South Lake Tahoe, mostly CA but some NV 3/13-15/2016

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

South Lake Tahoe, mostly CA but some NV 3/13-15/2016

Postby tseeb » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:47 pm

Sierra at Tahoe, CA 3/13/2016
My wife went skiing for the first time since she jammed her thumb during the same week in March two years ago. She thought we were doing well getting on the road at 4:40, but with Daylight Savings Time, it was actually 5:40. We arrived Sierra Tahoe, where 12" new was reported about 9:30, after driving through rain the entire time until we got to about 5500' where it turned to snow. We took one warm-up lap on high-speed quad beginner chair before skiing Marmot to West Bowl. My wife had to use the facilities that were just opening at the base of the chair so I got a quick powder lap on Pyramid. We then skied Beaver so I could show her the way back to the lodge, then we skied Powderhorn together. She was ready to go in so we skied Escape and she went to the lodge and I went to check on dogs.

After eating my sandwich at the car and bringing my wife hers in the bar where we shared a beer, I headed for Grandview chair which had opened an hour before after being on windhold. But seeing a big line, I diverted to slow Nob Hill chair and found some untracked by getting to the left of a rope line. Then I rode and skied Grandview 4 times. First was down powder on right side of Jackrabbit, then into more lightly tracked snow on left side of Chute. Next run, I did an unracked entrance to Dynamite and found a lot more lightly tracked the rest of the way. My last two runs were skiers left and right of Preacher's Passion where I found more untracked. Snow was dense and another 6-8" fell while we were there so it probably was my deepest day of the year. I got back to the car about 2:30 and felt sorry for the people in the stop-and-go traffic from Sierra Tahoe/Highway 50 back past Meyers and continuing over a mile onto Pioneer Trail. Not only was 50 carrying all the Heavenly and Sierra traffic returning to Central Valley and Bay Area, but since Carson Spur W of Kirkwood was closed except for an hour due to avalanche 'control' on Sunday, 50 also had the Kirkwood traffic. No pictures. 13.5K

Heavenly, CA 3/14/2016
Heavenly reported 18" new, but was not sure they could run more than Gunbarrel in CA and Stagecoach in NV due to wind (and NV again had power problems from storm). My wife decided not to go due to strong winds at cabin so after picking up $25 prize for great new sushi place at Round Hill that I won for her and dropping her and dogs at shopping center 6 blocks from cabin, it was about 9:30 when I parked in very slick lot close to tram. I could not pass up a Gunbarrel powder lap and had great snow on top part, then cut into the Pistol for the the next quarter before braving bumps with crusty powder to the base. I went up Gunbarrel and Powder Bowl chairs and skied Powder Bowl Woods which was mostly skied out. Next time up I followed a guy high above top of Waterfall and eventually went down in wind-affected W-facing treed untracked. I took one more lap on increasingly crowded Powder Bowl and found some good untracked on skiers left of Waterfall. The line had grown enough to send me up Groove chair where I skied upper Roundabout and found a untracked face before my usual cutoff. I skied Pistol again, then dropped off road between Gunbarrel (now renamed as Warren Miller's Wild something) and East Bowl/Face. I found good steep lightly tracked snow, but once I rejoined the Face the non-groomed was almost unskiable. I was too warm so returned to the car and switched heavy jacket for shell and went back up the Tram.

I next skied usually rocky Hogsback into the Pistol. It skied well although it was getting hard to find untracked. Next time up, I could not see any higher lifts moving so I skied very lightly tracked Avalanche Bowl far skiers right of Tram. Finally after going up again, I could see skiers on Ridge Run so I went up and rode very busy Canyon chair. I took two laps into an untracked area I saw near top of chair, but found near top of chair that wind must have howled and packed it down. Lower down it was better and I twice skied lightly tracked trees between High Roller and Canyon runs to base. Line was getting worse so I skied down Ridge Bowl, then trees next to Waterfall and Advanced Roundabout and quit with 15K. I got back to cabin at 1 for lunch. I heard Heavenly opened most of the rest of the mountain as winds died, but they left Mott for Tuesday. We took dogs to play in the snow in Upper Kingsbury. Our Beagle was happy snow was not any deeper and that she is not a dachshund. Our White German Shepherd was happy to be running off-leash and that we rescued her a little over a year ago.
White German Shepherd looking like a wolf
Dogs looking on while I crash sled. Are they laughing at me?

Heavenly, CA and NV 3/15/2016
On Tuesday, EpicMix showed me getting on Heavenly 's tram within a minute of my time from previous day. I skied excellent groomers on Canyon and Sky chairs with my wife until going solo into Killibrew Gate A at 10:30. I got first tracks along the boundary rope in Outer Limits which was wind-packed and quickly transitioning from powder to corn, then found good powder lower on left side of Boundary Chutes. Since line at Mott chair was long, I pushed from the top of Mott chair to Orion and hiked to top of knoll above Nova and skied untracked to Dipper chair. From top of Dipper, I went into Killibrew Gate B and skied Stateline Chute where, by going up the sides, I made my turns in deep untracked. I exited early to the right and had more powder below the Fingers and was happy to see Mott line gone when I got there. I then had two powder runs on Mott. First by staying on an overlooked ridge above Bills, then by going past Rocky Point where I could see from the chair it was mostly untracked and I got 10-12 of the steepest and deepest powder turns of my season.
I met my wife outside of very busy 9150' Tamarack lodge at 12:30 and we shared the 1/2 bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir I'd been carrying with our lunch. After lunch, we skied Orion, then Crossover, then long groomer from top of Olympic to Stagecoach base, then rode to top of NV and skied CA trail to Sky chair. We skied more long groomers to CA base. On the way down, I dropped off a corner of Roundabout in a place I'd never been before in over 50 years of skiing Heavenly. I ended my 40th day of the season before 3 with 18.6K.
My wife on Ridge Run. Cloud layer came in during morning and went away by noon
Boundary Chutes in lower Killibrew Canyon. I came down lookers right where snow does not get much sun.
Exit had already burnt out and required removing skis for about 50 feet
Is this a run or a cliff? Depends on whether you go too far left.
Looking up Rocky Point
Looking down Rocky Point. There was untracked in trees to right.
User avatar
Posts: 730
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Return to Western North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 8 guests

All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use