Heavenly, CA 1/20-21/2019

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Heavenly, CA 1/20-21/2019

Postby tseeb » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:14 pm

Heavenly, CA 1/20/2019

It was raining in South Lake Tahoe and snowing hard at Stagecoach base when I arrived about 8:20 to a nearly full lower lot. The whole mountain went on lightning hold 2 min before opening. I waited about an hour before leaving as nothing opened. I heard most other Tahoe areas were also on hold. I was thinking I should have brought my X-C gear so at least I could cruise around a little somewhere with our dogs. My wife was going to do her 1st Tahoe skiing in over 2 years (don’t feel too sorry for her as she skied Whistler and UT twice plus Mammoth and Bachelor during that time), but hurt her back moving packed suitcase onto floor before leaving home. She came with me, but mostly stayed at cabin with dogs.

Heavenly opened Stagecoach, Galaxy and Boulder in NV and up to Canyon in CA a little after 10 on Sun. I was running a errand with my wife when I found out. After taking her back to the cabin and giving the dogs a short walk, I parked at CA base about 11. I took three runs on Powder Bowl chair (Powder Bowl run, then Waterfall twice) before singles line got long so I rode Groove and skied Advanced Roundabout, the Pistol and lower Gunbarrel to the bottom. Precipitation was mixed below about 7200', but it turned to snow at 6600' Tram base before 1.

Snow surface was very good with almost a inch new early and a couple of more later. It was mostly smooth and not hard frozen underneath and usual big bumps had not yet formed on Waterfall, Gunbarrel and Face. I skied lower mountain five times, with the last two using the Tram. The snow skied a lot like corn and lower mountain is steep enough that it required a lot of turns.

First two pictures were taken out of Heavenly's Tram's window at 12:30. I would have ridden it sooner to get out of the mixed precipitation at bottom, but line looked too long. The last picture was heavy snow where we walked dogs about 4:45. My day was 10 lift ride (two were short Groove chair) and almost 11.5K.

Heavenly, CA 1/21/2019

Heavenly lived up to its name on Monday. I was on about 10th chair on Gunbarrel when they started loading at 8:25. Even though lower mountain had been skied on Sunday, with 12 of the 18" new Heavenly claimed falling overnight, I couldn't pass up a Face lap where I didn't cross any tracks. Then I got four laps on Canyon before line drove me away. My runs included first tracks down Sky Canyon and a couple of long and deep untracked lines from traversing to just past Sky chair (which did not open until 12:30 and I later heard was on a generator due to electrical problems). I thought about hiking up past Sky to get to NV, but didn’t seem worth it since my day was already going to be short.

Returning to lower mountain, I found rooms for more tracks in trees to skiers right of Waterfall. Then I got a little more untracked by pole-ing and stepping up a little to the mostly overlooked middle entrance into Gunbarrel,
while many were making long hike to get into top of Hogsback. The next two times up, I took very lightly used track that got me high enough above main traverse to Avalanche Bowl to get about 10 deep turns before crossing anything.
I quit before 11 with 10 lift rides and 12K as my wife wanted to get on way home early. We were delayed at least 10 minutes looking for Beagle who got out gate and headed down the street while I was on the cabin roof, sweeping snow off skylights. I saw her turn off street into another cabin's yard, but she did not come out until my wife was there with a treat.
We were concerned that a coyote could have gotten her as they are in the area. We had at least an hour delay getting onto Meyers Grade leaving Tahoe, taking all the shortcuts, but once starting on the hill traffic mostly
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Re: Heavenly, CA 1/20-21/2019

Postby EMSC » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:38 am

tseeb wrote:Heavenly, CA 1/20/2019

It was raining in South Lake Tahoe and snowing hard at Stagecoach base when I arrived

Love the terrain, but Tahoe is definitely in the banana belt of western skiing.
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Re: Heavenly, CA 1/20-21/2019

Postby gravityluv » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:41 pm

Nice report---I'll be there @ Heavenly starting this coming sunday---fingers crossed.
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Re: Heavenly, CA 1/20-21/2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:47 am

Rain is not that frequent in the Sierra above 8,000 feet. Heavenly has as much terrain as anywhere above that elevation.

Rain incidence at Tahoe has been way up the past 6 seasons. The quick and dirty way to check the current season is to compare Squaw’s upper and lower snowfalls. Current lower 135 to upper 257 is in line with long term history, but that ratio has been in the 40% range in some recent seasons.
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