Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tahoe Update.

Powdork having fun on the US Airbag at Kirkwood.
Okay.  So a few days can make a big difference.  I'm not here to tell you that we now have a snow base or anything, but I did get up to the mountains to poke around a little bit.  And we have a window of hope over the next week.  Nothing promising, but I do know what a lit of folks are hoping for this holiday season, and that is snow.  As for the updates.

Kirkwood is working hard to get the top of the mountain open, but even if they do, it will be really just a WROD coming down from the ridge.  There is essentially no snow on the top third of the mountain.  The good news is, that with a foot of good wet snow, the bottom half of the hill will be game on.  The coverage is almost there to open up all terrain off chair 5 and most of the terrain off of 11.  So I guess that is good news.  And in other fun, US Airbag is set up at the base so you can perfect your flips and spins before heading to the park to huck your meat.  If you are headed to Heavenly, there is good news there as well.  They have openned up a bunch more lifts, and now have both the Stagecoach and the California base lodges open.  Add to that Olympic, North Bowl and Sky chair.  And connection between NV and CA.  So, not half bad.  Sierra at Tahoe still looks like it has very limited terrain.

I sampled Northstar this week, and have to agree with the reports.  Fun.  Plenty of long piste open.  Sure, it is all manmade, but with runs like Burnout open and riding excellent, it is hard to not have a good time.  And with all the high speed chairs running, there are very short lines, and plenty of opportunity to put down some vert.  A great way to stretch the legs and enjoy the holidays.  They do have Lookout Mountain open with two runs, but things are pretty scraped over there.  I guess that could be plenty of fun on the right race skis, but for most of us, it is a slippy slidy adventure.  And to add to the good news, terrain off East Ridge and the Backside really only need a foot, or a bit more of Mother Nature's best to get going.  It looks promising out there.  And they are blowing snow on four more trails, which look ready for Christmas.  And if you are the park rat type of guy or gal, there is are so great features, and plenty of them off the Vista lift.  All in all, plenty of fun to be had at Northstar.  This is a unique year indeed.

Kirkwood is blowing snow up near the top of Chair 6.  The push is on to open the top.

Monte Wolfe to The Fingers looking quite bone dry at Kirkwood.  Pray for snow.

Anyone want to take a run down Once is Enough?

Mid day lines at Vista Express.  Northstar has the runs, and the people.

Alpine is also open to the top, with Summit and Alpine Bowl running.  The reports are coming back with lots of fun terrain going.  And now they have the vertical and long run.  They may not have the variety and expanse of N* right now, but you sure could get the burn going.  Squaw has Creekside going, essentially doubling their terrain.  Sugarbowl and Rose does not have much changed, but news is Diamond Peak is open to the ridge.  And Homewood has their beginner area open.  Finally, Boreal is open to the top and plastered with a coat of man made.

Burnout may be the longest, steepest run in Tahoe right now.  And it is riding great.

If you can't have fun with views like this, you are doing it wrong.

So, what about that snow we need.  Nothing too promising yet, but we are seeing a chance of light snow starting around the middle of next week.  We could end up with nothing, but there is a chance of up to a foot by New Years Day.  So keep an eye out, and keep reading over at the real weather for updates.  Good luck and get out there and get some.  It is still schussing.

And as a note, be careful out there.  Lots of folks are out, and plenty of variety of skill and awareness.  Be careful on the chairlifts and on the slopes.  Have a safe and fun holiday.  And remember the Skier and Rider Responsibility Code.

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