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Inside Line: The Chutes at Mt. Rose

Inside Line: The Chutes at Mt. Rose

A pocket guide to Mt. Rose in Nevada.
By Susan Schnier
posted: 02/01/2006

Pickup trucks and family vans. Skiers and boarders of all—and we do mean all—styles and sizes. Picnic tables on steel-grate sundecks holding trays of
cafeteria food. But also heart-pounding 55-degree steeps? Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe—located an easy 22 minutes from the Reno airport—delivers unpretentious day skiing with a surprising hardcore twist. Rose has been Reno’s winter playground since the 1930s. Its run-striped face reflects off downtown’s gaudy casino towers. Its hulking mass is the ever-present backdrop to Reno’s street scene.

Residents need little persuading to stop and smell the Rose. They breeze through laps on the mountain’s open slopes as a lunch break, run the kids up to the hill after school, and meet friends for a few runs the way folks in other cities might meet for coffee or cocktails. A third of Rose’s appeal is its snow. With a base elevation of 7,400 feet (Tahoe’s highest), and predominantly north- and east-facing aspects, Rose consistently boasts great conditions. Another third is its vibe. Friendly and easygoing, Rose is the kind of place where you ski right onto the lifts, where the regulars in the Timbers bar strike up conversations with the people next to them and where the beginner lift (adorned with a fake palm tree, of course) seems always to be staffed by a guy who looks and sounds like Santa Claus. But the final third of Rose’s appeal is terrain. Always great for intermediates and advanced skiers wanting to log loads of mileage in a few short hours, Rose is now also on Tahoe’s short list for experts. The vertiginous fingers of The Chutes—opened in 2004—attract even the steeps devotees who used to stick exclusively to Squaw. And in the Tahoe Basin, that’s high praise indeed.

{ the details }

◗ MUST DO Ski Rose on the day you fly into Reno or the day you depart. At 22 minutes from baggage claim, it couldn’t be easier—or more of a lark.

MUST SKI Double-diamond El Cap for a fright. Lakeview for big Tahoe vistas and a more relaxed taste of Rose.

APRÈS Timbers for an Icky IPA or a shot of Liquid Rose with the garrulous local crowd. Or the new Sky Bar in the Slide Lodge.

DINING The new Slide Lodge, an all glass-and-big-views day lodge overlooking the arid scenery of Carson Valley, opens this year. Try the sundeck’s View Bar-B-Que.

LODGING Peppermill for Reno’s nicest casino hotel experience and great ski packages; peppermillreno.com. Or stay in nearby Incline Village.

INFO skirose.com

A pocket guide to Mt. Rose in Nevada.Until Tahoe's Mt. Rose formally opened its chutes last year to the renegades who've been poaching them since the '60s, the sleepy ski hill was a family favorite. Now that this collection of in-bounds, 1,500-vertical-foot, 45-degree shots is fair game and avy-controlled, you can rip them without fear of getting buried—or having your ticket yanked.

If you're looking to explore the slopes without dragging out a huge map, check out our PDF pocket guide here.

JANUARY 2006

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