Favorite tropical retreat getaway

thailand-beaches

Yearning for a well deserved vacay from the hectic Western lifestyle where each day flashes by with little in the way of cultivating our inner soul and playful spirit?

When was the last time you’ve enjoyed some quality personal time at a writers’ retreat to tap in to your creative side or a yoga retreat for some much needed relaxation and meditation to re-energized? Or if food is your motivator, treat your palate to a Thai foodie adventure and add a side trip to learn how to cook Thai dishes.

Where can you find a warm sun drenched tropical beach town away from the main tourist destination where your dollar goes a long way? Prachuap, Thailand offers one of the best value off the beaten path vacation getaway.

Prachuap Khiri Khan, a scenic beach town five hours by train from Bangkok, checks off our list of requirements:

✔ Off the beaten tourist path
✔ Swaying palm trees
✔ Scenic beaches and warm ocean water
✔ Tropical warm sunny weather in an exotic locale
✔ Quiet, relaxing setting
✔ Inexpensive lodging (unbeatable price value comparatively)
✔ Inexpensive Thai food with availability of Western restaurant options
✔ Local small beach town charm
✔ Outdoors recreation: scuba, snorkeling, water snow sports, hiking, biking
✔ Night markets
✔ Open air farmer’s market
✔ Local music scene entertainment
✔ Inexpensive massages($5 foot massage) and spa treatments

For a $1,000 USD monthly vacation budget; this rental in Prachuap, South Eastern Coastal Thailand checked off all of our requirements in addition to being inexpensive with prices starting at $21 USD per night so one month’s stay (31 nights) would cost $651 which leaves $349 for food, entertainment, and Thai massages, etc. In terms of food cost, a meal of savory grilled chicken or fish with sticky rice plus freshly made to order papaya salad and Thai iced tea will set you back only $3.50 USD.

If a non-touristy small beach town appeals to you, Prachuap is that place.

This vacation rental retreat aptly named Baan Aomjai (which means “home of warm hearts” in the Thai language) is located in Prachuap Khiri Khan, a beach side town in Thailand accessible by daily air conditioned deluxe express bus directly from the Bangkok International airport. Upon arrival at Bangkok International Airport (aka Suvarnabhumi Airport code: BKK) you can choose to take the express bus to Prachuap or alternatively take a taxi/Uber into Bangkok then take a scenic train ride from the Bangkok Train Station – namely the Hua Lamphong Railway Station to the beach town of Prachuap.

Baan Aomjai is available as a nightly rental or long term vacation rental; great for all travelers, digital nomads and writers. This beach town is a perfect retreat getaway from the busy city life in Bangkok. “Baan Aomjai consists of just five unique boutique holiday rentals, varying from a petite 15 square meter studio to a spacious 80 square meter 2 bed, 1 bath unit, all equipped with WiFi, air-condition, modern amenities, brick pizza oven and a covered patio.”

Fully air-conditioned apartments features free WiFi, a mini-fridge, towels, bed linen, terrace, free parking, washing machine​ ​and​ ​flat-screen TVs. Enjoy their ​​relaxing patio aka sala​ ​equipped with an​ ​opened kitchen and dining area.​ It is a very relaxing location surrounded by swaying palm trees. There’s also a swimming pool​, gym ​and ​restaurant ​​​​within 5 mins walk of the guesthouse apartment and the scenic Ao Manao beach is within a 20 minutes bike ride.

If you’d like a change from the local Thai food, there are excellent Western food options such as pizza, pasta (Italian), German and French food available​ ​in town.

The owners are helpful in getting you acquainted with Prachuap and​ ​can help​ ​you pick daily activities to enjoy your vacation or relax at scenic beach near by and ​go for a swim, get a tan or ​kick your feet up and relax under a palm tree reading your favorite book.

Interested in bike tours? Check out their fully supported fun bike tour adventures; sign up for their Ride, Eat & Sleep Package Tours.

Prachuap is a scenic beach town for those seeking an alternative vacation destination to noisy​ ​city life in​ ​Bangkok.​ Added perks include inexpensive Thai massages in town that start at only 150 Baht (which equals to approximately $5 USD) and enjoy night markets for good value tasty eats and a great place to buy souvenirs for friends and family.

This is a newly built August 2016 vacation rental; the property is well maintained with daily maid service. A great place to stay for couples, solo adventurers, business travelers, and families with or without kids.

For freelancers or digital nomads or those looking to retire or live a life of an expat, Prachuap is one of the best expat options because of the (1) inexpensive cost of living (2) modern healthcare system where many doctors are trained in the UK, Australia and the USA (3) safe with low incidence of crime (4) modern transportation infrastructure (5) speedy internet (6) availability of many food options including Western styled restaurants and (7) abundant indoors entertainment options and outdoors adventures, and (8) Bangkok is the inexpensive travel hub for Southeast Asia where you can hop on an inexpensive flight to explore other regional destinations like Penang, Malaysia, Ankor Wat in Siem Riep, Cambodia, Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Bagan Myanmar, Coron, Philippines, Bali, Indonesia, Luang Prabang, Laos and Singapore.

Browse Baan Aomjai’s Website: https://www.baanaomjai.com

For short stays, check availability by browsing their Airbnb rental calendar at https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/14749791.

For stays longer than two weeks, make a reservation by contacting them on their Facebook page.

Foodies, explore and enjoy some of Thailand’s best street foods; watch the video below to prime your palate for a foodie vacation (for reference: $1 USD = 32 Thai Baht (as of September 2018); a bowl of Tom Yum Shrimp noodle soup will set you back about $2.50 USD or about 80 Baht; a freshly made to order Papaya Salad (som tum) will set you back about $1.25 USD or 40 Baht:

Can’t wait to start making some Thai dishes; try out recipes from the cookbook, “A Culinary Odyssey: A Cookbook Diary of Travels, Flavors and Memories of Southeast Asia” by Andrew X Pham – This is the culmination of a lifetime of passionate eating, traveling, writing, and cooking: 45 favorite and simple recipes from the cuisines of Thailand and Vietnam, then and now. “It’s so much more than a cookbook. It’s love, it’s life. It’s about living, culture, and food from the land of my birth and my chosen home for the past decade.” – Award wining author Andrew X Pham

A Culinary Odyssey

Before you go, check out Conde Nast Traveler’s list of “The Best Street Food in Bangkok” which serves as a handy guide to what’s best to eat while touring Thailand.

YouTube Video from a tourist who booked a stay at Baan Aomjai:


Baan Aomjai’s Vacation Rental Photo Gallery

Is a vacation to Thailand on your bucket list? Here’s why it should be:

If you plan to go, key resources to check out:

+ For a travel guide to the city of Prachuap, read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prachuap_Khiri_Khan_Province.

+ Browse airfare pricing from Google Flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Bangkok (BKK), Thailand.

+ Express Airport Bus to Hau Hin (check-in airport counter on Level 1, Gate No. 8), a beach side city close to the beach town of Prachuap. Check out the bus schedule and info at http://www.airporthuahinbus.com/V2/airport-to-huahin/

+ For transportation options from Bangkok to Prachuap, Thailand, read http://www.prachuapkhirikhan.org/practical-prachuap/transportation-prachuap-khiri-khan/prachuap-bangkok/.

+ Scenic aerial view of the beach town Prachuap:

Watch the video below for the key attractions and things to do if you’re planning a Thailand vacay getaway and aiming to check off traveler’s top ten to do list:

“Thailand, also known as the Land of Smiles, is a jewel of Southeast Asia. Developed enough to provide most comforts yet still wild enough to offer off-the-beaten path adventure, Thailand is a country ripe with opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. Whether you start with the scenically stunning world-class beaches in the south or the mountain villages in the north, Thailand will not disappoint.” -planetware.com

Btw, if you’ve seen the movie,’The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio filmed in Thailand, you might want to visit the famous FILM SET of Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi Lay, an enclave of paradise on the coastline of Koh Phi Phi Leh in Southern Coastal Thailand. Imagine a stunning beach cove, located 30 minutes away from a populated island. A cove whose crystal blue waters are almost glowing (swim, scuba, snorkel to your heart’s content), the sand silky soft dancing between your toes, the surrounding cliff faces beautifully dominant in a protective hug and where the surrounding choppy waters protect the enclave from human invaders.

“You fish, swim, eat, laze around, and everyone’s so friendly. It’s such simple stuff, but… If I could stop the world and restart life, put the clock back, I think I’d restart it like this. For everyone.” – Alex Garland, ‘The Beach’.

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    Saving the Planet One Rider At A Time

         snowpals_logo

    By Vicki Olds, aka Shibumi – “Snowpals Reporter At-Large”

    SnowPals is making a difference; saving our planet and particularly the Lake Tahoe Basin, one ride-share at a time.

    “Did you know there are 1 billion cars in the world?  Unfortunately, we’re set to double this in the next 10 years.  Each shared car takes 13 cars off the road (on average).  You can make a difference by sharing a car.”  — getaround.com

    Since 1999, SnowPals members have ride-shared from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe and back at least 5,100* times (this is a conservative estimate*).  For an average 400-mile round-trip to/from Tahoe in a vehicle that gets 28 miles per gallon average highway miles will burn 14.3 gallons of gas.  A gallon of gasoline burned releases 20 pounds of CO2 into the air.  By carpooling, each rider, in addition to the driver, represents 14.3 gallons of gasoline saved from being burned — or 286 pounds of carbon dioxide per round trip!

    “Let’s break down how CO2 is produced: a gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds. Roughly 90% of that mass is carbon or about 5.5 pounds.  When that carbon is burned one atom of carbon, C, combines with two molecules of oxygen, O2, to form carbon dioxide, CO2.  One molecule of CO2 weighs about 3.5 times as much as an atom of carbon, so that 5.5 pounds of carbon burned results in about 20 pounds of CO2.”

    — U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/tools/

    High Five yourself, SnowPals’ rideshare participants.  Together we have saved the planet from 1,458,600 pounds of carbon dioxide pollutants!

    To calculate how much carbon pollution you contribute to the planet, annually, use the energy calculators at Infinite Power (gee, those Texans are really serious about oil): http://www.infinitepower.org/calc_carbon.htm

    Plus, think about how much you have saved in gasoline expenses by offering to share your vehicle with a snow rider or two.  At 5,100 SnowPal ride-shares, times 14.3 gallons, times the price of a gallon of gas … that’s no small change.  In fact, that would be $218,790 in total per snow season that did not go to Big Oil if you had paid $3/gallon at the pump.

    And, how many of us have made friends along the way?  Or shared a meal and a drink, or two, after the slopes … That’s the non-tangible perks of ridesharing so we at SnowPals encourage you to rideshare / carpool to and from Lake Tahoe resorts as much as possible and to forward this piece to folks you know who goes to Tahoe often but mostly drive solo – advance thanks in helping us preserve our natural environment for ourselves and for generations to come.

    * Median of 15 ride-shares/wk; with New Snow this shoots up to 30-35 ride-shares/week.  We’re saying that at least 4x/season when there’s a surge of snow riders looking for new snow.

    Help keep our planet green, save money and expand your circle of friends by joining SnowPals to ride share to Tahoe area ski resorts and snow destinations beyond (SnowPals members’ in past years joined forces and resources to organize ski and snowboard trips via carpooling/ride sharing to Colorado, Utah and even British Columbia ski resorts).

    Are you a local business? Please consider partnering with us to help increase awareness of SnowPals’ rideshare / carpool to help people pool resources to drive together to and from Lake Tahoe.

    SnowPals’ mission is to enable SF Bay Area residents to pool resources to ride share/carpool to Tahoe resorts to reduce impact to our environment. We kick off the ski season with annual Kickoff Parties around the SF Bay Area.

    We invite businesses to partner with us to help bring awareness to our ride-sharing offerings, and to encourage people who might otherwise drive solo to use our services to make new friends and to reduce their carbon footprint.

    Individually we each can make slight carbon footprint reductions, and together we can make significant reductions that will help preserve our natural environment. Please consider partnering with SnowPals and we can also help local businesses with its marketing exposure.

    For more about our ride-share program, please see: http://www.snowpals.org/info/tahoe-rideshare/

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    Survival Guide & Tips: Skiing with Kids

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    By Joe Woo, Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. 

    Skiing with kids. It seems like a simple thing. But let me tell you. If you haven’t done it before and aren’t prepared for it, it can ruin a great time on the slopes. However, with the right preparation, it can be more fun skiing with them than skiing without them. For those of you toying with the idea of finally bringing the kids up or maybe you’re considering bringing up a nephew or niece…read this. What I’ll do first is share some of my kid skiing experience and what we do to make it lots of fun.

    For me, skiing pre-kids was easy. I never thought about anyone else. I never considered having to ski with anyone. If anyone I was skiing with slowed me down or was having a bad time, I could separate from them and meet up with them later. That was no big deal. When you add kids to the mix, things really change. The main thing is that you can’t just dump the kids and continue skiing when they’re cramping your style. When you’re on the mountain with your kids, you’re stuck with them for better or for worse. What is a parent to do?

    Over the last two seasons I’ve come up with a pretty good system for skiing with kids. My wife and I came up with it using trial and error to finally dial in something that works for our family. It was a lot of effort using trial and error and lots of frustration but it was worth it. Why go through all the effort? Why not just dump the kids in ski school for the day so that I could ski without them?

    Cost is an obvious issue, but more importantly skiing with my kids is fun. It is more fun than skiing without them because when they’re having fun, there is nothing better than skiing together, laughing together and watching them learn, grow and overcome all the little challenges of skiing. The look on their face when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could is priceless and worth more than anything in the world. When it is good, skiing with them is better than any skiing I could do on my own.

    So, what’s the issue? Those fun times were rare and didn’t happen often. When they did happen, they were priceless, however it seemed like the bad times outweighed the good times. Finding a way to make those fun times happen more was something I had to do.

    So, how do you do that? What I discovered through two years of trial and error is CCSF. What does this mean? Confidence, Comfort, and Sated (not hungry) equals Fun. If you can get the Confidence, Comfort and Sate (not hungry) issues right that will equal Fun for your family. Lets look closer at each element.

    Confidence

    Confidence is a very important thing for anyone. It is especially important for kids to have when skiing. I’ll go so far as to say that confidence is so important that I believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing. Without confidence, the kids will never want to ski, will dread skiing and will make your time on the mountain miserable. You should do everything in your power to build your kids confidence in skiing.

    How do you do that? For us we decided to always try and put our kids in skiing situations that we knew they could be successful. We never made them do anything we knew they would fail at. They quickly built confidence the second day they ever skied. The thing that built confidence the most was succeeding in tasks when they were scared of doing something even though I knew they could do it. These were the cases where I pushed them hard because I knew they could do it, but they needed to realize they could do it and when they did it you could see the confidence grow.

    For example, my 5 year old son refused to ski without being between my legs and me holding him down the bunny slope. I knew he would crash at first if he tried skiing by himself as this was his first time on skis. After about 5 runs between my legs I started to stop actively holding him and he would ski holding me. Then after a few runs of doing that we would stop halfway down the hill, put his skis in pizza and let him go so that he was standing still on the hill in pizza. Then I would go about 10 feet in front of him and tell him to slide to me. At first it was a struggle because he didn’t want me to let go of him. He would cry when I would let go. I just wanted him to slide to me in pizza. He didn’t have to stop. I would catch him. But he was scared to do it, but I knew he could do it and he finally did through the cries and tears. Once he realized he had actually done it, he did it again.

    At first it was 10 feet, then 20 feet and I would stop him. If he veered off course I would slide over to catch him. Then I told him to stop by himself and he just did it. He was amazed that he could stop by himself and the rest is history. He skied the rest of the day by himself without ever turning. Just pizza strait down the hill with his arms held in front of him like he was ready to do some serious karate chops. His way to balance I guess. The next day he was turning back and fourth and excited about skiing.

    My daughter was the same progression at the same time. Soon they got bored of the slope and asked to do another lift. We moved onto another beginner lift with slightly steeper terrain and a longer run. That was last year at Diamond Peak. They gained so much confidence at Diamond Peak, Mt. Rose and Squaw Valley. I continued to teach them parallel skiing and my daughter is no longer in pizza. My son is in an advanced pizza today, but is almost ready for parallel skiing.

    Today my younger son is six and my daughter is eight and both are happily skiing black diamonds off Red Dog, KT-22, Headwall and other lifts at Squaw Valley. My older son is actually skiing (as opposed to just surviving down) West Face, Tower 16 and the various terrains off Silverado chair! It is amazing what a little confidence can do. My kids are testament to that without ever having professional ski lessons. Whatever you do, make sure the kids gain lots of confidence. I truly believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing.

    Comfort

    Now your kids are confident skiers. Is that it? Not really. No matter how confident they are, if they are not comfortable, they will complain and ruin your day. Kids are not mature enough to overcome the little issues so they don’t ruin the big things like a fun day of skiing. Our kids are pretty tough and the last thing we do is baby them, but every kid has a limit to what comfort they’re willing to give up on to have fun on the slopes.

    It is important that you take the time to learn what your kids comfort limits are and make sure those needs are satisfied. My kids don’t complain that much about their comfort. I think it is because I’ve invested in making sure they stay warm and dry no matter the conditions. They have top of the line ski pants, jackets, gloves, base and mid layers. They have great helmets and goggles. Goggles were an issue and I finally got them decent stuff that doesn’t fog and they can clean easily. Another important piece of equipment was the neck gator. It seals out the cold air getting in from the neck. The kids rarely complain about being cold or wet and it is one less issue we have to worry about.

    Sate

    Kids don’t do well when they’re hungry. Instead you sould make it a priority to make sure they’re sated and not hungry. This one is really simple. Kids start getting moody and melting down when they get hungry. It is amazing. They are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Feed your kids periodically and your chances are better at having a great day. We discovered that if we have a big breakfast, lunch around 12:30 or 1, 2:30 heavy snack and small snacks on the lifts in between, we avoid the hunger meltdown altogether. Now I always have a large Hershey bar in my pocket and on every other lift ride, I’ll give each kid one piece to eat. This system has worked great this season.

    Skiing with your kids can be fun and very rewarding. Just remember that kids have unique needs that you have to consider. The best way I know is to remember CCSF. Confidence, Comfort and Sated equals Fun. Try is next time you’re out with the kids. Good luck!

    =====

    More skiing with kids tips for parents..

    From Jeremy Feinberg, a Ski Instructor at Kirkwood for 6 years plus, a certified PSIA Level 2 instructor, training for Level 3; he teaches skill levels that range from first timers to expert; he coaches a Progression team that skis 99% of the legal terrain at Kirkwood.

    As someone who makes their living teaching children how to ski I can say that there are some good things in this survival guide; a comfortable and well fed child is one who is set up for success, and depending on the child, confidence can be a limiting factor, however in the 1+ page of text there was very little emphasis on skill development and no mention at all of the physical and cognitive limitations that change as a child grows.

    That being said, a few things to keep in mind include: 

    It’s hard to learn new skills when people are on terrain that is at the edge of their comfort level, dial it back, gain ownership over the movements and then take it to the steeper snow.

    Confidence can be a good thing, but you can have too much of a good thing… your child needs to ski in control and not be a menace or hazard.

    Leash and harness systems enable parents to get younger kids on the snow but can reinforce bad habits, however the harnesses themselves can be useful for picking up kids from the snow and helping them on to the lift.

    The Edgy Wedgie can be a useful teaching tool, try it for a run or two, take if off and see if the child can stop without it… use it for a few runs, not a few days or seasons.  

    If its your child’s first time skiing, start on a small hill below the lift, 30-50 feet long and almost flat with a flat runout at the bottom, or a gradual uphill if you can find it, learn to stop there, then head to the chair.

    Some children perform at a higher level with their parents around, some excel within their peer group under the tutelage of an experienced coach, it helps to know which group your child falls into

    The pace of skill development as detailed in the Survival Guide sounds about right, just keep in mind that today I had a 6 year old girl first time skier (along with a five year old girl with separation anxiety issues whose mother checked her out after lunch) who was able to stop within the first hour, we were on the chairlift before lunch and making turns.  By the time her parents picked her up (1/2 hour early) she had taken several runs through the trees. Tomorrow after a brief warm up she will be ready for the lower intermediate lift.  Her older brother who was on a snowboard was unwilling to follow us through the woods.    Her parents were impressed by her success and gave me a generous tip.

    If you want to get your child out of the wedge and making turns that have a least some parallel at the end of each turn, and you want that to happen quickly, ski school is the place for your child, especially on the weekdays when group sizes are small and only experienced and highly certified instructors are getting any work.  

    Please don’t be that person who has their child skiing advanced terrain in a power wedge, if you are going to ski with your child and teach them how to ski, make the day about them, you need to be there to support them and help them along the way.  

    Recognize the limitations of your own teaching abilities and don’t let your child (or yourself) get stuck in the skill rut; if you have any questions about how this can manifest one can use the intermediate rut as an example: go to most ski resorts and watch the way people on the intermediate runs ski, particularly how they initiate their turns.  What you will see in most cases are varying degrees of stem (wedge or pizza) to start the turn.  People make this movement because they are not comfortable performing a movement that ski instructors call crossover.

    Crossover is the movement that separates advanced skiers from people that ski advanced terrain, it is defined my crossing your center of mass over your skis, down the hill into the new turn (basically throwing one’s body down the hill, swooping your skis underneath the body to catch the center of mass)  

    Crossover one example of a movement that can define a skill rut, it’s difficult to teach and limits a person’s ability to explore and enjoy the mountain.

    **On a related note** Teaching the spouse or significant other how to ski is tough, I call it the relationship tester, put that person in a group or private lesson, meet up for lunch and ski together in the afternoon, at their pace, where the instructor said would be a good place to ski.  Your romantic relationship is one of equals, the student/teacher relationship is not, things can get ugly quick.

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    What’s the best value ski season pass deal? Get the most mountain for your money

    mountain-collective-pass-2018-19

    What’s the best value ski season pass deal? IKON Pass($599/$899), Epic Pass($899/$469 children), or Mountain Collective Pass at $489?

    THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS 2018-19

    17 DREAM SKI RESORT DESTINATIONS. TWO DAYS AT EACH with no blackout dates. That’s a total of 34 lift tickets included with the pass. Unlimited 50% off single day lift tickets after the 2 days of lift tickets per resort, plus exclusive lodging deals at each resort destination.

    The pass includes two days of lift tickets at each of the following resorts:

    Squaw Alpine (California)
    Mammoth Mountain (California)
    Alta (Utah)
    Snowbasin Resort (Utah)
    Snowbird (Utah)
    Aspen Snowmass (Colorado)
    Taos Ski Valley (New Mexico)
    Jackson Hole (Wyoming)
    Big Sky Resort (Montana)
    Sugarbush Resort (Vermont)
    Sun Valley (Idaho)
    Revelstoke Mountain Resort (British Columbia)
    Banff Sunshine (Alberta)
    Lake Louise (Alberta)
    Niseko United (Japan) – watch the awesome powder riding video below
    Coronet Peak | The Remarkables (New Zealand)
    Thredbo (Australia)

    $489 while supplies last. Typically, this pass sells out before the beginning of the ski season. Kids 12 and under only $99

    How is THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE SKI SEASON PASS a best value deal?

    1) Ski or ride four days and the pass will have more than paid for itself; keep in mind a single adult regular lift ticket goes for $129 last season at Squaw Alpine and similar resorts cost just as much. Once you have redeemed four days of lift tickets, you still have 30 more days of skiing at other resorts. The more days you ski and ride, the more value you get from the pass.

    2) THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE SKI SEASON PASS gives you the opportunity to ski and discover big name resorts like Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Snowbasin Resort, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Niseko United (Japan), Banff Sunshine, Sun Valley Resort and Taos Ski Valley. The pass gives you an excuse to explore new resorts. Take to 2-3 days at one resort, then road-tripping to another as opposed to staying in one place for a week or longer. This pass is your ticket to adventure.

    3) If Tahoe area resorts suffer from lack of snow as a result of an el nino season, you can chase powder dumps at your choice of 15 other resorts included in the pass, namely Alta (Utah), Aspen Snowmass (Colorado), Big Sky Resort (Montana), Banff Sunshine (Alberta), Coronet Peak | The Remarkables (New Zealand), Jackson Hole (Wyoming), Lake Louise (Alberta), Mammoth Mountain (California), Niseko United (Japan), Revelstoke Mountain Resort (British Columbia), Snowbasin Resort (Utah), Snowbird (Utah), Sugarbush Resort (Vermont), Sun Valley (Idaho), Taos Ski Valley (New Mexico), and Thredbo (Australia). THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE SKI SEASON PASS lets you go where the powder is.

    With the Mountain Collective, it’s possible for passionate skiers and riders to discover thousands of vertical feet and chase ideal winter snow conditions across Alberta, Australia, British Columbia, Japan, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

    Affiliate Destinations Include: Chamonix (France) and Valle Nevado (Chile). Please note that Mountain Collective Members only receive 2 free lift tickets at the global affiliate destinations. Purchase the pass or for more details.

    “The Mountain Collective Pass encourages and allows skiers to plan adventures and explore new areas, to chase snow and to cross off bucket list destinations.”

    Consistently on the top ten list of snow destinations: Niseko, Japan

    One of the top ski and ride destinations is Niseko United (Japan) where you’ll discover simply some of the driest, lightest powder aka champagne powder in the world. Consistently recording winter seasonal snowfall of 45.9 feet of snow or more, it’s a favorite powder skiing and riding destination.

    The ski resort Niseko United – Annapuri/Grand Hirafu/Hanazono/Niseko Village is located on Hokkaido (Japan). For skiing and snowboarding, there are 44.5 km of slopes available. 32 lifts transport skiers and riders to the summit (check out the resort’s trail map). The winter sports area is situated between the elevations of 300 and 1,200 m.

    Seasonal winds from the Eurasian continent pick up moisture over the warm currents of the Sea of Japan to from snow clouds and in turn some of the driest, lightest powder in the world. With its rich variety of terrain and beautiful winter woods, Niseko offers an unforgettable experience for all levels of skier/snowboarder.

    The Niseko United is composed of four resorts on one pass: Annupuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu, and Hanazono. With over 14 meters of powder per year, fantastic lift-accessed backcountry, a short 20-minute hike from the top lift to the 1308m-high peak, and night skiing until 8:30pm throughout the season; Niseko offers the best ski resort experience worldwide. The international nature of the resort means that even English speakers can travel to Japan without any language barrier worries.

    Watch the video below to see what riding powder looks like at Niseko United (Japan):


    best-value-ski-season-pass-mountain-collective-pass

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    * Looking to create a ski lease members group to share the cost of a ski house/cabin lease? List your ski lease or advertise your vacation rental. Browse available ski leases to join or planning a Tahoe vacation, browse rentals.

    Enjoy scenic Lake Tahoe: hiking and snowshoeing

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    Snowshoeing is fun, easy and an inexpensive way to get out on the snow around Lake Tahoe to enjoy the great outdoors and partake in nature photography.

    How to snowshoe?

    Simply attach a pair of snowshoes to your waterproof hiking boots, and you are ready to go. It’s easy; if you can walk, you can snowshoe.

    Where to rent or buy snowshoes?

    For first timers, rent a pair of snowshoes at REI to try out snowshoeing. If you plan to go often, buy snowshoes at REI’s clearance deals (a quality pair of snowshoes will last you many years) or other sporting goods. Snowshoes are lightweight, easy to put on, and come with claws on the bottom for added hiking traction up and down hills.

    Snowshoeing over packed snow is similar to hiking with large feet, but hiking through deep, fresh powder can be a good workout.

    What to wear?

    Dress in layers with the outer most layer being a waterproof jacket so you can peel off a layer when you warmed up; wear sweat wicking inner shirt, lightweight waterproof gloves, a hat/beanie, and also remember to pack sunglasses, sunblock lotion, water and a snack or lunch. Also bring ski poles to use which will help with stability/balance when trekking up and down hills.

    Where to snowshoe in Tahoe? Flume Trail

    My favorite spot for snowshoeing where you can enjoy panoramic views of Lake Tahoe is the Flume Trail. The Flume Trail is a 12.9 mile point-to-point trail located near Incline Village, Nevada. A great spot for picnicking is about 1 mile walk in where you can experienced beautiful panoramic views of the lake. Pack and enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. If you are taking your date or significant other, this is as romantic and scenic as you can get for a Tahoe outing. In the off season, mountain biking the Flume trail is a popular activity.

    tunnel-creek-cafe-incline-village

    The Flume trailhead starts right behind the Tunnel Creek Cafe at 1115 Tunnel Creek Rd, Incline Village, NV 89451. Follow the blacktop road behind the cafe to the trailhead’s gate. If you eat or buy a drink at the cafe, you can ask to park at the cafe parking free of charge. Otherwise, park across the street for free.

    flume-trail-tahoe

    flume-trail-tahoe-hiking

    Check out REI for closeout deals on winter clothing and snowshoe clearance sale.

    Look for hotels and lodging deals in the vicinity of Incline Village, NV, Kings Beach, Tahoe City, or Crystal Bay. For first time booking, get $25 off Tahoe area hotels.

    Good value breakfast deal can be had at the Tahoe Biltmore Lodge, Restaurant, Casino: Bilty’s breakfast goes for $6.25 (served 7 AM to 11 AM) is the best deal which includes three eggs any style with bacon, sausage or ham. Eggs cooked just the way you like, accompanied by hash brown potatoes and your choice of toast. Or stop by on Sundays for their $9.95 all you can eat brunch! After snowshoeing, enjoy Happy Hour 7 days a week 3pm-7pm with $1 Draft Beer $2 Well, $2 Jager shots, and $4 Patron Shots.

    * Looking to create a ski lease members group to share the cost of a ski house/cabin lease? List your ski lease or advertise your vacation rental. Browse available ski leases to join or planning a Tahoe area vacation, browse rentals.

    * What’s it like to ski/ride Japan’s famous dry champagne powder?

    This season pass gives you two days of skiing / riding in Japan among 18 other resorts across Alberta, Australia, British Columbia, Chamonix (France) and Valle Nevado (Chile), California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. For 2018/19 season, this pass enables you to go where there’s POWder galore!

    Upcoming

    + Enjoy wine and beer tasting plus four free lift tickets; get 1`/2 off SNOWBOMB SKI SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL SHOW TICKETS

    + Check out our upcoming ski and snowboard preseason kick-off parties

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    How to join SnowPals

    Life is about cultivating friendships, traveling and sharing experiences; SnowPals invite you to join us in our mission to enjoy and share skiing and snowboarding experience and create lasting memories and friendships.

    Join us to connect with skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels for trips to Tahoe and to snow destinations beyond.

    Avoid the trap of old routines with shrinking circles of friends. Expand your FUN horizon by connecting with SnowPals and experience the snow season in a new exciting way. Network, connect and socialize with our active and friendly memberships. Come join our pre-snow season ski-and-ride movie screenings, rideshares, ski leases, snow events, parties, giveaways and wine / beer socials. Our members often extend group activities in to the summer seasons. Some of our off-season activities included nature hikes, sky-diving, mountain biking, wineries tours and BBQ parties. Activities are generally free of charge.

    Ski and snowboard friendships often last a lifetime as they are built on a core shared interest.

    “Create ski and snowboarding memories today so when in later years, you’ll reminisce about moments that will likely to triggered joyful smiles. Simply priceless 😉 “- SnowPals

    What adventure(s) have you checked off your bucket list this year?

    How do I join? Is there a membership fee?

    Unlike other ski and snowboard clubs with yearly recurring membership fees, join us with only a one-time membership fee of $20. This one-time fee helps us pay for web hosting, technical website services, group management and various operations such as facilitating Bay Area-Tahoe ride shares and organizing social events. Our members range from newbies to experts in snow sports. Members ages vary from 18 to well into the 70s (single people and married couples with and without kids).

    Membership perks:

    ✔ Access to our Tahoe ridesharing/carpool members network of 8,055 members as of September 2018 (a free alternative to fee-based Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services)
    ✔ Participate in fun and engaging social events
    ✔ We often hold giveaway raffles for swag and lift tickets at our events
    ✔ In the off-season, we may facilitate connections for outdoors activities such as hiking, road cycling, mountain biking, wakeboarding, surfing, etc. to encourage an active lifestyle.

    Founded in 1999 by a small group of friends; we’re now 8,055 members and growing. Celebrating our 20th year of helping to connect folks to expand their circle of snow sports activity partners.

    Screen Shot of SnowPals’ Forum January 2018:

    snowpals-forum-screen-shot-jan-2018

    Screen shot of postings from our forum April 2017.

    * A few of our newly joined members’ intros from November to December 2018:

    “Hello, I’m frequently driving back and forth from South Lake Tahoe to the Peninsula close to the weekends. I ferry my 6 year old daughter back and forth so we can ski together, but she’s with her dad during the school week. So, sometimes she’ll be in the car and sometimes it’s just me. I have a ski lease now, but hope to relocate to the area. I only travel during low traffic times. Hoping to connect with some weekly carpoolers!” – Ellen

    – “Hello there! I moved from France to the Bay Area a couple of years ago but finally decided to get a season pass this year (Epic Local for Kirkwood, Heavenly and North Star) I don’t have a FWD car so I’m looking for ski buddies who would be willing to share the ride, ideally super early Sat mornings, but could also make it work some Fridays. I am an intermediate / advanced skier, perfectly comfortable skiing on my own but I would love connecting with people of similar level – powder is always more fun with friends!” – Laura

    – “Hi, I have been in the Bay Area for awhile (since 2000), married with kids, but still like to go snowboarding / skiing when I can. I have used the ski bus a number of times in the past, but this year I have an Ikon pass so have to focus on ride-sharing to Squaw Valley as often as possible. Either me driving up and taking a passenger, or joining in with someone who is already driving up. I’m the “quiet / dependable” engineer type. If I say I’ll be ready to go at 4 am I’ll be there on time and ready to go. Cheers!”- Eric

    – “I’m super excited since I just relocated to Petaluma which is a bit closer drive to Tahoe and one of my fav most beautiful places to snowboard. I’m mainly interested the Tahoe rideshare because I don’t have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and don’t trust driving in storms. I am flexible on resort we go to and am interested in crashing at a ski lease as a guest for only a couple of nights if available. I usually can take off Fridays so we can leave early in the AM. I’m also able to meet up somewhere in East Bay or Sacramento and then we carpool from there. Super excited to shred some gnar!” – Megan

    – “Hello there! I moved here from Illinois last year and tried snowboarding for the first time last season. Fell in love with the sport and bought a pass to Sierra at Tahoe as well as an Epic Local for the upcoming season! Along with a ton of awesome gear so I don’t have to stand in long rental lines anymore. I’m interested in finding people who plan on getting out to Tahoe pretty much every weekend this season. I was told I should come here, so here I am!” – Marcus

    – “I am an intermediate skier living in the East Bay. “I’d like to go ski more often than I used to. Willing to team up with others to share rides to Tahoe. I have flexible schedule and can go most days during the week. I am professional in the tech field. Prefer to go Kirkwood, Heavenly & Northstar.” – John

    – “I love skiing (resort and backcountry) and all sorts of climbing — rock and ice, especially alpine routes. Most of my climbing was up in the OR + WA Cascades, so I’d love someone to show me around the Sierra climbing and backcountry skiing. For 2018-19, I have an Ikon Pass and looking to connect for rides to IKON resorts.” – Alex

    – “New to the Bay Area and pretty clueless about the various Tahoe resorts. I had a great ski group back East and I definitely miss them. Have Epic Pass and opened to Tahoe trips. Originally from South Carolina have been a Bay Area Resident as of August 2018.” – Matt

    – “Hello! I’m AJ, a PhD student at UC Berkeley who loves XC skiing. I also like snowshoeing. I’m hoping to get out to Tahoe on the weekends, and maybe even for longer during the holidays. Here for good company, new friends, ride shares, ski buddies, and also lodging-sharing.”

    – “Hi, I’m a Montana-native, newly transplanted to the Bay Area. Driving three hours (each way) alone is a bummer, so let’s ride together. I like to Ski, Snowboard and do Back-country skiing or snowboarding” – Adam

    -“Long time advanced level snowboarder. I prefer weekdays as Friday to Sunday are too crowded. I have the epic Tahoe local pass. I go to Northstar, heavenly and Kirkwood. Interested in finding snow board buddies and interested in a ski lease.” – Patricia

    Hello there, I grew up snowboarding in Colorado and have been in the Bay Area for the last year. I am trying the Ikon pass this year so hoping to get a few trips to Squaw. I like to Snowboard (Advance level), Cross-country skiing, Snowmobiling, Snow shoeing and Ice skating” – Ellen

    – “Always looking for a ride up to the mountain. Kirkwood, Heavenly, Northstar. Epic Local Pass holder. My family owns a cabin about an hour away (depending on conditions). I like to leave the Bay Area Thursday evenings, stay at the cabin, ski Fridays and Saturdays and be home by Sundays. Can definitely host at the cabin. Rustic, but sleeps 3 comfortably. Can meet at any BART station for ride share.” – Josh

    – “Hi! I live in Sausalito, expert skier ( I lived in Vail for 3 seasons and taught 6-12 yr olds in ski school), and i purchased the Epic Pass this season— will be going to Vail for a week, Mar 9-16, but looking to utilize Epic Pass more this season, Locally~! Looking for other advanced/expert skiers to carve some turns with in Tahoe, at any of the Epic Pass accepted resorts. Also looking for ride shares to Tahoe, and occasional places to stay/share. I work for myself, so driving schedule is VERY flexible—-prefer to NOT be stuck in traffic, and weekdays are fine with me. I have an AWD Cayenne that fits 4 -5 people and equipment, or am happy to pitch in, if someone else can drive. Im also single, successful professional, i own my own company, and am hoping to meet other singles (men) that are active and enjoy the sports I am passionate about—- which include skiing and road biking/cycling:) Lets go skiing!!” – Janna

    – “Hi, I’m from Sonoma and work as a Chef. Been skiing Tahoe my whole life; have a family cabin on Donner. Currently living in Sonoma and ski primarily midweek, storm chaser looking to connect with same, all business; got a Sugar Bowl pass.” – Brannon

    New Member Sign-Up

    To become a member of SnowPals, submit this application and pay a one-time $20 membership fee payment using the PayPal payment button below. The fee is nonrefundable, however, your membership is transferable to another person if you so choose within 14 days of payment. Please note that, in accordance with our Privacy Policy, your personal info will not be given or sold to anyone.
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    ** Next step, once you’ve submitted the above membership form, please send payment with the PayPal button below. Once payment have been processed, we’ll send you an invite to join the forum. Look for our invite in your inbox (with some email services, it may show up in the spam folder). Please note: allow up to 24 hours (Mon – Fri, non-holidays, 9am to 5pm) for your membership application to be processed and an invite to be sent to the email you specified in the form above. Questions? .


    Your Name & Email
    Your Phone; Best Time To Call



    Read some feedback from folks who’ve joined SnowPals.

    * Please note: the group’s name was changed from Ski Pals to Snow Pals to be inclusive of all snow sports (ski, snowboard, Alpine skiing, kite-skiing, riding, cross-country, telemark, backcountry, ice skating, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, ice hockey, snowmobiling, etc). For the group’s forum, we still use the ski_pal name so you’ll be getting an invite from ski_pal to join the group’s forum.

    ♥ Join SnowPals to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies, connect for Tahoe ridesharing (share trip expenses) and help reduce impact to our environment. Share this page with friends and family via twitterfacebook.

     

     

     

    An Insider’s Guide to Ski Leases: Tips and Advice

    apres-ski-club     heavenly-condo-rental

    Ski Leases for families and groups. The Ins and Outs of Getting Into One.

    I’d like to talk to you about ski leases. Not the kind to lease ski equipment, but condo and cabin rentals for an entire ski season for ski addicts like us. I had never heard of one until the end of last season. After I learned about them, they seemed so intriguing and beneficial to my situation that I had to learn more. I finally got into one and would like to tell you about my experience with my first ski lease. By doing so, I hope that you will gain some insight into them and learn about what they are and how you too can get into one. I’ll start with my story and then provide a general description of a ski lease and then some tips from people that have lots of experience with them. Hopefully this will help you into your very own ski lease either for your family or for your group of ski and snowboarding buddies.

    When I discovered ski leases I saw them as a great ski housing opportunity for me and my family. You see, I’ve come back to skiing full tilt after almost 20 years of hiatus. Back in the day, I skied every opportunity I could get and being young and without responsibilities, never had an issue finding a place to crash when up in Tahoe. Back then, the freedom of being able to drive up to Tahoe, bum around, ski lots and have really no worries about a place to stay was taken for granted.

    Flash forward twenty some-odd years and is it still that way? We all know that answer to that. Marriage and kids have become the major parts of the equation. Since the kids are now old enough to ski all day without a meltdown, we can go up quite a lot. However now when we go its not just me and my buds anymore. Can you imagine going up to Tahoe with my wife and three kids to just show up at someone’s place ready to crash there? It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

    What is a family to do? Buying a ski house is out of the question right now. We could book a hotel stay, but that gets very expensive especially for those of us with a ski season pass with the goal of getting in as many ski days as possible. How about day trips? We had to go that route towards the end of last season because we were spending an ungodly amount of money on hotel stays. I’m sure I’m in a similar boat with many of you out there. The solution for someone like us was the seasonal ski lease.

    What is it? Basically it is a rental of a condo or cabin in Tahoe for the ski season. If you know you’re going to Tahoe often for skiing then renting a condo/cabin for the ski season is a great alternative to paying for hotels/other lodging each time you go up. It can be more cost effective but also more convenient because you can leave your ski gear and clothing at your ski lease cabin and not worry about having a place to stay and the chore of having to pack for every ski trip. Combined with a season pass to your favorite ski resort, the major expenses are covered and you’ll only have the cost of meals and gas to worry about. If you’re a ski nut like me and aren’t yet in a similar situation, I can’t express how priceless it is to have peace of mind, comfort, and the convenience of having a ski season pass and a place to stay anytime during the season taken care of.

    If you’re ready to take the plunge into a ski lease, how do you get into one of these great deals? Through my research, I’ve discovered three ways.

    (1) – you can deal directly with the owner of a property and lease the place for you and your family or group for friends for the season. If that is too costly, then you could ask families/friends that you know if they’d want to go in with you and share the cost of the lease.

    (2) – you could contact a local professional that brokers these kinds of deals. I haven’t had much luck finding these professionals though. From what I’ve heard and if you can find one, they can put you in touch with owners that are looking to rent out their property. Once in touch with the owner, you could do the lease yourself or put together a group of members to split the cost. A good resource is to search for Lake Tahoe area vacation rentals available as a seasonal ski lease listed on SnowPals rentals page.

    (3) – you could go to online resources and search for individuals that already have a deal in place with the owner of the property and are looking for additional “members”. For those of you that are new to this, this route is probably the easiest way to enter the ski lease world. SnowPals is a great resource for Tahoe ski leases organized by various groups and has an entire section dedicated to available Tahoe area ski lease membership opportunities. For those of you looking for ski leases in areas outside of Tahoe, you could check TGR, EpicSki forums or Craigslist for postings.

    The cost per membership varies and there are so many options out there. I’ve seen listings on SnowPals for full season (typically December to April) ski lease membership for one person from $700 all the way to $2500. If you’re single and can spend just $700 for lodging for an entire season–that’s an amazing deal; let’s say you stay at the ski lease for a total of 30 nights, your cost per night would be $23.34 per night. Naturally, the more nights you stay, the more value you get from the ski lease. Signing up for ski lease membership is a great way to maximize your ski season pass since it encourages you to go up to Tahoe the night before and be close to the ski resort and can take advantage of a good night’s rest and get the chance to ski/ride fresh tracks/powder when resorts start up their lifts. Also, the value of beating the crowds and traffic to the resort is priceless; how many times have you been stuck in traffic or frustrated with locating free parking spaces? In addition, getting into a ski lease gives you the chance to expand your social circle and make new friends.

    So, how did I find my ski lease? I got into mine by letting everyone I knew know that I wanted to learn about ski leases and my desire of joining one. Within a short period of time, a friend contacted me to ask if my wife and I would be willing to go in with them on a ski lease. He knew the owners of a great place in Truckee and they mentioned to him that they wanted to rent the place for the ski season. I told him absolutely and that we should jump on that. We brought our families together along with one other family and now we have a great house to stay in any time we want from Dec 14 to May 15. Each “member” in our group is a family. We each paid an equal lump sum on November 1, have no guest fees and our lump sum cost includes all utilities and snow removal. It is such a great deal. Of course, if another family is up there when we go up, we must share the space with them, but since we all know each other and our kids are all friends, other members being up there makes our stay more fun. Also a great benefit is that we take turns watching the kids so each set of parents get some down time. We also rotate turns cooking so that gives us more quality family time to enjoy our time together.

    So what are some of the pitfalls? There have to be some, right? From my research, most pitfalls come from a misunderstanding of the rules of use when in a group ski lease. If you leased the place on your own, then the rules are yours and yours alone. However, if you are going into a ski lease as part of a group, then it is important to understand the rules otherwise there could be trouble. Of course it is important to click with the other members and if you do then it is important to nail down whatever rules all the members of the ski lease decide on in a clear and concise written agreement. Here are some things to consider from my wise and experienced ski lease mates, Eric and Andy:

    • What does your membership cost include? Make sure you know up front what your membership cost includes and what other expenses (if any) you’ll be responsible for at the end of the lease (e.g. utilities, firewood, hot tub maintenance, snow removal, house cleaning services, etc.)
    • Guest fees. Some ski leases charge “guest fees” for non-members to stay overnight to cover any additional expenses for lease. Make sure you are clear about guest fees in your ski lease and the rules for them
    • Parking. What are rules for parking? Last thing you want is to go up late Friday night and not have a parking space or at least be prepared for no parking space. Consider the option to carpool or ride share to your ski cabin if you don’t have alot of people in your family and empty seats in the van/SUV.
    • Storage of your stuff. Can you store stuff at the ski cabin/ski lease and if so what are the rules and where do you store your stuff?
    • Priority for bedrooms. If it is important for you to be in a bedroom, then what are the chances that you might not get one if everyone in the membership happens to be up at the same time. Some ski leases have agreements to allocate a dedicated bedroom where it is solely yours for the entire season which is very beneficial to bringing your own bedding and store your winter clothing and gear in the closet for convenience and easy access.

    So, if you go up to Tahoe a lot and need the convenience of your own home without the financial commitment, but want a more cost effective solution than hotels/motels, a ski lease is the way to go. There are so many different options available out there. A great place to start is to browse available ski lease memberships organized by families or group of skiers/snowboarders to share a ski cabin. If you’re in a different area than Tahoe, you can also try craigslist, TGR, EpicSki, SnowHeads forum and other places online in your search to join a ski lease.

    Many thanks to Eric and Andy, my ski lease mates who share their many years of experience and useful advice on how best to get into a ski lease and to reap the benefits of maximizing our ski season pass, lodging cost savings and most of all, deepening our friendship with shared experiences. Also many thanks to those of you who provided me with some great stories and advice.

    Read more about ski leases and/or list yours

    Take care and enjoy!

    Joe Woo is SnowPals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. He lives with his family in the North Bay.

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    Tahoe Learn to Ski and Snowboard Package Deals

    tahoe-lake-view

    2017 – 2018 Ski Season Tahoe learn to ski and snowboard package deals and discounts for beginners to advanced

    Lake Tahoe ski resorts offer learn to ski and snowboard deals and discounts for skiers and snowboarders through out the ski season with a few Tahoe resorts offering deals good on weekends and holidays.

    Gather family and friends together to take advantage of these deals and introduce them to learn an enjoyable snow sports that will last a lifetime; plan a getaway; browse and book a Tahoe vacation rental.

    Skiing and snowboarding can be an expensive sport especially for beginners without any gear but that doesn’t have to be true if you take advantage of Tahoe ski resorts introductory and promo deals. Discount learn to ski and snowboard package deals include ski / snowboard lessons, beginner’s lift ticket, and equipment rentals.

    The Learn to Ski and Snowboard promos offer great value deals for children and adults who are first-time skiers to get started skiing and riding down powdery Tahoe scenic slopes without breaking the bank.

    For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

    Best Tahoe learn to ski and snowboard deals:

    (1) Boreal’s TAKE 3, RIDE FREE
    Recognized as one of the country’s best beginner programs , this pre-paid package automatically enrolls you into the Take 3, Ride FREE program and includes (3) Single Day Half Day Lesson Packages and a FREE 2017-18 Season Pass on your fourth visit! What we like about Boreal Mountain resort is the fact that it is easy to get to with quick access off of Highway 80 on Donner Summit plus an added bonus of night skiing.

    (2) Homewood’s $69 adult ski and snowboard first-timer packages
    Homewood Mountain Resort offers the best learn to ski/snowboard deal in the Lake Tahoe region – for just $69. Sunday through Friday, non-holiday, first-timers will receive a half-day lesson package which includes an all-day equipment rental (helmet not included in package but available at an additional cost) and beginner lift ticket – It’s everything you need to make your first turns on snow!

    Simply purchase your Learn to Ski or Learn to Ride package online, at least 2 days in advance of your desired lesson date to receive the special $69 price all season long.

    What we also like at Homewood is their incredible lake views; skiing and riding down Homewood slopes gives you a breathe-taking view of the lake. Very beautifully scenic for a first timer. Romantic setting no less. 😉

    (3) Learn how to ski or snowboard for just $99 when you book in advance at Alpine Meadows any day for ages 13+ thru March 30, 2018.

    First time lesson package includes everything you need

    + Beginner lift ticket
    + Equipment rental (skis, boots, poles -or- snowboard, boots)
    + 2.25 hr beginner lesson

    The advantage of learning to ski or snowboard on non-holiday weekdays is you’ll get more personal attention and with less folks at the resort, you basically have the whole mountain to yourself – less people on the slopes.

    (4) Donner Ski Ranch offers perhaps the best deal all-around; even on weekends and holidays, the price is the same: adults, youths, and seniors can sign up for the learn to ski or snowboard deal package for $99 while child (ages 7-12) package is $79. Why pay the high price of big mountain resorts when you only need a bunny hill to learn on?

    Designed for first-time skiers and beginners, our Learn to Turn package includes a restricted lift ticket, granting access to beginner terrain on the front of the mountain via the skiing moving carpet and chairlifts #4 and #6, ski or snowboard equipment rental package, and a 1.5 hour group lesson.

    LESSON TIMES

    9 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm

    Lift tickets and rentals valid for full-day skiing and riding.
    Anyone who purchases a Learn to Turn package may use the moving carpet to practice on one’s own prior to his/her lesson. Visit the ticket window to secure your space. Lessons will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

    Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

    Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

    Discounted ski bus trips: check out the one day and overnight ski bus trip deals. Sleep on the bus, have a fun day of skiing and snowboarding and watch movies on the return bus ride.

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    Free Lift Ticket at Ski & Snowboard Film Premiers Coming to SF Bay Area

    ski-snowboard-film-screenings-2018

    Mark you calendar for Ski & Snowboard Film Premier Screenings Coming to the San Francisco Bay Area

    Gather some friends and family to watch ski and snowboard film premiers to get stoked for the coming snow season and score a free lift ticket at selected screenings.

    *Most film/movie screenings will give out a free mid-week non-holiday lift ticket or a 2 for 1 lift ticket aka BOGO (buy one, get one) coupon/voucher. With adult lift tickets pricing of $100 and up, a free lift ticket is an added bonus for watching a ski and ride film which you can use or give it to a friend or family member.

    At most film screenings, get a chance to win swag/prizes and ski/ride destination trips at intermission and after the film raffle.

    A run-down of the best ski & snowboard films coming to the SF Bay Area

    –>> Warren Miller’s 69th snow sports film comes to the Bay Area

    When: From October 12, 2018 to November 2018, various dates and SF Bay Area film screening locations.

    “Loving the pure joy of winter is something we have in common with the late, great Warren Miller—who helped create and capture the magic of skiing. This year, “Face of Winter,” the 69th installment from Warren Miller Entertainment presented by Volkswagen, will bring new and veteran athletes alike together to pay tribute to the man who started it all.

    Watch as the world’s best skiers and riders cover ground in some of the most legendary destinations to honor a face that launched a thousand quips and got us all started on this long, crazy ride. Visit some of Warren’s favorite locations from Switzerland to Chamonix, British Columbia to Alaska, Chile, Iceland, New Zealand and more.

    Come along to far off regions, meet the locals, carve faces of remote mountain ranges, and celebrate the thrills of a life lived in high places.

    Join in the tribute and continue the legacy. We are all the “Face of Winter.”

    *Free lift ticket at the show is for Mt. Shasta Ski Park Resort | Trail Map | Cam | Also enjoy extended night skiing/riding hours 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM | See Google Map & Driving Directions

    Get the following lift tickets, swag and offers with every film ticket purchased:

    (1) Free 2-FOR-1 WEEKDAY LIFT TICKET TO SQUAW VALLEY / ALPINE MEADOWS
    (2) 20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE AT SPORTS BASEMENT
    (3) JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT: BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE LIFT TICKET
    (4) BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE (BOGO) LIFT TICKET TO ANGEL FIRE RESORT in New Mexico

    Face of Winter Film Show Dates and Locations:

    CASTRO THEATRE
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA
    Nov 16

    PALACE OF FINE ARTS THEATRE
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA
    Nov 7 | Nov 8

    CALIFORNIA THEATRE
    BERKELEY, CA
    Nov 15

    MARIN CENTER
    SAN RAFAEL, CA
    Nov 17

    THE FOX THEATRE
    REDWOOD CITY, CA
    Nov 24

    THE LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
    WALNUT CREEK, CA
    Nov 6

    AMADOR THEATER
    PLEASANTON, CA
    Nov 14

    CAMPBELL HERITAGE THEATRE
    CAMPBELL, CA
    Nov 10 ~ join our Pre-film Meetup for Drinks & Good Eats

    AMADOR THEATER
    PLEASANTON, CA
    Nov 14

    THE FOX THEATRE
    REDWOOD CITY, CA
    Nov 24

    RIO THEATRE
    SANTA CRUZ, CA
    Nov 20

    The Warren Miller Film Tour kicks off on October 12, 2018.” Enter your zip code for the nearest film screening near you and to buy film tickets.

    * Join us before the film screening to enjoy drinks, good eats and to connect with skiers and snowboarders for Tahoe trips and Tahoe ridesharing. Expand your circle of ski and snowboard buddies at our preseason meetup.

    How to get my free lift tickets for Warren Miller’s Film Screenings?

    You’re get a voucher at the film screening; go to www.wmecoupons.com to redeem the above free lift tickets/swag.

    YouTube “Face of Winter” 2018 film screening:

    –>> Teton Gravity Research’s (TGR) Film Far Out 2018 Tour Dates

    EVENT DETAILS

    What: San Francisco premiere of Far Out, presented by REI

    When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Early Show – 6:00 doors, 6:30 show. Late – 8:30 doors, 9:15 show. Buy tickets.
    Where: Palace of Fine Arts
    How Much: Early Show – $18 advance, $20 day of show, $10 ages 16 and under. Late Show – $20.

    * In Berkeley, CA on October 12, 2018 at The UC Theatre; showtimes: 6:45pm and 9:15pm. Buy Tickets.

    * For those of you looking for a more intimate viewing experience, this year TGR is excited to announce the return of the TGR WhiSKI series. The WhiSKI Series pairs a high-end whiskey tasting (featuring High West whiskey) with a VIP screening of Far Out, and athlete/production Q&A. All WhiSKI Series attendees will also get swag bags including Yeti Ramblers, TGR films and more.

    OCTOBER 11, 2018
    DELANCEY STREET SCREENING ROOM (WHISKI SERIES)
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA
    Buy Tickets.

    “Far Out embodies the imagination as much as it does a physical space. It is the quest to seek out undiscovered realms and inspire new waves of creativity, enlightenment, and progression. It is the quest to be blown away.

    Join the TGR crew on one of its boldest missions ever. The film follows the perspective of an athlete as he embarks on a journey to one of the most remote and unexplored mountain ranges on the planet, the Albanian Alps. While the final destination appears to be the ultimate goal, it is the collective of athletes, experiences, and the array of locations around the world that inevitably drive the season’s adventure. Witness mind-bending pillow lines as the crew camps out deep in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia. Experience urban madness in Kamchatka and the insanity of the Crazy Mountains in Montana. Join the crew in the Slovenian Alps for over-the-head cold smoke and watch an 11-year-old rip Jackson Hole. Discover the alien landscape of Girdwood, Alaska in January and see Sean Jordan ride into Crested Butte on a black stallion to shred the Southern Rockies. Find out if the wildest and most untamed mountains in Europe let us in, and if the ultimate destination became a reality.

    Whether you choose to come to the family-friendly early show or party with us at the late show, it’s sure to be a great night. There will be athlete appearances, plus a ton of prizes from our partners at Yeti, The North Face, Atomic, Volkl, TGR and more, plus everyone in attendance will get a buy-one-day-get-the-next-day-free lift ticket to Mt Bachelor (holiday restrictions apply)”

    YouTube Far Out film trailer:


    –>> Matchstick Productions “All In” 2018 Ski Film

    When: October 8, 2018 at 6pm
    Where: San Francisco, CA
    Tickets: skimovie.com

    KEEP TAHOE BLUE, 3RD ANNUAL SKI MOVIE FUNDRAISER!
    Are you ready for Keep Tahoe Blue and Matchstick Productions 3rd annual movie premiere? Get stoked for the 2018-19 snow season and join us for the hottest new ski film “ALL IN”!

    This year’s screening party and fundraiser will be held at the JCCSF on October 8th from 6 to 10:00PM. Ticket prices include film screening, top notch food from local caterers, beer sponsored by Sierra Nevada, high-end local wines, chance to meet athletes from the film and opportunities to win amazing auction items and giveaways. Above all, all proceeds will benefit the League to Save Lake Tahoe!

    General Admission Ticket: $50. Includes movie ticket, amazing local food, beer and wine (21+). BUY TICKETS.

    A limited amount of tickets will be sold at door, first come first serve for $70 (NOTE: this event WILL sell out!)

    This years silent auction prizes include:
    · Custom skies from Blizzard and Volkl
    · Gear from The North Face
    · GoPro, Sunski’s, Spy Opitcs, Betabrand
    · Tickets to events around the Bay
    · and much, much more… all to benefit the League to Save Lake Tahoe!

    “ALL IN”, Matchstick Productions’ 2018 epic ski film delivers a first of its kind experience. This concept is spearheaded by a talented group of hard-charging women who wanted to disrupt the male-dominated ski film formula. This isn’t you typical “Women can shred too” film, this is a kick-ass ski film that just happens to feature as many women as men. Skiing isn’t exclusionary, true fun in the mountains can be shared equally by everyone.

    Shot in exotic locations over the course of 2018, ALL IN will excite skiers across the globe. Follow the crew from the lift-accessed terrain of Snowbird to the dreamworlds of Japan and Alaska amplified by a soundtrack that will be on everyone’s ski playlist next year. Starring: Angel Collinson, Michelle Parker, Tatum Monod, Elyse Saugstad, Mark Abma, Wiley Miller, Johnny Collinson, and Cody Townsend.

    YouTube “All In” film trailer:

    * Looking to create a ski lease members group to share the cost of a ski house/cabin lease? List your ski lease or advertise your vacation rental. Browse available ski leases to join or planning a Tahoe area vacation, browse rentals.

    * What’s it like to ski/ride Japan’s famous dry champagne powder?

    This season pass gives you two days of skiing / riding in Japan among 18 other resorts across Alberta, Australia, British Columbia, Chamonix (France) and Valle Nevado (Chile), California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. For 2018/19 season, this pass enables you to go where there’s POWder galore!

    Upcoming

    + Enjoy wine and beer tasting plus four free lift tickets; get 1`/2 off SNOWBOMB SKI SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL SHOW TICKETS

    + Check out our upcoming ski and snowboard preseason kick-off parties

    Dream Trip: Ski/Snowboard Powder in Kashmir

    ~ where culture, travel exploration and skiing meet

    “Twenty-two year old Swede, Lovisa Rosengren, chooses Gulmarg, Kashmir as her dream trip spot with Cody Townsend and Kalen Thorien. What was supposed to be a cultural trip, turns into so much more when a 3 meter snow storm rolls through the resort.” – Salomon TV

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    Lake Tahoe Winter 2018-19 El Nino or La Nina?

    NOAA-el-nino-weather-forecast-2018-19

    It’s August 7, 2018 as of this article’s posting so we still have about 14 weeks until start of the 2018-19 Lake Tahoe winter ski season. Checking in with meteorologists at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reveals their early winter weather predictions for the coming 2018-2019 season to be a 70% chance that we will have an El Niño winter season which calls for a warmer than average winter across the United States.

    NOAA-climate-prediction-2018-19

    Specifically, the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies will all see below average chances of precipitation from October through December. However, Colorado, parts of Utah, and the Southern Rockies are all expected to see above-average precipitation for the start of the season. New England is expected to see average precipitation throughout the start of the winter.

    While predictions for low precipitation averages and warmer temperatures are not good news for powder chasers among us, it’s important to remember that this just an early forecast; bookmark this page to revisit as we’ll post updates as the season draws closer.

    Keep in mind last season’s precipitation called for mostly average precipitation across much of the country, with higher than average precipitation in Colorado and much of the Rockies. This turned out to be incorrect, as Colorado suffered from one of the worst winters in 60 years, while Utah and much of the Pacific Northwest saw average to higher than average precipitation totals.

    If this ski season ends up bringing record low snowfall levels for the Lake Tahoe area, which season pass is a best value buy so I can have the option to ski other destinations blessed with fresh powder?

    Answer: Check out THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS which includes 17 SKI RESORT DESTINATIONS. TWO DAYS AT EACH with no blackout dates with two days of bonus lift tickets at your choice Chamonix (France) or Valle Nevado (Chile). That’s a total of 36 lift tickets included with the pass. Unlimited 50% off single day lift tickets after the 2 days of lift tickets per resort, plus exclusive lodging deals at each resort destination.

    The Climate Prediction Center defines. .

    “El Niño conditions” as existing when:

    A one-month positive sea surface temperature anomaly of 0.5C or greater is observed in the Niño-3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (5oN-5oS, 120oW-170oW) and an expectation that the 3-month Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) threshold will be met AND

    An atmospheric response typically associated with El Niño is observed over the equatorial Pacific Ocean (see The ENSO Cycle).

    “La Niña conditions” as existing when:

    A one-month negative sea surface temperature anomaly of -0.5C or less is observed in the Niño-3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (5oN-5oS, 120oW-170oW) and an expectation that the 3-month Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) threshold will be met AND

    An atmospheric response typically associated with La Niña is observed over the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

    Source: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/fxus05.html

    * Looking to create a ski lease members group to share the cost of a ski house/cabin lease? List your ski lease or advertise your vacation rental. Browse available ski leases to join or planning a Tahoe area vacation, browse rentals.

    * What’s it like to ski/ride Japan’s famous dry champagne powder?

    This season pass gives you two days of skiing / riding in Japan among 18 other resorts across Alberta, Australia, British Columbia, Chamonix (France) and Valle Nevado (Chile), California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. For 2018/19 season, this pass enables you to go where there’s POWder galore!

    Upcoming

    + Enjoy wine and beer tasting plus four free lift tickets; get 1`/2 off SNOWBOMB SKI SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL SHOW TICKETS

    + Check out our upcoming ski and snowboard preseason kick-off parties

    ♥ Share this page with friends and family via twitterfacebook.