Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Powder Days

Headed South to Lake Tahoe area over the weekend with my sweetie. We had some old airline tickets we had to use up from last year. Unfortunately United has few direct flights from Seattle - other than Denver and San Fran... so through the myriad of schedules and destinations - we settled on Tahoe for only a $11.97 charge after all the change fees.

We asked around to find out if anyone had been to Tahoe before and got a bunch of blank stares. (Warning number one.) But we heard they were getting hammered with snow and Heavenly boasts the "highest snowfall in the US". (Warning number two.) Traveling there took awhile - from Seattle to San Fran, hop on a puddle jumper to Reno, then ride the bus up to the mountains. We arrived late Friday night and took advantage of the $2 beers in our hotel casino. Bad idea - the next morning this so called light weight had a screaming head ache and we were going skiing? Luckily the hotel boasts free breakfast - or pay the $2.99 (warning number three)... let's just say the food combined with the hangover didn't sit well in the old tummy tum tum.

Nevertheless we headed up to the mountain - unsure of the best spots to ski but ready to explore. Tahoe sits at 7,000 feet or so and the top of the mountain is 10,000. We whisked up the mountain to be quickly greeted by alpine/hurricane force winds. The blues were really greens and we immediately discovered how low angle and easy the runs were (not to mention we didn't see the lake once!). The snow was good - and we quickly found the double blacks and did laps - narrowly missing a collision with one skier and having a good time. I'm starting to get really aggressive on my tele skis and it feels good to go fast!

Around 3:30 we called it a day and headed down to the lodge to drink a $8 beer (that's worse than the Sonics!). We watched as a huge line formed for the free shuttle - which took about 2 hours to dissipate. Apparently the gondola, which is how the majority of the people off load down the mountain, was closed due to the winds and everyone was funneled to where we were hanging. Once the line died down, we hoped on the bus - only to be sardined with skis, poles and smelly people down the mountain to a transit center. Fun times! We made it back in time to walk through the blizzard like conditions across the street to some of the best food Tahoe has to offer.

That night it snowed 3 feet. POWDER!!! But the kicker? They didn't open the gondola until noon the next day due to avalanche control. On that low angle? Seriously? Wow - we were not impressed. :) Once we did get up the hill powder was abound and we skied our brains out. We made a wise decision to head back to the Mott Canyon area - where it was actually steep and had some of the best runs of the day.

The previous day, near the lift, the bottom was nice and flat. I approached it on day two with the same speed - FAST and quickly met 7-8 moguls. Next thing I know, my knees are nearly pumping into my chin and I some how pulled it off - with two tele turns at the bottom showing some style. Ryan and some other guy watched as I came in hauling ass - with a terrified look on my face of failure. Talk about an adrenaline rush! I doubt I could repeat it!

The end of the day came quickly and we headed for the final run out the Fire Break, an off piste run through the trees with endless powder. You basically get one of the most enjoyable and long runs of the day - going from 9,000 to 7,000 at the base of the gondola. It was great and we even got to see the lake!

We then watched part of the Superbowl in a bar across the street, walked back to the transit center, narrowly catching the last bus to our casino. Trucking skis, boots and poles back to the hotel would have been rough! Maybe we should have gambled that night? All bets on black!

After watching one of the best upsets ever - we always root for the underdog so we were stoked! we headed to the hot tub and were quickly met by some New Orleaners. They were sipping Wild Turkey - smoking cigars and cigarettes right in the tub. No worries though - right before they got out there, Ryan was reaching for this beer and accidentally dropped it in the tub. :)

The next morning we opted not to spend another $140 on lift tickets and walked into town. All of the sidewalks were still buried in snow but we managed to make it the mile into town without getting hit on the interstate. As we boarded our 1:30 bus back down to Reno, we saw the greatest Tahoe couple ever. Decked out in frayed designer pocket jeans, neon jacket and sweet mullet hair, complimented by his blond hair, leopard print wearing, camel toe sporting lady - you bet we took some photos! I'll upload some soon....

Hope you had a good weekend too. In two weeks we head out to Colorado for another fun adventure!

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