Tahoe/Heavenly
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8 users
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mrhazmat
November 10, 2004
Member since 12/7/2000
47 posts
Just booked a week for Tahoe/Heavenly during spring break (a mistake ?) 13 Mar - 19 Mar 05. Anyone else within the DCSki site planning anything similar? 1st time to this location out west and welcome any recommendations, opinions or personal experiences. Thanks. Come on snow!
danielle
November 10, 2004
Member since 05/17/2004
10 posts
my family is planning on doing the same thing this Spring Break, but we've never skied outside of West Virginia. We just havent booked yet.
snowcone
November 10, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002
589 posts
We were at Tahoe in early March of 2003 and it was decent. Heavenly was wonderful, especially the Nevada side up by Orion and Dipper. Great weather, great skiing despite the temperatures being in the lower 40's. Squaw was another matter; perhaps the worst day of skiing I have ever had. Lift tickets cost a fortune, lunch cost a fortune, the day was most probably in the lower 50's, what passed for snow was like being knee deep in a slurpee; basically it sucked. BUT ... having made my way down the mountain in the slurpee snow I decided to treat myself to a stiff drink at the bottom. Three of the best Bloody Mary's [vitamin delivery system] I have ever had, definitely salvaged the day.

Side bar: after that day at Squaw I don't turn up my nose at sloppy conditions here in the Mid Atlantic; we've got it pretty good even if we don't have the vertical.

Final comment: expect spring skiing, just with more vertical and longer runs.
powderpig
November 10, 2004
Member since 12/5/2003
63 posts
Last time I was in Tahoe in early March we had extremely variable conditions. We skied Heavenly in 55 and sunny. The next day we skied Kirkwood in 35 and sunny. A couple days later we skied Squaw in 25 and snow showers. My best advise is to just be prepared for changing conditions as the weather in Tahoe seems to change on a dime. You will enjoy yourself regardless as Tahoe is a very vibrant place with lots of things going on, good restaurants, and casinos! Make it a point to visit Kirkwood, its an incredible mountain. If you dont have a car they have a bus that runs from South Lake Tahoe.

-Pig
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 10, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Kevin Rice wrote a Firsthand report for DCSki in 2003:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=438
JohnL
November 10, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Expect winter or spring conditions; March 13 - 19 is not that late in the season. I've skied Tahoe the second week of April and had new snow and freezing temps one day and summer temps two days later. (When it snows in the Tahoe area it snows; accumulations are measured in feet rather than inches.) Even during the warm days, you'll generally encounter cool temps and firm snow higher up the mountains.

Don't waste too much time by frequently traversing back and forth between the Nevada and California sides of Heavenly. There are some amazing views of the lake from the traverses between the two sides, so don't avoid them entirely.

The ski area with the best views from the lake is a small local's area called Homewood. It's maybe a half hour drive from Heavenly (on the California side.) Homewood is worth trying on a weekend to avoid the crowds; it has a trailer as a lodge so expect zero ammenities there. Only go there if it's a sunny day.

If you ski off the groomed runs, you'll find out why the snow out there is called Sierra Cement. Especially if it's been warm and/or if you are skiing a face which gets a lot of sun. You won't notice the difference on the groomed runs.

If you get lucky at the casinos, you may end up with a free vacation. Or you may end up paying for two vacations.
SeaRide
November 10, 2004
Member since 03/11/2004
237 posts
I went there in March 2002. Great weather condition. Blue sky and sunny. It snow mostly overnight during the week so there's new powder wherever I went. One time the avalanche closed the hwy 89 on the way to Squaw Valley so we turn around and ski Heavenly. Kirkwood was great as long as you can get there early and have tire chains if they call for it. Squaw Valley was great all over. I stay at the hotel in South Lake Tahoe for about 9 days.
Roy
November 11, 2004
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
As you can tell, there are alot of people that like that area.

If you are a boarder, watch out at Heavenly. There are quite a few flat spots at the bottom of lifts and such. Even as a skier, I was pretty tired by the time I got to the end of some of them.

If you have the time, Kirkwood and Squaw are must do mountains, especially if you are looking for expert terrain (although both have plenty of other terrain for everyone).

The best bar is not in the casinos but on the main strip beside them. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of it but if your walking along the main drag, you'll find it. Laid back, party atmosphere without the ding, ding ,ding of the slot machine.
mrhazmat
November 12, 2004
Member since 12/7/2000
47 posts
Thanks to all for your inputs. I feel confident that it will be a good trip. I will try and do Kirkwood one or two days.
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