Close to the end


Sierra-at-Tahoe’s South Shore concierge desk.

Downhill ski resorts in and around Tahoe are announcing their closing dates. While there may be what looks like plenty of snow to ski on, the economics of running a ski resort are what generally dictate when they close. With sunny, very warm days in the valley, temps in the high 70’s and higher, flowers blooming, lakes full, gardens being planted, thoughts of skiing start to fade out. The number of skiers showing up drops off pretty quickly. 

Kevin Cooper, Kirkwood spokesman, said they will stop the lifts at the close of the day on Sunday, April 8. Northstar California shuts down a week later on Sunday, April 15, as will Diamond Peak and Tahoe Donner. Granlibakken will close on April 16. Heavenly is next, closing on Sunday, April 22.

Jessica VanPernis Weaver, JVP Communications said that Homewood will close on April 15. She said the Mt. Rose will shut down the lifts on April 29, which marks another full 6 month season for them. Sugar Bowl will remain open depending on conditions. Squaw Valley  has extended their season thru Memorial Day, with Alpine Meadows running through April and possibly into May, according to Liesl Hepburn, Public Relations Director at the resorts.

Thea Hardy, Communications Manager at Sierra-at-Tahoe said they while they generally close mid to late April, their closing date depends on the longevity of the current snowpack as well as temperatures and changing conditions. With 17+ feet of snow in March it’s hard to think of shutting down. Dodge Ridge stops on April 8. Bear Valley runs till April 22. If you are a fan of Mammoth, you have till Memorial Day. June Mountain is calling it a season on April 8.

No word from Boreal or Soda Springs yet. They will most likely shut down around the same time as the others, or when the snow cover gets too thin.

The cross country resorts that are connected with downhill resorts will close when they do, or before if snow coverage on their trails gets a bit iffy. Hope Valley Outdoors Joyce Coker said that the Yurt will come down on April 16. Cross country fans can then head out to wherever there is good coverage and keep kicking and gliding, right up till the dirt comes through the snow.

Call ahead if you have any questions about what’s running, snow conditions, and hours, or visit the resorts website. Get out there while you can, time’s running out on this season.

Check out more about Tahoe on Tahoe Outside.

Posted in families, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Storm door opens–finally

Storm door opens–finally              

Homewood ski view of Tahoe

Homewood, Chairlift 5: What a view of Tahoe Photo courtesy of JVP Comms/Homewood Mountain Resort

After a slow, some would say miserly, start, snow has begun to fall again over the Sierra in the Tahoe region. From Pollock Pines to Mt. Rose, and over on the SR 88 corridor, snow is predicted for the next several days. More is expected next week. Keep up with the snow predictions at Tahoe Snow.  For daily ski resort information, Curtis Fong, “That guy from Tahoe” , runs a comprehensive site that covers all of them. Bike and Ski Tahoe is the site. Check out Joyce Coker’s Hope Valley Outdoors for backcountry ski lessons and rental.

Today, March 14, 2018, Jessica VanPernis of JVP Communications in Tahoe said that “Homewood Mountain Resort is offering incredible mid-winter snow conditions, affordable lift access (starting at $49 per person), and spring events including the upcoming Beer & Gear Festival (March 17). More snow is in the forecast this week, and now’s the time to make plans to get on the hill for some spring skiing and riding!”

From Liesl Hepburn, Public Relations Director Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows: “Twelve inches of new snow fell overnight at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and it’s still snowing! The National Weather Service is calling for up to 50 more inches by the end of the week, making for a powder-filled weekend at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.”

Thea Hard, Sierra-at-Tahoe PR, posted this about season passes: “ Sierra-at-Tahoe announces the Certified Unserious Season Pass for only $349. Guests get access to unlimited days during the 2018/19 Winter Season as well as the remainder of the current season. Each 2018/19 Certified Unserious Unlimited Season Pass is loaded with benefits including four $50 Buddy Tickets, Free Fridays (on select Fridays) and three days of free skiing at every other Powder Alliance resort; available for use in the 2018/19 winter season.”

Spring is just around the corner. Get out there and enjoy this new round of wonderful snow. Alpine, Nordic, snowshoe, just hopping around in the snow, the time is now.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation

Tahoe Fund seeks proposals

Tahoe Fund seeks proposals     

Know before you go.

Good gear, stay warm, always check avalanche conditions
photo/J Ferris

The Tahoe Fund, according to a statement on their website, was “…founded in 2010,  as a registered non-profit corporation in the States of  Nevada and California. The purpose of the Tahoe Fund is to become a major source of private funding for environmental projects around the Lake Tahoe Basin with an emphasis on recreation, conservation and education.”

To that end, they’ve raised quite a bit of money and launched numerous projects around the lake. They are currently asking for proposals that will help solve the many environmental challenges facing Lake Tahoe.

Here’s what they are looking for:  “The Tahoe Fund seeks projects for its 2018 Signature and Premier Project Portfolios that will improve Lake Tahoe’s environment, reduce the risk of wildfire, and address climate change by enhancing water quality, restoring watersheds, creating healthier forests, improving transportation and fostering outdoor recreation.  The Tahoe Fund also seeks to build a greater sense of stewardship in the Tahoe Basin.” Fundraising goals run from $5,000 to $1,000,000.

Interested? If your organization is looking to participate,  submit your project ideas by January 31, 2018 at

More Tahoe info at Tahoe Outside.

Posted in education, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation

Mt. Rose opens for 2017-18 season

Jessica VanPernis Weaver, of JVP Communications, sent out this press release today, November 5:

Mt. Rose opens Nov. 6,2017

Mt. Rose opens for 2017-18 season

“Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe announced it will begin daily operations for the 2017-18 winter season tomorrow. The first resort to open in the Lake Tahoe area for the season, Mt. Rose will offer access to one beginner ski trail accessed by the Wizard chairlift from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days per week, and will continue to open additional terrain as weather and conditions permit. Snowmaking operations are now underway as temperatures allow. Beginning tomorrow, lift tickets will be available for $59 for guests ages 16+, and $29 for children ages 15 and under.

“Thanks to this past weekend’s winter weather and the return of cold overnight temperatures, our snowmaking team has been able to make snow at every opportunity,” said Mike Pierce, director of marketing for Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. “At 8,260’, Mt. Rose benefits from the Lake Tahoe area’s highest base area elevation, meaning that we’re able to make snow from top to bottom. As conditions permit, we’ll continue to make snow, and hope to open even more terrain for our guests to enjoy very soon.”

The Lodgepole Café and Timbers Bar will also be open daily in the Main Lodge. Equipment rentals and ski lessons will not be offered until more terrain is opened, however guests will be able to pick-up season leases and purchase season passes.

Following last season’s six-month winter season, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe will aim for that goal again this year, and will open additional terrain as weather and conditions permit. For more information about resort services, conditions, or to purchase a lift ticket or season pass, visit”

Mt. Rose is the first to offer 7 days a week skiing. It’s time to do the snow dance! Get with it, time to ski!

Posted in families, health, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Sierra-at-Tahoe Job Fair

Job Fair Sierra-at-Tahoe

SAT customer service

Customer Service, Sierra-at-Tahoe
Photo courtesy of B. Walker/SAT PR

Thea Hardy, Public Relations at Sierra-at-Tahoe, has announced their annual job fair for the coming ski season. From the time the last skier left the resort at the end of last season, the resort has been a busy place, and it’s about to ramp up the busy factor.

If you’re looking for a ski season job, either at the entry level or a spot that requires experience, it’s time to take a look at what’s needed at Sierra. The job fair will take place on Saturday, October 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Solstice Plaza at Sierra (

The job board is pretty extensive. Ski resorts are like small cities. Running one takes a wide variety of skills over a very long list of job titles and skills.

John Rice, longtime General Manager of the resort, has said that they are looking for employees who are really good with working with the public. Sierra turns into an international gathering from the opening bell till the end of the day, every day of the season. People from around the globe, from the very young to the much more mature, enjoy the resort every day it’s open.

Accountants, drivers, mechanics, janitors, mountain operations, ski school instructors, retail, food and beverage, barista’s, reservation desk, ticket desk, lift operators, day care, guest services, IT support, parking, warehouse, and more, all of whom make the resort function smoothly, no matter what.

What do you need? Good people skills, and a love of the mountains. Awesome, as Hardy describes it. You do need to show up and apply. What a way to spend the winter.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Alpine Aspen Festival and Fish Fest at Lake Tahoe

Judy Wickwire fly fishing.

Fly fishing with Judy Wickwire in Hope Valley. Photo Courtesy of Alpine Aspen Festival

Alpine Aspen Festival

The Alpine Aspen Festival takes place over the October 7 & 8 weekend. Head up to Hope Valley and the Blue Lakes Road, right off SR 88. The large parking lot, almost at the intersection, is where most everything will be.

Hiking, nature walks, disc golf, watercolor workshops, music, fly fishing demonstrations and instruction, Dutch Oven cooking, history, aspen tree planting, bird watching and much more will fill each day. Some of the offerings are off site but close by. Most everything is free. Anything that you pay for will be more than worth it.

Families will enjoy the friendly people and events, and your well behaved doggies are welcome as well. All of this is in a beautiful area of Hope Valley. The aspens will be showing some color, and fall is absolutely in the air up here.

Remember to wear layers, use sunscreen, take a hat, and lots of chocolate.

Fall Fish Fest

The Fall Fish Fest at the USFS Taylor Creek Visitors Center at Lake Tahoe. It’s an annual celebration of the return of the Kokanee Salmon to Taylor Creek.

Saturday and Sunday, October 7 & 8, 2017, from 10:00 AM – 4:00 p.m. this family friendly festival celebrates autumn, Kokanee Salmon, Taylor Creek, Lake Tahoe, and education about all of it.  Added bonus: it’s free.

All you have to do is show up. While there will be goodies available it’s best to bring your own lunch and stash of snacks, especially chocolate covered M&M’s. Festivals can be hunger inducing, especially among the children.Arrive early to get a decent parking spot. The annual Oktoberfest is going on at Camp Richardson at the same time.  With two big events like this happening at the same time parking will be a nightmare. Go early.

The salmon will fill Taylor creek from bank to bank. An amazing sight that is also very colorful, as they swim upstream to spawn. Year after year, they head back to Taylor Creek to do it all over again. The Kokanee turn red during their swim upstream making them pretty easy to see. Bring your camera, with a full battery and lots of room on the memory card.

The day will include a treasure hunt–always exciting for the little ones–fish painting, a visit from Smokey Bear, and the mascots Lulu the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and Rock Salmon, along with a giant inflatable Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Add to the mix the Bumble Bee Ice Cream truck and things just look perfect.

Runners may opt for the  Kokanee Trail Runs. Walkers are welcome to participate in these runs.

The Rainbow Trail winds through the underground Stream Profile Chamber, which is part of the Rainbow Trial. There’s lots to do and learn while on the trail. Take the time to read all the colorful signs along the way.

The Kokanee Salmon are prime food sources for bears. There are plenty of bears around, and at this time of year quite a few of them head to Taylor Creek, intent on gorging on salmon.

They are wild animals. Mother bears with cubs come here. If there are bears around while you are there, stay well away from them, especially the mother bears with cubs in tow. Your safety and the safety of the bears are at stake.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation

Alpine Watershed Group Creek Clean Up Day

Autumn is on the way!

If Hope Valley is on your list of favorite places to get outside, consider pitching in to clean it up. Great chance to do so Saturday, Sep. 9.

The Alpine Watershed Group is holding its Creek Clean Up Day, and Hope Valley is on the list.

According to the blurb on their website, “The Alpine Watershed Group hosts this annual event in partnership with a variety of local agencies and community groups, including Alpine County, Friends of Hope Valley, and the Carson Water Subconservancy District.”

What’s on tap? Take your pick:

 – Hope Valley Willow Planting and Bank Stabilization

   – Grover State Park – Native Garden and Weed Pull

   – Bear Valley Trout Spawning Protection 

   – Markleeville Creek Heritage Park Enhancement

   – Storm Drain Stenciling in Markleeville 

Great time to give back to a spectacular place, meet old friends and new, and have a fun filled and rewarding day in the mountains.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation

After Labor Day

picture of mountain bike rider on mountain trail.

Mountain bike rider on trail from Twin Peaks

Labor Day has come and gone. Shoulder season begins! From Pollock Pines to Tahoe the crowds have thinned out. Trails and lakes are wonderful and waiting.

School bells started ringing in early August–weird–and as of now, all schools are in session. Football rules the weekends. Homework, clubs, school, have take over, leaving the high country much less crowded.

Where to go, what to do? Just about anything. Hiking, mountain biking, kayaks and canoes, fishing, camping, all of it. Weather has been hot but is cooling off now, making things much more comfortable.

Rafting? Tahoe City to River Ranch on the Truckee is slow and sweet. The American River out of Coloma is running really nicely for anyone wanting a whitewater ride (Adventure Connection).

Kayak and canoe enthusiasts can head to Silver Lake, Caples Lake, Loon Lake, Union Valley, and Lake Tahoe for a little human powered water fun.

Hiking? Carson Pass, Hope Valley, Crystal Basin, Tahoe Basin. Take your pick. It’s all good. All you need to do is get out there.

Posted in bicycles, cycling, families, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks

Mountain Bikes in the Mountains

Andrew on the up hill run, Placerville Bike Shop

Mountain bikes in the mountains. What a combo! With summer in full roar, long days with more trail opening up as the snow melts, mountain bikes are riding just about everywhere possible. Here are some places to learn, to rent a bike, or just find out about local trails in and around Pollock Pines to Tahoe.


Kirkwood runs a mountain bike park in the summer. They run only on weekends. From 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday (July/August including Labor Day weekend). Rentals, lessons, lifts, thrills, and high altitude riding.

Northstar Califorina  runs their bike park 7 days a week. Hours are  from 10;00 am- 5:00 pm, Saturday to Thursday, and 10:00am to 7:00 pm on Fridays. Rentals, lessons, lifts, competition, group instruction.

Squaw Valley is still in downhill ski mode. Kinda hard to mountain bike amongst the skiers.

Bike shops  and rental outfits that can steer you to great rides:

Placerville Bike Shop, 1307 Broadway, Placerville, CA 95765, 530.622.3015

Wattabike, 2933 Highway 50, Meyers, CA 96150, 530.544.7700

South Shore Bikes, 871 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.544.7433

Anderson’s Bike Rental, 645 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.541.0500

Camp Richardson Outdoor Sports1900 Jameson Beach Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.542.6584  

Sierra Ski and Cycle Works,  3430 Lake Tahoe Blvd. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.541.7505

Tahoe Bike Company, 3131 Harrison Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.600.0267

Over the Edge Tahoe, 3665 Tamarack Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 530.600.3633

Olympic Bike Shop, 620 N Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145, 530.581.2500

Flume Trail Bikes, 1115 Tunnel Creek Rd b, Incline Village, NV 89451,  775.298.2501

Factory Bikes, 3039 CA-89, Olympic Valley, CA 96146,  530.581.3399

Posted in Outdoor Recreation

Death Ride 2017

Death Ride 2017

Death Ride/Tour of the California Alps, 2017: Stunning!
Logo courtesy of Death Ride 2017

Death Ride 2017 will launch out of Turtle Rock Park, SR 89, just south of Woodfords and north of Markleeville, on July 8, at 0500 or daylight, whichever shows up first. The ride is also known as the Tour of the California Alps, coursing through the Sierra.

The Ride

For 129 miles, riders will climb an aggregate total of 15,000 feet. Three stunning mountain passes will be summited, two of them twice. First up is Monitor Pass, 8,314 feet, ridden both ways, twice. Next up is Ebbetts Pass, 8,730 feet and the highest, ridden both ways, twice. After climbing out of Woodfords Canyon on SR 88, riders tackle Carson Pass, 8,580 feet, making this the fifth pass of the day. All of this, 129 miles of it, have to be completed by 2000, or 8 pm.

Swag and Support

Completing all five passes earns 5 stickers for your helmet, a Five-Pass Pin, and you’re eligible to buy the Five-Pass jersey. If you registered for this lung busting challenge,  here’s what you receive, besides bragging rights:

• Custom Death Ride® Patch
• Custom Death Ride® Water Bottle
• Custom Death Ride® Five-Pass Finishers Pin (if course is completed)
• Tuf-Map
• Giveaways from Sponsors at Bike Expo and on course
• Official Participant Numbers
• Highway Closures
• SAG, Tech & On Course Communication Support
• Medical Support
• Law Enforcement Support
• Food & Drink at Rest Stops
• Lunch (10:00am – 3:00pm)
• Live Music
• Post Ride Dinner/Rider Dinner complimentary per event organizers and is NOT refundable

You might still be able to register to ride. You’ll have to check with the Death Ride folks to find out. If you haven’t trained for this, or you have never ridden or hiked at altitude, you’re better off waiting till next year. It’s a stunning ride, and now matter how many of the climbs you ultimately conquer, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.

Posted in bicycles, blogging, cycling, Death Ride/Tour of the California Alps, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks