South Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/9-12/2021

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

Moderator: Tony Crocker

South Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/9-12/2021

Postby tseeb » Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:55 am

Kirkwood Tuesday 3/9. While they reported 1" new, it did not seem that 'deep', even though it snowed lightly part of the day and there were a couple of periods of heavier snow. Surface was generally good. The (very little) new snow helped and the sun was often bright enough though the clouds to soften surface. It was my wife's first day of the year.
We parked at, rode and skied Timber Creek many times, then moved to Solitude for a couple of laps (I took Cornice once to check it out for her, but she was not ready for it) and The Reut for a couple of laps. From The Reut, she skied blue Buckboard and easy black Wagon Trail. After a break at the car to warm up, eat lunch and let the dog out, we skied a few more laps on Timber Creek together before I skied Cornice for an hour and she stuck with Timber Creek as it was warmer since it is so protected from SW wind that was usually light but had some gusts.

In Pre-Covid days, and if we had earlier start, I probably would have checked snowfall amounts at other Vail Tahoe resorts from the road, before committing to Kirkwood. But with reservations and Buddy ticket for my wife (whose pass was refunded way faster than expected due to 30+ days stay-at-home order in our County) arranged at least a day before, I could only hear about it from friend who reported 9-10" on Backside at Northstar (reported 7”), and friends who said they skied 3-4" new at Heavenly (reported 1”). We quit about 3. My watch counted 24 lifts and 21.3K. I took our dog out for a long walk after dinner and just before dark.

Heavenly Wednesday 3/10 We joined long line for Gunbarrel chair about when it started moving at 9 and loaded at 9:14. Heavenly reported 4” new and early morning temps in the teens. We took a few laps on Sky chair, where line stayed short, and there was untracked on the edges of, and between, runs. I also had a good run early on Ridge Bowl and twice skied mostly untracked left side of Sky Canyon. We moved to NV Nevada and I took high entrance into Milky Way Bowl and found the best snow of the day above the lower traverse and it was still good and lightly tracked in the Bowl. I took left/more S-facing side below bowl and found less deep new snow and hard layer underneath. I went into Mott Canyon, skiing left side of The Y, finding OK snow, but it was better when I crossed over below Rocky Point. I met up with my wife at Dipper chair which we skied a couple of times. We also rode and skied Comet and I got into more untracked dropping off run to right.

My wife was getting cold and there is no place to get warmed up so we skied back to CA and rode Canyon and skied Ridge Run to Mombo and rode Groove chair to ski Advanced, then regular Roundabout to where we parked at CA base. But Advanced Roundabout was still roped off so we skied Patsy’s then poled into Roundabout from there. East Bowl above the base of Tram was excellent and I don’t see why they can’t run it for storm day skiing, but they only seem to do it for racing. My wife was done for the day at 12:30 so I drove her to the cabin where our dog was looking out window waiting for our return. We had lunch and I changed gloves and masks and was back on Gunbarrel at 1:30.

I returned to top of CA and took a warmup run into Ridge Bowl, finding some lightly tracked snow above it to the right, then entering it from the left. I rode Sky chair and skied a few turns from high entry into Milky Way Bowl, before catching traverse that took me just below Gate A into Killibrew. I entered and skied past gate B. I missed entry into Stateline Chute, but found long face that was very light tracked to the left of it and made a lot of powder turns before getting on thin higher exit from Killibrew. I rode Mott and traversed across Bills, then had a really sketchy sidestep to get into right side of The Y and above Rocky Point. I went to the end of the ridge and skied Promised Land which still had some untracked at 2:30.
After riding Mott, I skied to and rode Dipper then returned to CA via California Trail and Maggie’s Canyon, which had a lot of untracked. From the top of Groove I saw Advanced Roundabout was now open, and a lady was struggling after losing a ski in brush on usual track. I went straight ahead into Hogsback and quite a few untracked shots getting to and on left side of Gunbarrel. Then I found more very lightly tracked where Face and Gunbarrel separate. I quit at 3:30 with almost 25K. My ski day was not over as I took my XC skis out with our dog. I thought I could just go to Meadow past closed Lakeside Inn, but there was no snow there so I parked along road to Nevada Beach and hiked into a tree-lined meadow that had enough snow to XC for maybe a mile each way.
User avatar
Posts: 981
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: South Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/9-12/2

Postby tseeb » Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:25 am

Kirkwood, CA 3/11/2021

Since Kirkwood refunded and canceled my wife's pass way faster than expected, we returned to Kirkwood, even though it's a 35 mile drive vs. 1 to Heavenly's CA base as Buddy tickets are $81 vs $106 at Heavenly. They also had 14" new on Wednesday and reported 8" more new on Thursday although I think a lot of it fell during previous day. There was still a lot of powder skiing and even where it was chopped up, it skied well as it stayed cold and not much sun hit it. We got to Sunrise for three laps between 10 and 11 before line which I timed at 9 minutes on our last lap, when there was a couple of minute stoppage, drove us away. (No lines on all other lifts.) Leaving the Backside, I took picture of tracks on 99 Steps
(which seems like it would take 999 steps) and found very lightly tracked between Cold Shoulder and Larry's Lip. Instead of usual entrance to Thunder Saddle, I went further down ridge to right and probably entered right side of Moon Bowl. I took a lap on then met my wife at Caples Crest, where at the top there were a lot of people hiking to top of not running T-bar.
We went the opposite direction and found a lot of low angle untracked on Low Whiskey returning to the Base. After riding and skiing The Reut, my wife and I skied Zacharys on Cornice, her first long black run of the season,
My wife is closest at left, wearing an N-95 which she thought worked well until it got wet.
then went back to car at Timber Creek to let the dog out and have lunch. On Tuesday there were four vehicles at each end of the lot and nobody on the road. On Thursday the road, both Timber Creek lots were full and all other Kirkwood lots looked full.

After a lunch break we warmed up on Timber Creek, then went up Cornice and skied Sentinel which wore my wife out so she took a break and I think she was done for the day. I moved to the Wall and took a run down Notch Chute, which still had some deep chopped up snow on the edges and in tree to left. Then on second Wall lap I went around the back, and looked at entrance at top of Notch, then followed boundary past False Peak and dropped off cornice past rocks at lower left.
Looking back at where I came off. A lot of good snow below me.
I then rode Cornice three times. Picture taken on my last Cornice lift.
Two were routes I had not skied so far this winter: the steep gully to right of Monte Wolfe and short face that is a cliff until it gets enough snow between Janek and Olympic. I finished finished my day at 3:45 on Palisades after a mostly gravity traverse and 22.1K.
User avatar
Posts: 981
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: South Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/9-12/2

Postby tseeb » Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:14 pm

Heavenly, CA and NV 3/12/2021

I got in line at Gunbarrel just before 8:30 on Friday AM, 30 minutes before scheduled opening. Before they opened they filled third lane to the right and the line wrapped around and went about halfway across Ski School area towards lift in background.
They opened almost 5 minutes early so I was nearly to the top of chair by 9.
They reported 5" new from a couple of hour storm the previous evening, but I think it favored Nevada side and snow was a lot denser than previous days, even on 94-width skis it did not ski that deep. I found some shallow untracked on two laps on Sky chair, including getting first tracks down Sky Canyon, before the crowds drove me to Nevada next time up. Milky Way Bowl did not ski as deep as previous days and NE wind may have been packing down snow so I moved to trees to right side of Bowl. I got too close to a tree that had a limb sticking out that lI did not see and it left a mark. I skied to Dipper where maze had been doubled in length from previous days and singles line was very slow. I found better snow on left side of Milky Way Bowl, then skied slabby left side of the Y into Mott Canyon where I had a fall and short slide. Snow below Rocky Point was much better.
To get back to CA, I avoided Comet/Dipper area by skiing Nevada Trail to Stagecoach, then riding it, skiing powder to right of Upper North Bowl, then riding Olympic and Tamarack and skiing California Trail to Maggies Canyon (run of the day as nobody had been in it). Line to move up mountain on Powder Bowl was more than double what is shown in this selfie taken from Groove chair.
From top of Groove, I skied Advanced Roundabout to Roundabout where I followed a couple of boarders cutting a corner catching some more untracked on way down to totally full CA base. I was back at cabin by 11:20 with 12.3K where my wife had already started packing and cleaning so we were on the road at 1 PM after getting out of and shutting down cabin. This was probably the high point of my season skiing 7 of the first 12 days in March and 7 out of 11 days
User avatar
Posts: 981
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: South Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/9-12/2

Postby EMSC » Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:40 pm

tseeb wrote:This was probably the high point of my season skiing 7 of the first 12 days in March and 7 out of 11 days

Ahhh, to be retired, sigh.....
User avatar
Posts: 2297
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:54 pm
Location: Front Range of Colorado

Return to Western North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 34 guests

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

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use