If you haven't already heard, Tahoe has had a record breaking year in snowfall with many of the resorts boasting a 700+ inch base. The season is deep into April yet the snow just keeps on fallin (heard they got another 5 inches just last night). Unfortunately I decided to spend the winter in Summit County, where the snow stopped falling back in February. Temperatures began to heat up in March and fresh powder became a distance dream....
Until of course April rolled around and I drove out to Tahoe to see what I could find. With my trusty Vail pass I could ski at Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar for no additional fee. #Vailsucks but it's a serious perk of their ski empire. I can't say my first day in Tahoe skiing at Heavenly was all time. Sure there was good coverage but it's a flat mountain and there were very slushy conditions. Luckily my first night it snowed maybe 15(?) inches. I had driven into Kirkwood's town the night before which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. All morning long the pass to Kirkwood was closed so nobody could get in or out which led to a select few skiers riding the fresh pow all day long. I couldn't see 5 feet in front of me but damn is was a nice change of pace from the crunchy slush in Summit.
"Where the fuck am I" - me on every run
The stormy day before turned into a perfect bluebird powder day right after. The stoke level was high all around. I would say that by around 1 the snow became pretty slushy but damn how could anyone really complain about a powder day in April? As always I hardly took any pics but you get the point with two lousy photos.
"Naw man u drop" "Naw u go first man" "Is that chick taking a photo?"
While I could ski at all the Vail resorts to my heart's content, Squaw was really the place I was interested in. I couldn't ski there for free and I found most employees had already given out all their comp passes so I paid $52 for a day pass. Not the worst but super worth it. Or if you're feeling ambitious it's possible to skin up to Silverado lift and ride the upper lifts all day. At Squaw, just like at Kirkwood, many of the lines have been completely filled in with snow. I found that a run named 'Rock Garden' actually didn't have a rock in sight. Or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Maybe there weren't any rocks there to begin with? Lines made famous in Squallywood aren't even in existence right now due to the snowpack. Wish I took some photos of Squaw to share but I was already getting enough shit for trying to quote game of g.n.a.r. Apparently all the locals are over it....but whatever I'm still a fan.
Look, who knows what could happen to California after this winter/spring - there could easily be another 5 year drought. 10 year drought even. Reality is, Tahoe will probably never get this snowpack again. So if you're bummed out because your home mountain closed for the season or shutdown early due to lack of snow then make the pilgrimage west. Not Colorado west, but west west. If you don't have a place to stay it's warm enough to sleep in your car and if you don't have the ga$ money then carpool with friends who don't want winter to end either. Shit, you could probably even become a lifty for Squaw for the remainder of their season. Apparently the starting pay for their lifties is $15 an hour. At this point I challenge you to find a legitimate excuse not to make it out to Tahoe this season.
Lemme just end with this: If the snow drifts are as tall as the 2-story houses then you're gonna have a good time.
Photos by yours truly