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Skiing Tahoe

February 15, 2011 By: Michael Browne Travel Agent


Squaw Valley
Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and still attracts winter sports enthusiasts today.

If you have clients that are passionate about skiing and other snow-centric activities, you should have no trouble selling them on Lake Tahoe, the scenic resort city that straddles California and Nevada in the Sierras.

Even if they’ve been to Lake Tahoe before, you can sell them on a completely different experience. Lake Tahoe has more ski resorts in close proximity than any other winter destination in North America, creating a greater variety of available terrain and options for experiences on the hill.

Action-Packed Days

The seven resorts of Ski Lake Tahoe make most of their natural bounty with endless activities and programs—and all are less than an hour from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Alpine Meadows boasts a variety of options, including open bowls, cornice drops, steep chutes and technical couloirs. Guests can reserve an Alpine Resort Guide to take them to untracked lines and little-known powder stashes; this entitles them to backcountry safety gear and VIP lift line privileges. The resort also plays host to a number of big mountain events such as the Take the Lake Competition, scheduled for March 18-20 this year.

Heavenly Mountain Resort boasts three backcountry gates allowing access to acres of bottomless snow with runs of over 5,000 feet possible when conditions allow. No trip to Heavenly is complete without a run down the dauntingly steep Gunbarrel Run.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort has several backcountry-focused activities through its Expedition: Kirkwood program, including daily mountain guide service, multi-day clinics, avalanche awareness courses and snowcat powder tours when conditions permit. New this season, the resort has announced plans for guided skiing and snowboarding into the once-forbidden runs of the Cirque. It will once again host the North Face Masters of Snowboarding from March 3-6.

Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe’s famed Chutes deliver 200 acres of high-walled, narrow terrain, and this year, the resort added a ninth access gate for The Chutes near the top of the Miller Time run. For the savvy backcountry skier or snowboarder, the resort also has gated access to runs of more than 4,000 vertical feet down to Davis Creek State Park when conditions permit and AIARE certification courses throughout the season.

Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is home to The Stash, a first-of-its-kind terrain run that combines freestyle terrain with a backcountry feel. The Stash is punctuated with log rides, rainbow trees, road gaps and the Yeti Arch. Northstar-at-Tahoe also recently introduced five new advanced “gladed” runs for those who prefer the adrenaline rush of storming the trees.

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort is known for its perfectly spaced tree skiing, steeps and deeps in the recently incorporated terrain of Huckleberry Canyon and world-class terrain parks, including South Shore’s only superpipe. Guests can also sign up for ski clinics. Travelers should mark their calendars for the 8th Annual Telegrass Festival slated for March 26-27, featuring daily clinics, demos, live music and seasonal brews.

Squaw Valley USA, the 1960 Winter Olympics venue, has the famed KT-22 Express which provides access to 2,000 vertical feet of advanced/expert terrain with aggressive chutes and cliff bands in full view for spectators riding the lift. Guests can sign up for the SVX: Squaw Valley Experience mountain tours led by expert guides.

Comfortable Nights

After a day on Tahoe’s untamed slopes, your clients are going to be looking for a stress-free evening or a day-off. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, situated mid-mountain on Northstar-at-Tahoe, makes everything convenient, from the ski-in, ski-out access and the inter-mountain gondola connecting guests to the mountain and the nearby Village at Northstar. For groups, agents should ask about the three-bedroom Sugar Pine Suite, a 2,363-square-foot residence with three bedrooms and four bathrooms, including two master suites, one king bedroom and a den with queen sleeper sofa. Among other plush amenities are dining room seating for six, Juliet balconies in each bedroom, an ultra-modern fully equipped kitchen (with personalized shopping done prior to your arrival) and laundry room.The rate is $7,500 per night, which includes lift tickets and continental breakfast for up to eight guests.

Coming off a recent $53 million renovation, the Resort at Squaw Creek’s 405 guest rooms, suites and penthouses have been remodeled to match the luxury property’s new, more relaxed and residential feel. This makes it a perfect place for the kids, and the resort is currently running its Children Ski, Skate, Sled Free package through the end of the season. For adults, the Squaw Valley USA Ski and Ride Package includes accommodations, two lift tickets and a gourmet breakfast in Six Peaks Grille. All guests at Squaw Creek will also be issued a Passport to Resort with discounts on spa treatments, the resort shops and restaurants, and room service.



Squaw Creek
The remodeled accommodations at the Resort at Squaw Creek have a relaxed, residential feel.


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About the Author

Michael Browne

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By Michael Browne | February 15, 2011
Lake Tahoe boasts a high resort density and variety of terrain, surprising visitors with a new experience every winter.