Skiers and snowboarders are eagerly gearing up for the winter season – and for good reason! With the first few snowfalls already under its belt, Lake Tahoe and the Ridge are ready to welcome shredders of all levels to experience the sweet Sierra pow. You’ll want to plan your trip now as Heavenly Mountain Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort open Nov. 18 with more following suit shortly thereafter.
Drop into some powder opening day at Heavenly, Nov. 18. Courtesy of Heavenly Mountain Resort / Photo credit: Rachid Dahnoun
One-Stop Ski Lodge
Worry only about carving lines when you stay at the Ridge with inclusive on-site amenities and resources. The Resort Sports Ski & Snowboard Shop fulfills all rental needs, with the newest and highest quality equipment available at various performance levels. Services include ski and board rentals, hot waxing, tune-ups, repairs, ski accessories and clothing rentals and ski locker storage.
Children will be delighted when they hop aboard the Hilltrac Skier Express! Ridge visitors can conveniently access the Skier Express to speed up their arrival to Heavenly. This enclosed gondola is easily accessible from the resort and drops visitors off at the Stagecoach Chairlift. There are also complimentary ski shuttles to both the Stagecoach and Boulder Lodges.
Take the express lane via the Hilltrac Skier Express.
Insider Tips Before Hitting the Slopes
Before you’re officially on the mountain facing a glorious run of white, it’s important to ensure you follow a few general rules for maximum safety and fun.
Dress warmly: Wear layers under the ski jacket and pants that are tighter to the body and insulate heat. Another great option is using hand and foot warmers to stay cozy. Remaining comfortable during a chilly ski outing will not only make the adventure more enjoyable, but will help prevent injuries if falls occur.
Make sure the gear fits: Utilize the Ridge’s ski shop resources and ensure all gear, helmets, goggles, boots, etc. fit correctly. Equipment that is too big or small will make skiing uncomfortable and can be a safety hazard.
Falling without injury: Even the best skiers trip and fall on the mountain; what’s important is to position the body in a way that minimizes pain or potential injuries. Tuck the body as much as possible and wait until the movement has stopped before trying to stand.
Move to the sides of the runs: If a break is needed or you’re waiting for friends to catch up, be helpful to other skiers and snowboarders by pausing on the sides of the runs. This prevents frustration from other mountain users and makes it less likely for accidents.
Stretch before and after: Take a few minutes in the morning and afternoon to stretch and heal the body. This helps loosen up the muscles and joints so you are more limber.
Sleep: The beds at the Ridge are mighty comfy so guests should take advantage of a good night’s sleep to prepare the mind and body for action-packed days!
Hot cocoa: Dare we say this is the most important tip? Nothing toasts an accomplished ski day quite like a warm mug of hot cocoa shared with family and friends.
Rejoice for snow at the Ridge Tahoe!
Helpful Mobile Apps
Heavenly GPS Ski and Snowboard Trail Maps: This app provides detailed maps, descriptions and conditions of all Heavenly Mountain Resort runs and trails. Users can track their progress and share their mountain days on social media platforms.
Ski Pursuit: Record data and statistics such as speed, duration and distance to track activity. Set a personal goal and try to beat it with this app’s help.
Action Shot: Capture fast runs, tricks and jumps seamlessly and with minimal editing.
With two snowfalls already under its belt in October, Tahoe South is ready for winter to descend upon the Sierra Nevada and blanket the region in white. Winter is not only a wonderful time to experience the outdoors via snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing, it’s also an ideal time to get married in the mountains with gorgeous year-round venues and breathtaking backdrops.
If you’re a fan of the colder weather, a winter wedding provides a range of benefits and opportunities for an unforgettable fête with your family and friends.
Benefits of a Winter Wedding
Your wedding has a little bit of magic. From freshly fallen flurries to the magic in the air from the buzz of the holidays, wintertime nuptials have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the event feel electric.
Oh, the accessories! With chillier temps comes more clothing and accessory options. If you’re less of a strapless gown gal and more of a faux fur stole or cape, then a winter wedding should be considered to fulfill your sartorial wedding dreams. Not to mention you can add fun holiday-themed flourishes through your décor.
Do you love hot cocoa and hot apple cider? While these would be out of place at a summer or spring wedding, they are an ideal beverage of choice for a winter wedding. Heartier meals are also a fitting option for dinner, so break out the comfort foods!
Tahoe South is an ideal setting for a wedding regardless of the weather, but winter provides a unique perspective on the beloved Basin – and endless photo ops. Opt to throw snow in the air for a candid shot with the wedding party or pose among snowcapped trees with your beloved for unique photos you’ll cherish in any season.
Tahoe South and The Ridge Tahoe are a great option for a honeymoon. Imagine the convenience of saying “I do” and settling into your honeymoon almost immediately afterwards. Take your sweetie for a couple of turns down the mountain, take a cruise to Emerald Bay on the year-round M.S. Dixie II and enjoy après ski options at a variety of restaurants for a taste of the local culinary scene.
The Ridge Tahoe is currently running a special for a winter wedding. If you’re ready to take the plunge, book with us! A Winter Castle Rock Ceremony and Reception includes a cocktail reception, a romantic lighted ceremony backdrop, a floral package and even more. Book by Nov. 24, 2016 to receive a choice of a two night stay in a one-bedroom suite or a complimentary champagne toast during the ceremony.
If you would like more information about winter weddings, call Blair Butler at (775) 588-3553, extension 3160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of snow bunnies and shredders mourning the end of a truly incredible winter season.
It’s hard to believe the ski season is coming to a close when Tahoe South has been pelted with new snow this past weekend, but it’s true – you only have a little over a month left to make your mark on the mountain of your choice (andtherearesomanyintheTahoeregion). Heavenly and Northstar close April 17, Kirkwood April 10 and others will be announcing closing dates as time goes on.
While we may be sad that our days will soon be filled with sand instead of soft snow (we know we can’t really complain), there’s still time to make the most of winter. Here are our recommendations for giving winter the proper farewell.
Don your fanciest mountain gear
We’ve all seen them – the riders dressed in tutus, gorilla suits and capes cutting down the groomers. Many riders partake in a Gaper Day where they dress in their most outrageous clothing to ride, so why not join them? Riding is all about having fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously with this one and just go for it!
Take the express lane
Take the express lane via the Hilltrac Skier Express.
Ski in and ski out of Heavenly’s Stagecoach Chairlift with the Hilltrac Skier Express, located only steps from your room at The Ridge Tahoe. This chairlift will deliver you, your friends and your gear right to the trails.
Eat your way through après
Celebrate a successful day on the mountain with great après at places like Base Camp Pizza and Azul Latin Kitchen among others. Himmel Haus offers German fare and huge beers to satiate any hungry rider, plus they host events like Blackout Bingo and Open Mic night to help you kick back after an adventurous day. The Divided Sky is another great option, as it is a locals’ favorite with a relaxed vibe and great sandwiches to refuel your stoke levels.
A Hot Toddy by the fire at Base Camp Pizza. Courtesy: Base Camp Pizza
Consider enjoying your après at The Ridge with happy hour from 4 – 8 p.m. every day at the Tahoe Lounge.
Unbuckle and party
Nothing culminates an ending like a party and no one throws a party like Heavenly. Unbuckle at Tamarack is an adults-only party that combines thumping bass with adult beverages, tasty Tamarack-only treats and the Heavenly Angels. If you’ve never partied at 9,150 feet this is your time to do it.
Good luck with your last month of riding in Tahoe South!
Homewood is a home run. Courtesy: Homewood Mountain Resort
When staying at The Ridge Tahoe, you have plenty of options for skiing, snowboarding and other snow sports. You can go big at Heavenly, go country at Kirkwood or rub elbows with Olympians at Sierra-at-Tahoe; or you can visit Homewood, a small yet brilliant hidden gem on the west side of the lake.
With a total of 2,010 acres, Homewood is minute compared to the abovementioned resorts, but it is known to have some of the best terrain in the Basin. Its base elevation of 6,230’ and summit elevation of 8,740’ allows for 2,510 vertical feet of elevation gain with a variety of terrain, as well as groomed boulevards and hidden powder stashes that are Homewood’s trademark. Homewood stacks up to the larger resorts with 450 inches of snow per season and days upon days of sunshine, but that’s not all – it was also named one of the Top 10 Resorts in California and Nevada by SKI Magazine in 2012, so you know it’s got to be good!
Views for days. Courtesy: Homewood Mountain Resort
It’s not just the powder and great terrain that makes Homewood a home run. Check out a few of the other reasons why Homewood should be on your list of ski resorts to visit in Tahoe.
Snow Cat Adventures: Prepare to be amazed when you experience backcountry terrain like never before. Snow Cat Adventures at Homewood provide access to 750+ acres of terrain beyond the ski area’s boundaries. Groups of 10 experienced skiers and riders can take advantage of this package that brings you to the top of Ellis Peak and then provides 1,828 vertical feet to lap. You’ll be astounded by the panoramic views of the lake and of Desolation Wilderness as you traverse steeps, powder bowls and tree runs.
More Fun in the Summer: The excitement doesn’t end once the snow melts. Summertime at Homewood is just as exhilarating as winter with hiking and biking trails that provide breathtaking vistas and special events like Drive in movies. Past summers at Homewood have included the Farm to Peak Dinner Series, a mountaintop outdoor dining experience that overlooks Lake Tahoe. It’s a feast for your stomach and eyes with beautiful views of the lake and seasonal, local ingredients in five courses.
Tahoe is home to the rich and famous – rich scenery and famous trails, that is.
One of the legendary areas that offer both the rich and famous is Squaw Valley, which is often referred to as Squallywood due to its abundance of impressive lines (and also because of this book). Squaw Valley is renowned as the host of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games during which women’s speed skating and the biathlon first debuted. It is this event that put Squaw Valley on the map and helped build the resort that so many visitors enjoy today.
All smiles riding the Siberia Express lift at Squaw Valley. Courtesy: Squaw Valley
Between Squaw and its neighbor Alpine Meadows, this resort area sees an average of 450 inches of snow per year on six mountain peaks. The epic conditions alone would certainly earn Squaw Valley a star on the ski resort walk of fame, but the resort goes above and beyond when it comes to offering exclusive activities. One such exclusive is Dawn Patrol, which is offered every Saturday from the end of December through March. This exclusive feature provides access to the freshest of the fresh powder for intermediate and advanced riders. You can beat the lines and ride the finest corduroy without the wait – and you will not want to wait for turns at Squaw!
However, if you do find yourself wandering off the slopes and through the village, which still has remnants of the Olympics, you’ll discover many modern flairs including contemporary dining, shopping accommodations and entertainment. One of the attractions that history buffs will naturally gravitate toward is the Olympic Museum, recently renovated and chock full of information about the storied past of Squallywood. Among its many artifacts are authentic Team USA uniforms and memorabilia from the 1960 Winter Games, which will make you appreciate the strides we’ve made in safety and padding!
Squaw Valley also hosts WinterWonderGrass, a 3-day music festival that brings together those who love music, mountains and a good time. Performances include world-class Bluegrass/Acoustic Roots music on three stages and California craft breweries offering up their tasty brews. The lineup includes Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, Elephant Revival, Duo De Twang with Les Claypool, Travelin’ McCoury’s, Brothers Comatose, Dustbowl Revival, Shook Twins, Fruition, Scott Law & Ross James’ Cosmic Twang and Mandolin Orange.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet – and so would Mt. Rose, Tahoe’s not so delicate flower in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. With a base elevation of 8,260 feet, Mt. Rose boasts lodges at the highest base elevation for a ski resort in the Tahoe Basin, which means riders are privy to some of the best conditions in the area!
It’s been smooth sailing at Mt. Rose during the 15-16 season! Courtesy: Mt. Rose
Summiting just shy of 10,000 feet, Mt. Rose has 1,200 acres of terrain just waiting to be explored. You could easily lose the day on one of 60 trails – which isn’t such a bad thing to us! The resort has two terrain parks and a number of accessible trails for beginners, but the real star of the resort are the Chutes, which includes over 200 acres of some of the “longest vert in North America.” According to Mt. Rose’s website, there are more than 1,000 feet of north facing slopes pitches range from 40 to 55 degrees. You’ll get your heart pounding as you experience some of the steepest terrain in the Basin.
A blanket of white is what we like to see! Courtesy: Mt. Rose
Mt. Rose is a favorite among locals for a reason: the resort is situated perfectly between Tahoe and Reno (it’s only 11 miles from the North Shore of Tahoe and 25 from downtown Reno). Plus Mt. Rose offers killer deals that not only get you on the mountain quicker, but for less! The resort offers Two ‘Fer Tuesdays, which gets you two all-day lift tickets for the price of one. On Thursdays, grab the ladies and enjoy $29 lift tickets or bring your boarding pass the day you fly to get on the slopes one last time for $37.
The view of Mt. Rose from Reno. Courtesy: Mt. Rose