With new lifts and expanded terrain South Lake Tahoe ski resorts are ready for winter | TahoeDailyTribune.com

With new lifts and expanded terrain South Lake Tahoe ski resorts are ready for winter

With yet another cold front moving into the Sierra today, it’s got locals at Lake Tahoe thinking snow and the upcoming winter ski and snowboard season.

Crank it up for winter 2007-2008 with new high-speed quad lifts, 300 plus acres of backcountry terrain, the longest zip line in the country at 3,100 ft. and on-mountain dining. Ski resorts welcome winter enthusiasts to South Shore Lake Tahoe with 300 sunny days a year, over 10,000 skiable acres and the deepest snowfall in the country.

“Tahoe has the most consistent snowfall in the nation. Just about every other week you’ll get 2-10 foot dumps,” said Abe Teter, professional snowboarder. (Future Snowboarding Magazine, winter 2006)

Teter’s not the only big fan of Lake Tahoe. Good Morning America’s Ron Claiborne, who visited South Shore Lake Tahoe last February to ski and enjoy winter activities said, “There’s nothing like it. Tahoe is a special place with the lake and the mountains. It’s my favorite spot in the world.”

South Lake Tahoe Ski Resort additions:

With Heavenly Mountain Resort’s Master Plan Amendment recently approved, visitors can look forward to new lifts and on-mountain restaurants.

The new Olympic Express detachable-quad chairlift provides high-speed access to Olympic Downhill, three new intermediate – advanced trails and Nevada Woods – home to some of the best tree skiing. Scheduled for a Dec. 7 opening, the high-speed 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-mile-an-hour 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 machines which will be placed on elevated towers in selected locations to provide a more consistent, quality snow coverage. Additionally, the resort has retrofitted many of its air/water snowmaking guns to be more energy efficient while making larger quantities of snow in warmer temperatures.

Known for its world class snow, diverse terrain, intimacy, and high alpine setting with uncrowded slopes, the 2007-2008 season marks the 35th anniversary of Kirkwood Mountain Resort. Their reputation will be enhanced with new exclusive Burton Powder Progression Programs, 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 Mountain Resort brings new competitions, lift ticket deals, and a special editor’s cut of the Tahoe Adventure Film Festival. Kirkwood’s Anniversary Celebration begins with Master the Mountain on Jan. 5, 2008, followed by the 6 Summit Peak Pursuit, a race ascending and descending the six peaks that punctuate Kirkwood.

New for this season, Mokelumne Trail will be dedicated as a season long skier/boarder cross course. It will also be used for the Kirkwood Cup series and teams to train in for USASA and USSA events. The Mokelumne course is scheduled to be scaled down during non-race times, so the general public can cruise down the trail experiencing rollers, rhythm sections and undulating terrain.

This winter, Sierra-at-Tahoe 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 (USFS) to incorporate 320 acres of Huckleberry Canyon into the ski resort boundary, making “backcountry” terrain an avalanche-controlled area actively monitored by Ski Patrol. It will increase the amount of expert terrain available offering skiers and riders a vast tract of forest to explore with natural terrain features.

Sierra-at-Tahoe skier safety program will take an educational, rather than disciplinary approach, to skier and snowboarder safety by instituting 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.

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