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Heavenly

Renowned for its views but chided for tough navigation across its 4,300 acres, Heavenly offers a wealth of terrain. “California Side” features intermediate trees and the legendarily steep moguls of The Face. “Nevada Side” is home to Mott and Killebrew canyons—double-black sidecountry terrain. Heavenly’s two-state format is an asset and a hindrance: “Getting to some runs requires a substantial amount of traversing,” complains one reader. Be advised that Heavenly rewards explorers who get off-piste. First-timers, take a guided tour to find stashes such as Nevada Woods and The Burn. Off mountain, casinos provide action 24/7. Indeed, Heavenly ranks no. 2 in Off-Hill Activities and no. 5 in Après. Part Vegas, part Vail, with a twist of scenic splendor, Heavenly’s a gamble for some but a sure bet for others. —Paul Tolme

Off-Mountain Restaurant » On the 19th floor of Harvey’s Casino, 19 Kitchen Bar’s panoramic lake views and blue Tahoe-tinis are just right.

Bragging Rights » Killebrew Canyon is the last terrain to open after a storm. Enter through Gate C to familiarize yourself, and get ready to make precise turns (no falling here).

What’s New» Three intermediate trails near the Galaxy lift expand the options in one of the resort’s quieter sections, a perfect place for families.

[ Mon, 2009-10-05 12:33 ]
Vail Resorts to Offer Pass Insurance
Accidents, unemployment among the reasons for refunds

Let's say you bought a season pass, but you lost your job before the season even started. Are you screwed? Not if you opted for Vail Resorts' Pass Insurance program. For an extra $20 for adult, teen or senior passes (or $10 for children's passes), you'd be able to recover at least some, if not all, of your investment. Break a leg before the season even starts? Full refund. Get pregnant after opening day? Partial refund. Called up for duty two weeks after opening day? Partial refund.

[ Fri, 2009-09-04 09:06 ]
Chairlift at Sunset
Mark Alan Dickson died this week after falling from a chairlift at Heavenly Mountain Resort

A man died this week after falling off a chairlift at Heavenly Mountain Resort, when an errant rope from a zip line tangled with his chair. Even worse news: He was riding the chair with his new wife; they were on their honeymoon. Mark Alan Dickson was 51. Sheriff's officials say Dickson's wife, Rebecca Gonzaga, did not fall but suffered a leg injury.

Ski Northstar-at-Tahoe for $25 on April 5

Benefit For Tahoe Women's Services

(INCLINE VILLAGE, NEVADA) March 4, 2009 — Tahoe Women’s Services invites skiers and snowboarders to ski Northstar at Tahoe for just $25.00 on Sunday, April 5, 2009. By purchasing an advance $25 all-day ticket to Northstar at Tahoe for Saturday, April 5th you are supporting Tahoe Women’s Services, the only agency in the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee region of California and Nevada providing support for programs to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault. Northstar has generously donated 1,000 tickets with 100% of the ticket proceeds to benefit Tahoe Women’s Services.

Fueling Change: Skiing In a Weak Economy

Rising fuel prices are altering the economics of the great American ski vacation, as skiers and resorts cope with the increased costs of flying and driving.

Harriet and Jerry Warner are waving goodbye to an old traveling companion this winter—their skis. “We’re renting this season,” Harriet Warner says, “for the first time in about 30 years.”

The reason: new airline fees of up to $150 for checked baggage. The Somerset, N.J., couple determined it would cost $500 or more to fly two pairs of skis on their five trips this winter. The fees prompted the Warners to forgo purchasing new skis. “We realized it didn’t make sense to spend almost $2,000 on new equipment and then have to pay these ridiculous fees to bring it.”

The Essential Tahoe

The Essential Tahoe

A secret sliver of the past, Homewood Mountain Resort has the folksy charm of a 1960s ski hill with vertigo-inducing views of Lake Tahoe. Locals are nostalgic about the place, and for good reason. Homewood sells lift tickets for the throwback price of $29 on 29 days throughout the season. Though the lodges need some updating and the lifts remain old-school slow—there is only one high-speed quad—Homewood offers varied and excellent terrain. You can cruise groomers nearly two miles from the top to the lake shore, but venture off the corduroy and you’ll find some of the best treeskiing in the Tahoe Basin. Hobbit Land is a secluded tree stand, your turns deep and silent through a canyon. Dutch Treat and White Lightning are steep mogul runs that weave in and out of glades, but hit these early—they’re south-facing and can get crusty. Quail Face is a monster that’s hike-in/hike-out, experts only. You’ll see families skiing together all day, doing laps on the Old Homewood Express, which serves fast and fun intermediate slopes. On sunny days, enjoy lunch outside the warming hut on Rainbow Ridge, spectacularly perched over the lake. Not surprisingly, given Homewood’s intimate feel, it’s almost always possible to find untracked lines among the trees. One drawback? The resort’s lower elevation can lead to less snow coverage and a shorter season. If you’re keen on nostalgia, you want to get to Homewood soon because changes are in store here in the next few years. Bought in 2006 by JMA ventures, a development company best known for rebuilding Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, Homewood is scheduled for a major makeover, starting at the end of this season.

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MUST DO Take a breather at the top of Glory Hole and admire the glorious lake view.

MUST SKI The Glades. There is nothing like it in Tahoe. A moderate yet testy run, it narrows nicely and serves up yet another stunning lake view.

APRÈS The Ridge Pub at Homewood hops with a local vibe. Sunnyside, just down the road, serves superb fish tacos.

DINING Bridgetender, in Tahoe City, is the spot to go for burgers and beers. The West Shore Cafe is upscale, delectable and across the street from Homewood’s North Lodge. For breakfast, the Fire Sign Cafe makes a mean smoked salmon omelet. Head to Tahoma Market for massive sandwiches.

LODGING Sunnyside has beautiful lakefront options; sunnysideresort.com. The suites at West Shore Inn are a bit pricier; westshorecafe.com. Rustic B&Bs, such as The Chaney House, offer reasonable rates, or rent your own cabin; tahoeaccommodations.com.

INFO skihomewood.com

A first visit to Tahoe can be overwhelming. Case the joint first and you'll come off like a regular.

A first visit to Tahoe can be overwhelming. Case the joint first and you'll come off like a regular.

What's terrific about skiing here is that at nearly every hour, there's a different local lifestyle to try on. During your first Tahoe visit, you'll quickly learn that you run out of time before you run out of options.

 

Heavenly, Tahoe's largest resort, rises out of the heart of South Lake's casino district.

Ski Town Prom

Advice

"Enchantment Under KT" to benefit CHARITYSMITH Nonprofit Foundation March 8.

Kirkwood Gets Three Feet in One Week

News

Kirkwood claims deepest snow at Lake Tahoe and offers ski clinics, halfpipe events, and live music this weekend, Jan. 25-26, 2008.

Tahoe

Travel

A first visit to Tahoe can be overwhelming. Case the joint first and you'll come off like a regular.

Stealing Summer

Features

The snow's gone, but elite service and amenities-often half the price-turn ski country's poshest lodgings into the season's don't-miss deals.

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