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First time in Tahoe - VERY LATE SEASON - where to go?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello all!
 

My wife and I are going to be in Reno for a conference during the first week of April.  We would like to take two days in the middle of the week (Wed & Thur) to ski and potentially stay somewhere around the lake.

 

We are from the deep south and are very intermediate skiers (not much skiing in Georgia!).  We have been going out west once a year for the past few years - we enjoy Colorado (Loveland & Copper) and Utah (Powder Mountain).  I am comfortable with most of the blues that I've skied in CO and UT, my wife enjoys long greens and some blues - mostly she likes to go slow and make lots of turns (she doesn't like speed).  We don't get enough experience in deep powder to be good at handling it but I'm betting that there won't be a ton of powder in early April anyway.

 

We can pretty much go anywhere around Tahoe for those two days (we are arriving on Tuesday and don't have to be back in Reno until Friday afternoon).  My brother (about the same ability as me) has been to Heavenly and really enjoyed it but I am concerned that it might put my wife a little out of her comfort zone.  Wherever we go she will likely want to do ski school for at least a half day.

 

What concerns me is that in all the trail maps I've looked at there is a very low percentage of green runs compared to other places we have been/

 

We're typically very frugal travelers and don't require amenities when we ski (we like to ski, not shop, eat, hang out in the lodge, ski in/out, etc.).  That's why we really like Loveland and Powder Mtn.  The skiing you get for the money is great!

 

With all that said, does anyone have any suggestions on where where we should visit?  Thanks for your input!

 

post #2 of 23

I'd say Alpine Meadows or Northstar. Or Mt. Rose, for that matter! LOVE that you love Powder Mountain. Heavenly has plenty of blue terrain that's pretty simple, especially on the Nevada side, but I found for whatever reason that I'd get bored there. Alpine Meadows is just a more laid-back place than many. Have never skied Mt. Rose but I hear it's mostly Reno locals. It's about the farthest from CA so the large population base won't be there.

 

I'll let others chime in who have skied Tahoe more recently. We had some of our best ski days in April in Tahoe in the 90's! Just pray that the snow that's been falling continues to fall so the snowpack stays in place. Have a blast!

post #3 of 23

Keep an eye on dates the lifts close, though 1st week of April should be safe. (Heavenly will be open then).

 

If Heavenly is out of your wife's comfortzone, look at Northstar or Diamond Peak or Mt Rose.

 

At Rose, look into shuttles from Reno and (iirc) the free ski lesson deal for over 55s (if you're over 55) and 2-fer-Tuesday tickets or 'women ski free on [I forget which weekday]. Rose could be a very affordable option for you.

 

In April many resorts offer  a 'ski spring for peanuts season pass' which mightn't suit you this year - but keep them in mind for cheap skiing in future years. 

 

OR they offer a 'ski spring free and then 2011/12 for $x' season pass and then you come back in 2011/12. Over 2 winters, the daily rate is cheap.  

 

Horizon Casino @ Heavenly has a deal of $110 pp which includes a lift ticket. Shop around for deals like those.

 

Looking ahead to 2011/12, around April/May the skilaketahoe.com 6 pak gors on sale: 6 day tickets to 7 resorts for under $300. That's an average of $50 a day.

 

Enjoy Tahoe

post #4 of 23

I don't know much about spring skiing at Tahoe, but for a little bit of a further drive you can go to Mammoth (where they are typically open until Memorial Day and beyond, have skied there on the fourth of July!) and they should have plenty of terrain to keep anyone of any level busy for a couple of days! It is a pretty easy drive from Reno, and is a good bet for decent snow in April.

post #5 of 23
I've skiied most of the resorts in Tahoe and Mammoth at least a hundred times...Mammoth is a bit far for a ski drive when you have so many resorts in Tahoe, at least 3 hours south.

My suggestion would be Alpine Meadows or Homewood, big enough to have plenty of terrain but small enough to not draw the crowds of a Heavenly or Squaw. The views from frontside Homewood or back bowls Alpine are awesome, especially in the spring sunshine.

header_mountain.jpg
Homewood

 

 

post #6 of 23

First week of April is not very late around here. My last lift day of last season was in July at Boreal and DSR was open into June. With the way the season is going so far it looks like you'll be able to ski at any of the mountains in the area.

Enjoy your trip!!

post #7 of 23

You think you're going late, we'll be there April 16th - 23rd, though possibly just passing through on our way to Mammoth. Depending on what's still open in the Tahoe area (prob just Heavenly and Squaw?) we might ski a day or two in the Tahoe area before heading south to Mammoth. Post some pics when you get back!

post #8 of 23

What others have said.

 

1st week of April is not "very late" in Tahoe.  Judging from the season so far, lifts will be turning well into May.  There is a possibility that some areas will operate a short schedule (e.g., Friday to Monday), or limit lift coverage, but that probably won't happen until late April, particularly with Easter coming late this year.

 

I would not worry terribly much about crowds.  They tend to disappear after Presidents' Week, leaving the fantastic spring skiing for us die-hards.

 

I would plan on going to areas with higher base elevation, such as Alpine, Squaw (at least the upper mountain), Kirkwood, and Sugar Bowl.  But if the season continues as it's been going so far, even the lower elevation resorts like Homewood and Heavenly should have great conditions and views of the lake.

 

Also, don't worry about booking stuff now.  Deals will abound come March.

post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post


What others have said.



 



1st week of April is not "very late" in Tahoe.  Judging from the season so far, lifts will be turning well into May.  There is a possibility that some areas will operate a short schedule (e.g., Friday to Monday), or limit lift coverage, but that probably won't happen until late April, particularly with Easter coming late this year.



 



I would not worry terribly much about crowds.  They tend to disappear after Presidents' Week, leaving the fantastic spring skiing for us die-hards.



 



I would plan on going to areas with higher base elevation, such as Alpine, Squaw (at least the upper mountain), Kirkwood, and Sugar Bowl.  But if the season continues as it's been going so far, even the lower elevation resorts like Homewood and Heavenly should have great conditions and views of the lake.



 



Also, don't worry about booking stuff now.  Deals will abound come March.




 



Good to hear April is not late for Tahoe! When we booked we had conditions Utah in mind and didn't check condition LT.
Now let's hope it will DUMP!
post #10 of 23

Squaw has a great layout.

post #11 of 23

There will be plenty of snow on the ground this spring as long as the Tahoe resorts care to stay open.  Nonetheless if it's warm it can be sloppy at low elevation.  So in that regard I recommend Mt. Rose, Kirkwood and the upper half of Heavenly.  Kirkwood's terrain is somewhat stratified, quite gentle lower mountain and very steep upper mountain. Heavenly is not great for beginners but has lots of intermediate terrain on that upper portion with the best snow.  Mt. Rose is smaller but has decent intermediate terrain. 

 

Mammoth is the best bet at that time of season and has a wide range of terrain across all ability levels. I have complied extensive data for Mammoth, and the mountain averages 60% winter packed powder conditions on April 1.  The "late season" starts about 3 weeks later there.  If you have never skied anywhere in the Sierra I would be inclined to go to Mammoth despite the 3 hour drive from Reno given that you have ~3 days.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

First off, sorry to dredge up this thread again.  Thanks for all of the great suggestions above!

 

Our trip is getting closer now and I wanted to check in again to see if there are any new thoughts on our trip in April.  Everything is still in place as far as our trip dates and all, just still looking for a place to ski.

 

I have looked at the trail maps for Mt. Rose, Diamond Peak, and Northstar.  Right now I'm leaning toward Mt. Rose since it seems like it's probably the best fit for my wife.  How has the snow been out that way this season?  Will Mt. Rose still be open in mid-April?

 

Thanks again for any further advice you all can offer!

post #13 of 23

Oh lord with the amount of snow in the past two weeks, the resorts will be open until May! And honestly, after going there after many years away on the east coast, you guys should really spend a day at Northstar. Wide-open easy blue groomers off almost every chair, and LONG runs at that. It's a little on the larger resort side as far as feel goes, that is until you get on the hill. Then you just don't care. Have a blast! Conditions should be stellar. The long-term forecasts are not turning off the snow machine anytime soon out here. Heading to Mammoth next week myself :D

post #14 of 23

Another "do not fret about skiing that time of year in Tahoe" response.  I've been a Squaw Brat since 1972 and there is abundant skiing into May most every year.  With the amount of snow this year the talk has already turned to whether there will be skiing on the 4th of July.  It is highly likely you will have many choices all through April. 

post #15 of 23
Some of the most devout EpicSki folks work at StartHaus and are quite familiar with local conditions at all the Tahoe area resorts on any given day. Look them up when you get there for the scoop.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks again, folks for all the great info.  It seems like there is so much to choose from - I don't even know where to start.  Will there be any combo lodging / ski "deals" for April coming out in the next few weeks?  That might help to make the decision..

 

Right now I have it narrowed down to Mt. Rose, Squaw, and Northstar..  Maybe we could do two of them?

 

 

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG4ONJ View Post

Thanks again, folks for all the great info.  It seems like there is so much to choose from - I don't even know where to start.  Will there be any combo lodging / ski "deals" for April coming out in the next few weeks?  That might help to make the decision..

 

Right now I have it narrowed down to Mt. Rose, Squaw, and Northstar..  Maybe we could do two of them?


Of those three, Granlibakken has shuttles and discounted tickets to at least Squaw and Northstar, plus shuttles to Alpine, Sugar Bowl (I think), and others.  It puts you just outside of Tahoe City, which gives you food options.

 

Then again, you're talking about doing two days during a conference in Reno?  For that, I'd seriously consider staying in Reno.  Check with your convention hotel to see whether they have shuttles.  For that matter, check the ski area sites too.  Spend at least one at Rose for ease of access, and for the other day, since it sounds like you're looking to cruise groomers, Heavenly or Northstar are good choices.  If you're concerned that you won't be able to handle the terrain at Heavenly, cross Squaw off your list.

post #18 of 23

If you are staying in Reno, check this out before you go— a current list of all Reno hotels with bedbug issues...

 

http://bedbugregistry.com/search/hotel/l:reno,-nv/

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertito View Post

If you are staying in Reno, check this out before you go— a current list of all Reno hotels with bedbug issues...

 

http://bedbugregistry.com/search/hotel/l:reno,-nv/



Wow - thanks for the heads up on this.  Actually our conference hotel is the Atlantis and it's on the list.  Fortunately we aren't staying there.  We were planning on staying on-site at a ski resort the first three days (Tues - Fri) then going to Reno for the conference.  We haven't found a hotel yet though.

 

In the meantime, has anyone seen any deals for April Tahoe skiing / lodging?

post #20 of 23

Unfortunately, I think this may be too late for you, but $102/pp/nt ski and stay at Squaw Valley Lodge....

post #21 of 23

Deals:

 

Check liftopia for lift ticket deals.

 

If you're staying in Reno, most casinos are running $25 -$45/night. So with the discount at liftopia, you're better off doing them seperately.

 

I was there 2 weeks ago. Hotel at Reno: $25 (Sands), lift ticket at Mt. Rose: $41 (includes lunch). Beat that? ;-)

post #22 of 23

By the way, I don't know whether you're tracking this, but you're in for some awesome conditions.  There's more than 300" -- 25 feet -- at the top of Alpine Meadows right now.  That's not cumulative snowfall, it's base depth.

post #23 of 23

Since you are staying at the Atlantis....you have to hit the sushi bar...fantastic. 

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