Saving the Planet One Rider At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to join SnowPals

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 memberships. Come join our pre-snow season ski-and-ride movie screenings, ride-shares, ski leases, snow events, parties, giveaways and wine / 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).

Membership perks:

✔ Access to our Tahoe ridesharing/carpool members network of 8,225 members as of August 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 8,225 members and growing. Celebrating our 21st year of connecting folks to expand their circle of snow sports activity partners.

Screen Shot of SnowPals’ Forum:

snowpals-forum-screen-shot-jan-2018

View a screen-shot of postings from SnowPals’ forum.

* To get an idea of folks who join SnowPals, the following are some excerpts of newly joined members’ intros from December 2018 to March 2019:

“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 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

“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

“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

“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 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.

New Member Sign-Up

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

–>> Next step, once you’ve submitted the above membership form, please send payment with the PayPal button below. Alternatively, you can also send the one time membership payment of $20 to using Venmo if you preferred. Once payment have been processed, we’ll send you an invite to join the forum. Look for our invite in your inbox (with some email services, it may show up in your spam folder). 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? .


Your Name & Email
Your Phone; Best Time To Call



Read some feedback from folks who’ve joined SnowPals.

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

1) Utah

2) Colorado

3) Japan

4) British Columbia Trips / Whistler Blackcomb

5) International ski trips covered by your multi-resort pass

6) Mammoth Mountain Trips

Especially appealing for those who are multi-resort season pass holders like EPIC PASS, IKON PASS AND MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS, ETC.

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.

SnowPals-ski-ride-snowsports-activity-partners

♥ 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.

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Comparison of best multi-resort ski season passes for 2016-17

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For the 2016-17 winter season, what’s the best multi-mountain/resort ski season pass?

We’ve crunched the numbers and compared the best multi-mountain/resort passes; the following is a summary guide. Remember that the more days you ski or ride, the more value you get from your pass. Also, keep in mind the best time to purchase a pass is in the spring, typically around early April. Many resorts offer a discount bonus and a spring ski / ride FREE the remainder of the current ski season when you buy your pass early.

Epic Pass

One of the most popular ski passes, the Epic Pass gives you unlimited access to twelve resorts, including Australia’s Perisher.
Adult Pass: $849 (Pays for itself in 6 days)
Resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin
International Resorts: Verbier (Switzerland), Perisher (Australia)

The Mountain Collective

The Mountain Collective pass offers two days at each of its 14 resorts for a total 28 days of skiing/riding. Home resorts are SunValley, Stowe Mountain Resort, Taos, and Thredbo.
Adult Price: $419 (Pays for itself in 5 days based on on individual resort pricing)
Resorts: Alta/Snowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Ski Banff/Lake Louise/Sunshine, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Stowe Mountain Resort, Sun Valley, Taos, Thredbo, Whistler Blackcomb
International Resorts: Valle Nevado (Chile), Hakuba Valley (Japan), Chamonix (France)

M.A.X. Pass

The M.A.X Pass gives you access for five days at each of its 39 participating resorts. There are no blackout dates and many options on both the east and west coast.
Adult Price: $699 (Pays for itself in 7 days)
Resorts: Big Sky, Boreal Mountain Resort, Brighton, Copper Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Lee Canyon, Mt. Bachelor, Steamboat, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Winter Park, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Killington, Loon Mountain, Pico Mountain, Snowshoe, Stratton, Sugarloaf, Sunday River
International Resorts: Cypress Mountain (Canada), Blue Mountain (Canada), Tremblant (Canada)

Tahoe Super Pass Gold

This pass includes unlimited access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, four days at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl, unlimited 50% discounts on lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts, and a worry-free guarantee that will credit users up to four days towards a 2016/17 pass if they don’t ski at least five times this year.
Adult Price: $899 (Pays for itself in 9 days)
Resorts: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-At-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl
International Resorts: Two days at Zermatt (Switzerland)

Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus

Get access to multiple resorts in Colorado as well as resorts in places like New Zealand, you’ll be able to enjoy the snow year-round. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus offers many benefits from free “friends and family” tickets to discounts on rental equipment and tuning.
Adult Price: $629 (Pays for itself in 7 days)
Resorts: Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Eldora Alpine Pass, Steamboat, Crested Butte, Alyeska Resort
International Resorts: Tomamu (Japan), Alts Bandai (Japan), Nekoma (Japan), Cardrona (New Zealand), Mt. Ruapehu (New Zealand)

Cali4nia Pass

Access Southern California’s mountains every day with this pass. It offers unlimited skiing, five “bring-a-friend” tickets, and up to 20% off lodging at Mammoth Lodging Collection properties.
Adult Price: $849 (Pays for itself in 11 days)
Resorts: Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

*Listed pricing is current as of November 1, 2016. Click on the name of the pass for the most up to date pricing details.

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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!

 
 
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