The ski trip this year was to Tahoe, CA, where we visited Heavenly Valley and Kirkwood. Up until the end of January there had not been much snow there, a third or less of Heavenly was open. As luck would have it though Heavenly got about three feet of snow 7-10 days before our trip and Kirkwood had even more.
We all flew into Sacramento, CA and stopped for lunch at Dad’s Kitchen before leaving town. Featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives Dad’s has great food and atmosphere. Don’t be fooled by it’s postage stamp size from the outside or minimal parking, it opens up once you get in the door and is well worth the effort. The drive up highway 50 to Tahoe is pretty easy and mostly uphill. There was no issues with road conditions and the views were really nice. We got into Tahoe late afternoon and a few of us needed equipment so we headed out to pick that up while the others hit the grocery store. I found good deals at Rainbow Ski Rental and they have a number of shops around town. All packages aren’t available at all locations so we picked ours up at the one next to the Gondola, we figured that should be convenient come the end of the trip.
Day one was at Heavenly, 40 degrees and sunny with virtually no wind. From the Tamarack Lodge we headed up the Tamarack Express and hungout on the west side for most of the morning. After lunch we made are way to the Canyon Express for a few runs before some of us called it a day a few hours before the lifts close, myself included.
Day two was off to Kirkwood, about 40 minutes south of Tahoe. A quiet place that you might miss if you weren’t paying attention. As we were dirving in I didn’t even see the slopes until we pulled up to park at the Timber Creek Base Area. Not many people there for a Friday, 10 of the 15 waiting to get on the lift when they opened was our group. Weather was the same as yesterday, 40’s and sunny. After a few runs off the TC Express to get warmed up we headed over to the backside and the Sunrise lift. Snow over there was excellent and the runs were not crowded at all, I can’t remember waiting more than a minute for the lift.
Day three was back to Kirkwood as we figured with it being Saturday Heavenly would be more crowded. Another prefect day weather wise but there was less skiing for me. By lunch time it was obvious all the skiing was wearing me down and the legs were having a tough time keeping up. So a couple of us headed to the bar, Snowshoe Thompsons at the Timber Creek Base Area, to sit in the snow take in the sun and have a couple pints.
Day four was back to Heavely for a few of us as the group split up. From the start it was obvious four days in a row would be a little much for me as there wasn’t much energy. The day ended at lunch time as a couple of us turned in our skis. I’ll have to remember next year to either get preped ahead of time or only ski three of the four days. Regardless of not skiing all day every day it was a great trip. You couldn’t have asked for better weather and even though we didn’t have any new snow while we were there their was plenty to ski on. Most of all it was a good time with the guys.
The last few years we’ve been blessed with good weather and plenty of snow, I only hope it continues. Now if I can only fit in more than one trip a year that would be sweet!