Heavenly to open more terrain with Sky Chair | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Heavenly to open more terrain with Sky Chair

Column by Sam Bauman

Wax’em up, Heavenly has opened more terrain! Three trails are open for sure and so you can ride to the top of Waterfall chair. “It’s the longest vertical drop at this time in the country,” says Heavenly. Base (mostly manmade) is 8 to 26 inches and growing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. American Skiing Company talks about “retail snow,” and the company is certainly living up to its word.

Lifts operating will be the Aerial Tram, Patsy’s chair and Waterfall chair. Now comes the unofficial word: Sky Chair will probably open this weekend! This from an insider who is out there every day. He noted that the temperature dropped 10 degrees Thursday morning and that the snow guns were booming. Check it out: 530-586-7000.

Opening for sure this weekend is Mammoth Mountain, although the new gondola won’t be ready yet. Plenty of snow at Mammoth and I hope to be there to check it out. Incidentally, Heavenly is boosting lift tickets a smidgen: $52 for all-day adult, $38 for youth and $24 for seniors and kids. Had to break the $50 line sometime with all those new lifts.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is looking at a Dec. 12 opening, Squaw Valley much earlier as workers strive to get the new Funitel lift ready. That’s going to be one heck of a lift, 64 cabins holding up to 15 riders. Folding seats for 63 cabins, plush comfort with a wet bar in the only brown-painted car. If you’re in the bucks you’ll probably be able to rent the posh car for a day. The new cabins for the cable car aren’t in place yet but will be by opening. These have much bigger viewing windows but no increase in capacity.


Linda Carelle, founder and coordinator of The Tahoe Singles, reports great growth in the group and that most members are skiers. One of the club’s members, Felicia Sampson, will be giving ski conditioning classes at the Incline Village Rec Center on Fridays from 5:30 to 6:30 starting this Friday. The fee is $8 for Village residents, $10 for us outsiders. Included will be work on stretching, strengthening, plyometrics and cardio. Sounds like more fun than trying to meet someone in a bar.

Not all is fun and dating at the Singles. Recently the group donated three snowsuits to the Disabled Sports USA at Alpine Meadows. Linda advises that the Disabled Sports USA needs instructors with intermediate or above skiing skills for their winter program. Call (530) 581-4161 if you’d like to help.

The next event for the Singles is a Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 21 at the Tahoe Yacht Club in Tahoe City. It’s potluck with a $10 fee. Skiing is on the agenda, of course.


The surge in interest in ski/snowboard helmets last season continues unabated. The Kennedy and Bono deaths brought the subject to the public, and now the ski shops are crammed with the bone domes, as they were once called in the Air Force.

The new models are lighter and come both in graphics designed for the younger crowd (wild and flaming, most of them) and the more sedate one-color models for the more advanced in age. Ear holes have been adjusted for better sound penetration.

The question is, do they really protect the user? At very high speeds, probably not. But in most situations they can reduce injury. Personally, last season my helmet saved me from what could have been a serious brush with a hidden limb stump when I was skiing in the powder. The helmet suffered a solid scratch but my skull was uninjured. Thanks, Bell!

Happily, there’s no longer the problem of being laughed off the hill when wearing a helmet for recreational skiing. And even if there was, I think I would wear mine anyhow. I like my noggin the way it is.


Time Out Health Spa and Fitness facility in South Lake Tahoe is offering a six-week ski conditioning class of “drills and skills that will keep you looking good on the hill.” Classes start Wednesday Nov. 12 and continue on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. For details, (530) 544-6222.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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