Early storms bring enthusiasm for Tahoe ski season
With the first snow falling at lake level on Thursday and more expected at higher elevations tonight and Saturday, anticipation for a huge ski season has kicked into high gear for Tahoe’s South Shore.
The early snow and the excitement of an upcoming winter season has area resorts contemplating early openings in late November/early December, officials say.
South Shore’s three resorts: Heavenly, Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe will showcase new improvements for winter 2007-2008 including high-speed quad lifts, 300 plus acres of backcountry terrain, the longest zip line in the country at 3,100 ft., new on-mountain dining, events and festivals.
Those amenities, along with the destination’s 300 sunny days a year, 10,000 skiable acres, and the deepest snowfall in the country combine with its famous after-hours indoor recreation: entertainment, fine dining, gaming and nightclubs, to make South Shore the national frontrunner for memorable winter destinations.
Here are some of the mountain resort enhancements:
With its master plan amendment recently approved, visitors can look forward to new lifts and on-mountain restaurants to enhance an already exceptional experience.
The new Olympic Express detachable-quad chairlift will provide access to Olympic Downhill, three new intermediate/advanced trails and Nevada Woods – home to some of the best tree skiing in the country (SKI Magazine, October 2006).
Scheduled to open Dec. 7, Olympic Express will turn an 11-minute journey into a three-and-a-half minute ride and move 1,000 feet per minute with a 2,400 person capacity per hour.
Also new is the Heavenly Sky Flyer, the longest zip line in the lower 48 states at 3,100 feet. Guests will take on a 50-mph thrill ride from the top of Tamarack Express back to the top of the Gondola, a vertical drop of 525-feet.
With continued efforts to offer the best snow in the nation, Heavenly purchased 11 new snow making machines which will be placed on elevated towers in select locations to provide even more consistent, quality snow coverage. Additionally, the resort has retrofitted many of its air/water snowmaking guns for energy efficiency while making larger quantities of snow in warmer temperatures.
Call 1-800-HEAVENLY or visit http://www.skiheavenly.com.
The 2007-2008 season marks the 35th anniversary of Kirkwood Mountain Resort ” renown for its world-class snow, diverse terrain, intimacy, and high alpine setting with non-crowded slopes. That reputation will be enhanced with the exclusive Burton Powder Progression Programs, the first-of-its-kind backcountry certification, an innovative carpool blog, a full-service family facility and new terrain features.
In celebration of 35 years, Kirkwood will provide new competitions, lift ticket deals, and a special editor’s cut of the Tahoe Adventure Film Festival. Kirkwood’s Anniversary Celebration begins January 5 with Master the Mountain, followed by the 6 Summit Peak Pursuit ” a race ascending and descending the six peaks that punctuate Kirkwood.
New this season, Mokelumne Trail will be dedicated as a season-long skier/boarder X course. It will also be used for the Kirkwood Cup series and for team training in USASA and USSA events. A “kinder-gentler” Mokelumne course will be available to the public during non-race times, so riders can experience rollers, rhythm sections and undulating terrain.
Call 1-209-258-6000 or visit http://www.kirkwood.com.
This winter, guests can look forward to 320 acres of new backcountry terrain, family private lessons and programs, on-mountain dining, along with the resort’s signature events.
The resort is working with the United States Forest Service to incorporate Huckleberry Canyon into the ski resort boundary to increase expert terrain. The vast “back country” forest area will be avalanche-controlled terrain actively monitored by Ski Patrol.
Skier safety at Sierra-at-Tahoe will take an educational, rather than disciplinary approach with the institution of the Mellow Yellow program. Mellow Yellow zones are highly visible around the mountain to designate an entire run or area as a, “Go Slow Area”.
New on-mountain dining includes the 360 Smokehouse BBQ, featuring grilled and smoked favorites, an expanded wine list and incredible views of the Lake Tahoe Basin from Grandview Lodge.
Call 530-659-7453 or visit http://www.sierraattahoe.com.
For information about lodging packages, headliner entertainment, winter activities and events, visit http://www.BlueLakeTahoe.com.
For information about South Shore Lake Tahoe, call the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, 1-800-AT-TAHOE (1-800-288-2463) or visit http://www.BlueLakeTahoe.com.