South Lake Tahoe, CA and NV late fall 2019

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South Lake Tahoe, CA and NV late fall 2019

Postby tseeb » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:58 pm

Kirkwood, CA 12/17/19
After two busy days at home, I got on road at 6:20 AM, the same time my wife left for work, where she is down to about 20 work days before she retires at the end of Jan. I turned into Kirkwood three and a half hours later. Parking along the road across from chair 7 was full so I drove another half mile to main base where I was waved into one of the few spots remaining in what is often paid parking, close to chair 6 and about 50 feet from where I would finish my skiing.
I rode chair 6 three times, first skiing Zachary’s the main E-facing groomer where snow was kind of chopped up. I then tried Sentinel, which skied much better with some windsift on top of packed powder. I was going to head towards Backside, but got too low so I repeated Sentinel and skied excellent groomer to base of chair 7 which I used to get to The Wall, which also held good windsift on top of packed powder. I skied chutes to right of Eagle Bowl, under the Cirque, and found a little deeper untracked from? On chair 4, I then skied some great windsift I spotted at the top, then found more going either side of the Wave. Getting to the right of the Wave required some hiking, but it deep not warm me up and long slow chair was very cold. I returned to Main Base by dropping small cornice into excellent windsift at top of Thunder Saddle and skied Two Man chute. I then rode chair 2 and skied High Whisky, which even though W-facing had some decent untracked. I had some cold pizza and beer in the car, but went into 7800 to warm up with a $7 Deschutes and some snacks from my pocket.

My afternoon was three laps on the Wall and three on Cornice plus a return to car using chair 7. I twice skied the windsift under the top of the Wall. On my last time up, I looked into Notch Chute, but didn’t like how skis would get bounced off the snow on very steep entrance.
From there I was able to get to first Sisters Chute without removing skis and found deep windsift before the entrance and did not hesitate before skiing steep wall on right side of entrance.I stopped for pictures and was glad to see narrow exit went.
I came down ramp on left
Have to go over the hump on the way out
I skied the one on lookers left
I skied chutes below there and started feeling a little tired. I moved to Cornice and skied left wall entrance into Jim’s where narrow chute overhung by rock is ski-able early in season before usually turning into a snowcliff when snow gets deeper.
Entrance I skied to Jim's at left
I next skied Lookout Janek, doing my best to avoid bumps in failing light. Snow surface was good, but steep left side (or me) did not ski as well as it looked. I finished my day about 3:45 with 18 lifts/22,3K on my watch by taking long, mostly gravity traverse to Palisades where I found this.
I would have stopped for Happy Hour tacos at Kirkwood Inn, but they are not open every day this time of year. I stopped at Grocery Out in SLT to supplement my pizza for dinner. Cabin, which had not been used for over a month, was very cold. I did not remove my ski clothes including jacket until I went into warmer bedroom about 7 PM. :?:
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Re: South Lake Tahoe, CA and NV late fall 2019

Postby tseeb » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:22 pm

Heavenly, CA and NV 12/18/2019 No time or energy for detailed report or to add pictures. I skied Heavenly, parking within 100' of tram about 9 that I uploaded (3rd tram) and downloaded as Heavenly has not opened the lowest third of CA even though coverage looks OK and patrollers have left some nice tracks on East Bowl. I skied three or four laps from Sky and Canyon chairs, the higher third of CA where there were excellent groomers with some windsift and untracked manmade. Temps and humidity were low so probably great for making snow.

I rode Sky with patroller who said Stateline Chute was filled in to top so I went there and found I had to enter about 10 feet below uncovered rocks at top. It had been lightly skied and turns on the side were in untracked snow. Exit traverse was sketchy in a couple of places. I next skied Bill's in Mott Canyon and found good packed and some unskied powder, then after riding Mott chair I skied to Stagecoach base. Later in day I would return and ski both legs of the Y and took a lap into Outer Limits where I went left too early and had to navigate through some big boulders. Below there the steeps past the Meadows held some good deep snow. I had five rides on Mott chair. Mott opened Monday and Killibrew Tuesday.

I skied until about 3:45 and my watch counted almost 31.5K without the download. Other highlights were Dipper Bowl, Maggie's Canyon, Ellie's from the Swing Trail twice and Waterfall. After skiing, I stopped by new South Lake Tahoe Olympic Bootwerks where they realized my 8 1/2 year old right footbed's arch had collapsed so I had new ones made that should be ready tomorrow.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe, CA and NV late fall 2019

Postby tseeb » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:02 pm

Adding pictures from Heavenly. First one is from early on Wed. Even after skiing there for over 55 years, the views are breath-taking. Wind-swept Liz's was roped off at the top, then open, but rocky where Swing Trail to Ellie's crosses it at lower right.
Next pictures are Stateline Chute, part of my first run to NV this season. I entered either just above or below thumb shaped rock at center, but it looks like I should have come in on smooth snow at far lookers left.
Bill's, the only Mott Canyon run I skied from top of Mott chair. All others were when coming from CA and taking a high traverse (twice) or after riding Dipper chair and skiing always fun Milky Way Bowl (also twice).
I also skied both legs of The Y. The top of left leg is not visible in this picture.
My new jacket has room for a sandwich, snacks, a small water bottle and a beer.
Hopefully it's "Knee Deep" the next time I'm skiing Mott Canyon. although it sounds like storms may end for a while after Christmas. Brewery is near Auburn, CA airport, a couple of miles from where my niece lives. I couldn't resist one more lap into Killibrew. Picture is Boundary Chutes. I came down in trees to right of center.
There were blowing snow on Groove, probably to open terrain park.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe, CA and NV late fall 2019

Postby tseeb » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:12 pm

Kirkwood, CA 12/19/19

I went back to Kirkwood on Thursday as it is on my way home and saves me ~20 miles vs. going home from South Lake Tahoe on US-50, and saves over 50 miles (and worse traffic around and past Sacramento) vs. going to Northstar (where they finally opened Backside and I heard it was good for a short time or most of the day, depending on source) or Alpine or Squaw. I had a late start from SLT as new Olympic BootWorks at Pioneer and Ski Run made me new footbeds overnight and they were not ready until a little after 9. The arch on the right footbed store owner and footbed innovator Buck Brown made at their Squaw location 8 1/2 years and almost 400 ski days ago had collapsed and footbed was also 1/2 inch shorter than left. This probably happened when shop where I bought new boots (NOT Olympic!) heated liners for molding as there is a sock imprint on melted material at edge of footbed. For more info on Olympic, see ... on-in-slt/" onclick=";return false;

Snow almost everywhere was very good to excellent. It was sunny and slightly warmer in morning than two previous days although I was glad I was wearing long, warm jacket. Morning highlight runs were: Eagle Bowl, and returning from Backside via wind-smoothed and steep edge of Moon Bowl where patroller later confirmed that small, black gravel-like debris on top I had to cross was from blasting the Cornice and said that wide gully I skied below Moon Bowl is called Corner Chute
Skiers that followed me into Corner Chute. They missed the wind-kissed great snow on very steep edge of Moon Bowl.
(aka Shot 7 and is the corner between Thunder Saddle and Lookout Vista, not to be confused with Corner Chute in Wagon Wheel Bowl).I also found ungroomed Monte Wolf, which I skied for the first time this season, skiing better than groomed Zachary. Similarly I thought edge of ungroomed Lookout Janek skied better that not freshly groomed Sentinel. Afternoon highlights were skiing a steep gully from top of Norms Nose on my last Wall run and skiing off the steep ridge between Olympic and Chamonix.

Due to time constraints, I did not even look into Notch Chute from the top, but skied it from highest traverse under The Wall and found some great snow.
Not sure if the people barely visible at top got in. Even though I quit about 3:15 and was on the road at 3:30, my watch said I skied 24K vertical and EpicMix, which did not miss any lifts for the first time this year, had me at 23.8K. With a stop at Lockeford Meats for a couple of pounds of their very lean Chorizo that is great with sautéed onions and peppers and scrambled eggs, two of their smoked Brats, one Andouille and one spicy beef stick, I got back to San Jose too early and suffered through about 10 miles of slow freeway, before getting home at 7:15.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe, CA and NV late fall 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:02 pm

It's nice to see Kirkwood and upper Heavenly are in similar good shape as Mammoth. Surfaces in this TR overall look softer than Mammoth, which got hit by upslope wind Sunday night and Monday. The more prevailing wind Wednesday improved Mammoth surfaces Thursday.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe, CA and NV late fall 2019

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:27 am

Forgot to mention -- those are nice pix all the way through but especially the chutes at the top of the first post.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe, CA and NV late fall 2019

Postby tseeb » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:55 pm

@jamesdeluxe - Thanks for your appreciation of my efforts.

The updates from Heavenly are that Roundabout and East Bowl opened on Fri 12/27 so you no longer have to downloaded to CA base. Lower Gunbarrel opened today, but not Upper according to ... tatus.aspx

We return on New Year's Eve and are planning to attend event at Heavenly Village where they usually have good bands at outdoor stage and send a lit-up gondola down from over 9K at midnight EST (family friendly besides parking).

We plan to ski Heavenly early on 1/1, Kirkwood maybe not quite as early on 1/2 as they don't open until 9 and Heavenly again on 1/3. Not sure if we are driving home late Friday or early Saturday to attend Sat. PM party for long-time friend of the family's 90th birthday in Santa Cruz mountains.
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