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LAKE TAHOE SKIING: When to come for food snow, sun, and minimal crowds?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Okay, well I know no one has a crystal ball, but if I were to look into coming to Lake Tahoe for a ski trip, when might be the time to come when there will be snow, good conditions, and minimal crowds?  Appreciate your help.  Thanks.

Uh, that should be "Good Snow" in the subject line, not "food" snow.  ;-)

post #2 of 10
Last week of Feb., first week of March is what my crystal ball always says.
JF
post #3 of 10
From 1903-2009, here are the average monthly stats for Tahoe City (which has a lower elevation than most resorts, with only 190" total over the year):

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Average Max. Temperature (F) 38.5 40.2 44.0 50.5 59.7 68.7 77.8 77.2 69.8 58.9 46.9 40.3 56.0
Average Min. Temperature (F) 19.0 19.9 22.8 27.0 32.8 38.6 44.3 43.7 38.9 32.2 25.8 20.8 30.5
Average Total Precipitation (in.) 5.96 5.35 4.10 2.12 1.18 0.65 0.26 0.30 0.60 1.74 3.62 5.56 31.43
Average Total SnowFall (in.) 45.7 37.0 35.1 15.6 3.7 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.3 2.5 15.6 34.9 190.4
Average Snow Depth (in.) 21 30 27 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 9

So I would amend 4ster's crystal ball:  starting in the last week of February, and going at least through the end of March, is Tahoe's true ski season.  Snow conditions depend on what the accumulated base is, but we usually get some good storms in March, we still have a large base, if it's not snowing it's sunny, and the fact that the days are getting longer makes everything more pleasant.  And in my experience, the people who get a weekend to 10 days total in a season are off the hill by the end of February.
post #4 of 10
I like April and think LT has some of the best spring skiing in the country. But I like big slushy bumps and corn snow and hanging out a High Camp after 4.

I was there last season for Presidents weekend and "School Week", were lots of bay area folks take the whole week off.   It was great skiing, but was kind of crowded IMHO. 
post #5 of 10
Just from  personal experience - I spent just 1 season in Tahoe and found January to be the best snow-wise.  Better chance of light powder and less Sierra Cement it seemed. Also, I have found January a great time to go throughout the country for crowd avoidance.  There is a lull between the holiday crowds and the President's week- March school break crowds that translates into uncrowded slopes and good prices on things like airfares, lodging and car rentals.
Edited by crank - 10/29/09 at 11:48am
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post

Just from  personal experience - I spent just 1 season in Tahoe and found January to be the best snow-wise.  Better chance of light powder and less Sierra Cement it seemed. Also, I have found January a great time to go throughout the country for crowd avoidance.  There is a lull between the holiday crowds and the President's week- March school break crowds that translates into uncrowded slopes and good prices things like airfares, lodging and car rentals.

Which year?

I've never had a great January in Tahoe.  There often isn't that much base yet, and it's depressingly dark.  Plus, it's cold.  (Relatively speaking, of course -- it's still warmer than Connecticut.)  Yes, the cold translates to lighter snow when you get it, but I've become a wimp since I moved west.

I do agree that aside from MLK and New Year's weekend, January crowds are light.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post


Which year?

I've never had a great January in Tahoe.  There often isn't that much base yet, and it's depressingly dark.  Plus, it's cold.  (Relatively speaking, of course -- it's still warmer than Connecticut.)  Yes, the cold translates to lighter snow when you get it, but I've become a wimp since I moved west.

I do agree that aside from MLK and New Year's weekend, January crowds are light.
The Year was 1983 (ancient history!) and it was a very snowy winter from late November on so there was plenty of base.  Tahoe is not cold compared to just about anywhere I have spent significant time skiing.
post #8 of 10
Ancient history indeed.
post #9 of 10
I'm thinkin' 82-83' was one of the biggest winters on record.  That is History!
JF
post #10 of 10
arrive on new years eve and stay thru February. last few March's have been rather epic also. 
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › LAKE TAHOE SKIING: When to come for food snow, sun, and minimal crowds?