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Lake Tahoe - First Trip Out West

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'll be taking my first trip out west this winter and we have decided on Lake Tahoe. We will be a small group, 3-4 people. Everyone is at least a strong intermediate skier. We are all from upstate New York and usually ski at places like Gore, Belleayre or Whiteface. 

 

We will be going for a 5-6 days anytime between February and early March. When is the best time to go for snow conditions and smaller crowds? We have to book soon because we need to request the time off from work. 

 

What resorts should we ski? Back home we usually ski groomers, because that's mostly what there is. We would like to get into some off-piste skiing and open bowl skiing. 

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 6

I would say the last days of Feb. & the first days of Mar. for the best chances of a good snow pack, smaller crowds, some sunny days & some stormy days.

 

You will probably enjoy any of the resorts in the area, although they each have their own personalities, high points & low points.  Try looking at some of the resort reviews on this site to get a feel for the different spots.  All the areas have good upper intermediate terrain.

 

Squaw, Alpine, Sugar Bowl & Kirkwood are popular for their steep off piste chutes & bowls.

Sierra-at-Tahoe & Homewood for shelter from storms, a smaller feel & some good tree skiing.

Heavenly for its views, large expanse & casino night life.

Northstar for its destination resort feel & variety of mid level skiing.

There are others as well, like Mt. Rose & Diamond Pk. in Nevada.

 

Best to choose between staying in South Shore or North Shore.  Either way does not exclude visiting a number of different areas.

 

JF

post #3 of 6

Good ideas by 4ster.  Avoid the week before and the week after President's day.  Last year I hit Tahoe the first week of Feb. and had excellent conditions.  I prefer to stay on the south shore and usually ski Kirkwood at least twice in a week.  I have really learned to love Sierra for the sheer amount of vertical I can get in in a day. 

From the south shore it's an easy drive up to Squaw, Sugar Bowl and Alpine.  And Homewood is always fun.  You just have to be sure the road is open otherwise you have to drive way around the east side.  Have fun!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

 

Squaw, Alpine, Sugar Bowl & Kirkwood are popular for their steep off piste chutes & bowls.

Sierra-at-Tahoe & Homewood for shelter from storms, a smaller feel & some good tree skiing.

Heavenly for its views, large expanse & casino night life.

Northstar for its destination resort feel & variety of mid level skiing.

There are others as well, like Mt. Rose & Diamond Pk. in Nevada.

 

Best to choose between staying in South Shore or North Shore.  Either way does not exclude visiting a number of different areas.

 

JF

post #4 of 6

 Add ing to 4ster's comments.  Avoid Holidays  and weekends tahoe can be a zoo during these times.  Recommend North Shore skiing.  If you have to ski on the weekend sunday better than Saturday.  If you do have to ski on the weekend Homewood is good because their parking lot isn't big enough for them to get really crowded. Another tip; get there early and be ready to go when the lifts open, you will get about 2 hours of very uncrowded skiing, have an early lunch say 1130 and then be out on the slopes at regular lunch time when the masses are having lunch.

 

Good intermediate skiing with some off piste.  Alpine Meadows, Squaw and Sugar Bowl all meet that mold.  Northstar too (Northstar can be very crowded on Fri Sat Sun and Mon). Medium sized but still plenty of skiing:   Mt Rose, Homewood and Diamond Peak.  Also if theres some powder and you want to get off piste into the powder, recommend avoiding he BIG places and hit the runs, trees etc. at Homewood or Diamond Peak.  If it is  high winds avoid Squaw and Mt Rose go to Homewood.

 

Northshore for the skiing you described and my personal preference at Northshore;   1) Squaw  2)Alpine   3) Sugar Bowl   4) Homewood   5) Mt Rose   6) Diamond Peak    7)Northstar

 

For Powder (avoiding the crowds and mad rush for freshies);   1) off the ridge in the trees at Diamond Peak    2)Homewood almost everywhere in the trees etc.    3) Sugar Bowl off Disney Chair

 

If you decide on No Shore search under that name etc. and you will ffind a lot of info on lodging, restaurants etc.  Have a great time and welcome to Epic.

post #5 of 6

Agree with the comments by 4ster's and Pete No. Idaho.  We would welcome the opportunity to assist you with your travel plans to Lake Tahoe.  Kindly send us a PM if you would like to utilize our complimentary services. 

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice everyone. Looks like we will be going February 26 to March 4 and staying in Reno. This will give use 4 or 5 ski days. Depending on conditions we will definitely be going to Heavenly, Squaw and Alpine Meadows.

 

Should we save more than 1 day for Squaw or give Sugar Bowl/Homewood/ Mt Rose a try.

 

Thanks

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