Fun Rahlves’ Banzai Tour 2016 at Kirkwood & Sugar Bowl

Gather friends and family together to participate or watch this once a season fun Rahlves’ Banzai Race Tour; meet some new friends by ridesharing to the event..

The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour is racing in it’s purest form. Big mountain freeride meets ski / boarder-cross action! Taking place at three Lake Tahoe, CA resorts it’s head to head action four at a time, top to bottom, down a wide open course over natural terrain and snow conditions. This is the ultimate test of ski and riding skills. Open entry for 18 years old and up. Come take part in the fun and find out what you are made of.

Solo timed qualifying run on Saturday ranks the Top 32 men ski / board and Top 16 women ski / board into brackets for Sunday’s finals. The finals match up four competitors at a time with the top two in round advancing until the remaining four battle it out for the Rahlves’ Banzai win.

RBT has more momentum than ever in it’s fifth season. Top skiers and snowboarders from North America will line up against Lake Tahoe area athletes laying it on the line to defend home turf and a cash purse at each event. Points are earned at all events and added up to crown male and female ski and snowboard Overall Banzai Champions for an additional pay out.

Feb 27 – 28, 2016 Kirkwood Wall Banzai

For the first time since 2013, the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour at Kirkwood Mountain Resort will be starting off The Wall. This video gives you a little taste of what’s to come!! Be there.

March 5 – 6, 2016 Sugar Bowl Silver Belt Banzai

This throw back to 2013 Rahlves’ Banzai Tour at Sugar Bowl Resort will be what we are going down in 2016. It’s the prime line of the Silver Belt Gully. This video gives you a little taste of what’s to come!! Be there.

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour(RBT) competitors:

Skiing in Tahoe has been amazing this El Nino year so get ready to Banzai.
We are less than a month out from the first event and conditions are good to go for the original and best routes down Kirkwood’s Wall and Sugar Bowl’s Silver Belt Gully very similar to 2013 race.

At both events we kick it off the Friday prior in South Lake Tahoe and Truckee with music, raffle prizes, food, drink and a chance to hang out with the RBT family.

Rahlves’ Banzai Bar Crawl
Friday Feb 26th South Lake Tahoe, CA
5-7pm Base Camp Pizza
7-10pm CA Burger Co.

Friday March 4th Truckee, CA
4-5pm Tahoe Sports Hub – Drawing 5pm win Sugar Bowl lift tickets, tune / wax jobs
5-8pm Mellow Fellow – Drawing 8pm win Giro helmet & goggles
8pm-close Pastime Club (live music or DJ) – Drawing 10pm win Atomic Ski

Event Registration for Kirkwood is in Red Cliffs Lodge above General Store and the Judah Lodge at Sugar Bowl.
Saturday practice, qualis, round of 32 men and Après party happening at Kirkwood’s Wall Bar and Sugar Bowl’s Sierra Vista Bar.

Check out http://rahlvesbanzai.com for all info including lodging discounts, promo events and registration.

Tell friends and family about the tour; straight from your mouth to your friends, fellow skiers / snowboarders and people you meet is our best promotional tool.

Athletes- As a thank you, if you bring a new competitor to the RBT you get $25 back from your entry fee for each first time registered competitor.

Thanks and see you all soon at the Rahlves Banzai Tour.

Daron Rahlves
Rahlves’ Banzai Tour Founder
http://rahlvesbanzai.com

Daron Rahlves, Banzai Master, World Champion, USA Olympic ski racer, Winter X-Games Skier-X Champ and pro big mountain skier is the event organizer responsible for its growth and success with the help of host resorts, event partnerships and competitors. Daron is involved in the operation of the RBT, assisting competitors and mingling with the fans. At each event he takes a qualifying timed run, but doesn’t compete head to head until the “Super Final” at his home resort, Sugar Bowl. The designated day in March is that day when he puts his title of “Banzai Master” on the line taking on the Men Ski Winners from each stop in a battle for winner takes all of $5,000!!!

 

♥ Share this with friends and family via twitterfacebook.

 

 

Forecasts point to El Nino for Lake Tahoe

winter-forecast

An August 2015 report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service indicates a significant increase in Pacific surface water temperatures and strengthening equatorial westerly winds reflect an ongoing and strengthening El Niño.

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.

Read more about 2015 Tahoe El Nino forecast..

1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service

2. OpenSnow – Snow & Powder Forecasts for Tahoe

3. SnowBrians – 2015-2016 Winter Forecast

Tahoe Resorts Powder Alert, Snow Totals & Videos

photo source: http://www.squaw.com/the-mountain/photos-and-videos photo source: by Grant Barta of Sugar Bowl

2012-13 Tahoe Resorts Powder Alert, Snow Totals & Videos Straight from Resorts

Tahoe POWder Alert & Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy, 14 F at Truckee-Tahoe, CA. Winds are Calm. The humidity is 93%. Last Updated on Feb 20 2013, 7:50 am PST.

“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

feb-19-2013-new-snow-squaw-heavenly

Tahoe Resorts Snow Totals as of Feb 8

tahoetopia_snow_report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: tahoetopia

 

 

 

 

 

 

tahoe-city-weather-forecast 

 

 

 

Heavenly is opened Trail Map | Live Resort Cams

Click on ‘Play’ to watch 

Sierra at Tahoe is opened  Trail Map | Cam

 

Kirkwood is opened Trail Map | Cam

 

Squaw Valley USA is opened. Night skiing and snowboarding daily until 9pm. Trail Map | Cam

 

Alpine Meadows is opened Trail Map | Cam

 

Northstar-at-Tahoe is opened  Trail Map | Cam

 

Sugar Bowl is opened  Trail Map | Cam 

 

Boreal is opened; Boreal is typically the first resort to open(opening date was Oct 31, 2012) Hours: 9:00am – 9:00pm; night skiing from 3:30pm to 9pm. Trail Map | Cam

 

Homewood is opened  Trail Map | Cam

 

Diamond Peak is opened Trail Map | Cam

Mt. Rose is opened Trail Map | Cam

Tahoe Donner  is opened Trail Map

Donner Ski Ranch  is opened Trail Map

Bear Valley  is opened Trail Map | Cam

 

China Peak  is opened Trail Map

Dodge Ridge  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Soda Springs  is opened Trail Map

Yosemite’s Badger Pass® Ski Area  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Mt. Shasta Ski Resort  is opened Trail Map | Extended night skiing/riding hours 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

 

Granlibakken Resort  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort  is opened Trail Map

Spooner Lake Cross Country Ski Area  is opened Trail Map

Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area  is opened Trail Map

Southern California/Sierra

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is OPENED Trail Map | Cam

 

*All opening dates posted above are based on snowfall and could change. Check with the resort before you go for the most updated information.

Map of Lake Tahoe Area Ski Resorts
 
 
 
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, the World Meteorological Organization supports this finding with their detailed analysis.
 
You’re invited, join Bay Area skiers and boarders for our annual snow season kickoff parties to connect with skiers and snowboarders near you for ridesharing to your favorite  Tahoe resort. Looking to join a Tahoe ski lease? Browse our listing, or list yours.
 
♥ Share this page with friends and family via email, twitterfacebook.
 
SPOTLIGHT: Help skiDUCK.org give disadvantaged kids an opportunity to learn how to ski and snowboard.
 
*If you spot any error on this page or would like to make a suggestion, please email .  Advance thanks!

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

Haute Route Chamonix to Zermatt Trip

Classic Hut-to-Hut Ski Mountaineering in the Alps

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.

Check out this year’s slideshow! 2012 Haute Route Photo Album and Slideshow

March 25 – April 1 2013
Cost: $2475 – remember to say you read about this trip on Snowpals

Contact Rich for details: 

♥ Share this with friends and family via email, twitterfacebook.

 

About Rich Meyer

Rich Meyer Bio PictureAfter 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!

 

Free & 1/2 off VIP Tickets to 2014 Snowbomb Ski & Board Festival

snowfest

 

 

 

Get 1/2 off Powder Pass & VIP wine and beer tasting tickets with promo discount code – snowpals

POWDER PASS:  ($12.50 Discounted 50%), regular $25
POWDER PASS admission comes with FREE LIFT TICKETS. See below for details.
 
VIP PASS:  ($25 Discounted 50%), regular $50

Festival hours 10-6 / VIP admission includes wine or beer tasting 1-5 / Also includes FREE LIFT TICKETS included w/ Powder Pass PLUS a BONUS Free Squaw Valley/Alpine lift ticket (buy one get one free)
 
FREE Friday Night Pre-Sale Entrance – 3 to 8 pm Fri Night
This ticket will get you into the sale on Friday night. It does not include free lift tickets. You must buy a POWDER PASS or VIP admission to get free lift tickets.
 
DATES & LOCATIONS
  • San Jose – Friday, November 7, 2014, 4:00 PM to Sunday, November 9, 2014, 7:00 PM at McEnery Convention Center 150 W San Carlos St San JoseCA 95113

buy tickets at

2014 San Jose Ski & Snowboard Festival presented by SnowBomb.com

  • SF – Friday, October 31, 2014, 3:00 PM to Sunday, November 2, 2014, 6:00 PM at Fort Mason Center 2 Marina Blvd San Francisco, CA 94123

 

2014 San Francisco Ski & Snowboard Festival presented by SnowBomb.com

 

 

* Win 1 of 5 VIP wine/beer tasting entry tickets by retweeting (RT) the following to help us get the word out..  ” @SnowPalsDotOrg Get 1/2 off Snowbomb Ski & Board Fest VIP Wine/Beer Tasting tickets at http://www.snowpals.org/2014/free-half-off-2014-snowbomb-ski-board-festival/ “ .. winners will be announced via our twitter feed @SnowPalsDotOrg 

 

Powder Pass & VIP Pass Include the Following Lift Tickets/ Perks

Bear Valley Lift Ticket

  • Valid Sun-Fri, non-holiday
  • Holiday sates defined as: December 26 – Jan 4th, January 17 – 19th, February 14 – 16th 2015

China Peak Lift Ticket

  • Valid Sunday – Friday, non-holiday.
  • Holiday dates defined as December 26-31, January 1-4, January 17-19, February 14-16.

Badger Pass Lift Ticket

  • Valid Sunday – Thursday, non-holiday.
  • Holiday dates defined as December 14 – January 3,  January 17-18, February 14-15.

VIP Pass Includes the above plus

Unlimited Tasting

  • Saturday – Wine
  • Sunday – Beer

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

  • Buy one get one free lift ticket.
  • Valid Sunday – Friday, non-holiday.
  • Holiday dates defined as December 20 – January 3, January 17-18, February 14-21.

♥ Share this page with friends and family via email, twitterfacebook.


 

 

 

Kirkwood Under New Management: Oh, By The Way — Part 2 of 2

24 December 2012 

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

Last week we asked some “locals” how they felt about the new management at Kirkwood. This week we’re highlighting a few dining destinations, and one historic B&B, along the way, and in Kirkwood Valley.

Let’s face it: Kirkwood is Big Mountain Fun—so close to the San Francisco Bay Area, you can practically smell it in the tule fog that makes your passage through the Central Valley, at times, harrowingly poetic. Yet getting from here to THERE can be a long haul, chomping 6-8 hours of your waking life in the to-and-fro, and that’s not accounting for a traffic accident (drive safely, always!) on two-lane Hwy 88. Boo. Goodness gracious, aren’t we lucky to have SnowPals to ride with to make the time fly?

Certainly, hitting the road in the pre-dawn to make the slopes and back by 9pm in a whirlwind, mission-from-God-type, herculean effort, is something many of us have done because, like, there’s no good reason to dally in the valley? Are you one of those people who feels lost if your smart phone can’t find a Starbucks near? Do you race along the byways of the Sacramento River delta, determined to put as many miles behind you as your gas tank and bladder will allow with no favorite pit stop?

LOCKEFORD, CA

On Hwy 88, and about fifteen miles northeast of Stockton, you will find the hamlet of Lockeford, home of the COUNTRY CAFÉ that opens every day at 5:30am. This is the place you bring your big appetite, to leave it behind. Breakfast burritos ($7), chicken fried steak and eggs ($9), and the Combo Special of waffles plus 3 eggs plus 3 sausages ($8.50) are eye openers. Fish & chips, homemade salsas and generous Mexican dinners, such as Chili Verde Steak with rice & beans ($10.29), are served until 8pm—except on Tuesday when the cafe closes at 2pm. Have a beer and try the Gnarley Head house wines, locally-produced by Oak Ridge Winery in nearby Lodi CA.

THE INN AT LOCKE HOUSE is a beautifully restored bed and breakfast operation on property listed on the National Register of Historic Places, about 1,000 feet north from town center on Elliot Road. Proprietors, Lani and Richard Eklund bought the original estate of Dr. Dean J. Locke, founder of Lockeford, twenty years ago; fixed it up with love of finer things for six years, and now offer guest rooms with private baths—some with their own fireplace—all with views of English gardens. They’ll make you an Early Bird breakfast to-go if you want to hit the road before breakfasts are served between 7-9:30am. (209) 727-5715 http://www.theinnatlockehouse.com

JACKSON and PLYMOUTH, CA

Hwy 88 takes a dogleg in Jackson, to merge, briefly, with Hwy 49 in Gold Country. You’ll pass lots of eateries and hotels here. If you want sushi, OKO SUSHI is a gem for tempura lovers. It’s by the Safeway and other fast food joints at the north end of town on Hwy 49. If you keep going north just 12 miles, the town of Plymouth is the unlikely home of Zagat’s “#1” rated restaurant in the whole Sacramento Region, TASTE. Dinner entrees range from $31 to $50; yet we have filled-up on an array of appetizers … and wines! Plymouth calls itself the gateway to famous Amador Wine Country, and Taste is a five-time winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. But it’s not fussy. And you can’t miss it as it seems the only bustle on Main Street. (Gee, I just can’t say enough about this place, so I won’t.) Try it, someday.

KIRKWOOD, CA

You’re here! Before you buckled your boots, there are several hot BREAKFAST options to hold out for. MONTE WOLFE’S MOUNTAIN KITCHEN is to the left of the Kirkwood tickets office, off the main Mountain Village plaza. Daily, from 8a-4:30p, Starbucks coffee is served alongside pastries, eggs, salads, sandwiches and soups. Say hello to Chef “Daddy Wolfe” (he’s a burner) who makes a mean Wolfe Burger with chipotle aioli, cheese, bacon, and sautéed onions—totally non-fattening! There’s a “baked potato” bar and the full-service THUNDER SADDLE BAR here to hoot in, too. Or, slide into the Red Cliffs lodge where the KIRKWOOD GENERAL STORE offers “the best breakfast sandwich on the hill,” with a full service espresso bar, at their deli, as well as other sundry comforts, 7:30a-6p. SNOWSHOE THOMPSONS at Timber Creek, Chair 7, has hot pastries, burgers and pizza—no wonder the kids love it! Open 10a-4:30p, 7 days a week.

Did you know the KIRKWOOD INN & SALOON offers a Saturday Night Prime Rib Dinner ($26.95), and $2 tacos during Happy Hour, Monday through Friday 3-5p? BUB’S PUB (nee Cornice Grill) with nine beers on tap, and veggie and casual menu options served in the glow of big-screen TVs, is everyone’s favorite sports bar. It’s been getting a facelift lately, yet when Bub’s reopens they’ll be serving Pizza & A Pint ($7.25) and Dirty Blonde Ale pints for $4 from 11a-9p. Dinner reservations are required at OFF THE WALL BAR & GRILL but you can enjoy their primo location, and upscale wine and bar choices Sunday through Thursday, with a lunch menu on Friday and Saturday only, from 11a-5p. 209-258-7365

For a full list of Kirkwood noshes, please visit http://winter.kirkwood.com/site/resort-services/resort-dining.

Why not enjoy the ride, on and off the hill?

♥ Share this page with friends and family via email, twitterfacebook.

 

 

 

 

Kirkwood Under New Management: What Does It Mean For Us Locals? — Part 1 of 2

17 December 2012 

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

What does this mean for us Bay Area Snowpals, and the local Kirkwood crews who have faithfully served us for years–some of us for decades? Find out in this exclusive, two-part Snowpals report.

When Vail Resorts, a premier mountain resort development company based out of Colorado, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort, announced in March 2012 that they were joining forces, some fans of the Kirkwood resort community in California braced, defensively, for big changes; others took a big sigh … of relief.

Kirkwood is a four-season township and recreational services development, located just 11 miles south (as the crow flies) of the Lake Tahoe basin and a 35-mile drive from the city of South Lake Tahoe, on Hwy 88 in California. In the winter, Kirkwood Mountain Resort focuses on skiing and snowboarding, and hiking and mountain-biking activities in the summer. A long-time favorite of San Francisco Bay Area snow riders in-the-know, Kirkwood is famous for its epic vistas (more reminiscent of European valley ski experiences), deep snow, and challenging stacks of terrain. Now, Kirkwood is Vail Resorts’ most western and southern star for this corporation whose mission is the “experience of a lifetime” for luxury, destination-based travelers and property owners.

WHAT’S UP WITH NEW MANAGEMENT

Kirkwood opened their 2012-2013 ski season with all ski lifts operating on Friday, December 7, 2012. It was a shake-down week; a trial run for newbies and employee associates that had stuck around after the Vail Resorts buyout. We spoke with some “olde timers” who have lived, and worked, on the mountain … trying to ascertain the local’s zeitgeist in the valley.

“A lot of people wanted to leave when the new management came in. They’re really liability-minded. I mean, Kirkwood (old management) used to be ‘OK, whatever, make it work,’ and now there are all these rules and regulations. But it’s probably for good … I mean, Kirkwood was losing its ass; up to here in a lot of debt and big ideas. They had a vision for development of the valley that just didn’t fulfill as fast as it could … all these time-shares, condominiums. I blame it on global-warming.”

— 4-yr Kirkwood Maintenance Associate

“Whatever everyone says, I love it. They’re coming professional and we’re in it for the long haul. Now we don’t have to worry about the Big Picture. Vail knows what’s it’s doing. This place is going to be more beautiful than ever.

— Kirkwood Meadows homeowner, since 2002

“A lot of my friends are all ‘no’ … but they just don’t know what’s going to happen. Personally, I think things will get better because if VR hadn’t bought us, no one would be skiing Kirkwood this season. It was that bad. Now we’ll be able to do the right thing for the valley (environmental) development and us skiers. You may not notice it but by this time next year you’re going to see some changes!”

— 3-yr. Kirkwood Ski Rentals Dude

Vail Resorts also owns the venerable California mountain ski resorts of Northstar at Tahoe and Heavenly (aka The Heave) which spans Kingsbury Grade in Nevada to the east, and Ski Run Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe, California to the west. All three resorts are recognized world-class snow riding destinations, with Northstar being more “chic; family-oriented”; Heavenly serving “the masses”; and Kirkwood having a higher concentration of locals saying, “WTF! Let’s ride!” … IMHO.

So, expect Kirkwood to be spruced-up a bit; the facility equipment better maintained (not left out overnight); the walkways and byways around the Mountain Lodge ‘chopped & trimmed’; and signage for services, escapes and splurges a bit more defined. Around Kirkwood Valley, Caples Resort is under new management, and valley restaurants, and the venerable Red Cliffs Lodge, are having face-lifts, too (more on this in Part II of this report).

Safety and guest service considerations are paramount for the sugar daddy, Vail Resorts, whose affiliate, Rock Resorts, is a hotel development concern with operations in the U.S., Caribbean and Jamaica. I couldn’t find much on Vail or Rock Resorts environmental track records, operating in some of the world’s most pristine environments as they do. Yet, the slick “Echo” program video at http://www.vailresortsecho.com/ indicates a long-term, “local ecology”, marketing savvy.

Let’s hope the new mountain resort management comes through for the locals and the communities around NorthStar and Heavenly … and now, Kirkwood, in California—good for us who have been patronizing this year-around, off-the-beaten-path, treasure, and for all who care about preserving the unique environmental resources of Kirkwood Valley, Caples Creek and Silver Lake wilderness areas—and, HECK, the whole Lake Tahoe Basin, in general!

NEXT WEEK:

Kirkwood Under New Management:

What FUN! — Part 2 of 2

+++

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkwood_Mountain_Resort

Kirkwood Mountain Resort opened its ski lifts in 1973. Now Kirkwood is a year-round resort, headquartered in the hamlet of Kirkwood, California, 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive, Kirkwood, CA 95646, 209-258-6000.

Kirkwood has 2,300 skiable acres, 12 lifts, and 65 trails. With lodge accommodations in the valley (tel. 800/967-7500), and dining options, this is a great year-round destination. The shuttle service to downtown/State Line, South Lake Taho, is $5 each way.

Kirkwood Tickets, Passes, Frequent Flyer Programs

http://summer.kirkwood.com/site/tickets-passes

Vail Resorts, management company

http://www.vailresorts.com/Corp/index.aspx 

Vail Resorts, resort sales & information

http://www.snow.com/

Kirkwood Mountain FaceBook Friends (please “like” on Facebook: it’s good for the locals and will prompt Vaile Resorts to pour more money in to Kirkwood Valley’s future)

https://www.facebook.com/KirkwoodMtn

Map of Kirkwood Valley:

Kirkwood-vallley-map

POWder Parties, Ski Bus Deals, Ski & Ride Vacation Getaway

POWder Parties, Ski Bus Deals, Ski & Ride Vacation Getaway

 

Help us celebrate our 14th Season as a ski and ride community: engage in some fun at our annual season kick-off POWDER parties happening around the SF Bay Area – view photos from previous events!

 
 
♥ Share this with friends and family via email, twitterfacebook.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tahoe Resorts Powder Alert, Snow Totals & Videos

photo source: http://www.squaw.com/the-mountain/photos-and-videos photo source: by Grant Barta of Sugar Bowl

2012-13 Winter Season Tahoe Ski Resorts Opening Dates & Videos Straight from Resorts

December 25, 2012: Happy Holidays SnowPals!

Tahoe POWder Alert Updated on Dec 25 2012, 12:45 pm PST. Light Snow and 32 F at Truckee, CA. Winds are South at 9.2 MPH. The humidity is 75%. The wind chill is 24 F.  – “A very Merry White Christmas Day with another two feet of snow expected by this evening.” – weather-geek

Tahoe Resorts Snow Totals as of Dec 25

tahoe-resorts-snow-totals

 

Source: tahoetopia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got lift tickets? Eight Sundays, eight Squaw/Alpine lift tickets giveaway; starts Nov 11, ends Dec 30, get dialed in.

 

tahoe-city-weather-forecast 

 

 

 

Heavenly is opened Trail Map | Live Resort Cams

Click on ‘Play’ to watch 

Sierra at Tahoe is opened  Trail Map | Cam

 

Kirkwood is opened Trail Map | Cam

 

Squaw Valley USA is opened. Night skiing and snowboarding daily until 9pm. Trail Map | Cam

 

Alpine Meadows is opened Trail Map | Cam

 

Northstar-at-Tahoe is opened  Trail Map | Cam

 

Sugar Bowl is opened  Trail Map | Cam 

 

Boreal is opened; Boreal is typically the first resort to open(opening date was Oct 31, 2012) Hours: 9:00am – 9:00pm; night skiing from 3:30pm to 9pm. Trail Map | Cam

 

Homewood is opened  Trail Map | Cam

 

Diamond Peak is opened Trail Map | Cam

Mt. Rose is opened Trail Map | Cam

Tahoe Donner  is opened Trail Map

Donner Ski Ranch  is opened Trail Map

Bear Valley  is opened Trail Map | Cam

 

China Peak  is opened Trail Map

Dodge Ridge  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Soda Springs  is opened Trail Map

Yosemite’s Badger Pass® Ski Area  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Mt. Shasta Ski Resort  is opened Trail Map | Extended night skiing/riding hours 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

 

Granlibakken Resort  is opened Trail Map | Cam

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort  is opened Trail Map

Spooner Lake Cross Country Ski Area  is opened Trail Map

Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area  is opened Trail Map

Southern California/Sierra

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is OPENED Trail Map | Cam

 

*All opening dates posted above are based on snowfall and could change. Check with the resort before you go for the most updated information.

Map of Lake Tahoe Area Ski Resorts
 
 

 

 
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, the World Meteorological Organization supports this finding with their detailed analysis.

 

You’re invited, join Bay Area skiers and boarders for our annual snow season kickoff parties to connect with skiers and snowboarders near you for ridesharing to your favorite  Tahoe resort. Looking to join a Tahoe ski lease? Browse our listing, or list yours.

 

♥ Share this page with friends and family via email, twitterfacebook.
 
SPOTLIGHT: Help skiDUCK.org give disadvantaged kids an opportunity to learn how to ski and snowboard.

 

*If you spot any error on this page or would like to make a suggestion, please email .  Advance thanks!

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

Ski & Snowboard Movies coming to SF Bay Area

Here’s a summary of 2012 Ski & Snowboard Movies & Films coming to the SF Bay Area: 

As of October 22, 2012, minus seven days until the first Tahoe resort, Boreal, open their doors. Opening date for most Tahoe resorts typically fall on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. So, what’s there to do between now and then? Mark your calendar and gather some friends to watch one or more of the following 2012 ski & snowboard films/movies coming to the SF Bay Area, and score a free lift ticket*..

*Most showings will give out a free mid-week 2012-13 lift ticket or a 2 for 1 lift ticket coupon/voucher.

Ski Movies:

  • Warren Miller’s Flow State shows multiple dates at Northern California locations; starts on November 7, 2012; see below. Ticket Pricing varies from $20, depending on location.

“Warren Miller’s 63rd annual ski and snowboard film will take you into the zone…the moment…the groove…the center…the Flow State.

Warren Miller’s Flow State guides viewers to the top of the world’s most striking peaks, taking you on an exhilarating journey across the globe to Norway, Austria, California, Switzerland and beyond. The powder in Japan will send you scrambling to tune-up your gear, the gravity in Telluride will have you scheduling an avalanche refresher course, and the steeps in Alaska will drive you to push a little harder during your next preseason workout. Winter is right around the corner, and it is time to enter the Flow State…where the mountain meets the mind.

Hosted by Jonny Moseley and showcasing celebrated athletes including Colby West, Chris Davenport, Jess McMillan and David Wise, Flow State throws down some of the most captivating footage ever shot by Warren Miller Entertainment. Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety takes on Alaska’s mighty Chugach, Julian Carr bombs down Utah’s famed Wasatch, Jackie Paaso explores the Norwegian Arctic and Chris Anthony makes Warren Miller history on 70-year-old, 10th Mountain Division ski equipment. Roll-call winter’s finest athletes, because they are all here – embodying the essence of the Flow State and tackling the mountain with absolute attention and deep confidence.”

*Film showing includes TWO – 2 for 1 lift ticket, one for Heavenly, and one for Kirkwood:

“BUY-ONE-GET-ONE FREE(BOGO) LIFT TICKET OFFER TO HEAVENLY
Everyone attending Flow State will receive One (1) 2-FOR-1 lift ticket voucher to Heavenly*.

AND

BUY-ONE-GET-ONE FREE LIFT TICKET TO KIRKWOOD*
Everyone attending Flow State will receive One (1)
2-FOR-1 lift ticket voucher to Kirkwood.

*Buy One (1) adult lift ticket at the retail rate and receive a second lift ticket for FREE. Both tickets must be used on the same day. Offer valid from Opening Day of the 2012-13 season through 4.14.13, with the following restrictions: NOT VALID on Saturdays; NOT VALID 11.22.12 through 11.25.12, 12.15.12 through 1.01.13, 1.19.13 through 1.21.13 and 2.16.13 through 2.18.13. Not valid with any other discount offers. No cash value. No refunds.

Dates, Locations & Showtimes:

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco, California

Showtimes

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – 6:00pm
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – 9:00pm

WALNUT CREEK, CALIFORNIA
Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts
1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, California

Showtimes
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – 6:00pm
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – 9:00pm

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA
Spangenberg Theatre
780 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, California
Showtimes Friday, November 9, 2012 – 8:00pm

CAMPBELL, CALIFORNIA
Campbell Heritage Theatre
1 Campbell Avenue, Campbell, California
Showtimes Saturday, November 10, 2012 – 7:30pm

SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA
The College of San Mateo Theatre
1700 West Hillsdale Boulevard, San Mateo, California
Showtimes Sunday, November 11, 2012 – 7:00pm

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
Wheeler Auditorium
101 Zellerbach Hall #4800
University of California, Berkeley, California
Showtimes Thursday, November 15, 2012 – 8:00pm

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Castro Theatre
429 Castro St, San Francisco, California
Showtimes Friday, November 16, 2012 – 8:00pm

SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA
Marin Center
10 Ave of the Flags, San Rafael, California
Showtimes Saturday, November 17, 2012 – 8:00pm

PLEASANTON, CALIFORNIA
Amador Theater
1155 Santa Rita Rd, Pleasanton, California
Showtimes Sunday, November 18, 2012 – 7:00pm

SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA
Rio Theatre
1205 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, California
Showtimes
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 – 8:00pm
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 – 8:00pm

MODESTO, CALIFORNIA
State Theater Modesto, California
1307 J Street, Modesto, California
Showtimes
Friday, November 30, 2012 – 6:30pm
Friday, November 30, 2012 – 9:00pm
Saturday, December 1, 2012 – 4:00pm
Saturday, December 1, 2012 – 7:30pm

♥ Share this with friends and family via email, twitterfacebook.
 
Watch trailer:
 
 
###
 
 
 
 
 
Snowboard Film:
 
Resonance brings shred fans deep into Absinthe’s world of powder and powerful riding with the legendary pros such as Nicolas Müller, Gigi Rüf, two times Olympic silver medalist Danny Kass as well as Scotty Lago and nine more heavy hitters riding in misty locations from the Alps to Alaska.
 
Free Sierra-at-Tahoe early season 2012-13 lift ticket with paid admission. Not sure on exact  restrictions, check with Sierra at Tahoe.
 
Tickets are $10 and are available at the following snowboard shops or at the door:
SF Snowboarding 1630 Haight St., San Francisco, CA
Milosport 3566 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA
 
♥ Share this with friends and family via email, twitterfacebook.
 
Watch trailer:

 
==========================
 
Completed:
 
October 30,2012 TGR’s The Dream Factory shows at the SF Palace of Fine Arts.. Follow the Teton Gravity Research modern day athletes on this cinematic voyage through Alaska’s awe-inspiring expanse, rich history, and colorful characters. Watch as the TGR crew ventures from Alaska training grounds Jackson Hole, WY, and Pemberton, BC, and delves deep into the Alaskan way of life during a record snowfall year in AK, skiing terrain most of us only dream about. Everyone in attendance at the San Francisco premiere will receive TWO FREE midweek lift tickets, one for SQUAW VALLEY/ALPINE MEADOWS(a $92 value) and the other lift ticket for MT BACHELOR.  Buy discount movie tickets and join Snowpals for conversations and drinks before the movie.
 
~*~
 
  • Powderwhore Ski movieChoose Your Adventure – 
    Despite the underwhelming winter of 2011-12, in which snowfall reached near record lows and unstable avalanche conditions, the Powderwhores were able to make the most of the conditions at home and abroad, with trips to Cerro Castillo, Chile; La Grave, France; the Antarctic Peninsula; Svalbard, Norway; Mount Foraker, Alaska; British Columbia, Canada, and the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.The film features an array of characters from salty backcountry veterans to some of the top skiers and snowboarders, including Chris Davenport, Jake Sakson, Andrew McLean, Seth Wescott, Dylan Freed, Noah Howell, Matt Reardon, Drew Stoecklein, Forrest Coots, Ian Provo, Neil Provo, Chuck Mumford, Darrell Finlayson, Bob Athey, PY Leblanc, Jason Thompson,Todd Stuart and Hugo Harrison.”Remember the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books? We are playing with that theme for delivering this ski odyssey.” says Powderwhore athlete and founder Noah Howell. “Our interest lies in finding exotic locations and people with real stories and objectives. We wanted to tag along and capture their actions and motivation for heading into the mountains. It’s more of an authentic experience this way. Instead of a staged video shoot we arranged, we traveled light and moved fast to avoid interfering with the actual adventures unfolding.”Chris Davenport joined the filming while on a boat on the Antarctic Peninsula. “I have had the opportunity to ski on the Antarctic Peninsula three times and it has quickly become one of my favorite places in the world for ski mountaineering,” Davenport says. “I love life on the boat, and the easy access to incredible ski terrain make it hard to beat. Throw in the amazing wildlife and gorgeous ocean views and you have a location second-to-none for the new film ‘Choose Your Adventure.’In the end, this is a feature-length ski film that celebrates exotic locations, wild adventures, and the dedicated personalities writing their own stories in snow.Proceeds benefit Snowlands Network.
  1. First showing: Wednesday October 17th Sports Basement Bryant Store(1590 Bryant St.) at 7pm. Get Tickets Now for $12, or $15 at the door. Get there early at 6pm to enjoy happy hour (10% off all purchases in store and complimentary beer and snacks)
  2. Second showing: Thursday October 18th Sports Basement Presidio Store (610 Old Mason St) at 7pm. Get Tickets Now for $12, or $15 at the door. Get there early at 6pm to enjoy happy hour (10% off all purchases in store and complimentary beer and snacks)
Watch trailer: