World Cup freestyle at Heavenly is can’t-miss excitement |

World Cup freestyle at Heavenly is can’t-miss excitement

Column by Sam Bauman

Yeah, cold like it hasn’t been around Tahoe for many years. But not so bad on the hill. Maybe it’s an inversion or something, but the skiing/boarding has been excellent. Long time also since we’ve had so much good snow so many places so early.

And we can look forward next month to the World Cup Freestyle event at Heavenly Jan. 22-24. This is the first World Cup meeting at Heavenly in many years and should be well worth watching, either in person or on the tube on NBC Jan. 30.

It’s been a long trip for the freestylers to make their way into official recognition and it’s a welcome change for the micro-second races in the slalom and GS events. The technical aspects of Alpine racing have become so refined that it’s difficult to be able to appreciate a master’s skill – they’re all masters on the international race circuit. Such skiing as the tour skiers offer is a world apart from what we ordinary mortals do on black diamonds.

There will be three parts to the Freestyle World Cup at Heavenly – Acro, moguls and aerials. Of course, Jonny Moseley established for all time the excitement of the moguls with his mute grab helicopter (AKA as the UFO) in the Nagano Olympics. It was a stroke of luck that CBS-TV didn’t botch that event as it did so many others, including mispronouncing the name of the site as “na-ga-no” rather than “na-GA-no.” Those of us who had skied Nagano many times winced at every mispronunciation.


So it’s no longer Ski Homewood but Homewood Mountain Resort. It’s still the same delightful snowsporter area on a human rather than mega-resort status. Who needs detachable quads when there is so many nice blue runs?

Anyhow, Homewood is holding its First Annual Homewood Masquerade Ball at the south lodge New Year’s Eve. Two bands, Fire Chicken and Burnt Toast, will offer rocking music from 8 p.m. on to ?.

There will be a “backward draw” contest involving a second ticket stub in some mystifying way for cash and prizes. Gotta hang around until 1 a.m. to be eligible.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the resort, Jobys Music in Tahoe City and at the Stony Ridge Cafe on West Lake Blvd. As a cautionary note, TART will provide bus service up until 2 a.m. Questions? (530)-525-2992.


Heavenly is offering its Magnificent-7 ski lift ticket for a modest $314.65. OK, so that alone is a savings of 7 times $52 equals something or other. The ticket is good for seven rides at any American Skiing Co. resort (there are nine of them, although why anyone would want to go back east to the ice factories there escapes me). No need to go to the ticket window with the Mag-7, proceed directly to the lift.

And on the subject of freebies, Heavenly also has a deal where if you bring in a friend who hasn’t skied before for a lesson, you get a lift ticket. You could gain a friend for life if your learner really ties into skiing.


So if you want to wring the most out of the snowsport weekends and holidays, you might want to try Northstar-at-Tahoe’s new Polaris Park for night time fun. The area offers lighted snow play areas, three tubing lanes (boy, how that sport is growing!), snow toys, the Zorb and a halfpipe.

The Zorb? We’re still waiting to see what it looks like, but apparently it is a 10-foot plastic ball into which riders are strapped and sent down the slope on a prepared run. Probably good training for astronauts but I’d like to see if before I sign on.

Access to the events at Polaris Park is free via the gondola. But there it will be $12 for an Access Pass. Various combinations of entertainment go with that. For $8 you can use the snow toys. For skiers/boarders wanting to use the halfpipe, it’s $6 for the Hike Till You Hurt Pass. For $18 they’ll throw in everything except the Zorb. That costs $20.

All that and the chance to get frostbite in the night.

Tubing is booming at Sierra-at-Tahoe, Boreal, Soda Springs thus far. Keep tuned.


What a team! The Austrians finished 1-2-3-4-5 at Aspen over Thanksgiving, did it one better at Igls, Austria, last week. They finished 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9, making it look “like an Austrian national championships,” as one observer noted.

However, Daron Rahlves of Truckee managed a 21st in the SG. Imagine following the ruts those Austrains must have left.

Back to Front Page

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Mt. Rose names Gavrilets new general manager

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe announced that Greg Gavrilets has been hired as its General Manager, replacing long-time ski area leader Paul Senft, who retired after a 42-year career with the resort.

See more