Sledding: For some, a perfect way to play
No lift tickets. No lift lines. No cumbersome equipment to lug around.
Sledding is proof that fun in the snow can be easy.
“It’s winter and I like to take advantage of the snow seven days a week,” Trevor Lewis, a 19-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident said.
Lewis brought his friends and family, who don’t ski or snowboard, to “Airport Hill” Sunday to play in the snow.
He said sledding is good because it requires no skill but still gets people out to enjoy the snow.
Other sledders who were zipping down the popular tobogganing hill on U.S. Highway 50, opposite of the airport, agreed.
“It’s fun, free and doesn’t require a huge amount of skill,” said Ryan Byrne, a 17-year-old Sunnyvale resident.
Sledding may be simple, but it is not risk-free.
Bob Ussery operates a concession stand at the Sno-Park at the top of Echo Summit on Highway 50, another site popular among sledders. Ussery said that California State Parks and Recreation Department, the agency that issued his business permit at the Sno-Park, requires him to have a cell phone at his business at all times, in case of an emergency.
“We’ve had to call 911 frequently,” Ussery said. “During the Christmas holidays it was one or two times a day.
“We’ve seen broken bones, bloody noses and strained backs. People are just careless and run into each other.”
Chris Divsalar, a 10-year-old from San Jose, said that’s the reason he doesn’t sled from the top of the hill.
“I only go about halfway because the ones who go to the top are the people with the bloody noses, getting all beat up,” he said.
A parking permit is required at the Sno-Park at Echo Summit and Ussery said he’s seen people be careless with that, too.
“They (the police) come out here and give tickets,” Ussery said. “Sometimes, 10 in a weekend.”
The permits cost $5 for a day pass and $25 for the season and can be purchased at gas stations in Meyers or at Ussery’s concession. The permits are required until May 31.
With all this late-season snow, the sledding season may last that long.
But for some, the season has carried on too long already.
“I’m a snow lover, but I think it’s time for summer,” said Lewis.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Officials said conversations are occurring daily in regards to reopening U.S. Highway 50, but there is still no estimated date as to when traffic may start flowing again.