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First visit to Heavenly

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys, I'm new to this forum.

I'm after a bit of help and advice for my honeymoon ski trip to heavenly in April 2010.

A couple of questions I have and other than that any advice would be appreciated.

Just to fill you all in. I am a good intermediate skiier, My wife is a nervous low intermediate/beginner. We are flying to San Fran on 2nd April and driving to our hotel (Harvey's Lake Tahoe) in Heavenly.

The questions.....
1. We have a 4x4 hired, should this be adequate?
2. What is the snow likely to be like this time of year? The travel agent said it should be ok, but they would say that!
3. I still need to buy lift passes, am I best ordering it online, or buying when we get there (5 or 6 days needed for 2 adults)
4. I need to hire skis, shall I sort it online now, or somewhere when I get there?
5. I want plenty of easyish runs that I can enjoy, but will build up my wife's confidence. She is very good technically for only a weeks skiing in France, but peers down/over and gets scared! Is there any particular suggestions as to what runs to do?
6. I am thinking lessons would help, does anyone know of any good ski schools, and should we have lessons together or seperate? 

Any help generally would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Edited by FB User (Private) - 2/5/10 at 7:26am
post #2 of 16
#1-The 4X4 will be fine.
#2-The snow is GREAT this year-we were there 1/23-1/26
#3 Buy lift tickets there-you may want to go exploring to other resorts instead of sticking to Heavenly.
#4 There's plenty of places to rent skis there. You won't have a problem waiting until you're there. I'd get them at a place not affiliated with a resort and plan on exploring. There's Powder House and Heavenly Sports right next to the gondola at the base of Heavenly.
#5 Heavenly has many easy-ish blues. They're marked on the trail map as a broken blue line instead of a solid blue one. My fav is Ridge Run-it overlooks Lake Tahoe
#6 Lessons always help. Every resort has them available-both group and private. If your skills are more advanced than your wife's, you will take valuable time away from her lesson. She may need it more than you...So take a lesson separate from hers.
Congratulations and have a great trip!
post #3 of 16
 Try Sierra-At-Tahoe (quick drive from SLT) and Squaw (about an hour)... you won't be disappointed. Lake Tahoe is a great honeymoon, congrats mate!
post #4 of 16
prepare yourself for the best spring skiing you've ever experienced.

expect warm weather, blue skies, and great spring snow (and maybe pow).

congrats.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
 Thats really reassuring thanks guys. I've never been skiing so late so i'm a bit worried it won't be up to scratch which is why we're travelling over the pond to try and have a bit more of a guarantee (if there is such a thing). We have to go so late as my wife is a teacher, and only gets the holidays off.

Unless I hear otherwise on here i'll wait until i get there to sort our gear and lift passes out then. I just don't want to miss a days skiing or anything trying to get it all sorted.
post #6 of 16
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on getting married.  I've only been to Heavenly once, so I'll let others respond to some of your questions.  Your post brings back memories as my wife and I honeymooned in Tahoe, staying at Harvey's and skiing Heavenly.  The description of you as a solid intermediate and her as a low intermediate even fits us as well, though my wife may have had a little more experience at that time.  We are going back soon for our anniversary, FWIW.

If worst comes to worst, there is a ski shop in the bottom floor of Harvey's.  I think it is a Heavenly Sports and might be a little on the expensive side but it is a fairly large shop and could set you up at the last minute if needed.

There are a lot of blue runs at Heavenly.  You should be able to find something to you and your wife's liking.  I second the recommendation of Ridge Run on the California side.  It is a great, low intermediate run.  Very wide.  You look like you are going to ski right into the lake.  There are also a lot of trails that peel off to the right from ridge run and end up at the same lift back at the bottom if you wanted to try something sportier while still skiing part of the run together and riding the lift together, everything from steeper blues to some fairly steep, at least to me, black groomers.

The Galaxy lift has some very easy blues, easy enough that after one time through them my wife asked for us to go find something more interesting.  Just above this, the comet, Tamarack and Dipper chairs serve a lot of average, blue runs.  There are also a lot of blue runs below this part of the mountain out of the two Nevada lodges.  There have been a change or two in that area since I was there so I won't comment much more than this on that area but I would check it out, especially Stagecoach and Olympic chairs.

For us, the easiest thing in the morning was to go to the bottom floor of Harvey's, take the tunnel under the road to Harrah's, and then walk down to the Gondola. Delivers you right to the middle of the mountain, though you still have to do some walking or poling to either get to a lift or get going downhill (if going over to Cali) from the top of the gondola.  You can also catch shuttles out back to the Nevada or California lodges.  Sometimes to get back to Harvey's, we would ski down to a lodge and take the shuttle back so you don't have to walk back in ski boots when tired.  I think you can also catch shuttles to other areas from there, but it sounds like you will have a car for that.

Lessons would have to be hired through the mountain, and from my checking the other day, it looks like Heavenly's are quite expensive.

We went in March, so I don't know if a few anecdotal days a month earlier than your trip helps much.  We got a foot of powder the first morning and the rest of the days were bright blue skies and warm.  A little below freezing in the morning and up in the 40's and 50's F in the afternoon.  The last few days I left my thermals, coat and goggles in the room and skied in just pants, a long sleeve shirt and sunglasses with some thin gloves.  The heavy snow they get held up really well to the warm temperatures with only some of the fresh snow in the trees that had not been tracked yet getting to be like mashed potatoes in the heat.

Good luck and have fun.
post #7 of 16
You'll be taking the gondola from town (across the street and about 2 blocks down from Harvey's) to access the Mnt.  #4  There are a number of shops on that walk and waiting to hire until you arrive won't cost you much time, but you may get a better deal online.  #3 More flexible to wait, but might be cheaper online- could even look at Craigslist while you are in SF and see if anyone is dumping tixs that they didn't get around to using.  #5  The gondola dumps off mid-moutain close to a beginner area that should be good for giving your wife some confidence the first morning, but she will need to be comfortable on intermediate groomers to navigate around and explore more.  Forget the name, but you guys will love the green or easy blue groomer that runs along skiers left from the top and gives a great view of the lake on a sunny day. 

Homewood is another area you could consider for a day trip- beautiful drive around the lake (stop off at Emerald Bay on your way back and walk down to the Lake if it is a nice day), no crowds, less expensive lift tix, feel of skiing into the Lake (as opposed to seeing it from a distance at Heavenly) when you come on down the advanced intermediate face.  Lack of easy intermediate runs might be the only issue for your wife.

#1 Most of the time you will not even need the 4x4 at that time of year, but on rare occation chains or snow tires will be required.  You should be able to tell by looking at the weather forecast a day before you leave SF and adjust accordingly.

#2 Early April can be a great time of year to ski there with light crowds and lots of sun (with a chance for a storm).  Sierra-at-Tahoe might be a good call for your wife and I think they still run a bus from SLT if you don't feel like driving.  Kirkwood is a bit farther (~45 min) with less easy intermediate terrain, but is a fun Mnt with higher elevation and more than double the base currently being reported at Heavenly- something to keep in mind if it gets too warm (I have had temps close to 70 F/ 20 C in Tahoe that time of year so conditions can certainly change in a hurry).

The casinos aren't as big as Vegas, but they are a step up from Leeds- should be a great trip...enjoy!
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Jorge Williamson View Post

Hi Guys, I'm new to this forum.

I'm after a bit of help and advice for my honeymoon ski trip to heavenly in April 2010.

A couple of questions I have and other than that any advice would be appreciated.

Just to fill you all in. I am a good intermediate skiier, My wife is a nervous low intermediate/beginner. We are flying to San Fran on 2nd April and driving to our hotel (Harvey's Lake Tahoe) in Heavenly.

The questions.....
1. We have a 4x4 hired, should this be adequate?
2. What is the snow likely to be like this time of year? The travel agent said it should be ok, but they would say that!
3. I still need to buy lift passes, am I best ordering it online, or buying when we get there (5 or 6 days needed for 2 adults)
4. I need to hire skis, shall I sort it online now, or somewhere when I get there?
5. I want plenty of easyish runs that I can enjoy, but will build up my wife's confidence. She is very good technically for only a weeks skiing in France, but peers down/over and gets scared! Is there any particular suggestions as to what runs to do?
6. I am thinking lessons would help, does anyone know of any good ski schools, and should we have lessons together or seperate? 

Any help generally would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
You may or may not need a 4x4, early April in Tahoe is a catch all for weather. It can be blue skies light winds and sunshine or it can be blizzard conditions. As for the guy telling you the snow was great when he was there in January, that will have no bearing on the conditions in April. Chances are good that the weather will be good though. Heavenly is a advanced intermediate mountains with plenty of beginner runs for your wife. They have quality lessons there also.

As for skis you can rent them anywhere. Look on line and find a place you like. I believe there is a outfit that will come to your hotel and set you up.

Do get out and take in the scenery. Take a day to drive around the lake. The east shore is really cool and very different then the west shore. Go see Squaw Valley, have a beer at Pete and Peters or the Bridge Tender in Tahoe City, both legendary North Shore watering holes. Every area has it's own character. Congrats on getting married, now the fun really begins..LOL
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys. We're really excited about going (well more me so).

MEfree, we are off to Vegas on the way to LA following this trip so I ain't too bothered for the casino's, for me a ski holiday is all about spending as much time on the mountain as possible. I will be doing 8am to dusk if the wifey (and the lifts) let me!

I am thinkingnow after seeing this we should bothe have at least a morning of tuition, seperate, I want to progress as i'm sure she does. I'm sure if we had lessons together I would only hinder her, and it would probably be a waste of money for me as I can't see would learn much with her eing the lesser skier.

Really excited about going though, have I mentioned that!! 

I'll keep doing my research and checking the weather etc right up until we go. We're off to Vegas and LA after as I said but this is the bit I can't wait for. I missed out on the skiing last year so have really missed it.
post #10 of 16
If for some reason the snow isn't that great in Tahoe that time of year, you can drive 2 hours down the road to Mammoth. Snow is good there, often through June.
Congrats and enjoy your trip.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
 Hi Guys, the weather report I subscribe to says snow pretty much every day next week at Heavenly in anticipation of my flight out on Friday 2nd April. Can anyone confirm what the conditions are like out there at the moment? 
post #12 of 16
Sunny and spring today, but a big storm is coming in tomorrow through at least Friday. I would guess Heavenly to get several feet of snow from it.   After Friday it is unknown at this point, but possibly still storming the first weekend of April.  The national weather service report for heavenly would be a good link for you to keep track of.  It is updated every 12 hours.

BTW - even without the storm, there is plenty of snow on the mountain.
post #13 of 16
Like I said back on 2/6, April is a catch all for weather in Tahoe. A string of several storms are due in starting tomorrow night. I'm guessing a couple of feet above 7000 before it is all done. It should send us into spring skiing looking really good. It could be winter through temps through easter. Big winds with possible blizzard conditions are on tap according to the weather geeks. Use this link and go to the weather geek section and it should give you an idea of what is on tap. http://www.tahoeloco.com/ 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Jorge Williamson View Post

 Hi Guys, the weather report I subscribe to says snow pretty much every day next week at Heavenly in anticipation of my flight out on Friday 2nd April. Can anyone confirm what the conditions are like out there at the moment? 
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhorn View Post

Sunny and spring today, but a big storm is coming in tomorrow through at least Friday. I would guess Heavenly to get several feet of snow from it.   After Friday it is unknown at this point, but possibly still storming the first weekend of April.  The national weather service report for heavenly would be a good link for you to keep track of.  It is updated every 12 hours.

BTW - even without the storm, there is plenty of snow on the mountain.




 

Congratulations to the OP and his bride.!!

I arrive in Reno Apr. 3rd.


Sounds great but, I do hope to get a day or 2 of sunshine after the storm.
post #15 of 16
I was at Heavenly a few weeks ago and had great time. Found a great deal on lift tix at funjet.com - $41/day. Try this link...

  http://res.funjet.com/Availability/Default.aspx?itin=1

If that doesn't work go to funjet.com, search on "ski vacations", select destination Reno and the select "activities only". There you can buy a 2 of 3 day lift ticket for $82.

I'm an intermediate and enjoyed skiing the blue runs off the Olympic Express lift. Also got into the trees in that general area for the first time.

Enjoy!  ;-)
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi JC, thanks for that looks good but only seen it now we've got home! I got a 4 day pass for $200 anyway through Virgin Holidays, ski rental seemed to be quite reasonable so got that through them too. Anyway, the skiing was fantastic! I've been on bigger ranges before but the snow was brilliant. We met some lovely people up on the mountain. The only negative (other than the extortionate beer prices! - $11.50 a pint is that normal?!! Even France ain't that expensive) is that I think there isn't really enough intermediate, the runs are either straightforward or pretty tricky. It meant my wife couldn't really progress so much. I had a go of the Milky Way runs is it? They were very fun but hard work. I wanted to try the Mott Canyon I think it was called but thought best not do it while on my own (the wife left me for the afternoon to have some fun) in case I had a fall and got a bit stranded. All in all, I loved the mountain and the resort. It is a gorgeous place. We had some luck with the snow too, we had a couple of overnight dumps meaning gorgeous powder skiing the following day. It took some getting there however, due to another storm up on the pass. I would love to go back and would certainly recommend it to anyone. I was sad to leave in the next installment of our trip to Las Vegas. I need to get my next years trip booked now, I'm going to try and persuade a friend, we're hoping the Mrs will be pregnant by then!
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