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Tahoe Redux (long, NBR, lots and lots of pics)

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
Earlier this month, MtnBikerChk and I headed to Lake Tahoe for another ski vacation with her cousin (Rachel) and cousin’s husband (Keith), and her dad and stepmother. We made this trip last year but I wanted a do-over. Last year I was sick all week and Tahoe didn’t have a lot of snow, so many of the ski trails were closed. Brian HCM#1 was nice enough to rent us his “cabin” again this year (it’s bigger than our house!). We were there for eight days (Friday to the following Saturday). This time around, Tahoe was buried in snow. It was a completely different skiing experience. Very few trails were closed at the ski resorts. I was surprised that lift lines were pretty much non-existent. Not only did we ski all day, every day, but no time was wasted in lift lines. OK, enough chit chat. Onto the pics!! (there are a lot…)


In-flight entertainment. Free cheap beer (dad-in-law had coupons), my iPod, and my book.


We had a lot of luggage. This pile doesn’t include all our carry-ons (boot bags, laptops, etc).


Me and Rachel at the Reno airport, waiting for Pops to get our rental vehicle. The rental company was nice enough to not have the vehicle we reserved. :rolleyes: After hearing an earful from MBC and her dad, the rental company gave us an incredible deal on a Suburban ($500 for the week, if I remember correctly).


We had dinner in Reno. They screwed up half our orders. They gave us free dessert though. After dinner, we headed to Tahoe and promptly fell asleep.
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
First day of skiing: Saturday, Homewood

We got up early and headed to the Firesign Café for breakfast. I’ve got a week of vacation sitting in front me. How could I not be happy?


Brian HCM#1 drove in from the Bay Area to join us for skiing and dinner. It took Brian almost twice as long to get to Tahoe as it normally does due to snowstorms in the Sierras. He almost turned around and headed home, but he pushed through it.

It snowed hard all day. Funny though, as bad and windy as this storm was, it still wasn’t all that cold compared to what we’re used to when we ski in Vermont.

Rachel, MBC, Brian on the lift. These were the conditions all day.


Brian on skis! :D He did great for someone that’s skied twice in the last eight years or so.


IAB says “wErd.”


We skied for only three or four hours. We bought half day tickets. I didn’t get too many action shots at Homewood because visibility was terrible. Here’s Rachel, MBC and myself waiting for our pickup after skiing.


Me taking off the gear.


We got back to the cabin, cleaned up, and headed out for a nice dinner. It was snowing hard and driving conditions sucked. It was worth it though. Dinner was awesome. We hit the sack and looked forward to our first full day of skiing in fresh, deep powder. Or so we thought….
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
Day 2: Snowed in! Oh noes!

As I said, it snowed hard all day Saturday. The snow did not stop Saturday night. It was still snowing when we woke up Sunday. It had dumped about two feet on us. The street the cabin was on did not get plowed until about 2:00 in the afternoon. Try as we might, we could not get the car through that much snow. Poor Brian had a Super Bowl party to host and he could not get out. He had planned on leaving early Sunday morning, but he was trapped with us. He finally got to head home in the afternoon. It was cool to see him again. Bummer that he couldn’t get home in time for the start of his party though.

I was the first one out of the house in the morning and started shoveling. I take full credit for shoveling this walkway. :D (this is me with Brian in the background)


We didn’t get to ski, but Rachel and I still had fun playing the snow. We never see that much snow back east.




We spent the latter part of the afternoon watching the Super Bowl, eating, and drinking beer. I saw Deschutes Brewery beers in the grocery store and stocked up. :D Good game, good beer, good food, good company.

As a result of being snowed in for a day, Kirkwood had to get sacrificed from our hit list. :(
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
Day Three: Monday, Alpine Meadows

I love Alpine Meadows. :) The weather cleared up and the conditions were awesome. These “big mountain” resorts are cool because you can basically ski anywhere. Everything you see in this pic is skiing terrain.


MtnBikerChk getting ready for a run.


Under the Scott lift is a double diamond bump trail which I decided to try. I normally don’t ski that stuff because I don’t think my skiing is all that great, but I decided to try anyway. I had a blast. It tired me out like no trail has before. It’s a long trail and bumped top to bottom. Keith is a professional ski instructor and talked me through it. That trail really helped to boost my confidence. Here’s MBC at the top of it.


Two pics of me and the wife.



Keith, MBC and stepmom at the summit, looking for a good line.


When skiing was done, we hit up the pro shop for shirts and hats (my theme for the week! :D ).
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
Day Four: Tuesday, Squaw.

We wanted to go to Mt Rose Tuesday because they have a 2-For-Tuesday deal. Fearing driving conditions would suck though, we decided to stay close to the cabin and went to Squaw instead. Squaw was absolutely terrible last year. This year though it redeemed itself. “Awesome” isn’t a strong enough word to describe Squaw this time. Everything was open, there was fresh powder, there were no crowds, and the weather was nice. We skied ourselves silly.

View of one of the Squaw peaks. This is where the gondola goes up to the Olympic center. We didn’t visit the Olympic center because we were too busy skiing all day. :D


I have a ton of Squaw action pics, so here goes…

MtnBikerChk:








MBC coming down one of the KT22 trails. Awesomeness. More double diamond which I gladly threw myself onto.






Not sure what she was going for in these two pics. :D




Freshies!




And a few actions pics of me:






MBC and Rachel: Tourist n00bs. The only bad thing about Squaw this year is that people are actually going there, so there were no sales on Squaw merchandise. This is one of two resorts that I didn’t buy anything (Homewood too, but not because I didn’t try!).
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
Day Five: Mt Rose, Wednesday

So there was no 2-for-Tuesday deal on Wednesday, but when we got there, the nice ambassador told us that they were running a special where if you bring two cans of food for their food drive, you get a half price ticket. Wish we knew that sooner! So dad and Rachel took the 20 minute drive down the road to the nearest store and bought a bunch of canned food. $11 in food saved us about $150 in lift tickets. :thumb:

As good as Squaw was the day before, I think Mt Rose had the most improved conditions over last year. The only trails that were open last year were on the main face (everything on the right in the pic), but this year was 100% open (everything in this pic, and everything not in this pic :D ).


Mt Rose has these helpful signs so you don’t get confused.


Rachel, Keith, MBC, me


The Lake. Seems like every resort has a trail or chair named “Lakeview” that gives you, well, a view of the lake. :think:


A few action shots of the MBC:










A couple of me:





I was most excited that “The Chutes” section was open. Basically, it’s a gully of all diamond and double diamond trails. Closed in 2007, it was open in 2008. WOO HOO!
With my growing confidence on the tougher trails, I was anxious to try The Chutes.


Chutes sequence of me. I think this trail was “Beehive” if I remember correctly.




MBC on the same trail. This was steep and seemed long.


Tired MBC. :D


And our happy group at the end of the day.


Went headed into Reno after this for shopping at the Patagonia outlet. The women made a killing there. I scored a pair of Sixsixone Launch shoes at Sierra Trading Post for $40. :thumb:
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
Day Six: Thursday, Heavenly

We never got to Heavenly in 2007, so it was on my must do list for 2008. Heavenly is big. Twice the size of Alpine Meadows, and I thought Alpine Meadows was big. Seems like at Heavenly, you’ve got to take lift to lift to lift to lift to get anywhere. They have got some real fun trails though. Lots of good tree skiing. Our day started off kind of slow here because the weather at the summit was terrible. Once we got a little down the mountain though and figured out where we were going, the weather was calmer.

We took this tram up from the parking lot. We parked in some rinky dink lot that was way the hell out in the middle of nowhere…near the Gunbarrel trail for you locals. To get to the summit, we had to take the tram and two chairs.


They had snow, as indicated by this measuring stick.


MBC action pics:








Baboon action pics:




We had a blast skiing in the trees. The trees are spaced enough apart where it’s easy for tree skiing n00bs like myself.


Our happy group sans Baboon.


Random shot:


Gratuitous lake pic


Me and MBC taking a break at the summit near the end of the day. By this time, my legs were absolutely fried.


As tired as I was though, we finished the day by skiing down this trail (Gunbarrel). You know, it doesn’t look that bad from the lift. 1500 feet of bumps though on tired legs damn near killed me. :dead:


After skiing, it was dinner and shopping. A t-shirt and heavy pullover for me. :)
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
Last day: Friday, Alpine Meadows

We only skied a half day on our last day in Tahoe. We wanted to get to Reno early enough to get settled in, have dinner, and piss some money away in a casino. We skied a half day at Alpine Meadows. We reluctantly stopped skiing around 1:30. It was such a beautiful day. Sunny, 40 degrees, and great conditions. By the end of this vacation my legs had just about had it. I managed to push though this last day though. Once I got warmed up, my legs felt surprisingly good. We got over to the backside of Alpine Meadows for the first time. The sun was beating down and the skiing was nice. It was a beautiful day all around.

MtnBikerChk pics:








Baboon pics:




Me on the lift. They were doing rescue dog training and we had fun watching from the lift.


MBC, me, Rachel


Lunch burrito. It was, in fact, good.


After another couple of runs, we said good bye to Tahoe and headed to Reno. We stayed at the Eldorado hotel, as MBC sort of indicates here.


We had dinner at the Brew Brothers Brewery in the hotel and enjoyed beer, food, and talking about the vacation. We played some casino games after dinner. I kept hitting for $10 here, $20 there on the slots. I couldn’t believe it. I ended up about $40 ahead, and that’s after MBC tried her best to give it all back playing “Cops and Donuts”. :D I even wandered into a VIP lounge and had a free beer. I didn’t see the sign on the large glass door that said “VIP’S ONLY”. The bartender was cool though and gave me a beer anyway. :)

We had a great trip. I didn’t get sick and I ate a disgusting amount of food. :D Funny though, I still lost three pounds. We couldn’t have been happier with the accommodations (thanks again, Brian!!!). After that week in Tahoe, I am a better skier. MBC and I want to go back again. We love it there.
 

McGRP01

beer and bikes
Feb 6, 2003
7,797
0
Portland, OR
Great report Phil! I've only been to Heavenly and Squaw, but I LOVE Lake Tahoe!! My brother lives just south of Reno, so I really should make it a point to visit him more often!! :D
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
cool trip. the only time i've ever skiied out west was northstar (well, taht was my virgin snowboard try) and squaw. squaw was ridiculously fun.

now you gotta get out west w/ the mtbs...it's such an awesome region to ride, totally different from the new england riding.
 

Riding

Monkey
Dec 19, 2006
545
0
Millis, MA
Nice Report IAB!

Kirkwood's another nice mountain in the tahoe area. I'd love to do a summer and winter trip in the same year to ride the moutains I skied.
 
Very nice, good pics and trip report. Glad you got to enjoy the trip this time - didn't you have the stomach flu or something last year? Squaw and Heavenly man - gotta love em. My two favorites anywhere out west. Wish you were able to get out on the day after the storm, that powder is some heavy wet concrete!! You and your wife would like it in the summer too.
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,248
1,726
MTB New England
Nice Report IAB!

Kirkwood's another nice mountain in the tahoe area. I'd love to do a summer and winter trip in the same year to ride the moutains I skied.
We skied Kirkwood last year. We had planned on skiing there this year but we lost a day of skiing due to the Sunday snow-in. Something had to get taken off this list so Kirkwood was it.

Very nice, good pics and trip report. Glad you got to enjoy the trip this time - didn't you have the stomach flu or something last year?
Yeah, I had a stomach bug last year. I skied, but that was all I did (I didn't eat, drink, or enjoy much of anything else). This time was much more enjoyable.