Property Owner’s Guide & Tips on How for Increase Bookings to your Airbnb or VRBO Listing!
No time wasted here so let’s get to it:
(1) Professional photography highly recommended – this is the most important factor if you’d like to attract renters over other listings in the same geographical area. Invest the money to hire a pro photographer to take photos of your rental property especially to feature the amenities that make your rental stands out from the rest, be it hot tub, lake views, prime location, etc.
Even if you have a tight budget, consider hiring an ‘up and coming’ photographer from Craigslist to take professional looking photos of your vacation home/ski lease property. And yes, it’s true: “a picture is worth a thousand words” and photos are priceless when it comes to instant appeal which will get you more clicks on your rental listing which equates to more booking inquiries.
(2) Take time to write a clear and concise description of your rental/ski lease listing and be sure to include things such as:
* amenities? what makes your rental property unique? prime location at the base of Squaw? hot tub and sauna?
* how many people can your property sleep/accommodate? How many beds and baths total?
* location and proximity of your property in relation to points of interests in the area: resorts, restaurants, grocery markets, etc.
* is this a family type rental or a group type rental?
* duration of rental/lease: daily, monthly or winter seasonal lease?
* rental/lease rates: discount if booked for longer term? Security deposit? Cleaning fee? Snow plow service included? Utilities included?
* how many covered parking spaces? flat driveway?
* pet friendly? other restrictions?
* for group ski lease, guest fees? full time residence ok?
* for ski lease group, it’s good idea to describe age range of people in the group and preferences for social activities, apres ski happy hour, family type shared meals, etc
* best way to contact you: by email, phone, text or?
* what basic information would you like from potential renters or ski lease members to provide as part of initial email contact so you can get an idea of who they are? Ask renters to share something about themselves such as profession, LinkedIn profile, FB, Instagram, etc.
(3) Make use of well written rental agreements:
Your rental agreement is essential for setting expectations between you and your guests/renters/lease members! It provides a sense of security for all parties involved, and defines the rules and policies for the property prior to their stay. Some key items to include in rental/lease agreements:
* Maximum Occupancy
* Cancellation Policies
* House Rules (very important to be specific)
* Check In/Out procedures (be clear & specific)
* Damage Policy
Consider having your renters/lease members read and sign House Rules and rental policies to show that they clearly understood your rental terms prior to their stay. For example, include in your policy things like where guests can smoke, where they can’t smoke (a fine is levied if they are caught smoking where they aren’t allowed to). Consider including rules and policies on pets, occupancy and type of use (no wild parties, etc).
Visit the following sites to view some examples/templates of Lake Tahoe area lease/rental agreements/terms/contracts/policies:
(4) Complete a rental market research ‘due diligence’: ask yourself.. ‘have I priced my rental or ski lease competitively for the current rental market for my geographical area my rental is located in?’
Do some market research and make sure to price ‘apples to apples’ comparison based on rental location, number of bedrooms, baths, amenities, square footage, etc. If you don’t nail your rental pricing competitively, you won’t get as many rental inquiries no matter how pretty your rental photos look.
Next, perform keyword searches on Airbnb, VRBO and Craigslist among other rental sites to get an idea of what is the current market rate for rentals/ski leases.
(5) Lastly, leverage your social connections (before you submit your listing) by asking family and friends to give you feedback on ways to improve your rental/ski lease listing for clarity, conciseness and appeal.
For group ski lease cabin share setups among ski lease members, friends or families, a frequently asked question is..
Question: How can we keep track of who is going to be there on what date and who is inviting guest(s) and who’s bringing what grocery items to share, etc. Is there a website or a group management tool/app where a group can sign in to manage and share an online calendar that could be used to keep group logistics organized?
Answer: Make use of a digital online calendar to organize schedules, keep track of members and guests visits, grocery lists, ski cabin to do list, errands and maintenance tasks.
Here’s a summary of online calendar that is easy to use and works for all members of your ski lease rental group:
(1) GOOGLE CALENDAR WITHIN GOOGLE GROUPS: Google Calendar is perhaps the most popular free digital online calendar; use it as part of Google Groups to effectively communicate with ski lease members and organize tasks, communications and collaborate everything in one central location. It’s simple and easy to use, and you can schedule tasks and events and share the calendar with group members. Visit https://groups.google.com | How to use Google Groups.
(2) TRELLO: “Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way. Visit https://trello.com
(3) COZI: This app is great for those who share ski cabins. Each person who is granted access can log in using only his/her email address and a shared master password. Besides the standard calendar, Cozi also allows for the creation of shopping lists, to-do lists, meal plans, a family journal and a family photo screen saver. You can also assign a different color to each member. For example, if you assign the color red to Uncle Bob, red will show up on the calendar during the weekend that he plans to be at the cabin. Best of all, this app works across multiple platforms, including iPhone/iPad and Android devices. The basic app is free, but you can also upgrade to Cozi Gold for even more options. Visit https://www.cozi.com
(4) THE VACATION CALENDAR: geared toward vacation home owners, this website includes a lot of cool features, such as a house blog and a photo album where everyone can post photos and comment on them. Authorized users can schedule vacations in the calendar, and the house bulletin board offers a convenient place to store contact information, cabin rules and instructions, directions, area attractions and more. You can even list and schedule out individual cabin bedrooms, so you never have to worry about whether there will be enough room for everyone. Cost: $20 a year (free to try for the first month). Visit https://www.thevacationcalendar.com
Are you using an online group management tool that’s not mentioned here for your ski lease or rental that you’d like to recommend? to share your favorite online calendar.
* New to SnowPals? Join us to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies and Tahoe ride-share contacts for powder trips to Tahoe and to powder resorts in Utah, Colorado, British Columbia, etc.
* Looking for a fun filled weekend activity great for a group of friends and families with kids?
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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.
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.
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:
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’.
Lake Tahoe property owners, are you looking into turning your home or vacation rental property into a seasonal winter ski lease? Consider the following tips when drafting your lease agreement ..
Tips for Drafting Ski Lease Property Rental Agreements
The following article was written by David B. Cronheim, an attorney at Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, PA
It’s that time of year again. Winter is just around the corner and skiers and snowboarders are beginning to book their winter getaways. Most homeowners and real estate agents are focused on getting their properties ready for the busy ski season ahead. Understandably, the rental agreement they use to rent those properties is often one of the last things they consider. After all, many have a form agreement – often the same one they have used for years – and use it for every rental. The importance of a good lease is often overlooked.
Why should a homeowner or real estate agent care about having a well-drafted lease, particularly when the chances of litigation are remote? Simple. A good lease affords powerful protections. Basic issues like nightly rates, cleaning fees, and damage deposits are only a small part of any good rental agreement. A lease sets expectations in advance, can prevent problems before they arise and puts the law more clearly on the owner’s side in the event of a dispute. Even if you don’t plan on suing any of your guests, by setting expectations before arrival you may be able to deter destructive conduct. Unruly groups inclined to break the rules may look elsewhere if they understand the potential financial consequences.
It’s also good general practice to communicate clearly with potential guests. Commit conversations to writing via e-mail, but choose your words carefully. You’re not trying to sneak something past a potential guest, but rather trying to set expectations.
A carefully drafted lease is key to successfully renting out a ski house.
Before discussing how to draft a better lease, it is important to note that a lease is not technically a contract. It is similar to a contract and generally interpreted under contract law principles, but because it is also a conveyance of real property (albeit a temporary one), a lease has some important areas of distinction from a normal contract. The most important distinction is that a rental guest is not merely a party to a contract, but a tenant afforded certain rights under state landlord-tenant laws.
It is worth noting that an effective agreement doesn’t need to be long. In fact some of the best agreements are simple, but on-point. However, there are certain elements which all rental agreements should include. These components may seem obvious, but their nuances are often overlooked. Below are some tips for drafting a better lease for your vacation rental.
Every lease agreement should specify a rental period. Be specific. Instead of using just a date, use a date and time. State check-in and check-out times clearly. This is particularly important because houses are often rented by two groups back to back. List a morning time for check-out and an afternoon time for check-in. Well-drafted leases often also include an hourly fee for late check-outs. You don’t have to assess the fee, but when guests know it’s hanging over their heads, they’re more likely to leave on time.
Clearly state the rental rate. Even if the rate is calculated nightly, include a sum total. Be sure to note whether the rate includes things like taxes, cleaning fees, or surcharges. Have the guest initial next a grand total. Being clear upfront isn’t only important from a legal standpoint, it’s good business. Guests will feel blindsided by hidden fees, often leaving a bad taste and lessening the chances the guest becomes a repeat customer.
Security Deposit vs. Insurance
Many sophisticated property owners or real estate agents will give guests a choice between a security deposit and rental insurance. Providing this option can make your property more attractive because many guests are wary of putting down a large damage deposit. Some guests may have experienced unscrupulous owners who wrongfully retained all or some of their deposit. Still others may view the deposit as part of the overall cost of the rental, even though it will be returned. Either way, be sure to protect yourself by requiring one or the other.
If you decide to go with a security deposit, be explicit that the guest is liable for any damage to the property regardless of whether it exceeds the security deposit. Withholding a security deposit is merely your first recourse. Should a guest do serious damage to the property, you want to reserve the right to sue (or threaten to sue) them to recover for your loss.
Tailor the Agreement to Your Property
A one-size fits all, “fill in the blanks” lease from the internet is not the best way to maximize your protections. Make sure that your agreement is tailored to your property. Every property is unique and has unique challenges. Consider issues you may have had in the past and try to anticipate future problems. For example, are guests damaging your wooden floors by clomping around in ski boots? Include a clause prohibiting ski boots in the house.
Do you have a specific list of “House Rules” that you post somewhere on the property or give to guests before or upon arrival? Incorporate these rules by reference into your lease and attach them as an exhibit. Require guests to agree to abide by the rules. Incorporating your house rules transforms polite suggestions into legal duties.
Keep it Simple – No Overly Long or Complex Agreements!
An agreement that is too long, complicated or written in “legal-ese” can scare off potential guests. Mean what you say and say what you mean, but say it as simply and clearly as possible. If you find yourself using phrases like “party of the second part” and “inter alia,” start over.
It’s important to keep in mind that a good lease does not have to be long. Each of the specific issues discussed in this article can be accomplished in a well-written sentence or two apiece. Keep it simple so guests understand what they are signing. They are less likely to object to you enforcing your rights under the lease if they understood your rights and their duties when they entered into the agreement.
Specific Provisions to Consider Including
Liquidated Damages Clause
Liquidated damages clauses can be a powerful tool. State with specificity that if guests do something they shouldn’t, a certain fee will apply. The fee should be reasonable and roughly approximate damage. For example, include a provision that failure to replace the cover on a hot tub or to take out the trash will result in certain deductions from the security deposit.
It is important to remember that these provisions cannot be penalties. The law disfavors penalty clauses. Courts generally will not enforce them, so be sure to tie the liquidated damages provision to a reasonable estimate of the damage. A fee of $2,000 for failing to take out the trash won’t be enforceable, but $50 probably would be.
No Refund for Bad Weather
You’ll likely want to include a provision disclaiming responsibility for unfavorable weather. If it rains or there’s no snow, you want to make sure the lease is still in effect. No one can control the weather, but you can control who takes the risk of bad weather (hint: not you!).
Right of Entry of Homeowner at Reasonable Time
If you’re concerned about unruly guests and want to be able to check on your house during the guests’ stay, consider a clause permitting you to enter for a reasonable purpose. Include what those reasonable purposes may be.
Rental Only to Family Groups
If you don’t want to rent to groups of college kids throwing a keg party, don’t. Insert a provision which states you only rent to family groups. Then make the lease signer represent that the group is a family group. You can always remove this clause if the circumstances warrant.
In conjunction with restricting your rental to family groups, a maximum occupancy can deter the type of destructive guests you don’t want. Include a per guest fee for overcapacity, should you discover it. Deduct that fee from the deposit if you discover guests exceeding the maximum occupancy.
Representations and Warranties
Be careful not to promise something you don’t have. If that hot tub hasn’t worked in years, don’t list it as an amenity on your promotional materials.
Immediate Termination of Lease and Repossession by Homeowner in Event of Breach
A recurring problem facing homeowners is what to do when they discover unruly conduct at their property while the guests are still there. Consider a provision that allows you to immediately regain possession of the property for a material breach of the lease. It’s important to note, however, that you’d technically still need to go to court to evict the guests because they’re tenants, but you can always tell the unruly guests to vacate before you’re forced to get the sheriff to serve an eviction notice.
The most important thing a strong lease can do for a property owner is save them money. Having a professionally drafted lease is a small upfront cost that pays off over the long term. A good lease can put arguments to rest before they turn nasty by setting expectations in advance. A clear, concise agreement which protects your interests is a valuable tool for any homeowner. After all, if a dispute does occur, you have your answer. It’s all right there in black and white.
Author David B. Cronheim, Esq. is the Chief Legal Correspondent for First Tracks! Online and is an attorney at Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, PA in Bridgewater, N.J. For more information or for assistance in drafting or updating a vacation rental agreement, please feel free to contact the author at . Source: http://www.firsttracksonline.com
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Looking to join a Tahoe area ski lease to max out your ski season pass, expand your circle of ski buddies, get a place to store your ski gear and people to ride-share to your fave resorts? Browse ski leases @
You’ve bought a ski season pass and waiting for the snow season to start. As of this article’s publication, July 15, 2019 we’re looking at about 18 more weeks until the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when most Tahoe resorts open their doors. While waiting for the lifts to turn, make the most of this window of time to get in shape for the ski season.
Have you felt your legs become like jelly only half way down the ski slopes or feeling out of breathe? Implement the following ski and snowboard fitness conditioning program to get in top shape for the ski season.
Here’s how: get fit by adding these key ski and snowboard functional conditioning components to your workouts:
(1) Interval cardio training exercise aka High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
(2) Lower body base strength exercises
(3) Core exercises: abs and back
(4) Stretching and yoga flexibility exercises
and lastly an optional..
5th component: five minutes of mindfulness meditation for grounding 😉
Implementing the above ski/ride conditioning workout will:
✔ Get you in top shape to ski and snowboard
✔ Develop muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance to enjoy a full day of skiing and riding
✔ Develop strong and toned muscles to prevent common ski and snowboarding injuries
*Remember to consult your doctor before engaging in any strenuous exercise program.
Are you in shape to last the entire day of skiing / riding? Ever felt out of breathe while skiing and riding? Have you had to stop only 1/5 of the way down the mountain because your leg muscles were exhausted? For sports specific conditioning, it’s best to perform functional exercises that mimics the movements you’ll perform skiing/riding.
It’s easy to gauge your fitness by doing a set of the exercises below and assess how you performed.
For lower body, the following ski conditioning exercises is from a Backcountry article:
Aptly named “Leg Blaster” – a complex of bodyweight leg exercises for dryland ski training. “Eccentric training causes more muscle damage than concentric training. More muscle damage = more muscle soreness the next day. Basically, it’s not the hike up the mountain that will make you sore tomorrow, it’s the hike back down.
The best thing about Leg Blasters is, no equipment is needed. We deploy two versions of the Leg Blaster workout: the “Full” and the “Mini.”
Mini Leg Blaster
10x Air Squats
5x In-Place Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jumping Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jump Squats
Full Leg Blaster
20x Air Squats
10x In-Place Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jumping Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jump Squats
Work up to 5x Full Leg Blasters, with 30 seconds rest between each effort for your dry land ski training. Be careful. Leg Blasters train eccentric leg strength and can make you terribly sore, so don’t start at the end.
Instead, perform Leg Blasters 3x/week, with at least a day’s rest between training sessions, for the 4 weeks before the season starts. This means 12 total training sessions.
Here’s the progression:
10x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts
2x Full Leg Blasters, then 6x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts
3x Full Leg Blasters, 4x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds between efforts
4x Full Leg Blasters, 2x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts
5x Full Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts
Here’s how to perform these exercises: watch the video below
Only have three weeks to train? Don’t jump ahead. Start at the beginning of this progression and get as far as you can before the ski hill opens. This isn’t a gentle progression. It’s going to make you sore.
Interval Cardio Exercise aka High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) YouTube Videos
+ 20 minute High Intensity Interval Training Workout For Beginners Home Workout No Equipment Required
+ SKI Fitness and Conditioning HIIT FAT BURN Home Workout 45 minute
“HIIT stands for High-intensity interval training and describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest.
During this 45-minute ski fitness and fat burning workout, we will be alternating between 30 seconds of activity followed by 30 seconds of rest.
Get ready to condition those legs for skiing/riding, build your fitness and burn fat fast!
Science has shown that HIIT style interval training produces 4 times more gains in fitness performance than traditional steady state endurance cardio training.
The scientists say HIIT workouts are not only better at improving fitness but also better at burning fat and building lean muscle than traditional steady state endurance cardio training. So you will burn fat and build muscle at the same time during this workout while conditioning for skiing!
You’re not only going to be burning more calories during the workout you will also burn more after the workout due to something called ‘the after-burn effect’.
The after burn effect is simply the calories you burn after exercise. The more intense the exercise, the greater the after burn effect. HIIT does a great job of shocking the body’s natural repair systems into overdrive which burns more fat, more calories and builds more lean body muscle than traditional steady state endurance cardio training.
This workout doesn’t require use any equipment but you have the option of using an exercise mat, step, and choice of weights.
This HIIT cardio home workout includes loads belly fat burning exercise for women and for men.” – Joe Creek
Full Body Conditioning Exercises for Snowboarders
Fitness Blender created an excellent 28 Minute Snowboard Workout – Conditioning Workout Routine:
“This snowboard workout routine focuses on building base strength and endurance necessary for hitting the slopes hard. Not only is this a great preseason conditioning routine, it also is great for improving strength and endurance throughout the season.
You will want to do this snowboard conditioning workout 2 to 4 times a week. If you have not been training at all during the off season then start with just one set of each of these exercises for the first week, then build up, adding one set each week until you are up to all three.
After that you may want to do two rounds a day if you like to stay on the mountain all day, in order to help build up the extra endurance needed for prolonged physical activity. Though this routine does work to improve cardiovascular activity it is primarily anaerobic, so adding light to moderate cardio will be needed to improve your aerobic cardio endurance, which is also utilized when on the mountain.
You will be going through three sets of ten different exercises in groups of two at a time. The number of repetitions will vary depending on the motion but are generally around 12 to 16.
Each one of these motions directly relates to a specific action while snowboarding to help gain the most functional benefit without wasting time or effort.
Isolation Jump Squats: These are meant to help train your legs to quickly adapt and recover from rapid changes in terrain such as sudden raises or drop-offs or when covering tracked-out areas off of the groomed trails.
Russian Twists: This rotational movement helps build strength in the abdominals, transverse abdominals (obliques), and lower back, which is heavily utilized when in the terrain park but is equally important for basic down hill and back country.
Agility Dots: This exercise is a must-have for almost any sport as it not only builds endurance and coordination throughout the leg but also does wonders for building lateral stability in the knee. This move is best when done with a single leg, but you should always start with both legs if you have never attempted it before.
Tricep Dips: Being able to get up off the ground is just as important as staying up. This motion will help build arm endurance and strength, making it easier for you to get back on your feet.
Single Leg Lateral Hops: These build lateral strength in the knees as well, but develop more lateral power than the agility dots.
Squat Calf Raises: This helps build endurance in those calves and legs to keep you on your toe edge.
Single Leg Ventral Hops: Similar to the lateral hops, this helps build knee support and more strength through the hip than the agility dots.
Squat Toe Raises: This helps build endurance in the shins and legs to keep you on your toe edge as well as improve balance and control.
Jump Turns: These not only help build overall leg strength, body control, and balance, but they will help you power through back country trees or do a quick 180 hop to change your leading leg.
Plank to Side Stars: This exercise is primarily meant for core control but it is also excellent for building balance when your body orientation, inner ear, and visual intake are all changing simultaneously.” – Fitness Blender.
Core Conditioning Exercises for Abs, Obliques and Lower Back
Fitness Blender’s core exercises is a great way to develop core strength:
“This routine can be done any time of day though if done first thing in the morning you may want to take the time to warm your body up a bit extra before you start. Other than that there are no suggested restrictions as long as you have built up your endurance to be able to do it in conjunction with any other physical activity. With these workouts and a healthy diet, you can definitely see drops in body fat and scale weight as a side benefit of getting fit for hitting the slopes.” – Fitness Blender.
Stretching and Yoga Flexibility Exercises
“Stretching is a very important and often overlooked component of training for the winter sports season. Skiing and snowboarding both use a wide range of movements that are sporadic, sudden, and potentially stressful for muscles and ligaments. Make this stretching routine a priority while you are training for the sport, and before and after a day on the mountain, and you will significantly reduce the likelihood of soreness and injury.” – Fitness Blender.
Yoga for Riders | Yoga for Skiers | Yoga for Snowboarders 10-minute pre-ride sequence
* Common question: if the 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?
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 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.
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.
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.
At SnowPals we help foster friendships and encourage personal enrichment by way of sharing snowsports experiences. We present members with opportunities to expand their circle of ski and ride buddies – that’s how we came up with our name: Snow (Snow-Sports) + Pals).
Join us to connect with skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels for trips to Tahoe and to snow destinations beyond especially those who are holders of multi-resort season pass like Epic, Ikon, Powder Alliance and the Mountain Collective Pass.
SnowPals invite you to join us to share skiing and snowboarding experiences, create lasting memories and form lasting friendships.
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 members. Come join our pre-snow season ski-and-ride movie screenings, ride-shares, ski leases, snow events, parties, giveaways and wine tastings, pizza & beer socials. Our members often extend group activities into the summer seasons. In the off-season members often engage in various activities from travel to tropical destinations or travel to bucket list destinations, nature hikes, sky-diving, mountain biking, wineries tours, wake boarding among other outdoors activities.
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. Truly 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 a one-time membership fee of $20. This one-time fee helps us pay for web hosting, technical website services, time invested in marketing and growing the group, 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).
✔ Access to our Tahoe ridesharing/carpool members network of 8,229 members as of October 2019. We’re a free alternative to fee-based Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services. Expand your circle of ski/ride buddies for resort skiing/riding or opt for the backcountry and have the safety of a wing man/woman to stay safe.
✔ 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 are now 8,229 members and growing. Celebrating our 21st year of connecting folks to expand their circle of snow sports activity partners.
* To get an idea of folks who join SnowPals, the following are some excerpts of members’ intros from December 2018 to October 2019:
“I am an intermediate snowboarder who enjoys park and free riding. 19/20 will be my 2nd full season. I have a season pass for Heavenly and Sierra and looking to ride up with people who enjoy snowsports. I live in San Jose.” – Mike
“Hi Skiers and Snowboarders!
I’ve been snowsporting in Tahoe my whole life and would like to move there someday. My boyfriend Aaron and I are from Los Gatos, and we have both Ikon and Epic passes but love to visit smaller resorts as well. I also love going to ski movie premieres to get pumped up for the season. We can cook pretty well so you definitely want us in your ski lease. Can’t wait to meet you!” – Anna
“Hi, I am from Chicago, moved here in 2018 from DC and spent many excellent weekends at Kirkwood last season. Typically overstoked Midwesterner, have AWD car, Epic local pass. Mostly a weekend warrior to save vacation days, open to ski lease options, and living in Oakland. In warmer weather I’m climbing in Yosemite and elsewhere. Looking for folks excited to hit the slopes all day long!
Looking to connect with others who have Epic Local- Kirkwood is my favorite, but also open to Northstar/Heavenly.” – Josh from Oakland.
Hi my name is Claire and I’m based in SF. I have the Ikon pass, and am interested in finding people to carpool with to Squaw Alpine.
I like to Ski and do Cross-country skiing too.”
“Hi, I grew up in SF, am 24, and recently got into skiing. I am hoping to go up more this season and am looking for a group or ski buddies to go with! 🙂 ” – Harmony
“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
“Hi All! I just moved out to San Francisco after spending some time in Chicago and New York, I currently am on Volunteer Ski Patrol at Squaw Valley So I’m up most weekends and looking to offer rideshare or catch a carpool with others. Myself and some of my family and friends are currently starting a new ski lease in Homewood and we’re hoping to use it to make some new friends! I’m 26 and work as a Programmer.” – Brian
“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
“Hi, I’m from the UK working as a doctor at UCSF and looking to do as many day trips/weekend trips as possible. I’m mainly looking for a ride, but if friends happen, it was meant to be! I am clean and travel without skis.” – V.
“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
Hello POWDER LOVERS, I’m Brian, 47, and I love to Snowboard, advance level, Surf, watch the SF Giants, and go to Happy Hour. I’m married with two great kids (in the middle school range). My wife is from Canada, and she’s realized her dream of making me a devout snow monkey. We bought season passes for the first time this year, so I’m aiming to put as many miles on my Epic Pass as I can. The kids play sports so our Tahoe trips are tag team with one schlepping kids while the other ski’s/boards. I drive our Subaru Outback when I go and like not needing chains. I’m interested in carpooling with anyone else who wants to day trip. I typically go to Kirkwood from San Mateo on weekends, and some weekdays.” – Brian
“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 everyone! I’ve lived in in SF for about 3 and a half years and am hoping to get up to Tahoe as much as possible on the weekends for some riding (intermediate/advance) this year. I would definitely be interested in ride-sharing with anyone who has space in their vehicle (I don’t have one). I’ve got the Ikon Base Pass so I will likely mostly be going to Squaw/Alpine, but open to other locations on Blackout Dates.” – Mike
“Hey, I live in Menlo Park, moved here from Toronto, Canada 1.5 years ago. Interested in carpooling up to Kirkwood, Heavenly, Northstar. Epic Local Pass holder. Preference is to drive up Friday nights. I have an AWD SUV with chains, can comfortably take 3 plus gear. I don’t have a ski lease so very interested in exchanging driving for a guest stay nights at a lease. I am planning on getting into the backcountry scene as I accumulate the required gear.” – Andrew
– “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
“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, A little bit about myself: single mom with 2 kids. We live in Scotts Valley. I work in Tech in Menlo Park so lots of commuting and computer hours.
I have been a skier since I was about 8. Last season we were at Heavenly quite a lot and spent $$$ on ski school and accommodations. I did find the ski school absolutely fantastic though and one of my friends recommended their ski team.
So here we are, I have signed both kids up for Heavenly’s Comet program and so looking forward to it and connecting with SnowPals who have kids who are in similar resort programs.
Thanks and looking forward to a great season.” – Mercedes
“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’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
Frequently Asked Question:
Why do you required new members to send in a self-intro?
Internet interactions tend to be very one dimensional, unlike meeting someone new face-to-face where you can immediately relate with and can readily establish rapport with; hence, to offset this, we need a catalyst in the form of a self-introduction whereby new members send in a self-intro as part of their membership application to facilitate social connections. Reading a person’s self-intro helps members to get to know more about a person and to learn more about what his/her snow sports interests are which help to serve as conversation starter and can result in cultivating new friendships, or, at the very least to connect for Tahoe ride-sharing to share carpool trip expenses and to help reduce our carbon footprint impact to our natural environment for our benefit and for our future generations to enjoy.
==> Next step, once you’ve submitted the above membership form, please send payment with the PayPal button below. Alternative payment option: use Venmo to send the one time membership payment of $20 to SnowPals or . Once payment have been received, we’ll send you an invite to join the forum. Check your inbox (with some email services, it may show up in your spam folder so please check it as well). Look for our email subject header ~ ‘re: Welcome to SnowPals ‘. Please note: allow up to 24 hours (Monday – Friday, 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. Got a question? .
* 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, please note that we are still using the ski_pal name so you’ll be getting an invite from ‘ski_pal’ to join the group’s forum. When you joined, please also check your spam folder since some email services filter our forum invite to your spam folder.
** Join us to plan POWDER Destination Trips for:
4) British Columbia Trips / Whistler Blackcomb
5) International ski trips covered by your multi-resort pass
Trip dates and lodging are opened to discussion and planning by all group members; you can propose a trip and if folks are interested, can join in.
♥ Join SnowPals to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies, connect for Tahoe ride-sharing (share trip expenses) and help reduce your carbon foot print impact, hence helping to preserve our our environment for us and for future generations.
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.
You have your own Tahoe vacation home for the entire ski season.
Convenience of being able to leave all personal belongings and ski gear instead of packing and repacking for every trip.
Peace of mind knowing you have a place to stay for weekends and holidays when hotel rates are expensive. Having a ski lease saves you (1) money over the long term and (2) the hassle of booking hotel and lodging during popular periods such as holidays.
A great perk with the ability to invite guests and entertain in your own ski lease home.
Save money by being able to BBQ or cook your own meals.
Sleep in your own bed and have the ability to do laundry.
Do you have a season pass or plan to buy one? Would you like to put your season pass to maximum use by logging as many days as you can? Consider joining a ski lease for lodging convenience and save money over the long run.
Let’s say the average ski lease membership costs about $1,200 for five months, from Dec. 1 to April 30. Let’s say you ski/ride for three weekends a month(or 6 days a month) or a total of 30 days for the season; the cost would break down to $40 per day. That’s inexpensive(a great value) compared to weekend hotel rates in Lake Tahoe which typically cost $80 or more on the weekends and significantly more expensive on holiday weekends. It’s easy to find out whether joining a ski lease is viable or not by figuring out how many total days you plan to ski/ride over the entire season; using that number to divide by the cost of joining the ski lease which will give you a per day cost.
In addition, becoming a member of a ski lease is a great way to expand your social circle, meet people to ski/ride with, share transportation expenses to Tahoe and make new friends.
Ski leases are as low as $750 and up depending on duration, location and how many members. If you are looking for members to join your ski lease, list it on Snowpals to get it in front of thousands of SF Bay Area skiers and boarders for referrals! Check out our ski lease listing and our vacation rentals listing.
When’s the best time to see the color of fall foliage around Tahoe?
You don’t have to live on the East Coast to enjoy Autumn’s foliage colors. Plan a Tahoe weekend getaway to feast your eyes on the fiesta of fall color happening from the end of September through October when the color changes are most dramatic. Mid-October is usually at the peak of fall foliage for a temperate fall season where the change in temperature is gradual and when the weather pattern eases into winter. If, however, there is a sudden cold front or an early snow, fall leaves can depart the trees practically overnight. 2012 fall season is looking to be mild so far as of September 19, 2012.
Around Lake Tahoe, aspens are the main trees displaying the mountains with a mix of gold and orange. Other trees changing foliage colors: big leaf maple (the first to change, between 3,000 and 4,000 feet in elevation is dressed in bright yellow) dogwood (5,000′, dogwood are pink and green), and black oak(tinged with orange leaves).
Drive around Lake Tahoe south on Highway 28 on the Nevada side
Spooner Lake is a good scenic place for an easy walk through the trees around the lake.
Marlette Lake offers excellent intermediate hiking; providing several miles of golden aspens.
Drive on US 50, from Zephyr Cove to Stateline and South Lake Tahoe, fall color cascades from the mountain slopes down to Lake Tahoe shores.
Hope Valley, south of Lake Tahoe, is one of the best vibrant aspen color showing around. Hope Valley draws photographers galore seeking to capture the essence fall color display.
If you’d like to be at the center of it all, immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of fall by visiting the city of Markleeville(also known as the Alpine County seat). Plan a weekend getaway to go hiking, biking, camping and enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot spring pool at Grove Hot Springs State Park. Make your plans soon because the colors of Autumn might be here today and gone tomorrow. Before you know it, snowflakes will be fluttering to earth blanketing landscapes white.
The 3rd Annual Lake Tahoe Restaurant Week, October 7-14, 2012, gives foodies an opportunity to enjoy 3-course, prix-fixe menus for lunches and dinners at 25+ participating restaurants throughout the Lake Tahoe region for $20, $30 or $40 per person. “The Tahoe Restaurant Week is a celebration of the scrumptious cuisine and culinary talent that has made the Lake Tahoe region the best mountain dining destination in the country. Delight your palate with menus that incorporate organic, seasonal and local ingredients – all served up at Lake Tahoe’s charming and historic eateries and bistros.” – View a list of participating Tahoe Restaurants.
Call hotels in the area you’d like to visit and inquire to see if Autumn foliage colors are at their peak before making a visit.
Keep tabs on California locations with the most dramatic fall color changes by visiting California Fall Color.