Summer Freedom Fest July 1-4

Freedom Fest Concert at Squaw Valley

Gold Coast Freedom Fest concert time at Squaw.
Photo courtesy of Tom Day/Squaw/Alpine PR

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:

 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 Pickin’ 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. Monday’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. Monday’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 Cain’s expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery.

In addition to live music, Squaw Valley’s High Camp Pool and Hot Tub will be open daily from 11am to 4pm with live DJ’s performing from noon-4pm, July 1-4. At 8,200 feet with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada, it’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

All that snow to ski on

Skiing in powder at SAT

Powder day at SAT March 2017
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR

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

Resorts closing

New snow Mt. Rose

Mt. Rose with new snow
Photo courtesy of Mt. Rose PR

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:  www.hopevalleyoutdoors.com

Kirkwood:  www.kirkwood.com

Tahoe Donner Ski and Tahoe Donner Cross Country: www.skitahoedonner.com

Royal Gorge Cross Country: www.royalgorge.com

Homewood: www.skihomewood.com

Tahoe Cross Country and Tahoe City Winter Sports park: www.wintersportspark.com

Granlibakken (as of April 17): www.granlibakken.com

Donner Ski Ranch: Closed mid-week, open weekends until there’s not enough snow to ski on: www.donnerskiranch.com

Bear Valley Cross Country: www.bearvalleyxc.com

Around Mammoth:

June Mountain: www.junemountain.com

Dodge Ridge: www.dodgeridge.com

These resorts will close around April 23-24:

Sierra-at-Tahoe: www.sierraattahoe.com

Diamond Peakwww.diamondpeak.com

Mt. Rose: Daily to April 23, full operations, after that it’s Thursday thru Sunday until May 29: www.skirose.com

Northstar: www.northstarcalifornia.com

Soda Springs: Thursday thru Sunday,  closing April 23: www.skisodasprings.com

Sugar Bowl: www.sugarbowl.com

Bear Valley: www.bearvalley.com

Staying open through April 30: 

Alpine Meadows: Daily till April 30, then weekends to May 4: www.skialpine.com

Staying open through June and opening on July 4:

Squaw Valley: www.squaw.com

Open through July 4:

Mammoth Mountain: www.mammothmountain.com


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

Season Passes around Tahoe

Read to ski

Groomed and ready at SAT Photo courtesy of Thea Hardy, SAT PR

It’s that time of year when season pass prices hit the ski market around Tahoe. These prices are most often the most economical you’ll see. It’s time to prove you’re an optimist about next season’s snowfall. You’ll be in the group who absolutely knows it’s going to be worth that season pass.

If you ski four times you’ll pay for the pass in most cases. From your fifth trip to the lifts to the end of the season, you’ll be skiing and riding for free.

Here’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

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  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

Kirkwood’s season passes range from the:

EpicAdults $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)   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. You’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: Adults $859and $449 child, with the same access to the list of resorts at Kirkwood, to the unlimited

Tahoe Local PassAdults $549,  Teen $439,  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

Homewood’s unlimited: 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. There’s also access to Red Lodge Mountain (unlimited) and Whitefish (5 days) (Montana), Diamond Peak, Brundage Mountain (5 days) (Idaho) ½ price at Alta (Utah)

GRANLIBAKKEN RESORT www.granlibakken.com /(530) 581-7533 / (530) 583-4242  **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.

ALPINE MEADOWS www.skialpine.com / (530) 581-8374  SQUAW VALLEY www.squaw.com / (530) 452-4335  Season passes are the same for both resorts.

Gold (unlimited): Adults (19-64) $869, Young  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):  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. There’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 Kirkwood’s, with the addition of the Tahoe Value College, $369:  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: 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:  Adults (24+, unlimited) $449; Young Adults (16-23) $349, Child $199.

Mid-week at the Rose: MON – FRI Not Valid Dec 25-29, Jan 15, Feb 19. Call for pricing.

TAHOE DONNER XC www.skitahoedonner.com / (530) 587-9484  

Season passes:  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  

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  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 XC  www.royalgorge.com / (530) 426-3871 Cross country heaven!  

Adults (23-64) $309; Young  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: 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: “Low lift ticket prices every day with no variable pricing, and no surprises”

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

Avalanche condtions

Know before you go.

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

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.  The avalanche occurred in The Cross, a steep couloir off of the main summit of Mt. Tallac.  The avalanche occurred at 12:30pm.  The main entrance into the Cross had been skied by approximately 8 people at around 11am with some minor loose wet activity observed.  At 12:30pm, a group of 2 skiers went to the top to descend the skiers left entrance, on an east aspect.  As the first skier made several turns into the slope, the slope released a slab avalanche.  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

Mt. Rose close to 700 inches

Heading down the Chutes at Mt. Rose

Hitting the Chutes at Mt. Rose.
Photo courtesy of Curle Seamus/Mt. Rose PR

Jessica VanPernis Weaver, of JVP Communications in North Lake Tahoe, commented on the total snowfall at Mt. Rose so far this season. It’s just about over the 700 inch mark. For the math challenged, that’s 57.58 feet since the snow started falling last November. It’s a record snow total for the resort.

That doesn’t mean that you’ll walk into a wall of snow that high. There’s always some snowmelt and settlement, but that number is what has been recorded up there. Awesome just mildly begins to express that number.

As a result, VanPernis Weaver said in her press release last week, “…Winter is far from over in the Northern Sierra, as another series of storms have moved through the region this week leaving another 13 inches of fresh snow on top of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe’s nearly 18-foot base, and the National Weather Service forecast calling for more snow through the weekend.”

She also said the the Rose plans to keep lifts turning through Memorial Day, May 31, 2017. That makes for a long season for anyone who skis or rides. What a difference from the last few years!

Mike Pierce, director of marketing at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe had this to say, “This season just won’t quit, and we can’t say we’re not happy about it. The conditions have been phenomenal, and by purchasing our Spring Plus pass you can ski or ride the rest of this season—with more than two months left—plus all of the 2017-18 winter season.”

This is the run down on the passes available now at Mt. Rose, from Pierce, “Valid seven days per week with no blackouts this season or next, the Spring Plus Premier Pass offers incredible value for those who want the flexibility of being able to ski any day of the season. The Spring Plus Premier Pass is available for $695 for adults ages 24+, $495 for young adults ages 16-23, and $395 for children ages 6-15. The Spring Plus Midweek Pass is valid Monday through Friday, excluding December 25-29, 2017, January 15, 2018 and February 19, 2018, and is priced at $595 for any age.”

Those season passes include passholder perks such as First Tracks daily on the Blazing Zephyr 6 chairlift, discounts on buddy tickets, lessons, on-mountain food and beverage, retail and repair.

“With more than two months of the season still ahead, and the snow as deep as it is, conditions are going to continue to be really fun. It’s not every season that we’re open for seven months of the year. This truly has been a remarkable winter,” continued Pierce.

No matter where your ski in Tahoe this year, the story is much the same. Lots of snow, an understatement of huge proportions. Extended season all over. Phenomenal conditions for everyone.


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

Season Extended

buried in snow SAT sign

The SAT sign at Hwy 50, buried
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

Skiing season just got extended. All that snow, and what is falling now, has added up to more than a epic fall and winter on the trails. The season has also been extended. Thea Hardy, Public Relations at Sierra-at-Tahoe, has announced that their season will run through to April 23. That’s good news for anyone who counts Sierra as home base for skiing and riding.

Sierra traditionally follows the last official day with Customer Appreciation Day. It will be on Monday, April 24, 2017. This day is dedicated to “…reminiscing about the plentiful powder days with high fives in celebration of another awesome season,” said Hardy.

Skiers and riders of all ages can purchase a lift ticket for only $35 on April 24, 2017. Lift ticket proceeds on Customer Appreciation Day will benefit youth recreation and education including baseball, soccer, swimming and other youth activities in South Lake Tahoe. Sierra-at-Tahoe is a dedicated supporter of youth sports and the South Lake Tahoe community in general.

John Rice, Sierra’s long time General Manger put it this way: “With 537 inches of natural snowfall and counting, this season has truly been one for the books. Customer Appreciation Day is all about saying thank you. We want to show our most loyal guests that we value this community and are willing to support year round recreational opportunities for our kids.”

The resort  will operate a limited number of lifts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. including Grandview Express and Easy Rider Express. All guests are invited to join John Rice and the rest of Sierra’s team for the official “last run of the season” from the top of Grandview Express beginning at 2 p.m. This last run is arguably the best run of the season. The resort staff and guests simply have a magical time heading to the base to close out the season. Last call at the Sierra Pub will be 2:45 p.m., in time for the ending of all winter operations at 3 p.m. Take advantage of a wonderful last day for this season at Sierra.

Skiing in powder at SAT

Powder day at SAT March 2017
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR

Read to ski

Groomed and ready at SAT Photo courtesy of Thea Hardy, SAT PR

Close to getting on the lift

Heading for the ride up the mountain at SAT
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR


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

Squaw Valley World Cup

New snow at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley
Photo Courtesy of Squaw/Alpine PR/JT Connery

Liesl Kenney, Public Relations Director at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, recently sent out a press release detailing the upcoming FIS World Cup at Squaw Valley. The event takes place over four days from March 9 to 12. Those four days are filled up with skiing and other events at the resort.

This is a world class competition that draws large crowds who are intensely focused on the top skiers in the world who are competing. “Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is proud to host the Audi FIS World Cup. This marks the return of World Cup ski racing to California for the first time in 19 years. Events held will consist of a Women’s Giant Slalom on Friday, March 10 and Women’s Slalom on Saturday, March 11. Olympic champions like Mikaela Shiffrin will compete on the legendary Red Dog run, which also played host to the 1969 World Cup and 1960 Winter Olympics. For more information on the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Squaw Valley,” said Kenney.

The resort is offering quite an array of transportation opportunities for anyone who wants to attend. It’s best to take advantage of one of options available, as it will be crowded. Here is what Kenny said regarding transportation–it’s a long list:

” As the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Squaw Valley rapidly approaches with four days of events from March 9 – 12, guests and ski racing fans are encouraged to arrive early and take advantage of easy and stress-free options to get to and from the race venue at Squaw Valley. With the addition of premium bus service to and from both Truckee and Tahoe City, all Squaw Valley ground transportation will drop off and pick up at the Shuttle stop near Member’s Locker Room. The Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows App will provide transportation notifications during the World Cup events as well as World Cup information including event schedules, athlete bios, course information and real-time race results. In addition, the World Cup Transportation page will host the most up-to-date information on getting to and from the World Cup.

Premium Coach Bus Service from Truckee & Tahoe City
Guests travelling through or from Truckee and Tahoe City can park their cars and forget about driving: Premium 48-passenger Amador Stage Lines buses will run regularly between Squaw Valley and Truckee Tahoe Airport as well as between Squaw Valley and the Tahoe City Transit Center at 64 Acres, providing a comfortable ride with plenty of space for ski gear below decks. Availability will be offered on a first come, first served basis and headways will be subject to traffic conditions.

Truckee Tahoe Airport — 10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, CA 96161. Four buses will run round trip between Squaw Valley and Truckee Tahoe Airport, departing every fifteen minutes between 6am and 7am, and every half hour from 7am — 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. Parking will be available at South Lot Truckee Tahoe Airport Event Parking, adjacent to the bus pick up/drop off.

•    6:00am : 1st Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:15am : 2nd Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:30am : 3rd Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:45am : 4th Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    7:00am : Buses run a continuous roundtrip between Truckee Tahoe Airport and Squaw Valley departing each location approximately every 30 minutes
•    9:30pm : Last bus departs from Squaw Valley to Truckee Tahoe Airport

Tahoe City Transit Center — 165 West Lake Boulevard, South of Fanny Bridge and the Y, Tahoe City, CA 96145. Two buses will run round trip between the Tahoe City Transit Center and Squaw Valley every thirty minutes between 6am and 7am, and every hour from 7am — 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. Parking will be available at the Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) event overflow parking, adjacent to the bus pick up/drop off.

•    6:00am : 1st Bus departs Tahoe City Transit Center
•    6:30am : 2nd Bus departs Tahoe City Transit Center
•    7:00am : Buses run a continuous roundtrip between Tahoe City Transit Center and Squaw Valley departing each location approximately every 60 minutes
•    9:30pm : Last bus departs from Squaw Valley to Tahoe City Transit Center

POW Carpool Parking for Vehicles with 4+ Passengers
To reduce congestion on the roads, guests visiting Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows between March 9 and March 12 are encouraged to carpool to the resort and take advantage of free premium Protect Our Winters (POW) Parking for vehicles with four or more passengers: close-in parking at both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows is available on a first come, first served basis. The POW Parking program aligns with the resort’s mission to reduce its carbon footprint, raise awareness about how transportation contributes to climate change, and promote carpooling and efficient transportation within the region.

Transportation from Resort at Squaw Creek
Guests staying at the Resort at Squaw Creek will have access to the Resort at Squaw Creek Shuttle running to and from Squaw Valley every 15 minutes from 7:30am to 11pm. Additional shuttle service will be provided during the World Cup, operating 7:30am – 5:30pm on March 8 & 9 and 6:00am – 9:30 pm on March 10 & 11. As the Squaw Creek chairlift will be closed to the public March 8-11, additional round trip on-snow transportation will be offered every 15 minutes between the base station of the Squaw Creek chair and the SnoVentures Adventure Zone/Far East Express area, 7:30am – 5:30pm.

Squaw Alpine Express and SnoVentures Shuttle
The Squaw Alpine Express shuttle will run as normal between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, running between the two mountains every 20-30 minutes 8:30am – 4:30pm. The SnoVentures shuttle will run as normal between The Village at Squaw Valley (Member’s Locker Room) and SnoVentures Activity Zone, 9am-4:15pm on weekdays and 8:15am-4:15pm weekends and holidays. Click here for more information on Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows free shuttles.

Limited Additional Parking

Limited additional day-use parking will be available at Deer Park, located at the base of Alpine Meadows Road. Shuttle service will operate between Deer Park and Alpine Meadows as well as between Deer Park and Squaw Valley. Two additional shuttles will service Deer Park for service to Squaw Valley from 6am – 9:30pm on March 10 & 11.

Volunteer Parking
Volunteer Parking will be available only for vehicles with a Volunteer Parking tag at Hidden Valley, located across Highway 89 from River Ranch at the base of Alpine Meadows Road. Shuttles will service this area from 6am – 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. To apply to be a World Cup volunteer, click here.

Additional Transportation Options
•    Amtrak: Avoid traffic and take Amtrak to Truckee for your World Cup weekend. Amtrak offers a convenient and enjoyable travel option from the Bay Area, with comfortable seating as spacious as first class airline seats, outlets to charge your phone, and casual and formal dining options. Relax and enjoy the spectacular views as you wind your way up the mountain. Easily connect to the California Zephyr with daily departures from Emeryville, Richmond, Martinez and Sacramento to Truckee. From the Truckee Amtrak Station use public or private transportation to get to your final destination.
•    Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit (TART)
•    Uber and UberX
•    Tahoe Sierra Transportation — Mention World Cup for an event discount.

Lift Operations during the World Cup & Preparation
Squaw Creek and Red Dog chairlifts will be closed to the public today, Tuesday, February 28 and from Wednesday, March 8 through Saturday, March 11 for race preparation and team access. Supplemental shuttles will run between Resort at Squaw Creek and Squaw Valley on these dates.

What Not to Bring to the World Cup
The items below will not be allowed in the World Cup venue and spectators must leave any prohibited items at home. All bags are subject to search. Remember, if you are taking shuttles to and from Squaw Valley, please leave all prohibited items in your car before getting on the shuttle.

•    Weapons
•    Outside Alcohol
•    Illegal Substances and/or paraphernalia
•    Glass of any kind
•    Coolers
•    Flasks
•    Chairs
•    Laser Pointers
•    Drones
•    Only service animals will be permitted in the grandstands and bleachers
•    Tobacco permitted in designated smoking areas only ”

Make plans now for lodging and travel. You’ll want to arrive early and stay late. If you intend to stay for more than one day, book your rooms now. It’s quite a show.


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

Freeride World Quals at Sierra-at-Tahoe

Skier launching in Huckleberry Canyon during Huck Cup at Sierra-at-Tahoe

Huck Cup Sierra-at-Tahoe
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

Thea Hardy, Public Relations at Sierra-at-Tahoe, announced the 2d annual Freeride World Tour Qualifying at Sierra-at-Tahoe. The event will be held March 3 and 4, with all of the runs launching in the stunning Huckleberry Canyon at Sierra. It’s known throughout the ski world as the Huck Cup.

“The Freeride World Tour is a worldwide circuit of freeride skiing and snowboarding events where athletes compete on legendary and challenging terrain at the most renowned resorts around the world. The event will take place in Huckleberry Canyon, 320 acres of backcountry terrain accessed by five gates at the summit of Sierra-at-Tahoe,” according to Hardy.

“Sierra is the only Lake Tahoe resort to host a 2-Star Freeride World Qualifying event this year. The scope of the terrain in Huckleberry Canyon creates an ideal place for skiers and snowborders to compete and earn qualifying points for the Swatch Freeride World Tour” according to Hardy.

Freeride World Tour Americas Manager, Tom Winter, is enthusiastic about Sierra’s event. “Huckleberry Canyon is a great venue for a 2-Star event. It has a wide variety of lines, easy access and fantastic opportunities for spectators to watch all the action and cheer all of their friends. We’re really pleased with the partnership and this is an event that we expect will be part of the FWQ for a long, long time.” He knows the terrain and the quality of operations at Sierra.

Competitors will be vying for a $3,000 cash purse. Athletes must be licensed to compete in the Freeride World Tour and can register for the Huck Cup online here. Spectators must have a valid lift ticket to enter the viewing area. Hardy gave a shout out the sponsors of the event, Subaru, Oakley, Lake Tahoe Television, Vapur and BlackStrap Indusries Inc. who are making this event possible.

The skiers and riders who launch themselves into Huckleberry Canyon during this event put on quite a display of talent. It also gives other riders and skiers a close up look at the stunning terrain there, and what it takes to successfully carve turns there.


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

More snow, rain, and ski resort events

Happy Skiers in a group

Happy Skiers!
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

First, take a look at this YouTube video. These guys are the real deal, and yes, they really did do that much skiing and boarding in the backcountry in one day. Stunning.

Snow, anyone? Rain? You’re in the right place if you are in the Sierra around Tahoe. We are looking at another 7 days of snow and rain around here. Adding to the snow pack is always good, and it is now at 194% of average for this time of year. We have a long ways to go before the snow is over.

While there have been road closures on Highways 80 and 50 and State Routes 88 and 89, as of today everything is open. The roads will most likely be clogged with cars starting sometime tomorrow and running through Monday. It’s a 3 day weekend.

In case you missed it, Sierra-at-Tahoe in partnership with The Barton Foundation in Tahoe is just about at the end of its annual Snowsports Week, which benefits local South Lake Tahoe Youth and Community efforts. According to Thea Hardy, Communications Director at Sierra,  lift tickets will be sold for $50 at over 20 locations. Proceeds will benefit The Barton Foundation, Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation, Lake Tahoe Education Foundation, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and Sierra-at-Tahoe Education Foundation.

 “Skiing and snowboarding is the heart and soul of this community,” says General Manager, John Rice. “We want to express our deepest gratitude and give back to our locals who continue to uplift the sport and are instrumental in preserving Lake Tahoe as a thriving ski destination.”

You have one day left to take advantage of this fantastic price on lift tickets.  These specially priced tickets must be purchased in advance at bartonhealth.org/snowsports or participating locations. Here’s the list:

STATELINE AREA
• All Powder House locations
• Sports LTD (Village Shopping Center)
• Raley’s (Village Shopping Center)
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
• Powder House – Pioneer Trail
• Rainbow Mountain Sports
• The Rock House Sports
• George’s Ski & Snowboard
• Grocery Outlet
• The Ski Renter
• South Tahoe Ski and Board
• CVS at Bijou Center
• Lake Tahoe Community College Bookstore
and Foundation Office
• Knight’s Inn
• Barton Foundation
• Raley’s at the “Y”
• CVS at the “Y”
TAHOE PARADISE/MEYERS
• Tahoe Paradise Chevron
• Lira’s Market
• Sunrise Ski Shop
OUT OF TOWN
• The Ski Renter in Strawberry (Twin Bridges)
• Strawberry Market (Twin Bridges)
• Fresh Pond Trading Post (Pollock Pines)
• Crystal View Station (Pollock Pines)
• Wine Country Chevron Station (Camino)
Credit card sales available through: Barton Foundation,
LTCC Foundation, The Ski Renter
Tickets valid only Feb. 13 -16, 2017
They will not be sold at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
No will call. 24-hour sales available
These tickets will not be sold at Sierra-at-Tahoe. While they’ve been available all week, by now each ticket is valid only for Friday, February 16, 2017. Remember, tomorrow is the last day to ski for $50. It’s the best price for a day of skiing at Sierra this year.

In other ski news, Liesl Kenney, Director of Communications at Squaw/Alpine, said that their 8th annual Kid-O-Rama extravaganza returns to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows this President’s Day weekend from February 18-25. This family-friendly resort tradition features popular events like Big Truck Day, where kids can ride along in fire trucks, snowplows, and grooming machines, live kid-friendly music, an all-kid game an craft room, a Farm to Table Dinner + Movie, a Moonlit Snowshoe Tour + Dinner and more. Click here for a full lineup of events. It’s a true child oriented event. The smiles and laughter of the children will bring joy to everyone at the resorts. Bring you camera, full battery and empty memory card–you’ll need it.

Jessica VanPernis Weaver, of JVP Communications in North Lake Tahoe, sent out word that Homewood Mountain Resort has some pretty good deals going too. According to VanPernis Weaver, “Homewood offers the best value on daily lift tickets, with prices starting as low as $49 when purchased online in advance. In addition, lift ticket 3-Packs are also available for advance purchase for $66 per day. These non-transferrable lift tickets can be used by one person any three days of the 2016-17 season with no restrictions.


For those just starting out, the resort offers a $59 first-time adult ski and snowboard package that makes it incredibly affordable to learn to ski or ride. Valid Sunday through Friday, non-holiday, this package includes a half-day lesson, all-day rental equipment and lift ticket accessing beginner terrain. The Learn to ski/ride 3-pack extends the $59 lesson package for two additional days at the same daily rate, and adds in Homewood’s Learn to ski/ride guarantee—participants will be skiing or riding down one of the resort’s signature upper mountain beginner runs by the third day or the fourth day is free.”
Keep in mind that all the skiing in the Tahoe area is on a record pace snow pack (Homewood’s count: 88 inches at the base area to 191 inches on the upper mountain), with half the snow season left. It simply hasn’t been like this since the winter of 2010-2011. Take advantage of it.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation, ski resorts, skiing