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.
Posted in bicycles, cycling, families, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks
For a fun weekend for you and your children, consider heading up to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center at Lake Tahoe. Over the weekend of June 24 and 25, two festivals will take place.
The â€śWild Tahoe Weekendâ€ť is sponsored by the US Forest Service Lake Tahoe folks and the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science. Both days are free. Youâ€™ll need to take or buy snacks and lunch.
Saturday, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, is dedicated to the 6th annual Native Species Festival, while Sunday, 10:00 am to 3:30 pm, is for the 7th annual Lake Tahoe Bird Festival. Lulu the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and Smokey the Bear will be there, along with displays and nature walks.
It will be warm over the weekend. Sunscreen, hats, plenty of water should be on your list to take with you. These festivals are especially fun for children of all ages.
Taylor Creek is spectacular right now, and the Visitorâ€™s center, 3 miles north of South Lake Tahoe on State Route 89, is a wonderful place to spend the day with your children, or with just you, enjoying an amazing early summer weekend.
Posted in blogging, education, families, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks
Liesl Kenny, Public Relations Director at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, invites everyone up to Squaw Valley over the 4th of July. The resort is hosting what they call Freedom Fest from July 1 through July 4. As always it will be a fun filled family oriented event in stunning Olympic Valley.
Here’s the line up for Freedom Fest:
“Â Freedom Fest, a celebration of the historic 2016-17 winter season over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, will feature four days of free music on two stages, hot tub parties, fireworks and more. For the fourth time in resort history, Squaw Valley mountain resort will offer skiing and riding on July 4 following a record-breaking winter season with over 60 feet of cumulative snowfall.
Gold Coast Revival concerts will take place July 1-3 from noon to 3pm with ski-in, ski-out access and panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. Paying tribute to the Gold Coast Concert Bowl which hosted the Jerry Garcia Band, Jimmy Cliff and others back in 1991, concerts on July 1 and 2 will feature the WinterWonderGrass All-Stars performing Pickinâ€™ on the Dead featuring Tyler Grant, followed by The Lil Smokies on Monday, July 3.
Freedom Fest moves from Gold Coast to the KT Base Bar with free music starting at 4pm July 1-3. Chi McClean will open for headliner The Grant Farm on Saturday. Music on Sunday from 4-7pm features headliner, Rayland Baxter. Mondayâ€™s concert will extend to 9pm with musical acts by Bonfire Dub featuring Bridget Law of Elephant Revival and Big Head Todd and The Monsters. Mondayâ€™s shows will be followed by a free fireworks display, visible throughout The Village at Squaw Valley.
Bluesdays, the popular outdoor concert series in The Village at Squaw Valley, will host Chris Cain on Tuesday, July 4, rounding out the long weekend of live music across Squaw Valley mountain resort. Known for his jazz-tinged, blues soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals, Chris Cainâ€™s expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery.
In addition to live music, Squaw Valleyâ€™s High Camp Pool and Hot Tub will be open daily from 11am to 4pm with live DJâ€™s performing from noon-4pm, July 1-4. At 8,200 feet with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada, itâ€™s one of the most unique parties around.
Skiing and riding operations are scheduled for 10am-2pm, July 1-4, and are subject to change based on weather and conditions. All 2016-17 and 2017-18 Tahoe Super Passholders will have access to skiing and riding as well as on-mountain concerts. Single and multi-day lift tickets as well as the Tahoe Super Pack will also offer access to the mountain and festivities. ”
That’s a full schedule. Freedom Fest is on the way. Book your room now, then head up for a fun filled 4th.
Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing
The Other Flume Trail
What other Flume Trail? Â The one known as the Incline Flume Trail. Like the other one, the trail is on what used to be a flume that sent logs down to the Lake in the Comstock Era. It’s pretty family friendly, more flatish that its cousin simply known as The Flume Trail. The trail is an extensive project that involves the Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association, the USFS, Friends of Incline Trails, the Forest Service, Nevada State Parks, Nevada Land Trust, Washoe County and Incline General Improvement DistrictÂ and others.
The trail project highlights the ongoing efforts of the Tahoe Fund and others to secure high quality family friendly recreation opportunities throughout the Tahoe Basin.
Read about the trail at the Tahoe Fund website. Get your gear on, pump up the tires and head over there for what is a fun ride with outrageous views of Lake Tahoe.
Posted in bicycles, blogging, cycling, families, health, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks
This last week saw the closing of most of the resorts in and around Lake Tahoe. It’s not for lack of snow though. It’s expensive to run the resorts. Predictably, when the sun comes out in the valleys, skiing and riding just aren’t on the top of the list anymore. Economics drives the entire industry.
Sierra-at-Tahoe stopped operations on Sunday, April 23. April 24 was their annual Customer Appreciation Day. Deep discounted lift tickets with proceeds funneled to various Tahoe area youth sports. They’ve always been generous supporters of the Tahoe community.
Kirkwood, Hope Valley Outdoors are closed as well. The list goes on. The only resorts staying open right now are Mt. Rose, Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and for just a short time more, Heavenly. For most people that means a bit of a longer drive. Spring conditions will prevail of course.
Was it a good season? How about a snowpack of 300% of normal, which would mean “Yes”. Skiers and riders enjoyed multiple powder days, deep snows, stunning conditions. For most, it was a long season, and for some, an even longer one.
The XC and backcountry crowd still have plenty of places to ski. It looks very much as if they will continue to be able to enjoy the snow through May. It’s likely that there will be snow in the mountains till next season. Just look for north facing slopes.
Expect to run into snow when hiking above 8,000 feet through summer. Wildflower blooms in the Carson Pass area will be delayed. Till when? When the snow has melted, which will take a while. Maybe by late July or early August they’ll start to pop up. At lower elevations the blooms will come earlier, and will most likely be stunning.
Backcountry travelers should be extremely aware that avalanche conditions will continue to exist. Sierra Avalanche Center issued their last advisory and observations for the season on April 23. Stay away from any area that even remotely has avalanche characteristics.
Travel into the mountains and enjoy the continuing seasonal transition. Take a lot of common sense with you.
Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow
Back country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts will be without the extremely valuable Sierra Avalanche Center alerts after April 23. The last advisory will be on that date. You are on your own after that date. Pay attention to what you see out there. Common sense, buckets full of it, comes into play now more than ever. Here is the complete information from the SAC website:
“The last advisory of the season will occur April 23rd. Â Thanks to all who have supported the avalanche center.
After this winterâ€™s historic snowfall and with exciting spring skiing/riding prospects approaching, Sierra Avalanche Center would like to prepare our users for the end of SACâ€™s 2016-2017 forecasting season. Â The daily advisories will continue through April 23rd. After that date, SAC encourages you to put your hard earned avalanche training and knowledge gained from previous days of travel in avalanche terrain to use to act as your own avalanche expert. Â For your assistance, Sierra Avalanche Center will include a list of internet resources in the spring statement on the SAC advisory page. These resources can be used for daily travel planning and assisting with go/no go decisions.
Like you, the avalanche center is always disappointed at the close of a season and understands and acknowledges the desire to extend operations, but are not able to forecast beyond April 23, 2017 for the following reasons:
1) Public use of the daily advisory declines dramatically – Tracking of website usage shows that regardless of the snow year, big like 2010-2011, one of the recent drought years, or a fairly typical winter like 2015-2016, use of the SAC website drops by approximately 80% during the month of April when compared to daily use during December through March.
2) The forecast season’s budget is exhausted – The avalanche centerâ€™s funding is a complex mix of public and private funds and the budget is created to provide a sustainable avalanche center. Extending the season would cut into funding for future seasons. In addition to this problem, due to the complex nature of the public private partnership, the timeline for altering the agreements and contracts to make additional funding accessible for late April and May was deemed unattainable when examined at the beginning of March.
3) Forecaster availability – The forecasters have other work obligations beginning in May. Â These obligations conflict with forecaster availability to provide continued full forecasting operations and are necessary to ensure continuous income and seasonal stability regardless of the snow year.
4) What about weekend only advisories? – The majority of late season users are interested in storm events rather than the predictable day to day spring melt-freeze conditions. Storm events would not be adequately covered by weekend only advisories. To properly cover late season storms to the expected standard, employee availability would be needed 7 days per week and this would require continued full operations.”
Posted in education, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, skiing, snow
The ski scene in the Lake Tahoe area is going through the annual closing dance. Several resorts shut down as of April 16 or 17. Others will close the weekend of April 22, with April 24 thrown in. The rest will close in May. Squaw Valley will continue, conditions permitting, with a limited schedule through June, then open over July 4. Ski all you can–it’s a long wait till next season. Mammoth will stay open till July 4. Keep in mind that all these dates that extend past April are “conditions permitting”.
These resorts are closed:
Hope Valley Outdoors: Â www.hopevalleyoutdoors.com
Kirkwood: Â www.kirkwood.com
Tahoe Donner Ski and Tahoe Donner Cross Country:Â www.skitahoedonner.com
Royal Gorge Cross Country:Â www.royalgorge.com
Tahoe Cross Country and Tahoe City Winter Sports park:Â www.wintersportspark.com
Granlibakken (as of April 17):Â www.granlibakken.com
Donner Ski Ranch: ClosedÂ mid-week, open weekends until there’s not enough snow to ski on: www.donnerskiranch.com
Bear Valley Cross Country:Â www.bearvalleyxc.com
June Mountain:Â www.junemountain.com
Dodge Ridge:Â www.dodgeridge.com
These resorts will close around April 23-24:
Diamond Peak:Â www.diamondpeak.com
Mt. Rose:Â Daily to April 23, full operations, after that it’sÂ Thursday thru Sunday until May 29:Â www.skirose.com
Soda Springs:Â Thursday thru Sunday, Â closing April 23:Â www.skisodasprings.com
Sugar Bowl:Â www.sugarbowl.com
Bear Valley:Â www.bearvalley.com
Staying open through April 30:Â
Alpine Meadows: Daily till April 30, then weekends to May 4:Â www.skialpine.com
Staying open through June and opening on July 4:
Squaw Valley:Â www.squaw.com
Open through July 4:
Mammoth Mountain:Â www.mammothmountain.com
Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow
What do you do with all that snow? If you’re Joyce Coker, owner of Hope Valley Outdoors, you stay open. The business, in the Yurt at Pickett’s Junction, is up to it’s ears in snow, and the xc skiing is about as good as it gets.
Coker is also continuing her annual used gear sale. Keep in mind that this is gently used gear. Coker’s xc gear–skis, boots, poles–is top of the line for kicking and gliding, perfect for the Hope Valley area. Her hours run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m every day.
Her business offers xc ski lessons, tours, and rental gear for all ages. Joyce is a very experienced back country skier. Her focus is on traditional xc skiing–kicking and gliding. She can also take you to the steeper areas and put your turning skills good use.
If you are a beginner she’ll show you how to get started and stay upright. Anyone who is in the intermediate to advanced categories will enjoy and benefit from taking a lesson or two from her, which will lead to improved skills on the skinny skis, no matter how long you’ve been at it.
If you simply need to rent the gear, then head out, her knowledge of Hope Valley will come in handy. Coker will match your skills to the varied terrain in Hope Valley so that your day will be spent skiing in areas that are appropriate for your skill level.
Right now the Yurt is surrounded by 4 to 6 feet of snow. With another couple of storms coming in, the snow will simply get a bit deeper. It also means that you’ll find that putting your xc gear on the snow will be a memorable experience. As you head west on SR 88 from the Yurt, the snow depths pile up, rather noticeably.
Take advantage to this seasons snow. Get some of the used gear from Joyce, ski on fantastic snow, take a lesson or two. It’s stunning up there.
Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, skiing, snow
Itâ€™s that time of year when season pass prices hit the ski market around Tahoe. These prices are most often the most economical youâ€™ll see. Itâ€™s time to prove youâ€™re an optimist about next seasonâ€™s snowfall. Youâ€™ll be in the group who absolutely knows itâ€™s going to be worth that season pass.
If you ski four times youâ€™ll pay for the pass in most cases. From your fifth trip to the lifts to the end of the season, youâ€™ll be skiing and riding for free.
Hereâ€™s a list of the resorts in the Tahoe area, plus Bear Valley, their phone numbers, website links, and details on the various versions of a season pass for the 2017-2018 ski season. All of the rates listed below will go up, with some of the passes offered on a limited basis. Check the websites for full information regarding prices.
SIERRA-AT- TAHOE www.sierraattahoe.com / (530) 659-747
Certified Unserious Unlimited Season Pass:Â
Adults $329 for, Young Adults (13-22) $279 or College Students (proof of 6 fall 2017 credits), Child (5-12) or Super Seniors (70+) $139
Unrestricted access to the mountain seven days a week, all season long, with no restrictions the entire 2017/18 season. No blackout dates on powder days, holidays or weekends when other passholders may get shutout. Ski or ride at Sierra for free the rest of the 2016/17 season.
Also: Skiing/riding for free at other resorts through the Powder Alliance for the 2017/18 season. Made up of the greatest powder stashes in the West, the Powder Alliance includes three days of FREE skiing/riding at 13 other mountains including Crested Butte, Stevens Pass, Timberline, Schweitzer, China Peak, Mountain High, Arizona Snowbowl, Mt. Hood Skibowl, Angel Fire Resort, Bridger Bowl, Whitewater and Silverstar in BC, Canada, plus Kiroro Resort in Hokkaido, Japan.
Sierra Resort Value Pass: $279 : The Sierra-at-Tahoe Value Pass is perfect for locals who ski midweek and like to Â have the mountain to themselves. The Sierra Value Pass is valid Sunday through Friday excluding blackout dates: 2017/18 Blackout Dates: December 26-31, 2017, January 13-14, 2018, February 17-18, 2018.
KIRKWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT www.kirkwood.com / (209) 258-6000
Kirkwoodâ€™s season passes range from the:
Epic:Â Adults $859 and Child $449, (which gives you unlimited skiing at Kirkwood and at these other resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Stowe, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Perisher and Arapahoe Basin, plus access to 30 European resorts across Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland), to the:
Kirkwood Pass: (unlimited skiing at Kirkwood) Â Â Adults $549, $439 teen and senior (65+) and $279 child and through 7 more categories.
The last is the :College Pass: $489.
Most come with access to other resorts, buddy tickets and other goodies. Youâ€™ll have to go to their site to take a look at their extensive offerings.
HEAVENLY MOUNTAIN RESORT www.skiheavenly.com / (775) 586-7000
Heavenly is in the same group at Kirkwood. The season passes here also span 8 categories.
Epic Pass:Â Adults $859and $449 child, with the same access to the list of resorts at Kirkwood, to the unlimited
Tahoe Local Pass:Â Adults $549, Â Teen $439, Â Child $279, to the
College Pass at $489 or $369. Go to their website to see all their extensive offerings. Each pass has other goodies attached to it.
HOMEWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT www.skihomewood.com / (530) 525-2900/ (530) 584-6800
Homewoodâ€™s unlimited:Â Adults $409, Teen $329, Junior $159, Senior (62-69) $269, and Super Senior (70+) $219
College Pass (unlimited): $259
Family Pass (unlimited): (2 adults, 2 teens or child) $1059. Children to age 4 ski free.
Perks include 5 discounted friends and family tickets (30% off) plus 10% off food, beverages, rentals, demos and retail. Thereâ€™s also access to Red Lodge Mountain (unlimited) and Whitefish (5 days) (Montana), Diamond Peak, Brundage Mountain (5 days) (Idaho) Â˝ price at Alta (Utah)
GRANLIBAKKEN RESORT www.granlibakken.com /(530) 581-7533 / (530) 583-4242 Â **These are their normal prices throughout the season. They do not offer season passes. Granlibakken rates are Adults $30, $35 Holiday, $16 half-day, Child (12 and under) $20 full day, $25 holiday, $10 half-day.
Gold (unlimited):Â Adults (19-64) $869, Young Â Adults (13-18) $719, Child (5-12) $389, Senior (65-75) $719 and Super Senior (76+) $389.
Silver(10 blackout dates–December 26 – 31, 2017; January 13-14, 2018; February 17 – 18, 2018): Â Adults (19-64) $659,Young Adults (13-18) $489, Child (5-12) $299, Senior (65-75) $489 and Super Senior (76+) $299.
Bronze (Valid Monday-Friday; not valid on any Saturdays or Sundays and December 26 – 31, 2017; January 13-14, 2018; February 17 – 18, 2018):Adults (19-64) $499, Young Adults (13-18) $409, Senior (65-75) $409.
College: unlimited $469
6 discounted friends and family lift tickets for all pass types, 10% off at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows owned food and beverage locations. Thereâ€™s more. Check out their website for full details.
NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA www.northstarcalifornia.com / (530) 562-1330/ (530) 562-2267
Season passes are the same as Kirkwoodâ€™s, with the addition of the Tahoe Value College, $369: Â Ski 7 days a week at Heavenly and 6 days a week at Northstar and Kirkwood. Restrictions: Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood blackouts 11/24/17-11/25/17, 12/26-12/31, 1/13/2018, 1/13/18-2/18/18, plus all Saturdays at Northstar and Kirkwood.
Other perks include buddy tickets, ski with a friend, discounts at other resorts.
DIAMOND PEAK www.diamondpeak.com /(775) 831-1177
Diamond Peak passes:Â Adults (24-64, unlimited) $379; mid-week $279, Youth (13-23)/ College: $219; mid-week $179, Child (7-12)/Senior (65-69) $159; mid-week $139 Super Senior (70-79) $139; mid-week $119; 6 and under, 80+, Free all the time.
Discounted bring-a-friend tickets, 4 free bonus non-holiday lift tickets at select partner resorts including: Homewood Mountain Resort, Red Lodge Mountain, Bogus Basin and more partners TBD. Check the website for full details.
Mt. ROSE SKI TAHOE www.skirose.com / 800-SKIROSE/ (775) 849-0704
Season passes at the Rose: Â Adults (24+, unlimited) $449; Young Adults (16-23) $349, Child $199.
Mid-week at the Rose: MON â€“ FRI Not Valid Dec 25-29, Jan 15, Feb 19. Call for pricing.
TAHOE DONNER XC www.skitahoedonner.com / (530) 587-9484 Â
Season passes: Â Adults (18-59, unlimited) $309; Junior (13-17) $204; Child (7-12) $159, Senior (60-69) $164, Super Senior (70+) Free.
BOREAL MOUNTAIN RESORT www.rideboreal.com / (530) 426-3666 Â
Visit their website for details. 2017-2018 season pass prices are not posted yet.
SODA SPRINGS WINTER RESORT www.skisodasprings.com / (530) 426-3901
Adults (24-59): $229; Young Â Adults (18-23) $169; Teen (13-17) $169; Child (5-12) $129; Mini (4 and under) $29;
Senior (60+) $49. All prices are unlimited access to Soda Springs.
ROYAL GORGE XCÂ Â www.royalgorge.com / (530) 426-3871 Cross country heaven! Â
Adults (23-64) $309; Young Â Adults (13-22 ) $289; Senior (65-74) $289; Child (0-12) Free Daily Pass (one time $25 processing fee applied to receive season pass media–the actual pass); Super Senior (75+) Free Daily Pass (one time $25 processing fee applied to receive season pass media–the actual pass). For complete details visit the website.
SUGAR BOWL SKI RESORT www.sugarbowl.com / (530) 426-1111
Season passes, with perks:Â Child (5 and under) $45 (also gives access to xc skiing at Royal Gorge).
Adults (23-64,unrestricted) $689, Young Adults (13-22) $479, Senior (65-74) $479, Child (6-12) and Super Senior (75+) $299
Slightly Restricted (blackout dates: 12/26/17-1/1/18, 1/13-14/18 (Sat/Sun of MLK, 2/17-18/18 (Sat/Sun of Presidents Day Weekend.):
Adults $479, Young Adults $359, Senior (65-74) $359
Mid-Week (Valid Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, blackout dates 12/26-29/2017, 1/1/2018)
Adults (23-64) $299, Young Adults (13-22, unrestricted) $269, Senior (65-74) $269
Check their website for additional cost to season pass for xc skiing at Royal Gorge for all other ages, plus pass perks)
DONNER SKI RANCH www.donnerskiranch.com / (530) 426-3635
As they say on their website: â€śLow lift ticket prices every day with no variable pricing, and no surprisesâ€ť
Adults (18-69) $299, Teen (13-17) $249, Child (6-12)$149, Young Child (0-6), Senior (70+) $199
Bear Valley www.bearvalley.com / (209)753-2301 Peaks Pass and Polar Pass both offer unrestricted access to lifts for the spring of 2017 and the entire 2017/18 season. See their website for complete information about perks.
Peaks: Adults (23-64) $599, Youth (14-22) $499, Child (6-13) $329, Kinder (5 and under) $89, Senior (65-69) $329, Super Senior (70+) $89
Polar: Adults (23-64) $449, Youth (14-22) $339, Child (6-13) $259, Kinder (5 and under) $79, Senior (65-69) $259, Super Senior (70+) $79
College Pass: (College students taking a minimum of 12 credit hours at the time of pass pick-up. Please bring a transcript in order to pick up.): $219
Military Pass: (Active duty US military members. Please bring an active military ID in order to pick up.): $219
Posted in families, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow
Anyone who ventures into the snowy back county on a regular basis knows that all snow is different. Each day is different. They also know that avalanche conditions vary from day to day and place to place. It’s the reason they check the Sierra Avalanche Center website before they head out there. Snow in the mountains means avalanches are possible, always.
This year the snow in this part of the Sierra is very deep. Over 50 feet has fallen on the highest parts of the high country since the snow started falling last November. Ski resorts are reporting around that much at their summits. The storms have come in on a regular basis, and so have the avalanches. It’s just plain nuts to ignore the conditions while skiing or riding in the back country.
About two weeks ago a skier on Mt. Tallac heading down The Cross triggered an avalanche that took him 800 feet down slope. According to the Sierra Avalanche Center “A skier triggered avalanche was reported at the trailhead of Mt. Tallac this afternoon.Â The avalanche occurred in The Cross, a steep couloir off of the main summit of Mt. Tallac.Â The avalanche occurred at 12:30pm.Â The main entrance into the Cross had been skied by approximately 8 people at around 11am with some minor loose wet activity observed.Â At 12:30pm, a group of 2 skiers went to the top to descend the skiers left entrance, on an east aspect.Â As the first skier made several turns into the slope, the slope released a slab avalanche.Â The skier was carried approximately 800′ downslope past trees and over rocks with the avalanche debris continuing to run downslope further. Injuries were reported with a broken ski and lost equipment.”
The skier survived, at least as of this writing. He’s lucky. Survival rates aren’t good at all for those caught in avalanches. It’s important to understand that avalanches are largely unpredictable, even with the best and most professional observations of the snow conditions. They aren’t controllable either. Once they start, they simply roar down slope till they run out of energy, mostly taking out anything in their path.
Know before you go, always. Stay safe in this year’s wonderfully snow back country.
Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow