Heavenly to remain open through May 10 | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Heavenly to remain open through May 10

Column by Sam Bauman

The good news is that Heavenly is committed to a May 10 closing – at the earliest, says Monica Bandows of the marketing department. And lift tickets will go down to $10, she notes. Until then, tickets are $29.

As of May 4, only the California side will be open from 9 to 2 p.m. After 2 p.m., Gunbarrel and the halfpipe will run until 7 p.m.

The Heavenly Guided Demo program, where skiers could try various shaped skis free under the guidance of a ski coach (read instructor), will end this weekend, however. That program, says Bandows, has been a solid success with lots of favorable comment from guests and heavy sales of new shaped skis. It’ll be back next year, as will the “ski until you drop” program of 25,000 feet of vertical in a day and the early morning fresh tracks program.

Despite the reduction in hours, skiing/boarding at Heavenly is going to be great. Wednesday and Thursday the snow held up well until 2 p.m. with the bottom half of Ellie’s simply magnificent. This is what skiing should be!

At Kirkwood this is the last weekend, so if you haven’t run The Wall yet this could be your last chance. Ditto Cornice. The back bowl is awash, so it’s closed.

Alpine meadows aims at a May 25 closing so there’s still time to enjoy “ego” or corn snow, that stuff that forms as a result of the warm-cold cycle. Alpine claims its is the best. See for yourself!

Anyhow, bring a can of corn and get $5 off the $32 lift-ticket price.

Donner Ski Ranch says things are humming there with no closing set but call to make sure: (916)426-3635.

No word from Squaw yet on closing, but you get free use of the swimming lagoon and spa along with your lift ticket. Figure on May 25 as target date for closing.

OH, THOSE TRADITIONAL SKIS!

After spending most of the season on shaped skis, we decided to try a pair of leftovers for a day at Heavenly. These were RD Coyotes, 200cm. And what a good reminder of how effortless the shaped skis make skiing! The RDs were a bit soft so they squished on the corners, but the biggest change was that one had to truly ski them. No help getting around the bends.

This is not to say that the skis were bad. They were OK traditional skis. But you do have to use firm flexion and extension to make them turn the way you want to go. As the legs get older, they need all the help they can get, and the shapers offer just that.

BIKING AND HIKING COMING UP

Not a whole lot more to say about the fast slipping away ski/snowboard season. I do promise to get a couple more tries at boarding. The riders seem to have so much fun that I hate to miss out.

So we’ll be switching to the bike and the foot soon. Right now, we’re working on a guide to South Shore biking and hiking, which we plan to have out by early June. Much of the material was gathered on hikes and rides last summer. Then it’s off to check out the North Shore for next summer.

In the meantime, I’m going to get those last great days on the boards under my boots before I back off the bindings and put them away for the summer. It’s been a great season, and with all those new lifts and runs going in around the lake next year is sure to be even better. If that’s possible!

See you on the hill!

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

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