South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

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South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby tseeb » Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:34 pm

I reserved 7 days when first available in early Nov, then canceled a lot of days so far this season including three in mid-Dec and Jan. 1 - 4 (then also reserved later Jan 5). I’ve celebrated the New Year and skied at least the first two or three days of the year the previous years. I finally made it to Kirkwood today after canceling reservations for the first five days of 2021. I may be sleeping in camper when I get home as my wife is very concerned about me getting exposed to COVID-19. That means being in driveway at vacant rental (or could setup bed inside although it may already be rented) or parking it at my Mom’s as my driveway is too steep. At least I have filled one propane tank so I’ll be warm plus I tested that small Keurig we received for Christmas works off inverter.

Kirkwood 1/6/2021
I left home at 5:20 and arrived Kirkwood 3 1/2 hours later. I’m trying to avoid going indoors besides at cabin, but I went through historic downtown Jackson and saw City workers about to unlock public bathroom so I was the first one to use it today vs. going on side of road somewhere. After gearing up, it was about 9:15 before I loaded Timber Creek lift. I skied it 2-3 times before trying Schoolhouse as I had decided to ride every open lift. Next I moved to Cornice for 5 laps.
0924JanekCRR.JPG
Picture is of someone who skied the steeper upper part of Lookout Janek well
0926JanekCRR.JPG
I found some good packed powder and skier re-distributed snow on skiers left of both shady Sentinel and sunny Zachary’s although there were also some bumps to be dealt with. I left the area after skiing ungroomed Monte Wolf that was even more bumped up, but skied well.
0938MonteWolfCR.JPG
Bumps on Upper Monte Wolf - picture taken from Reut chair


Next I took an excellent groomer lap on The Reut before riding chair 1 which not only is slow and flat, but stopped then ran slow for a long time after restart. Then I took chair 2 to chair 4, the Backside.
0928BacksideCR.JPG
The guy down above the rock dropped to ground just before hitting it and it took him a while to get up
The usual entrance to main run under the chair, Elevator Shaft
0931TopOf4CRR.JPG
was closed at top as it may have been wind-stripped on Mon. when Alpine recorded gusts of 191 mph and Squaw had gusts over 100 from 8 AM to 8 PM. I found deep wind-sift by starting down Happiness Is and cutting towards Elevator Shaft. Next time down I found even deeper wind-sift going off cornice into The Wave, but had my only hard rock hit of the day while looking ahead to find narrow path through other rocks to get to cornice, then pushed too far to right after cornice when better routes were more direct. I next skied Hully Gully which was OK, but not always as deep wind-sift as expected.

On my way back to main base,
0935TopOf3CRR.JPG
Interesting cloud formation over Carson Pass and the Sierra Crest. Peak just right of center is called the Nipple.
0936CarsonPassCRR.JPG
I rode chair 3 twice and skied it once, then skied chair 2 and after riding it skied Whiskey Slide and Low Whiskey back to The Reut. My phone battery had suffered on the Backside so I made my way back to car to put a charge into it and grab external battery to add even more and listened to some of the crazy news from our nation’s Capitol. I took my iPad and after riding chair 5 twice went to main base to try to see a 2 PM Zoom but couldn’t find (or hack) any WiFi. So I rode and skied The Reut three times before skiing Cornice a couple of more times and then adding another Timber Creek to finish at 3:30 with 30 lifts and 26.5K.
0941MyParkingCRR.JPG
My parking spot was ~50' from where I took off skis. Not sure why SUV next to me was camo wrapped.
An hour later I got to my family’s cabin at So. Tahoe that had not been used since early October. While it was 36 inside and the pilot for heater in bedroom had to be lit, everything seems OK.

My plan (and reservations) Heavenly Thursday and Kirkwood again on Friday on way home when I can only ski 9-2. Hopefully they get The Wall lift going again. First I heard it was not running today due to moguls at top, then I heard mechanical, then I heard it almost caught on fire on Tuesday. The only time I shared a ride was when a black, former Marine and I started discussing today’s events and we decided to share short hi-speed quad. I had a delay on one of my last loads of Cornice as it appeared that a lady had been previously warned about mask requirement and they would not let her load again and her group of 4 had to exit loading area.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby EMSC » Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:24 pm

tseeb wrote: I may be sleeping in camper when I get home as my wife is very concerned about me getting exposed to COVID-19.


Seems like an excessive concern as long as you didn't go indoors without a mask. Your odds of catching it in a lift line, at the gas pump or etc... are tiny, if even that high.

tseeb wrote:Interesting cloud formation over Carson Pass and the Sierra Crest.


Lenticular clouds. Also known as mtn wave clouds.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby jimk » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:19 pm

Cool clouds Tony! Glad you're getting some skiing.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby tseeb » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:50 pm

Heavenly 1/7/2021
I skied from a few minutes after 9 until almost 4. While I only rode 29 lifts, my vertical was 31.4K. I parked near and looked at tram, but it looked like a couple of tram waits as I’d heard they are only loading 3 groups in 50-person tram. So I skated over to Gunbarrel chair that had a few minute line. I shared it with another single and that is how most of my high-speed quad ride were. I didn’t like being the middle person in a 6-pack with 3 singles or sharing a quad with two others. All of my rides on low-speed Mott and North Bowl were solo.

Snow was generally thinner at Heavenly than Kirkwood (as expected, but not reported). They were making snow all day (or at least early and late in day when I was skiing upper CA) on High Five which made conversation difficult on Sky chair.
0944BlowingSnow@924FromSkyCRR.JPG
I started my day with 3 laps on Ridge Run via Sky chair with a former co-worker and wife who moved to Tahoe before last winter. He used to organize annual Planning Dept. ski trips that my wife and I attended a few times. They bailed early as he has bad knees and they have a new puppy so I skied to NV, finding excellent windsift in Milky Way Bowl, once past the bony entrance. Then I braved Bill’s from gate 1 into Mott Canyon. I had to sidestep over a couple of rocks to get in.
0952BillsEntranceCRR.JPG
Snow was very good packed powder, but it was definitely don’t fall and keep an eye out for rocks.
0948LookingUpBillsCRR.JPG
I wanted to repeat it using Dipper chair, but line was long enough that I rode Comet chair 4 times, skiing bumped out Little Dipper Bowl.
0949DipperLineCRR.JPG
Line for Dipper got worse, nearly filling maze at times, but was well-managed

I finally found shorter line on Dipper about noon and repeated Milky Way Bowl and Mott Canyon, skiing the Y from same entrance I used for Bill’s. I wanted to go back up Dipper, but line had grown so I rode and skied Comet and exited via Crossover and rode and skied Olympic to Nevada Trail to long slow North Bowl chair. The last face above chair that I usually enjoy seemed like it may have been rain-affected on Monday as I heard lower Stagecoach had gotten wet, then froze. I rode, then skied North Bowl: the top (below base of Olympic chair) was unskiable, but trees to left were good and once past top, snow on run was very good.
0962NorthBowlEntranceCRR.JPG
0966NorthBowlCRR.JPG
Line had gone down so I went back up Dipper and picked up lunch I had stashed at top of Milky Way Bowl. I skied a higher entrance into MWB with more windsift that I’d spotted earlier and also found a better entrance to Bill’s in Mott Canyon.
0968BetterEntrance2BillsCRR.JPG
The better entrance to Bills that did not require stepping over rocks. First turn and many more were DFU.
0955TheY+BillsCRR.JPG
The Y at left and Bill's at right
0958OnMottChairCRR.JPG
Brush under E-facing Mott Canyon chair
Then I skied from the top of Mott past East Peak Lake and down Nevada Trail to Lower Stagecoach Run. I rode Stagecoach and repeated North Bowl, then had my sandwich and beer going up low slow lift.
0973MindHazeCRR.JPG
Beer from Paso Robles, CA
Dipper line was a little better, but not short enough that I’d want to ski runs returning to chair, so I rode it and skied top of California Trail,
0981TahoePanoRCRR.JPG
From CA Trail - a panorama that shows most of the Lake
then cut over to Tamarack which I rode then skied all of CA Trail to Sky chair. I skied every Heavenly lift running except Boulder, Big Easy, Patsy’s and World Cup (which seems to only be open for race training). I also did not ride Gondola or Tram. I then rode Sky twice,
0983CaptainsAmericaCR.JPG
I think I saw same guys at Kirkwood yesterday
first skiing Ridge to High Five where snow was good, but thin in a few places. Then I skied Swing Trail to Ellie’s where there were a lot of obstacles to avoid where trails came together. Next I rode Canyon twice skiing Ridge Bowl, where a found a rock, then I skied Ridge Run into Mombo and Waterfall where bumps on shady left side were good. When I asked liftie at Groove if either Face or Advanced Roundabout were open, he said no which meant only way to ski down was past base of Groove chair where a lot of people were pole-ing into "Round a Bound" (spelling from EpicMix app). While he was correct that top of Face/Gunbarrel was closed, he was wrong about Advanced Roundabout which I skied into surprisingly for so late in day nearly empty Roundabout. I cut one corner, but since I was at about 7,000' snow was too firm. I continued to well groomed World Cup (bottom of Face), finishing at 3:59.
Last edited by tseeb on Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby tseeb » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:54 pm

A couple of more pictures than would not fit above.
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0985ElliesCRR.JPG
Where Ellie's and Swing Trail come together. I skied looker's left. Swing comes in from right. Top of Ellie's was wind-stripped
0987EndOfDayCR.JPG
End of a long day from where I parked. Coors was found in fridge at cabin.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby tseeb » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:56 pm

Kirkwood 1/8/2021
After packing, cleaning and closing cabin, I was on road at 7:45 and arrived Kirkwood at 8:35.
1014FridayParking.JPG
On Friday I got best parking spot at Timber Creek. It's a few minute uphill hike to lift, but you can ski to within 20'. Snow on road is from groomers and snowmobiles crossing from maintenance building to slopes.
I shared 2nd chair on short high-speed quad Timber Creek, my only shared chair of the day. I rode it twice, then Cornice twice. Groomed Zachary’s skied much better than ungroomed Sentinel which usually has better snow, but maybe they are thinking it’s too thin to groom often so it was not that smooth. Next I rode the Wall twice.
0995TheWall.JPG
0997Headwaters.JPG
Headwaters under Thimble Peak usually has some vertical rockbands, but needs much more snow
The first time up I saw ski patrol trying to ski-pack the blocks groomers had left on main entrance.
1003WallEntrance.JPG
I found out why when I knocked one loose that almost took me out before continuing way down then hill. Snow was good, but there were a lot of rocks showing so I did not go very far off main path. Second time down I looked at Eagle Bowl,
1008EagleBowlEntrance.JPG
Norms Nose is at center left
but did not see a way in without removing skis so I continued down ridge to very top of Conestoga/Shotgun next to Norms Nose. I skied it to chair 2 which I rode to Backside.

On Backside, I found a good path into windsift/packed powder in trees on left of Elevator Shaft that I repeated three times.
1011OnChair4@1115.JPG
12 minute chair. My laps were running about 17 minutes. This was a sunny break at 1115. It snowed from ~1130-1
Then I exited via Thunder Saddle and Two Man Chute where snow was so good that I repeated it, even though it required two slow chairs. Both times I launched the cornice into Thunder Saddle and found great snow. It’s possible that an inch or so new had fallen on top of smooth packed powder/windsift and elevation was high enough that it was drier and deeper than what fell at base 1,000’ lower where it misted my goggle. So for the day I rode Backside 5x which means an hour on chair without stoppages. I rode chair 2 again and skied Low Whiskey to return to Reut. I rode and skied it once, then rode and skied the Wall. It was mostly survival skiing as visibility was poor and enough people were on it that there was not enough new snow left to cover the bumpy sub-surface. My face was pelted with graupel and it was wasn't until liftie at Cornice reminded me, I hadn't realized I had not pulled my masked back up after removing it to drink some water on chair.

I was surprised when I rode Cornice and skied Olympic that enough new snow had fallen on the top half that it smoothed it out and skied great. I ended up riding and skiing Cornice five more times; repeating Olympic and trying a couple of the Rabbit runs just past Sentinel that were also great with new snow for the top. I also braved the bumps once on Lookout Janek and skied mainline Zachary’s once. I quit a little before 2 with 22 lifts/26K and after changing, I was on the road home at 2:03.
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On Cornice chair
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Almost caught up with the sun returning to Bay Area. This is within a mile or two of Tesla factory and taken through a dirty windshield.
Even with a stop to pickup wine at place where I am a member and had not been since Summer, I was in my neighborhood buying tickets for both tonight’s and tomorrow’s 1/2 Billion $ Lotteries in three and a half hours. Will add some pictures when I recover from my first three days of the season that averaged 28K/day, trying to make up for not skiing almost 10 months. My skiing time totaled ~18 hours (including a lot of time on lifts) which was more than double my driving time of 8 1/2 hrs.
Last edited by tseeb on Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:32 am

tseeb wrote:trying to make up for not skiing almost 10 months.

I've had 4 seasons where my opening day was in January, but in 3 of them the end of the prior season was Memorial Day or later. The conspicuous exception was ending 1998-99 on Apr. 11 and starting 1999-2000 on Jan. 8. Otherwise the break between seasons has never been as much as 8 months since I started skiing in 1976 and never as much as 7 months since my divorce in 2004.

This season has nonetheless been a very slow start in terms of conditioning. All 3 days have been exclusively on manmade groomers. Adn I've mentioned before that the demise of 24-Hour Fitness means I have not done any step aerobics since 2019, my favored means of off season ski conditioning since 1990.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby tseeb » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:59 am

This was my latest start to a season since 1981. Then I was living in Northern England that year and my first ski trip that year was joining friends on San Jose State annual trip to Aspen in January. (I probably should have gone to the Alps.) The previous Spring I skied two days in Scotland. This was probably my longest break from skiing in about 50 years as since I or friends have been able to drive I would typically ski in Nov or Dec and into April, although I don't have records of how long my break was 40 years ago.

I did not have to sleep in camper or vacant rental. Instead I'm downstairs in what was (and still is when he stays overnight) our son's room and my wife is upstairs. At least I got her to change the sheets before I got home, and when we remodeled house we added a shower to what was a half-bath. She had cooked dinner and ate in our mid-level where kitchen, living room and dining area are located while I ate downstairs at coffee table in family room. We are masked when on same level as I was when I brought her coffee this morning. Not sure if I'm going to need to be tested on Tues. to be able to celebrate our anniversary on Thursday when it's supposed to be 72 in San Jose. Also not sure why, even if we may have to wait until March 1 to get vaccine if we received placebo during study. they can't unblind us now. https://www.statnews.com/2021/01/01/pfi ... olunteers/
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:56 pm

At the rate the vaccine rollout is going, I'm pleased to hear you will get yours by March 1. That probably means May 1 for us, if Janssen is successful.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: South Lake Tahoe skiing, CA (and some NV) 1/6-8/2021

Postby tseeb » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:31 am

I'm back to sharing a room with my wife. I was tested on Tuesday at a place about 15 miles S of where my Mom lives (or 20 miles from home). They said it could take up to three days for results, but I got them in less than 36 hours although I did not see them until yesterday AM. Great day yesterday, maybe best day ever that I was not skiing, or getting married or having a child.

We rushed out of house to go to Half Moon Bay to buy some of the first crab of the season. On way, Lucia returned called from Kaiser I had missed and we learned we had received placebo in vaccine trial in late Aug/mid-Sept and we got scheduled to receive vaccine at 4 PM. We stopped at HMB Bakery in town and bought 1/4 sheet artichoke pesto focaccia, an amazing cinnamon pastry and some sourdough bread.
1028Line4Crab.JPG
Line was shorter when my wife got in it and even shorter when we bypassed it to check line at other boat that was longer. She is first in line. Crab was $9/lb. or $8 if you took one with a missing claw.
At Pillar Point Harbor, we found two boats that were selling crab and bought two that totaled almost 4.5 lbs. from one of the two boats selling at them at the dock. While Lucia was in line to buy crab, I took dog to pier on opposite side of wharf where guy had boiled a lot of Dungeness and gave me a Rock Crab that he didn’t want.
1029CookedCrabsOnDock.JPG
We also took a walk to where we could see Mavericks, although waves were not that big.
1030PillarPt.JPG
This is inside the breakwater. Mavericks is around the corner, behind Pillar Pt.
We returned to the harbor and had a picnic lunch that included rock crab. It was in the 72 at the coast and about the same at home.

After stopping to drop card for grand-daughter who became a teenager on our 31st anniversary (both were yesterday) and lives close to Kaiser Santa Clara, we arrived there about 3:30 and left about 5:15 after GETTING VACCINATED! Getting it a little early was part of our reward for being in the Pfizer study.
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1032Crab.JPG
This is the crab we ate last night. We have one more than we will try to share with my Mom, maybe by making crab cakes.
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