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:
Tag Archives: skiing
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
With a long overdue incoming winter storm, Troy and I decided to make an impromptu road trip to Mt. Bachelor in Oregon for fresh powder – and we got plenty!
These are pictures and videos from several more ski weekends at Homewood in Tahoe with Troy, Resi, Aiden and Darlene over February and March.
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.
And a little VR demo-ing:
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:
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.
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.
Darlene and I loaded up the cats and the camper van in late March and headed out for an extended, month-long trip. After a few days of skiing at Alpine and Homewood from the Tahoe house, we headed down to Bishop and Mammoth for some more skiing, as well as mountain biking and other exploration in the surrounding area for a few weeks while camping out on public lands.
We biked around the Mono Craters area, found a nice wading pool just outside the now closed off Mammoth Hot Springs, hiked up to the still frozen South Lake and bailed out of a swim in the still-quite-cold Owens River near Bishop.
Despite all the time I’ve already spent in the Eastern Sierra (including attending high school in Bishop), we managed a few new adventures like biking up Coyote Valley Road, skiing at June Mountain, visiting the exposed “tuff” formation along Crowley Lake, winding through Chidago Canyon, visiting the petroglyphs along Fish Slough Road, and finding an eagle’s nest (with chicks!) in the Owens River Gorge.
In mid-April, it looked like a bit of snow was going to mostly hit the Tahoe area, so we headed back up to Tahoe for a few days to catch a bit of it before heading out again and north to Lassen.
Oh yeah, and we broke the van on a particularly rough road near Mono Craters – started hearing clunking noises from what turned out to be a very badly installed anti-sway bar.
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.
Darlene and I were up in Tahoe for ten days in early March right up until all the ski resorts decided to close down and the Bay Area counties decided to tell everyone to “shelter in place” to try to slow down the spread of Covid-19. As it happens, Resi, Troy and Aiden joined us at the house just before that for those last two weekends – and we finally got a nice big snow storm this season – albeit on the last weekend for this unexpectedly shortened ski season.
These two weekends at Homewood (and Alpine Meadows during the week) made quite the contrast to each other: from getting pretty barren to turning warm and slushy to an overabundance of fresh heavy snow and people getting buried and digging out left and right!
On the first Sunday, Aiden finished up his “Super Sliders” season with a slalom race and awards ceremony. On the last Sunday, with about two feet of new snow, all the major ski resorts had decided to close the night before but Homewood chose to go one more day – for a final huge powder day for passholders and advance ticket holders only.
This year, Jon, Bill, Kat, Jim, Stan and I hit up Beaver Creek and Vail in Colorado for our annual week of skiing and board gaming. We started off the week with the remnants of a heavy snow storm (as in heavy, wet snow) for a rough first day full of new and old moguls. It was also pretty cold with highs in the teens. As the following day promised to be much colder, we all sheltered indoors for a day of gaming including Sushi Go Party, Chinatown, Bang!, King of New York, Instinct, Cheaty Mages, For Sale, and the card game version of Shadows over Camelot. The following days turned warmer and even sunny and blue skies at times so we were happy to venture out and explore the slopes again.
It’s been a pretty dry January and February for snow in Tahoe, but we got the gang together at the Tahoe house for an early February weekend all the same. Darlene and I joined Greg, Erin & Merritt for a sunny Saturday at Squaw Valley and then Resi, Troy & Aiden at Homewood for a very windy Sunday. But it would seem the wind didn’t slow down Aiden at all…
Click through for the full gallery: