No let up during spring |

No let up during spring

by Sam Bauman

Heavenly continues to surprise and delight. Latest evidence is the Budweiser Aerial Assault show this weekend. This is not a competition other than against the force of gravity. Instead, it’s a grand spectacular show with a dozen skiers, boarders and trampoline artists flying through the air off the Launch Pad at Gunbarrel at the California lodge.

It’s free, it’s fun and it should be as entertaining as a Warren Miller film. Saturday and Sunday shows begin at noon and Saturday night at 8 p.m.

This is a whole new concept in snowsport entertainment. The traveling troupe has already played several resorts back East and in Colorado and Utah en route to their last stop of the season at Heavenly. This is something not to be missed!

And speaking of Heavenly, I don’t know whether it’s an emphasis on customer service or just nice people, but I had the kind of experience last weekend during the Bumps & Jumps excitement that made my day.

As usual I was late for the aerials and after parking I stopped to chat with Parking Supervisor Larry Reid. He thanked me for writing a column about staying centered on the skis and inside the turn. “Took me three days to get it but I did,” he said.

So what better way to start the day than get big boost of recognition on a job well done, and a job well done for Reid with all the hard work that paid off. Speaking of hard work, how about the crew that works the unglamorized part of the ski business? The parking guys are on the receiving end of a lot of guff, yet these guys keep a cheerful and friendly attitude. So along with all the other unsung heroes, let’s her it for the parking guys, the lifties, the snowmakers, the Ski Patrol and all the other people who help to make snowsporting such a wonderful thing!

A final note abut Heavenly. April 4 looks like the closing day for the Boulder area, with Stagecoach following perhaps the next weekend. However, no date for California lodge. Boulder has been hurt by the new chair at Stagecoach as snowsporters quickly found that the quad detachable got them up the hill a lot sooner.

Of course, snow’s so great at Heavenly the resort could stay open until June, but when the customers stop coming you have to shut it off.


Spring is here so the resorts are cranking up the fun things. April 3 is the annual Sierra Sun Splash at Sierra-at-Tahoe beginning at 8:30 a.m. Ticket windows open at 8 a.m. and the first 50 to buy lift tickets will get a free T-shirt. At 10 a.m. there will be a snobike-cross race, racers going four at a time on an obstacle course. From noon to 3 p.m. contestants will will try jalapeno pepper eating, warm Coke guzzling and a finale of pond skiing.

The pond event can be done solo or in groups of 15 on Salamanders, a 15-person raft designed for snow.

This weekend SAT will be the site of the Buddy Werner All-Star Race Sunday with skiing starting at 10 a.m. More than 300 racers from 25 teams will take part. The Buddy Werner program is one of the outstanding acitivities getting younger skiers from all over the region into racing. With over 300 participants on the hill there should be some great action.

And a perhaps overlooked success is that of Chris Bartimioli, 17, of South Lake Tahoe who was the youngest boarder to reach the U.S. Nationals semi-finals in Vermont. He placed 13th in the big air category.

Squaw Valley checks in with the Skicross World Championships April 3-4. Lift tickets purchased for that day will include free use of the spa and swimming pool at High Camp.

Homewood Mountain Resort will stage its annual Easter Egg Hunt April 3. with prizes will be hidden on the hill. Wednesday will be Customer Appreciation Day with special lift prices.

Diamond Peak will hold its Benefit Day with lift tickets going for $15 in advance at the Village Ski Loft. Also, March 31 is a blue moon ski and snowshoe tour.

Nothstar-at-Tahoe also plans an Easter Egg hunt April 4. A fun obstacle course for those 18 and under will be held at 11 a.m. with prizes in three age groups: 6 and under; 7 through 12 and 12 and over. A raw egg toss begins at 12:30, and the egg hunt rolls at 1 p.m.

Alpine Meadows will host a junior moguls freestyle event Saturday March 28. This is open to racers age 8 through 14. The bump and jump course has been designed by Clay Beck, Alpine’s freestyle coach. The event takes place on the Yellow Trail at 11 a.m. Registration is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on the mezzanine of the base lodge.

Kirkwood renews its annual Kirkwood Jammin’ festivities this Saturday with all the usual great fun things, including pond skimming, a skier border cross, a big air contest, food, music and general good times. See you there.

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