Rose. No, it doesn't have the big area "resort" feel (If that is what you are after Northstar could be a better bet) but it does have a very friendly atmosphere and a good feel to the place. Plus it is only 25 minutes from Ren0
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
the only problem is the annoying tram up...
You know you can take the Funitel instead right? And what's annoying about the tram?
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefrush View Post
You know you can take the Funitel instead right? And what's annoying about the tram?
Funitel brings you to Gold Coast. You then need to take a very slow chair to get to the beginner area which is accessed by the tram. And my personal experience with the tram--

Very very cold outside. They blast heat in the indoor tram station. I have many layers on. I get hot. The wait is over 20 minutes. The tram is almost 10 minutes. I miss a lot of skiing, I uncomfortable, I upset.

Thank god though that I still got two runs of a foot of freshies at about 10:30, which is when I actually got to the top and was able to ski, and also it was a weekday. But it's never pretty when it's your first time skiing freshies on Headwall (35-40 degrees)...
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
Funitel brings you to Gold Coast. You then need to take a very slow chair to get to the beginner area which is accessed by the tram.
Just saying it's an option besides the tram.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
Funitel brings you to Gold Coast. You then need to take a very slow chair to get to the beginner area which is accessed by the tram.
At the busiest times, they'll also run Pulse, but that usually involves a long wait.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
At the busiest times, they'll also run Pulse, but that usually involves a long wait.
Yeah, Pulse wasn't open.

I still hate myself that I skied with my I-hate-pow-pow sister for two full powder days (about 1 foot) at Squaw. I wanted to rip that powder on KT-22 so badly... but luckily I got a full day of 75% of the runs untracked pow pow (again about 1 foot) at Heavenly.
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