I was skiiing in the Tahoe area from March 24th through the 27th. While I was there the various mountains were inundated with some 100 inches of new snow. To say it was an epic ski adventure is to put it mildly. It was epic on a grand scale.
I arrived on Wednesday night after picking up some buddies in the Sacramento airport. We drove over highway 50 through a constant blizzard. The next morning we headed to Homewood ski area, but we had to take the long way around the lake due to highway 89 being closed just South of south lake Tahoe.
We finally arrived at Homewood and started skiing its 30 plus new inches of light cold snow. I have never skied Tahoe and it was quickly apparent I was in for a treat.
Homewood wasn’t actually steep enough for the amount of snow they had, but we were able to maximize our fun by sticking to the steepest runs we could find. It was a good kickoff to the Tahoe trip.
Many beers later and many lost funds at the casinos led us to Squaw Valley ski resort the following day. Squaw had received a paltry 45 inches of new snow over 24 hours! 45 inches? That’s taller than my 8-year-old son!
We got there bright and early. It was still snowing constantly and the wind was whipping around. The sounds of bombs going off for avalanche control made it seem like we were skiing in a combat zone.
Only about one-third of the mountain was open due to the avalanche danger, but it was such incredible snow it didn’t matter. I was very impressed with the terrain that was open. Steep chutes, perfectly spaced trees, awesome cliffs, this place has it all and I didn’t even see the most extreme stuff.
We mostly skied the Red Dog side of the mountain but we also got some nice turns off of KT22. It was simply an awesome day of powder skiing, a day I’ll never forget. I can’t wait to return to Squaw Valley and explore the rest of the mountain, it looks amazing.
The next day we skied Kirkwood, which had received another 20 inches overnight. Once again only about half the mountain was open but once again it didn’t matter. We skied fresh tracks all day long. It was snowing and blowing so hard that our tracks from the previous run would be gone by the time we returned.
We skied our brains out at Kirkwood. We launched off cliffs with abandon, what was gonna happen? It was all soft landing with that much new snow.
This was our third day of skiing and my legs were feeling it. I love the fatigue that comes over a person after a bunch of great ski days. The body feels worked but happy.
Our final day was at Alpine Meadows. Most of the mountain wasn’t open and the day was actually pretty gnarly. It was extremely windy, and getting warmer. By noon the falling snow was taking on a decidedly wet form. The visibility was crap, we were wet and tired.
We ended up leaving around 1pm. I’ll have to ski Alpine again someday because I really didn’t get to this time. The snow was good, but the conditions were miserable.
My first adventure at Tahoe was an awesome one, but I’d like to come back here when the weather isn’t raging just so I can see the whole mountain.
Believe it or not I only got one glimpse of the lake from the mountains. The classic views you see in photos of the Tahoe area, I never saw.
The ‘keep Tahoe blue’ posters you see? As far as I could tell the lake was slate black and covered with fog and blowing snow.
I love Tahoe and can’t wait to return. All in all an awesome trip during an awesome storm.