or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Lake Tahoe Trip in the works...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Lake Tahoe Trip in the works...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My buddy and I are heading out to Lake Tahoe for our first time March 17 and are planning on shredding for 5 days. My friend's got his cousin's pad we can stay at in Reno so were gonna post up there as our home base. Like I said, we're gonna ski for 5 days, and we're trying to plan out the trip as far as what resorts we want to hit up (oh, my buddy's a snowboarder if that has any bearing on which resorts would be best for us). So, we're intermediate skiers and riders, neither of us is really too into the park at all, and we like mostly blue runs.

Any recommendations on which resorts to hit up?
I'm thinking we'll stick to the North side of the lake, and I thought Squaw and Alpine Meadows looked good and maybe Mt. Rose or Northstar could be ok. Any suggestions?

Also, should I be concerned about getting to the resorts from Reno if we luck out and get a powder day? We will have the option of driving or might go with a shuttle service. Are there shuttle services that will run in snow conditions?

Thanks guys
post #2 of 6
Reno is a great place to use as home base. The closest mtn will be Mount Rose (20 min), but that's a pretty small resort. For intermediate, I'd recommend Northstar, Alpine, Squaw and Sugar Bowl. A little more detail about the hills.

Northstar (35 min) is Tahoe's ultimate intermediate, family friendly mountain. Their runs are well groomed, there isn't any crazy steep terrain, plenty of carved out trails, can do decently long top to mid-mountain runs and in general, you have to look hard to find any moguls at Northstar. The main disadvantage of Northstar is they only have 1 single lift that takes you to the top so 15 minute lift lines are almost normal on weekends. If you can do Northstar on a weekday, you'll love it. Check out: Anything on the front left (looking at a train map) side of the mountain.

Alpine (40 min) is a mid-size/small mountian in Tahoe that still has a very local feel to it. There isn't a ton of development or a snazzy new village, just lifts and great terrain. Alpine will have slightly more difficult terrain (steeper and not as well groomed) than Northstar, and its style is more ski to the bottom of the lift, rather than ski the trail, giving you more room to roam. Apline has 3 great bowls, 2 of which are rated intermediate, for people to rip through. Alpine is more wide than tall. Of the 4 resorts, I think Apline might offer the least amount of intermediate terrain. Check out Summit Six chair, Lake View chair, and Sun Bowl

Squaw (35min), the ultimate Tahoe resort. Squaw has the most actual skiable acers in Tahoe and is home to some of the most difficult terrain. However, for an intermediate, Squaw offers TONS of options, open bowls, long runs (think top to bottom is 3.2 miles), no lift line crowds on weekends (except maybe Shirley Lake), multiple mid-mountain bases and pretty good grooming. Like Apline, Squaw is also more ski to the bottom of the chair style, rather than follow a trail. Squaw is both wide and tall, so there is a lot of area to explore. A must ski on your trip. Check out: Squaw One lift, Siberra lift & bowl, Shirley Lake lift and late in the afternoon when the main mountain gets too many people, head to Red Dog & Squaw Creek.

Sugar Bowl (45 min) is a great mid-size mountain spread out across 3 or 4 peaks. Decent grooming, intermediate terrain won't be as steep as Squaw or Alpine, runs will be as long as Alpine's, and lots of intermediate terrain to choose from.

All Tahoe resorts allow snowboarding, so your buddy will be fine, and tell him to keep his speed up when you hit some flat sections. All the resorts, except for Northstar will have small flat sections, but nothing horrible.

As for driving when its dumping, you should be able to get to Alpine, Squaw and Northstar without chains in all but the worst conditions. If chains are required pick some up in Reno and practice putting them on in the driveway/garage. I believe Squaw offers a free shuttle from Reno, Sugar Bowl offers a free shuttle from Trukee.

If you're flying into San Francisco, San Jose or Oakland and driving up to Reno, check out www.slidingonthecheap.com for all the discount lift ticket info. If you're flying directly into Reno, I'd recommend buying tickets from people on Craigslist.org and having them mail you the tickets. Its pure based on trust and honor system, so be careful.

Have a great trip
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

thanks for that response.  Another question, does anyone have any advice on where I should rent skis from?  I imagine there are places in Reno where we could rent from, or we could rent at Squaw maybe because we will likely ski Squaw the first and last day of our trip.  Any advice on where we could get the best skis and deals?


post #4 of 6

About Northstar, the backside is not crowded. The runs are also longer. You can find a long mogul run here. I believe these are marked black but they are not that steep and the surface is relatively smooth.  You can also try Lookout Mountain.  You get there by a tow lift. It usually is not crowded.

post #5 of 6

Renting from Reno will be the cheapest, but I've never rented from any shops there, so I can't point you in any direction.  Its ski country so they should all be decent.


If you rent from Squaw, there is a ski shop right outside Squaw that has good pricing, Tahoe Daves.  I haven't rented from them in years, but when I use to demo from them, they were pretty good about everything.


Besure to check out their coupon page for discounts off your rental gear.



post #6 of 6

Rent at Bobo's Mogul Mouse (http://www.bobos.com/) it's one of the best ski shops in town or just up the street (100 yds) from them is Reno Mountain Sports (http://www.renomountainsports.com/).  I'm not sure about all of the resorts, but Kirkwood and Squaw have great demo centers with high end equipment (skis, boards, boots) so you can experiment with different shapes and styles.


The furthest resort from Reno is Kirkwood which is about 1 and a half hours.  So depending on the conditions you can hit any of the resorts.  The best party place will be South Lake Tahoe, so if you want to do one night there, drive out to Kirkwood in the morning have a blast then a 35 min drive back into South Tahoe, Party hard, then in the morning walk over to the Gondola up to Heavenly.


The most snow will be at Kirkwood and Sugarbowl, but if you get here and it's overcast try Mt Rose it has the highest base of the bunch and sometimes you're above the clouds when others aren't.  I don't know where you're coming from but Northstar is like a New England resort.  If you want wide open bowls then it's Squaw, Alpine, Sugar Bowl and Kirkwood.


If you go to Squaw, bring a towel and swim shorts to take advantage of the mid-mountain heated pool, hot tub and bar.


You can get shuttles to some of the resorts from the main hotels like the Grand Sierra Resort or the Eldorado or Silver Legacy down town.  From what I've heard they're around $10 which is reasonable but then you're on their schedule.  Just drive to the hotel, they all have free parking.


If you rent ask for a 4 wheel drive, as they're usually set up for the area.  California highway patrol can be a pain in the ass as they usually require 4 wheel drive with snow tires, or non 4 wheel drive with chains.  Sometimes they even require 4x4 and chains.


As for tickets you can usually save $15-20 per day if you buy at the local ski shops or REI.


And if your legs get shot and you need a break one of the days, take a snowmobile trip - but stay away from the big outfit at Zephyr Cove (too tame).  I've used Coldstream Adventures (http://www.coldstreamadventures.com/) when I had friends in town, and we had a blast.


Important:  Be careful with the altitude and dehydration out here and drink plenty of water in the first 24hrs or you'll waste a day or so feeling like crap - of course you can supplement with beer, etc as needed.  I've had buddies who run marathons come out here to ski, not follow my advice and regreted it later.


Have fun!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Lake Tahoe Trip in the works...