There is now a “greater than 90 percent” chance that El Niño conditions will contribute to a wet winter/snow forecast for the Lake Tahoe area and around an “85% chance it will last into early spring 2016” when combined with cold fronts potentially bring more snow than the big winter snow storms of 1997-98.
From SFgate.com on Oct 8, 2015
“Federal forecasters on Thursday reinforced expectations of a strong El Niño this winter, saying there’s a 95 percent chance the burly weather phenomenon, often linked to rain in California, sticks around until spring.
Equatorial waters in the Pacific remain extraordinarily warm and trade winds that typically push balmy seas away from the Americas remain weak. The conditions portend an El Niño on par with the giants in 1997-98 and 1982-83, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center.
In the past, strong El Niños have correlated with above-average rain in the southern United States, with Southern California often a landing pad for major storms and floods. Northern California has historically been less affected by El Niño, though the stronger the system, the higher the chances of rain.
During the 1997-98 winter, San Francisco saw a whopping 47 inches of rain, more than double the average.” – sfgate
Get your skis, snowboards and gear tuned and waxed.. it’s looking to be white powdery 2015 – 2016 Lake Tahoe winter.
If you like quality food in a laid-back environment, you’ll love Off the Hook – California Sushi Bar located in South Lake Tahoe. They offer a weekday happy hour with discounted rolls, appetizers, and drink specials Monday through Friday from 4:30-6:00 pm.
Off the Hook is conveniently located in the middle of town and is a great meeting place after catching some runs on the mountain at Heavenly or Sierra-at-Tahoe. They have an extensive and recently revised menu, and feature over forty unique rolls comprised of more than thirty different ingredients.
Off the Hook also boasts an extensive sake list. Locally owned and operated, Off the Hook owners Chi and Elizabeth “Tizzy” Chen opened their doors in 2004. They’ve been popular from the beginning with fresh fish, a casual and warm atmosphere, and excellent friendly service. They are a local’s favorite and attract out of town visitors alike. Open nightly for dinner (only) seven days a week. There is no need to call ahead for reservations unless there are eight or more in your party. Go find out what all the fuss is about and why they are Off the Hook.
“A fast-moving cold front that dropped out of the Gulf of Alaska Tuesday has moved south of the Tahoe Basin this morning, leaving cold temperatures and scattered snow showers in its wake. The storm dropped about 6 to 10 inches of snow on Tahoe’s peaks as it swept through the region. Low temperatures were in the single digits this morning.
The weather pattern will remain unsettled for the next several days, with cloudy skies likely off and on through Friday before another chance of accumulating snow on Saturday.” – weather-geek
New Powder on Feb 19, 2013 – photos from Squaw Valley USA & Heavenly Ski Resort
For a detailed listing of Tahoe ski resorts, check out our handy guide to all the Lake Tahoe area ski resorts! It’s the fastest way to scan lift ticket prices and compare the resorts to find the perfect one for you.
Question: Will the 2012-13 season be an El Niño or La Nina winter season?
Answer: The probability of an El Niño event is high according to “computer models developed by long-range weather forecasters project a wet winter across most of Northern California with above-average snowfall for Tahoe, the high Sierra and the Rocky Mountains.” – Tom Stienstra of Slope Dope. In addition, theWorld Meteorological Organizationsupports this finding with their detailed analysis.
by Rich Meyer Alpine Guide, Skiing, Climbing, & Avalanche Education
March 25-April 1 2013
Rich Meyer (in partnership with Dave Miller & International Alpine Guides) will be back in the Alps again this winter. Join us for a world class backcountry skiing adventure. Here’s a blog post I created after last seasons trip! If you make it to the bottom there is a link to more photos and to the IAG website. Cheers, Rich
Starting in Chamonix France and ending in Zermatt Switzerland, the Haute Route is often described as the ultimate European ski tour – and for good reason. It does not disappoint. There are a handful of variations of the route and some serious terrain, but it is VERY accessible for experienced backcountry skiers. The Alps are littered with high elevation mountain huts that allow you to travel from hut to hut with a very light pack. This is NOT backpacking on skis.
Ski touring from one glacier to the next, and from one hut to the next makes the Haute Route a unique experience. Most folks are blown away by the remote alpine beauty and massive terrain that does not ever seem to let up. Culminating on the final day with a brilliant ski descent down to town of Zermatt, with views of the Matterhorn the entire way.
While it is possible to ski the route own your own, most skiers elect to do the trip with a guide. The benefits of going guided are plentiful. The serious alpine terrain requires expertise in ski mountaineering, route finding, glacier travel & crevasse rescue, avalanche awareness, whiteout navigation, and a host of logistical hurdles.
Most guided adventures begin in Chamonix with a classic ski of the Valle Blanche. The Aiguilles du Midi Tram can take you from town to over 12,600 feet in 20 minutes! If the stunning views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding peaks are not enough to blow you away, the heavily glaciated ski run back down to Chamonix will. This day is often used to access skills, acclimatize, and prep guests for the next seven days of ski touring.
After another night in Chamonix, most parties begin the Haute route with another tram ride boost up to 10,700 feet at the Grand Montets ski area. Once folks ski out onto the Argentiere Glacier it is a succession of high mountain passes and huts all the way to Zermatt, over 100 miles away.
The Huts all have their own unique character and design. All await your arrival with treats like cold beer and Rosti. This is an excellent choice after day of ski touring. “Rosti” is a Swiss-German dish of potatoes, often served with cheese, onions, bacon/ham, and the occasional fried egg on top!
As you might expect, most days begin early with a basic breakfast and an amazing sunrise, with the goal of moving safely and efficiently thru the day’s objectives. Managing the peaks, passes, glaciers, avalanche hazard, and other dangers requires due diligence.
Some days might cover as much as 10-20 miles and 3000-4000 vertical feet of climbing, others much less. Along the way, you might summit a third or fourth-class peak like the Rosablanche, or rappel down from the Col du Chardonnet. Each has its own character. The high point of the tour is the summit of Pigne d’Arolla (12,455 feet) on the way to the Vignettes Hut.
After arriving at the hut there is typically plenty of time to hang out with new friends, enjoy a cold beverage, go for a little bonus ski tour, take a nap, or just relax on the sunny deck. The final day of the tour takes you (literally) into the town of Zermatt. Where you could easily hang out for days skiing and relaxing under the watchful eye of the Matterhorn. Don’t worry, your guide has arranged for your bags to be waiting for you.
Sound good? Here are some tips for your Haute Route adventure:
Bring the right gear. This alone can make or break your trip. You will enjoy the trip significantly more if you ditch many of those little extras. Think fast and light! Don’t worry: the huts will provide pillows, blankets, hut shoes, and all the food & drink you need. Keep in mind; it’s perfectly acceptable to hang out in smelly ski clothes. That’s what the guys at the table next to you are doing.
Consider skis 85-95 mm under foot and not too long. To quote a long time ski mountaineering friend, “Of course you can turn a longer/fatter ski, the question is whether you need to?” For this year’s trip, I brought a pair of K2 Sideshow Skis that were 92 mm under foot, and only 181 cm – a small ski for me. I also used Dynafit bindings and Dynafit ski crampons, which are very light and very durable. Along with C.A.M.P. light aluminum crampons and ice axe.
Practice your ski touring skills. Good skinning technique is learned with a lot mileage… Especially those kick turns!
Be prepared for all conditions. You will inevitability encounter variable snow and weather. Some days will be epic corn and powder, some will not. Be ready for: cold, wind, sun, firm snow, wet snow, whiteout travel, and all sorts of crusts in between. This year I partnered with Dave Miller (Good friend and fully certified IFMGA guide) and we had to divert into a local town so as to avoid a really nasty storm! Having a well-prepared tour plan and the appropriate gear made it a minor inconvenience, instead of an epic.
After graduating from college in 1994 Rich made the move to Tahoe City California, in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was there that he began to immerse himself in backcountry adventure. Skiing, hiking, biking or climbing was the daily focus. As things progressed Rich was drawn into guiding and began to immerse himself with courses and organizations like the AMGA, NOLS, WMI, AIARE, PSIA, and others. One of Rich’s first guiding opportunities was leading a 39 day trip to Alaska for a dozen 16 year old kids, that included sea kayaking, backpacking, ice climbing, and rafting. He was hooked. Guiding has taken Rich to places like: Mt. Shasta, Mt. Rainier, Denali, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, France, Switzerland, and throughout the western United States.
Guiding on skis or on foot, Rich strives to make every day educational. Teaching is a large component of every trip. Rich teaches avalanche courses, glacier seminars, backcountry ski skills, climbing courses, and trains aspiring new guides. From the Haute Route in Europe to the Andes of South America, Rich has made an effort to enhance his clients experience with effective communication. Giving folks the information and skills not only to follow, but to become confident backcountry skiers and climbers. After extensive travel and training over the years, Rich has been able to educate hundreds of guests as to the importance of taking care of our natural world. Along with safety (and fun), traveling with respect for the mountains is always a priority. Join Rich on an incredible mountain adventure!
Snowfest is coming! Get bundled up and ready to kick off Spring!
The Space Cowboys of San Francisco are beginning the festivities with some funky breakbeats on the patio of the KT Olympic Deck at Squaw Valley on March 1st at 1pm. Check out some of their music and djs here https://soundcloud.com/spacecowboys or hit up their main website to see where they’ll be bringing beats to Snowfest with their infamous UNIMOG. (The UNIMOG is fully equipped with sound, lights, and ready to provide a bass pumping party at a moment’s notice.) Don’t fret if you wander off from the party with friends, you can come back for more in the evening. The Space Cowboys will be hosting an after-party at the Olympic Plaza Bar, and you can catch them the following night at Lakeside in Tahoe City.
Then head over to Mamasake in the Squaw Valley Village for the Extreme Food Challenge they are hosting from 4-6pm. Heck, why not enter? Mamasake is also featuring happy hour hand rolls from 3-5pm.
If you want to keep dancing, Crystal Bay Casino has a free concert in their Crown Room Friday March 1st at 10pm featuring Dehli 2 Dublin, a live electronic band, with an after party featuring Izzy Wise (SF) and local bass music artist Benjah Ninjah. Here is what the BBC had to say about Dehli 2 Dublin: “The Vancouver-based collective combines dhol, fiddle and breakbeats in an Irish/Asian stew that is surprisingly varied, a marvellously wide-ranging and free-thinking concept.”
This is just a sample of what is going down for the opening daze of Snowfest! Check out the full calendar of events here and decide for yourself which are most worth catching. Snowfest events are ongoing from March 1st through March 10th.
Sunday, March 3rd check out the Duncan Golf Dog Pull in Tahoe City, followed by a Luau at Sunnyside on the West Shore. If you would like to register your dog in the dog pull, you’ll need to arrive an hour early and the cost of registration is $10. Show up at 11am to the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park/Tahoe City Golf Course behind Bank of America in Tahoe City. Otherwise, the event is free and starts at noon. Afterwards, head on down to Sunnyside Resort… just a quick jaunt from Tahoe City down Highway 89. Sunnyside features an amazing view of the lake. The luau begins at 4pm, with the buffet starting at 5pm. Sunnyside is a family favorite and this all-you-can-eat event, featuring both cooked and barbequed delights, as well as sashimi and poke, and will run you $32 a head, or $16 for kids. Reservations are recommended.
The Crystal Bay Club is an excellent venue for live music, and if you just so happen to need a hotel for the night, there are affordable cabins for rent behind the Tahoe Biltmore – just across the street. They are even pet-friendly! Reserve your room ahead of time though, especially on busy weekends with free shows.
Sports Basement Kicks off the Ski & Ride Season with SnowFest 2013. Gather family and friends to join in. Win raffle prizes, enjoy free food and drinks, music, and tons upon tons of free stuff from all your favorite vendors and Tahoe ski resorts!
SnowFest is coming to three Sports Basement stores:
Sunnyvale Friday Nov 1, 4pm to 8pm
Walnut Creek Saturday Nov 2, 11pm to 3pm
San Francisco Presidio Sunday Nov 3, 2pm to 6pm
Be one of the first 30 people to make a purchase of $150 or more to receive a free lift ticket to Kirkwood! Or, be one of the first 160 people to make a purchase of $85 or more for a two-for-one lift ticket voucher to Kirkwood.
Snowpals’ Top Pick for Bay Area Ski Shop goes to California Ski Company
California Ski Company is a premier San Francisco Bay Area’s ski equipment shop specializing in:
alpine skiing(aka downhill skiing)
backcountry – the only SF Bay Area ski shop specializing in backountry
expert custom boot fitting
professional ski tuning
high-performance ski rentals
What is most important to you when you’re looking to buy or get your gear serviced? California Ski Company provides stellar customer service and has an experienced, knowledgeable and capable staff with insightful answers to your product and gear questions. Most importantly, they care about your snow riding experience and have the track record to prove it — thousands of loyal customers.
“For more than 16 years, California Ski Company has been the Bay Area leader in specialty alpine ski sales, offering knowledge, expertise and experience that few volume retailers can. Our staff is what makes our store unique. We are a group of ski enthusiasts drawn together by the desire to work in a SKI ONLY environment where skiers come to learn about the latest and best products from people who spend every available moment using those products.”
Exclusive promotional offer
Receive a free beanie or cap with any purchase of $50 or more; just mention that you saw this video on the Snowpals website to get in on this promo.
“Please click on the thumbs up ‘like’ button if you find our Youtube video informative. Thanks!”
California Ski Company | 843-A Gilman Street, Berkeley CA 94710 | 510-527-6411
Mark your calendar and drop by California Ski Company for a Backcountry Mixer on Sat, Nov 16 from 4-8pm. Attend the informational talk on backcountry skiing, gear and safety. Check out the latest avalanche airbags!
This will be a great opportunity for the winter sports community to come together. You can meet and greet, find ride shares/ski leases and celebrate the start of the season!
Don’t miss the raffle benefiting the High Fives Foundation, a Truckee non-profit dedicated to raising money and awareness for athletes that have suffered a life altering injury while pursuing their dream in the winter action sports industry. Purchase $5 raffle tickets or donate a gently used jacket to benefit a local charity. Visit CaSkiCo at the Snowbomb Festival 11/9-10 at ATT Park to buy raffle tickets and see the raffle prize list. http://highfivesfoundation.org/
where: The FIT Potato Studio, 6894 Village Parkway Dublin, CA 94568
Are you in shape for skiing/snowboarding?
When October arrives, there’s less than seven weeks left until the start of the 2013-14 ski season. Are you in shape? Skiing and snowboarding is one of the most demanding sports, both mentally and physically. Whether on a ski holiday or skiing 30 days per year, sign up for our preseason ski conditioning boot camp to increase your enjoyment, skiing performance and help prevent common skiing and snowboarding injuries.
Common ski injuries involve the knee, particularly, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury(see diagram below: source wiki)
Other common ski injuries involve ligament sprains, soft tissue bruising and joint injuries. For snowboarders, common injuries typically involve fractures(broken bones), joint injuries such as dislocations (when the joint surfaces are completely torn apart) and subluxations (when the joint surfaces are moved out of position, but not completely). Most injuries are the result of poor or no conditioning.
Skiing and snowboarding are dynamic activities that recruit multiple muscle groups. These activities are carried out on even and uneven surfaces and place high levels of stress on muscles and joints which increases the likelihood of injuries. Incorporating functional exercises to strengthen muscle groups of the quadriceps, gluteals and hamstrings help to prevent injuries and get you in shape for the ski/ride season.
Each class will focus on snowsport-specific exercises integrating strengthening, balance/proprioceptive, agility, plyometrics, flexibility/yoga and core training.
learn & develop:
proper knee alignment through training
plyometrics for power
interval training for stamina
stretching/yoga for increased range of motion and relaxation
Each class is unique. You will get a great workout that will get you in shape for the ski/ride season. We maximize training effectiveness by combining circuits, interval courses, drills, calisthenics and functional ski/snowboard-specific exercises(incorporating typical athletic stances, and engaging all of your muscles in movement patterns typical of how you would move when skiing/snowboarding).
The exercise format is fun and easy to follow and can be modified to any level: beginner to advanced. You’ll get in great shape and meet other like-minded ski and ride enthusiasts.
pre and post assessments included:
Included in this class is a fitness performance assessment that will take place on the first day(to set a baseline) and last day of each class(to measure your improvements). Fitness Assessments include a body composition test (body fat testing) and taking your body circumference measurements.
Francisco Gomez holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology; currently earning a Masters in Exercise Physiology; National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association(NESTA) Certified Trainer and award winning college coach. Francisco enjoys skiing and snowboarding at Squaw Valley.
Juan Gomez holds a B.S. in Business Marketing; currently earning a Masters in Exercise Physiology; top running athlete and cross-country running coach. Juan’s favorite Tahoe resort for snowboarding is Heavenly.
“No Time Like Now”
To quote a phrase, it’s never too late to get started. According to Linda Crockett, education director for the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, “the six weeks before the season are the most important in strength training and anaerobic conditioning. Even if you haven’t been conscientious about training in the off-season, you should focus on a regime during these fleeting days before the snow flies. After all, you can’t get up to the slopes and expect your body to do something that it can’t even do on dry land,” she says.
Pre-season training is for everyone. Get fit and prevent injuries.
Our fitness assessments are included. Our workouts are different each day, our classes are never overcrowded, and our sessions are closed to the public once we’ve begun.
1. Submit the registration form below. Pay $20 to reserve your spot; the remainder of the balance is due on the first day of class. You will receive an e-mail confirmation within 24 hours that you have been registered.
2. If you’d like to try out the bootcamp, we offer a $25 drop-in class option. Keep in mind that the more frequently you go, you’ll get better results, and you’ll save more when you select one of our bootcamp packages described above.
*Please note that classes are non-transferable. Classes do not roll over and credit will not be refunded for unused classes.
For questions or to order a gift certificate: drop us a line via or call (925) 487-6115.
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*what to bring to class
Bring a water bottle, a towel, sunscreen(for our Saturday morning classes), gloves if you don’t like putting your hands in the grass, comfortable layers of clothes and athletic shoes. Most helpful is to bring your unworried mind, high energy and positive attitude!