Touring the Trails of Lake Tahoe

For this year’s ski trip we decided to go to Lake Tahoe. Their 200-inch base was tough to pass up. Kerry, Cydney, and I drove out and arrived Friday evening. Driving through the walls of snow and seeing the massive crystal blue lake sitting in the mountains is one of the most memorable views I’ve seen.

We met up with our local Tahoe expert Amy on Friday night. She took us out to eat at Orchids which is the best Thai food I’ve ever had. The pumpkin curry and orchid chicken was unreal.

The next morning we drove over to Heavenly for the first stop on our Tahoe tour. We caught it on a bluebird day with the sun out and great views over the lake. Their rolling runs and twisting groomers of the Dipper Express lift made for a perfect first day. After a few hours of ripping around the mountain it was time for après. If you haven’t been to a Heavenly après, you need to go. Everyone in the group had a great first day in South Lake.

The next day we drove up to Alpine Meadows to try some North Lake skiing. The drive around Emerald Bay was incredible. The road runs right along ridges that drop on both sides to the lake. When it’s open it’s definitely worth the drive. When we arrived in Alpine we were amazed by the 20-foot walls of snow surrounding the parking lot, and it had started snowing even more. We met up with our guide Bruce and headed off to the Scott Chair.

The vertical right off the face was awesome. Definitely not for the beginner skier — you can hit the steeps at Alpine in a hurry. After a few laps we headed to the backside of Alpine and the Sherwood Express Lift. Those groomers rip! Wide open and fast is the best way to describe it. On a powder day I can imagine that is the place to be. Alpine Meadows had something for everyone and I can’t wait to get back. In Tahoe City we found that the best après ski was at Jakes On The Lake. $3 fish tacos and right on the lake shore.

Our final day was at Squaw Valley. It snowed 18 inches that night and we were ready to ski some powder. Instead we were introduced to the famous “Tahoe cement” snow. Very heavy and wet. The temps hadn’t dropped low enough so we got the full Lake Tahoe spring skiing experience. Amazingly the resort was almost empty so we had plenty of fresh lines to ourselves.

The Summit Express and KT-22 chairs had an amazing amount of terrain right off it. And the Women’s Downhill ridge rewarded anyone willing to drop the lip. Any aspect with first tracks was a lot of fun and really good, but as soon as you sunk into any deep snow it was like pushing a ton of sand.

By 2 p.m. it was time for the hot tub. Squaw Valley is definitely on the list to go back. On a light powder or bluebird day that resort has to be one of the best in the West! Overall it was a great trip and we were sad to drive out on Tuesday. Hope we can carve some turns at Tahoe again soon.

Chad Reinertson (2 Posts)

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One Response to Touring the Trails of Lake Tahoe

  1. Maile says:

    I’m heading to Tahoe this weekend and this post helps me know where I want to go! Thanks Chad, really good stuff!

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