Tag Archives: Lake Tahoe

A Tahoe Layover

Heading out in the newly restored camper van, Darlene and I had a bit of an unexpected layover in Tahoe as several house maintenance and repair chores ended up taking a lot more time and Hera developed a new health issue.  We did take a few days off for some mountain biking including some of the trails from the house near Brockway Summit and taking the Emigrant Trail out to Stampede Reservoir from Prosser Creek.

We also joined Mike and Nanci on the Flume Trail (a well known trail that overlooks Lake Tahoe along the east shore).  We started at Spooner Lake, climbed up to Marlette Lake where Mike went for a brief swim and we took a snack break:

We then joined the Flume Trail where Mike promptly tumbled off trail somehow and tangled himself in his bike frame. Happily no one chose to tumble off the steep slopes of the Flume Trail proper but then Nanci had a nasty fall on the ride down the Tunnel Creek Road.  With help from several others, we ended up waiting for emergency services to drive a buggy up to treat her with pain meds and move her down to a waiting ambulance.  At the Truckee hospital, she was found to have broken a clavicle and a rib.  Ouch, not the most fun way to end the day!

Click through for the full gallery:

   

Share
Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Winter 2023 Time-Lapse

This is a time-lapse recording at the Tahoe house over the 2022-23 winter season – from November 1st to June 1st.  The house is at 6800 ft.

Share
Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Spring Skiing in Tahoe

Tahoe got just a little bit more snow in the first week of May, but Darlene and I couldn’t make it up until this past week – just as the temperatures climbed back into the high 50’s and low 60’s.  We got in three short days at Alpine and Palisades – bailing mid-day each day as the snow started getting grabby.  I got to try my new X-Wing pilot costume and Darlene borrowed my Marvin the Martian outfit:

Click through for the full gallery:

Share
Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Even Greater Gobs of Snow

Darlene and I headed back up to Tahoe at the end of February to meet up with Jon, Stan and Bill for our annual weeklong group ski trip. Storm after storm is continuing to dump massive amounts of snow in the Sierra Nevada – 53 feet over the season at Palisades so far.  We were able to come up in a slight break in the back-to-back storms hitting Tahoe (and all of California), but we had to take the long way out because highway 17 (through the low elevation, coastal Santa Cruz mountains) was actually closed due to snow – a very rare occurrence.

There were travel troubles all around with Jon’s flight cancelled and Stan coming up early to try to beat the storm.  We were joined by Resi and Aiden on Saturday before they had to rush back ahead of the next incoming storm.  We spend the day trying to clear some of the snow and ice from the deck, roof and stairs.  So much ice keeps building up on the deck and the stairs below from the ice-melting heat trace on the roof above – it actually was overflowing the threshold of the sliding doors below, freezing them in place and leaking water into the house.

Geof and Jennifer were also able to come up and stay for the week through the storms.  Unfortunately, Geof got seriously ill and ended up quarantined in a room for much of the week.  But then even the resorts had difficulties: closing early Monday, remaining closed Tuesday and only partially open the following day due to the massive amounts of new snow in such a short period. We did still manage to get multiple days of skiing in over our stay.

4.5 minute video montage of our week of Tahoe skiing

I joined Troy at Homewood on Sunday and then Jon, Stan and Bill at Northstar on Monday (until they closed early).  The resorts remained closed Tuesday and were still trying to dig out on Wednesday when I joined Troy again for the one lift that Homewood was able to get running.  Darlene joined me, Jon, Stan and Bill at Alpine and Palisades for much of Thursday and Friday, while Geof and Jennifer hit up the same resorts separately and Kat joined us for board gaming Friday night.  Darlene and I returned to Palisades and Northstar the following Monday and Tuesday before we had to make our way home again ahead of the next wave of storms – this time bringing warm temps and rain.

A drone flyover of the house to survey the current snow load as of early March.

There’s something like over 10 feet of ice and compacted snow on the roof right now.  Hopefully it will sustain the load and the incoming heavy snow and rain until our roof is scheduled to get at least partially cleared of snow late next week!

Click through for the full gallery:

     

Share
Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Gobs of Snow

Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada are known for huge amounts of snow but it’s still fun to enjoy great gobs of it as records are broken.  The Tahoe area has been running over 200% of average since December and it has kept on coming.  We’ve already exceeded the total season average here of 400 inches (as has Mammoth Mountain, further south in the Sierra) and it’s only early February!

I posted some pics and video in early January, then we were off to Vail for a previously-planned week-long ski trip.  So this gallery is catching up on pictures and video from mid-January as well as a rush back up to join Troy and Aiden for another nice storm in early February.  We hit up Northstar, Alpine Meadows and of course lots of Homewood on powder days:

3.5-minute video montage from mid-January to early February

Click through for the full gallery:

   

Share
Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Snow in Tahoe Again

We’re off to a strong snow season in the Sierra this year with over 200% of average already and some big 24-hour dumps like 35 inches just over New Year’s Eve!  (That storm we actually missed as we went home to Santa Cruz for the weekend.)  Darlene and I spent a few weeks in Tahoe starting in mid-December and then I came back for more through early January as she went to visit her family.  We hit up Palisades, Northstar, Heavenly and Homewood and were joined at times by Resi, Troy and Aiden over the past month.

Click through for the full gallery:

     

Share
Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tahoe Summer Days

Darlene and I spent a couple weeks in late June and early July at the Tahoe house taking care of a bunch of house maintenance, including roof repair, clearing newly fallen branches and pine needles, moving the bear box to accommodate a widening of the driveway, etc.  We took some time off from all that to go climb to the top of a very windy Mt. Rose (elev. 10,785 ft.), do some mountain biking and hike up the Five Lakes trail near Palisades/Alpine Meadows.

 

We also had another bear visitor while up working on the roof:

Click through for the full gallery:

     

Share
Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ski Weekends at Homewood

These are pictures and videos from several more ski weekends at Homewood in Tahoe with Troy, Resi, Aiden and Darlene over February and March.

Click through for the full gallery:

Share
Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tahoe Ski Week

Darlene and I joined Bill, Stan and Jon for our yearly ski vacation week, this time in Tahoe in early March.  We hit up Northstar and Palisades Tahoe during the week, with lots of board gaming in between of course.  On Saturday, Stan and Jon joined us at Homewood with Troy and Aiden to enjoy a bit of new snow.

(3.3 minute video montage of our ski week)

And a little VR demo-ing:

Click through for the full gallery:

     

Share
Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A High Speed Tour of the Tahoe Ski Areas

I took off in an F/A-18E jet from Truckee airport and visited most of the Tahoe area ski resorts in 12 minutes or less:

Share
Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gamers Gone Skiing

A four-minute video montage of our skiing days.

We got our gaming group together in Tahoe in early February for a few days of skiing and board gaming. Geof and Nacho joined me on the slopes at Tahoe Palisades while Jennifer, Adriana, Laurie and Richard checked out the lake and old town Truckee – and Laurie got in an afternoon at Northstar.

We had exploding potions in Quacks of Quedlinburg, color confusion in Hues and Cues, pushed our luck in Diamant, placed our bets in Wits & Wagers, rolled for the top in Mountain Goats, intercepted secret codes in Decrypto, managed our tricks in both The Crew and Instinct, swam with sharks in Survive: Escape from Atlantis!, built up a map of cities and roads in Carcassonne, dodged avalanches in Slide 5, and laid out our “stained glass” dice windows in Sagrada.

Click through for the full gallery:

     

Share
Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Skiing With Friends Again

We got piles of snow at the end of December, setting new records for the month (17 feet).  The storm kept all the highways closed for many days, but Troy, Resi, Aiden and I were eventually able to get up to Tahoe – and ski together for the first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

A little four-minute video montage of our ski adventures.

Click through for the full gallery:

     

Share
Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

High Speed Bear Crossing

The noise you hear is a snow plow operating nearby, probably clearing the road intersection off-camera to the left.  An hour later, apparently while I was editing the original video clip of his dash across the road, the bear came back – with the snow plow still operating nearby — and he tried crossing again several times.  (I’ve now combined all the clips together.)

Share
Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Lake Tahoe to Desert Playa

We loaded up the van and headed out last week, stopping first for a couple of days to visit with Troy in Tahoe.

 

Our intention was to travel on to the Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada and maybe into Utah but we had to cut the trip short and head home early so that Darlene could help a friend.  So we spent the couple of days we had checking out Pyramid Lake north of Reno (which is where Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River drain to) and then visiting the Black Rock Desert playa before heading home.

All of this area (and in fact all of northwest Nevada) used to be submerged in a huge prehistoric lake (Lake Lahontan) and the ancient water lines are still obvious along the mountain sides.  There are also lots of cool tufa rock formations in the area, though unfortunately much of the area around Pyramid Lake is off limits to the public and open to tribal members only.  (The lake and surroundings are part of a Paiute Reservation.)

Tufa / calcium carbonate rock formations (or perhaps alien artifacts)

Click through for the full gallery:

   

Share
Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Skiing Through a Pandemic

In mid-January, we migrated up to Tahoe to spend a few weeks in the snow.  Darlene didn’t feel up to skiing with her current hip and ankle issues so I was just skiing solo, going out every other day while she kept busy at the house.

All of the resorts have implemented rules to keep folks from spreading the virus, like face coverings and social distancing around the lifts and resort, but of course you still see the usual sampling of not helpful behaviors.  I went to Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley on the quiet mid-week days and Homewood on busier days – around weekends and fresh powder days – so it was possible to avoid lift lines and sharing lift chairs.  (Sharing a six-person chair with one other rider seemed fine though.)  I planned on Northstar a couple of times, but one day the pass was closed due to a big rig slide out and the other day I saw how the required parking lot bus was loading up with people and decided to go elsewhere – plus it would seem that they’re insisting on loading solo riders every other seat on the chairs.  I’m not so keen on that despite the open air.

Started out with limited snow and seriously hard frozen stuff anywhere off the groomed runs from several weeks of warm weather but happily we then got a cold front and multiple heavy snows (5+ feet) over a week or two.  Lots of powder to play in.  Meanwhile, back at the house, we “relocated” a series of squirrels over a couple of weeks but I’m not sure we’ve caught the culprits living inside the vaulted ceiling.

Click through for the full gallery…

Share
Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Fire and Smoke and Evacuations


Leaving heavy smoke in Tahoe on Wednesday 8/19

We headed back home on Wednesday, leaving the heavy smoke in Tahoe from the Loyalton Fire, through the smoke filling the Central Valley to reach the heavy smoke in the Santa Cruz Mountains from the CZU Lightning Complex fires.


Looking south and west from the house  (Wednesday evening, 8/19)

 
Ash and charred leaves deposited around the house (8/19)

As we came through Vacaville and Fairfield on I-80, we slipped through just before the LNU Lightning Complex fire jumped I-80 and even saw flames from the interstate:

 
LNU Lightning Complex Fire about to cross I-80 near Fairfield on 8/19

On Wednesday and Thursday we prepped for evacuation, loading up the cars with necessities and some irreplaceables, prepping the house as per wildfire pre-evacuation recommendations (moving furniture away from windows, etc).  Sure enough, the mandatory evacuation zones were expanded Thursday evening to include everything west of highway 17 (including downtown Scotts Valley).  We’re a little south of Scotts Valley and just east of highway 17, but we decided to go ahead and evacuate Thursday night – heading back to Tahoe.

The evacuation areas are expected to remain in effect for a few weeks.  Darlene will be renting a place near Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto as she’ll be returning to work next week.

So far, it looks like they’ve been able to mostly hold the fire west of highway 9 and north of Santa Cruz and Davenport.  Unfortunately, we’ve got the potential for more fire starts due to more dry thunderstorms expected around the Bay Area from Sunday (8/22) through Tuesday morning (8/24).

Here’s a combined, interactive map showing both the perimeter of the ZCU Lightning Complex fire and the evacuation area.  63,000 acres burned, 77,000 people evacuated – snapshot as of Saturday, 8/22:

Here’s a really nice mapping tool (CalTopo) that can overlay various satellite data (like VIIRS) on a map source of your choice and plot additional weather data like wind patterns.  You can even zoom in to see individual temperature sample numbers showing where the fire is hotter and cooler or no longer present:

For more info on the Santa Cruz Mountains fires, here’s some resources:

Update (Thursday, 8/27):  81,000 acres affected as of this morning but they’re continuing to get good control of the fires across the Santa Cruz Mountains.  As the mandatory evac area was never extended to where we are (just east of highway 17), Darlene headed back on Monday evening since she had to go into work at the hospital on Tuesday and I headed back with the cats on Wednesday evening as things seemed to be continuing to go well.  As of 3 pm Thursday, they’ve lifted the evacuation order on Scotts Valley and surrounding areas.

Update (late September): As the number and size of the wildfires continue to grow across the western states, we get a taste of our potential future norm, including days that look like night and seemingly right out of “Blade Runner 2049”:

And when we ventured up through Oregon to pick up the Transit campervan in mid-September, we encountered some of the worst air yet: PM2.5 counts of well over 500 outside the rental car.

We brought along our not-so-portable home air filter to use in the car, which was quite helpful on the long drive up and overnight car camping in this nasty environment.  I’ve since bought a more compact unit for the campervan given the very likely future event of being caught out in future multiple-states-wide wildfire smoke.

Share
Also tagged , , | 1 Comment