Announcing SnowPals.org Video & Photo Contests

You’re invited to enter one or both contests:

(1) Tahoe RideShare Photo Contest

Our photo contest is for those who are Tahoe RideShare Drivers – to enter our contest, submit by posting to Instagram tagging @snowpalsdotorg and using the hashtag #snowpalsdotorg a photo of you and at least one other ride-share passenger next to your ride at your Tahoe SNOW destination.

Alternatively, post your photo on Facebook using tag @SnowPals to enter the contest.

You can also submit your entry with the form below.

* Photo tips: a) if you take a photo of your car, use an online photo editor to white out your license plate if it is visible b) be sure to take a photo of you + your ride-sharing passenger(s) in ski / snowboarding attire next to your car + with a backdrop of the snow covered mountain will get you bonus points.

RideShare Photo Contest Prizes:

+ 1st place prize: $100 to go towards your choice of season pass for 2019/20 or to spend it on snow-sports gear or whatever your heart desires AND a $50 Sports Basement Gift Card
+ 2nd place prize: One Day All Inclusive Ski Bus (RT bus transport, breakfast, lift ticket, after ski snacks/drinks) by Tahoe Ski Trips (formerly Bay Area Ski Bus).

(2) Tahoe Ski & Ride POWDER Video Contest

To apply, submit a video of 60 seconds or less of you or a friend skiing or riding powder by posting to Instagram tagging @snowpalsdotorg and using the hashtag #snowpalsdotorg

Alternatively, post your 60 seconds or less video on Facebook using tag @SnowPals to enter the contest.

You can also submit your entry with the form below.

Skiing / riding POWder Video Contest Prizes:

+ 1st place prize: $150 Sports Basement Gift Card
+ 2nd place prize: One Day All Inclusive Ski Bus (RT bus transport, breakfast, lift ticket, after ski snacks/drinks) by Tahoe Ski Trips (formerly Bay Area Ski Bus).

Contests entry period is between Saturday December 8, 2018 and Sunday March 17, 2019 ending at 11:59 Pacific Standard Time (PST). By submitting your entry, you are consenting to our contests’ terms and conditions.

SnowPals.org will announce 1st and 2nd place contest winners for both contests right on this page on Tuesday March 19, 2019 (Bookmark this page for easy reference/to revisit).

Photo & Video Contest Entry

  • Max photo upload size is 100MB; if you need to resize photos, there are many online free photo editors - just Google it "free online photo resize".
  • Video entry 60 seconds or less
  • What? When? Where? Who?

About SnowPals.org

SnowPals is the largest snow sports community on the West Coast with 8,055 members and growing; 2018/19 season is our 20th year of service to the San Francisco Bay Area’s community of skiers and snowboarders (of all skill levels). Our members are 85% busy professionals and and about 15% university students residing in the SF Bay Area.

SnowPals’ core mission is to bring SF Bay Area residents together to enjoy Snow Sports; specifically we work diligently to bring awareness and encourage people to pool resources to ride share to Lake Tahoe Area resorts to reduce carbon footprint impact to our environment.

Our members are from all parts of the Bay Area (SF, East Bay, South Bay, Peninsula, and North Bay) representing a diverse community of Bay Area residents who are singles, couples, people who are married, with and without children. What our members share in common is a love for snow sports. New to SnowPals? Join us for Tahoe ride-shares and to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies. 😉

MEDIA CONTACT:

Tim Pham, | 408.341.9744

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Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Maps and Guidebook

Backcountry-ski-topo-maps-Tahoe-Southwest

Get the Inside Scoop, Purchase a Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Map and Guidebook – use snowpals19 promo discount code to get 10% off.

You’re in Tahoe, the stoke is high, the conditions are perfect…
…and you’re stuck waiting in a lift line to ski groomers and bumps because you couldn’t find a local with the beta you needed to get into the backcountry.

No longer! Backcountry Ski Maps wants to make this scenario a thing of the past.

Our map was specifically designed as a topographic map and guidebook rolled into one to make it easier to find all the information you need to get out touring in the Tahoe area.

All maps include detailed ascent and descent routes, photos, and a text guide to the best lines, which means that just one source of beta can easily get you to secret stashes you had only heard ‘whispers of’. We highlight the most classic lines, help you find the easiest approaches, and reveal the biggest potential dangers and challenges so you can spend less time searching for information and more time skiing!

The Tahoe Southwest Map features more than 70 descents, ranging from mellow glades to ultra-steep couloirs.

Included are ski routes on:

Rubicon Peak
Jake’s Peak
Mt. Tallac
Pyramid Peak
Dick’s Peak
Echo Peak
Angora Peak
and many, many more!

Backcountry Ski Maps partnered with SnowPals to offer a 10% off all backcountry ski maps by using discount promo code: snowpals19

To get 10% off your backcountry map purchase, enter the discount code ‘ snowpals19 ‘ at check-out; purchase maps at

https://backcountryskimaps.com/product/tahoe-southwest

Available formats: paper and digital maps

+ Mount Hood, Oregon Backcountry Ski Map (Coming Soon)

+ Lake Tahoe: North Backcountry Ski Map (Coming Soon)

More About Backcountry Ski Maps

“Make the Most of the Backcountry
Maybe you’re new to an area or even new to touring in general. Maybe you’re a weekend warrior with only a limited amount of time to play in the mountains. Or maybe you’re a jaded local who thinks they’ve skied every worthy line in the area.

Here at Backcountry Ski Maps, LLC we feel you. If you’re anything like us, all you want is to spend more time outdoors, taking in beautiful views and riding the steepest, deepest lines.

We were frustrated to have to spend hours on the internet researching potential lines on sites of varying reliability. We were even more frustrated when summer came along and we saw all the in-depth hiking, climbing, and backpacking topos on the market.

Something needed to change.

And so Backcountry Ski Maps, LLC was born.

Now we’re striving to make the easiest to use, all-in-one backcountry ski touring maps on the market. A place where you can find all the route information you need on one piece of paper: just take a look at the map, find a zone that fits your needs (and the current avalanche conditions), read a little about the zone on the back of the map, and get out into the white room.

Now you’ve got a one-stop-shop to find everything from low-angle pow-day trees to rarely skied and ultra-steep couloirs.

Our hope is that by helping people find the right lines, our maps can inspire more people to get out into the backcountry hooting and hollering and collecting faceshots.

Come join the fun!” – backcountryskimaps.com

 

backcountry-ski-maps

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2018/19 Lake Tahoe Resorts Snow Report, Live Cams, Road Conditions

tahoe resorts opening dates

2018/19 Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Projected Opening Dates, Live Cams and Snow Report

* Plan a Tahoe getaway: browse Tahoe vacation rentals or those with a season pass, join a ski lease to set a new personal record for most ski and ride days.

* Book a discount SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski resorts trip: one day, overnight and 7+ day trips; also makes a great gift for holidays, birthdays, etc.

* Rideshare to your favorite Tahoe resort and connect for POWDER trips to Utah, Colorado, Whistler, Europe, Japan, South America and other worldwide snow destinations.

* Join our fun POWder season kickoff parties happening 11/28 – 12/19 (connect for Tahoe rideshares (share expenses, help reduce impact to our environment, expand your contacts for ski & ride buddies).

* Got a 60 seconds GoPRO video of you skiing or riding POW? Enter our skiing / riding POWDER contest.

2018-19 Lake Tahoe ski resorts projected opening dates, snow report and live resort webcams ..

Heavenly is opened Trail Map | Live Cams

heavenly-resort-opening-day

Sierra at Tahoe is opened Trail Map | Cam

Kirkwood is opened Trail Map | Cam

kirkwood-resort

Squaw Valley USA is opened Trail Map | Cam

squaw-alpine

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 . Check their website for night skiing hours. Trail Map | Cam

Homewood is opened  Trail Map | Cam

homewood-resort

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 early Dec Trail Map | Cam

Soda Springs DEC Trail Map

Yosemite’s Badger Pass® Ski Area  DEC Trail Map

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

New to SnowPals? Join us to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies.

Quick Navigation Links:

* Caltrans Road Conditions | Road Traffic Live Cams | Chain Control Advisory

* Discount Ski Bus Trips: one day, overnight, 7+ day trips

* Join Tahoe ride-shares / carpool

* Get the Best Value Ski Season Pass Deal which covers Worldwide Snow Destination Resorts.

* North Lake Tahoe Public Transportation Information

PUBLIC SHUTTLES

TART (Tahoe Area Regional Transit)

Call 530-550-1212. Regular schedules run 7 days / week from 6:30 AM until 6:30 PM. TART service runs along 30 miles of the North Lake Tahoe shoreline including a shuttle between Tahoe City and Truckee via Hwy. 89. Buses equipped with bike racks in summer and ski racks in winter.

Truckee Transit

Call 530-587-751 for information. Buses run from 9 AM to 5 PM, no service between 1:15 to 2:15, Monday through Saturday. Service from Truckee Airport / Downtown Commercial Row / Donner Lake.

Ski Resort Shuttles and Schedules

– Free Ski Shuttle. Call 800-736-6365 for information. Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Homewood resorts: TART service offers weekend and holiday week schedule.

Night Rider Free Night Service

Call 530-546-2912 for information. Free service stopping at all TART public bus stops at night through the summer and winter with variable schedules.

TIMING YOUR BUS

NextBus.com

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION

– Public bus service from and to South Lake Tahoe Airport
Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) has a bus stop located at the airport. The bus stop is on route 18X N.B. and E.B.

– BlueGO
BlueGO is a service of the South Tahoe Transit Authority, operated by the Tahoe Transportation District (TTD). BlueGO provides fixed route, demand response, sky shuttles, seasonal trolley service, and commuter express routes on the south shore of Lake Tahoe and to the Carson Valley.

– BlueGO operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit the Tahoe Transportation District website: https://www.tahoetransportation.org/transit/south-shore-services.

– Shuttle Service to & from Reno/Tahoe international Airport
South Tahoe Airporter
(530) 544-5289
http://southtahoeairporter.com

South Tahoe Express
This luxury bus shuttle service offers nonstop service between the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and South Shore casinos and hotel properties. There are 8 daily departures each way from Reno between 5:45 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. and from South Shore beginning at 3:30 a.m. and ending at 11:15 p.m. Purchase tickets through your travel agent, the Welcome Center at the Reno Airport and South Shore Casinos. $27.50 per person, each way. $49.00 round trip. Children 4-12 travel for $15.50 each way or $28.00 round trip with paid adult. CALL 866-898-2463

Amador Stage Lines
Busses for Airport Transfers, Casino Trips, Convention Event Shuttles, Golf Outings, Government contracting, Parties, Party Bus, Ski shuttles, Sporting events, Weddings, Reno ~ Lake Tahoe Bus Trips. 635 Ferrari-Mcleod Blvd. Reno, NV 89512 | 775-324-4444

Heavenly Ski Resort
During the ski season, this resort offers FREE fixed route shuttle service to most South Shore lodging properties. The shuttle runs between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily. Call for designated stops. 530-541-7548

Sierra At Tahoe Ski Resort
During the ski season, this resort offers FREE fixed route shuttle service to most South Shore lodging properties. The shuttle runs between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily. Call for designated stops. 530-541-7548

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 3.24.35 PM – source: onthesnow.com

Would you like to sleep and let a professional driver drive you to your favorite Tahoe resort? Book a discount SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski bus trip: one day and overnight bus trips. Enjoy a full day of skiing or riding; sleep on the way to Tahoe and watch movies on the return while enjoying complimentary snacks and drinks.

* Browse Season Pass and Lift Ticket Deals

season-pass-lift-ticket-deals

* Extreme cool POWDER Van Adventure shoutout to Chris Benchetler’s fluid style as a skier (athlete and an artist) and his journey to ski fresh powder as he travels around the West Coast USA visiting various powder destinations.

GoPro: Chasing AdVANture with Chris Benchetler in 4K


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



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

Caltrans Road Conditions, Road Traffic Live Cams, Highway Patrol Traffic Incidents Report, Chain Control Advisory, Tahoe Seven Day Weather Forecast

* Check to see when the next snow storm is in the forecast. Browse traffic and road webcams. Check Caltrans live feed.

* WINTER DRIVING TIPS

http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html

* CHAIN CONTROLS

http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/chain-controls.html

* Roads, Traffic – Check Current Highway Conditions

http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

* LIVE TRAFFIC CAMS

http://www.dot.ca.gov/video/

* CHP Traffic Incident Information

http://cad.chp.ca.gov/

* TAHOE ROAD LIVE CAMS

http://newtoreno.com/ca-i80-webcams-donner-summit.htm

* NORTH TAHOE LIVE CAMS

https://tahoetopia.com/webcams

* SOUTH TAHOE LIVE CAMS

https://tahoesouth.com/lake-tahoe-web-cams/

* Tip: before you drive to Tahoe, check Current California Highway Road Conditions & Traffic; Enter Highway Number(s)

Check weather forecast:

On the Beyond Tahoe Snow Destination ‘Bucket List’: where can you ski and ride at midnight, soak in a hot mineral water pool, then follow that up with soju shots and BBQ eats? Dragon Valley, South Korea – site of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Cross Country Tahoe Ski Areas Opening Dates

Granlibakken Resort  DEC Trail Map | Cam

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort  DEC Trail Map

Spooner Lake Cross Country Ski Area  DEC Trail Map

Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area  DEC Trail Map

Southern California/Sierra

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort  Nov 9 Trail Map | Cam

mammoth-mtn-resort

*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

map source: unofficialnetworks.com

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.

Looking to join a Tahoe ski lease? Browse our listing, or list yours.

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

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

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

 

Tahoe Area: Good Value Listing / Advertising Alternative to VRBO and Airbnb

alternative-to-airbnb-vrbo

Tahoe Area Ski Leases and Vacation Rentals: SnowPals is a Good Value Listing / Advertising Alternative to VRBO and Airbnb

Advertise on SnowPals by listing your Tahoe rental, seasonal ski lease or members shared ski lease to get results. Feedback from property owners who have listed with us:

“Thank you SnowPals. I have listed my vacation rental property for the last 4 years with great results. The results from SnowPals advertising brings me good responsible renters every year.” – Randy of North Tahoe Home Rental 9/6/2018

“I think SnowPals is fantastic; I’ve actually been on both sides of SnowPals. We actually found this ski lease last year on SnowPals and the organizer from last year wanted to hit up North Lake this year, so we took over the lease. We included the $35 fee within our rent so actually the person who is leasing from us will pay that. We obviously didn’t tell them that, but I think $35 is a reasonable amount for someone to pay to alleviate the stress of finding the right fit. We filled the spot for the ski-lease quickly! Thanks for your help. We had so many people interested. My husband was telling me that he thinks SnowPals has great potential, and I agree with him. We had at least 25 people contact us, which means there’s a market for matching up owners of homes with tenants. Not sure if SnowPals has the capability to essentially be a management company to find tenants, but I do know our organizer last year actually found our place by reaching out to Airbnb/VRBO listings in Tahoe to see if we could take the house off their hands for the winter time. Just a thought. I am sure it would invaluable to an owner. Hopefully one day we’ll be coming to you to help lease our home in Tahoe 🙂 ” – Sally B. of Tahoe Heavenly Boulder Lodge Ski Out Condo – 9/26/2017

Are you looking for a good value alternative to listing your vacation rental or ski lease on Airbnb, VRBO, FlipKey or HomeAway? We offer a simple and low $35 ad listing fee; notably we do not charge renters and we’ve been connecting owners with renters since 1999.

 
Are you not getting noticed because your listing is on sites next to thousands of other properties? What does it matter if your target audience can not find you?

SnowPals’ listing is affordable, user friendly, and niche targeted to Lake Tahoe vacation rentals and ski leases. We’ve been helping vacation rental owners increase their booking referrals since 1999 by connecting SF Bay Area professionals who enjoy snow sports with Tahoe area property owners to book vacation rentals and ski lease organizers looking for seasonal ski lease members.

SnowPals have been growing strong for 20 years. We have been connecting San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors to Tahoe together for outdoor activities and snow sports. SnowPals’ 8,055+ members list(as of September 2018) grows yearly and we have a 16,000+ audience reach for social media, newsletter list and new visitors to our website. Get results: increase your vacation rental bookings by advertising on SnowPals to reach your Lake Tahoe rentals target audience.

How Much Does It Cost?

We offer a simple listing fee of $35 for the entire ski season (until April 30) for ski lease advertising, and until August 1 for vacation rental advertising.

Comparison of Airbnb & VRBO Advertising Fees

AirBnB listing fees: Takes 3% of the overall rental price (plus added fees) as their charge. This includes credit card processing fees also. (note: guests are apparently charged 6-12% of the booking as a fee to them, so keep this in mind when pricing your home compared to your competition).

VRBO listing fees: They have the option of no listing fee and 10% fee per booking. This includes the credit card processing fees also. You can also choose to pay a yearly fee starting at $349 for the year. It says there’s a 0% fee, but it’s a bit misleading since you still have to pay for credit card processing. So in reality it’s a 10% fee with no yearly fee or a 3% with $349/yr. (or more depending on plan).

SnowPals is a good value alternative to listing on Airbnb and VRBO for the Lake Tahoe area; list your vacation rental or ski lease to get booking referrals. To get an idea of what people are listing; browse vacation rentals and ski leases.

Reviews And Feedback From People Who Have Listed With Us

“SnowPals has been a huge help in finding the last few member of our ski lease this year. Not only does the service act as a recruiting tool, it is a great resource for members to see lease specifics and photos of the house even after they have signed up. Creating a listing was easy, and personally I thought the advertising support was extremely responsive to emails. Thanks for offering a great service.” – Jonas of Truckee New Luxury House 11/16/2018

“I’ve been a member of Snow Pals since it started. For the last two years I have been using the cabin share ad listing on SnowPals to fill vacancies in my seasonal rental. For the money involved this is a great deal as it targets a very direct market. It’s incredible that so many Bay Area snow sports enthusiasts get together in this manner. Highly recommended.” – John W. of Donner Lake Cabin Share 10/5/2018

“We have used SnowPals for 4 yrs in a row to help find others to share our ski lease. We have had great success with quality applicants. We have tried other sites and none can compare. The nominal fee is a great value.” – Chris of Family Ski Lease Agate Bay 10/1/2018

“Thanks to your wonderful website, our cabin is now full for the 2018-19 ski season. This is our 6th season advertising our ski lease on SnowPals. I had about 35 people contact me for the listing this year. I don’t know how you they do it, but with SnowPals we get only professional folks and most of them people familiar with snow country. I had tried craigslist and pretty much just got people who wanted to pay $100 and have someplace to lay their head, and could they make the $100 payment in two payments. When I switched to Snowpals.org I found almost exclusively professional working people who had no trouble paying the full lease membership fee and who appreciates a nice, uncrowded place, which is how we do our cabin. THANKS!!” – JoAnn M. of Alpine Meadows Luxury Ski Lease 09/10/2018

“Snowpals ski lease listing is the best for the Tahoe area lease and rental market advertising! It’s well worth the $35 price-which is very cheap. I very much appreciate all you guys do in attracting folks who share a passion for snow sports.” – Christine S. of Tahoe Donner Truckee Ski Lease 9/6/2018

“Thank you Snowpals. I have listed my vacation rental property for the last 4 years with great results. The results from Snowpals advertising brings me good responsible renters every year. I only list with Snowpals now.” – Randy S. of North Tahoe Home Rental 9/6/2018

“I’ve listed my ski lease ads on Snowpals over the past several years. The ads have helped me greatly in filling the memberships in my ski annual ski leases. They have also given me the opportunity to meet and get to know and create some great friendships over the years!” – Jack D. of Lake View Tahoe Donner Ski Lease 9/4/2018

“Our Snowpals ski lease ad listing worked great. We posted the ad on a Wednesday, and had filled the last 4 spots in our house within 6 days. We had plenty of responses which allowed us to be selective and ensure a good fit for the house. We would definitely use it again. Thanks!” – Kelle & Marc of Great Donner Lake Ski Lease 12/5/2017

“Snowpals offer a great ski lease listing service! I was uncertain at first about whether we’ll actually find someone we wanted to share a ski lease with, however lots of people ended up approaching me of all ages and backgrounds. Most of those seemed like they would be a good fit, and it only took me a single meeting with one of the first responders to decide it would be awesome to share a lease with. I give SnowPals a rating of 10/10; would re-list next year if we need people to join our ski lease!” Jaco R. of Heavenly Kirkwood Ski Lease 11/18/2017

“Listing my ski lease on Snowpals helped us fill the remaining 5 spots with cool people (and great skiers, even one woman who has trained with the US ski team!). It’s better than posting on Craigslist, because all of the people who reach out are actual ski/snowboard enthusiasts. Would definitely recommend, and $35 is totally worth it–just put it into your ski lease budget–a drop in the bucket for great ski members additions!” – Alan A. of Ski Palace Tahoe City Ski Lease 11/16/2017

“I can’t say enough about how great my experience with Snowpals was! Snowpals made it easy and logistically possible to find cool ski / snowboarders for our house!! You know the people you find and who find your listing are like minded, and love to be in the snow! The vetting process is so much faster, and it’s a great community to get involved with.” – Michelle M. of Squaw Valley Ski Lease 11/08/2017

“This is our second season using Snowpals to find the last couple members of our ski lease. It’s easy to post and we end up getting tons of responses! We’ve had so much success that every person we’ve found so far on Snowpals has joined the cabin for the next season! Definitely worth $35!” – Miriam M. of Alpine Meadows Ski Lease 11/02/2017

“For the second year in a row I found great tenants in less than a week on Snowpals aka SkiPals. So much more efficient than using Craigslist, which attracts all the international people on visas, and Airbnb, which attracts weekend rentals. Will continue to be my go to Snowpals to list my ski lease.” – Kathleen M. of Kings Beach Ski Lease 10/26/2017

“I’ve now used Snowpals two years in a row to fill my ski lease and it’s been an amazingly smooth process! There are so many fun people who share my enthusiasm for ski season – and are all courteous, helpful, clean, and overall a blast to hang out with. I can’t imagine going back to trying to hunt down unsure friends! Snowpals is now my go-to for filling my ski lease every year.” – Agatha of Heavenly Four Bedroom Ski In Out Ski Lease 10/5/2017

“We’ve used SnowPals for the last couple of seasons and compared to other listings it’s brought in the best leads by far. Keeping our listing up-to-date is always easy, and this year we didn’t bother to list anywhere else… it’s not worth the time or trouble vs relying on SnowPals.” – Robert H. of Beautiful NEW Truckee Luxury House 10/2/2017

“I think Snowpals is fantastic; I’ve actually been on both sides of Snowpals. We actually found this ski lease last year on Snowpals and the organizer from last year wanted to hit up North Lake this year, so we took over the lease. We included the $35 fee within our rent so actually the person who is leasing from us will pay that. We obviously didn’t tell them that, but I think $35 is a reasonable amount for someone to pay to alleviate the stress of finding the right fit. We filled the spot for the ski-lease quickly! Thanks for your help. We had so many people interested. My husband was telling me that he thinks Snowpals has great potential, and I agree with him. We had at least 25 people contact us, which means there’s a market for matching up owners of homes with tenants. Not sure if Snowpals has the capability to essentially be a management company to find tenants, but I do know our organizer last year actually found our place by reaching out to Airbnb/VRBO listings in Tahoe to see if we could take the house off their hands for the winter time. Just a thought. I am sure it would invaluable to an owner. Hopefully one day we’ll be coming to you to help lease our home in Tahoe 🙂 ” – Sally B. of Tahoe Heavenly Boulder Lodge Ski Out Condo 9/26/2017

“I am please to let you know that we filled our ski lease in Tahoe Donner. I am sold on Snowpals! Last time we were in the market for a replacement, we advertised on CraigsList and this was a much more pleasant experience! Thanks for your help.” – Laurie B. of Beautiful Tahoe Donner Ski Lease 9/22/2017

“Tim and the Snow Pals’ team have made filling our ski lease drop dead simple. One post and we fill our lease right up.” – Micaiah F. of Meyers Ski Lease 9/18/2017

“We have successfully used Snowpals to fill a few vacancies in our house over the years (pre-season and mid-season). We received multiple responses in a short amount of time, and nobody flaked (unlike experience with other sources). Snowpals is definitely worth the minimal advertising investment.” – Jen W. of Carnelian Bay Ski Lease 11/30/2016

“Snowpals is a great site to get quality referrals for our vacation rental. I received more than 23 different enquirers and had my vacation rental condo booked for as a ski lease within a month of posting. I am pleased with the professional renter we were connected with and look forward to using SnowPals again next year.” – Kathleen M. of Northstar Condo Vacation Rental 11/25/2016

“Thanks to Snowpals we went from 5 members and an expensive, empty house to a dynamic group of 11 consisting of regular and weekdays only members in about a month’s time. A $35 listing fee saved the original members over $1200 each, and we all made new friends!” – Kate S. of South Lake Tahoe Ski Lease with Hot Tub 11/24/2016

“Snowpals is a great resource which helped us to find additional members for our ski lease. We now have a fun winter to look forward to with a great group of skiers from San Francisco. Snowpals’ website was easy to use, and ad placement just took a few minutes and we got tons of responses. I would definitely use Snowpals again.” – Alexis R. of Tahoe Donner Ski Lease 11/21/2016

“I was astounded by how much high quality interest I got through Snowpals – I could have easily filled my lease twice over.  Tim at Snowpals was very responsive; great experience overall, would use it again and would be happy to recommend to others.” – Anne R. of Tahoe City Ski Lease Memberships 10/27/2016

“Snowpals saved our winter this year! We wanted to organize a ski lease but had friends who were unsure if they could commit. We listed our lease on snowpals in mid September and were able to fill it by the end of September. And the people we met are amazing! I would highly recommend using snowpals for anyone trying to organize a ski lease.” – Agatha B. of Heavenly Ski-in/out Ski Lease 9/28/2016

“Snowpals is just what you need if you are trying to fill your ski lease with quality members.  I posted an ad on Snowpals, and within 9 days I had received a dozen inquiries.  We were able to close out our roster quickly and conveniently.  I will use the site again for certain.” – Alex P. of Alpine Meadows Year Round Family Ski Lease 9/17/2016

“Thanks for running Snowpals’ website. Met some of my best friends on here when I found my first ski lease. This year we advertised on Snowpals and filled our ski lease memberships quickly.” – Justin H. of Alpine Meadows Ski Lease 9/20/2016

“Snowpals helped us find amazing families and fill our lease more quickly this year than we ever have in the past!  I highly recommend snowpals for anyone who is looking to fill a few spots in their ski house!” – John H. of Tahoe Donner Family Ski Lease 9/12/2016

“Thanks for listing my ski lease quickly – in the last 10 days I got a lot of people who where interested, so now I finalized and we’re full 🙂 !  Thanks again for your help and for SnowPals, it’s great to get this done so quickly!” – Jan V., Tahoe Donner Luxury Cabin

“We found 4 great folks via Snowpals to fill up our ski lease. Totally worth the $35 ad listing fee. It usually took us longer to fill our lease with another listing service we had to pay a higher listing fee than Snowpals’. Thanks!” Mike M., Carnelian Bay Ski Cabin

“Last year we advertised on both Snowpals and Craigslist.  The Craigslist responders were to a person looking for the cheapest bed possible, with one scammer who wanted to come look at the house when we weren’t there, and tried to get all sorts of information from me. The Snowpals responders (last year and this year), were professional, business owners, professors, and high tech people. We will certainly be back next year!”- JoAnn M, ski lease organizer, Alpine Meadows Ski Lease

“I’m very happy with the quality of people referrals your site attracts. Keep up the good work!” – Sandy W., owner of Truckee Rental House

“It was awesome posting on Snowpals! Within 36 hours, I received a bunch of responses in my inbox, and our listing closed fairly quickly. All the emails were super nice and friendly, and many responses were from people already familiar with the Tahoe area and experienced in previous ski leases, which was a huge plus!” – Cindy L., Tahoe City Ski Lease

“Snowpals is a far better resource than Craigslist or the local papers. For several years running I’ve managed to find excellent full season renters in a very short time and with minimal hassle. Thanks Snowpals!” — Chris K., Markleeville homeowner

“We got about twice as many queries from Snowpals as from Craigslist. The queries seemed from ‘more normal’ people, and it was nice to not have to hit renew every few days.” – Trent G., Donner Lake Ski Lease

“Advertising my ski lease on snowpals was quick, easy and highly effective! In no time, I had responses from really nice, high-caliber potential ski cabin members. I filled my spots in no time with people I really like, who are a great fit for the cabin.” – Heather D. of Alpine Meadows Ski Lease

* Read additional reviews from people who have advertised / listed their Tahoe vacation rental and ski lease on SnowPals at https://www.facebook.com/SnowPals.org/

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Favorite tropical retreat getaway

thailand-beaches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Culinary Odyssey

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

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


Baan Aomjai’s Vacation Rental Photo Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ Scenic aerial view of the beach town Prachuap:

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

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

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

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

*~*

What's your favorite tropical beach town retreat getaway?

Share yours. Share your favorite retreat getaway; have you experienced a stellar tropical getaway, such as a writer's retreat, relaxation / yoga retreat, cooking / culinary retreat, cozy small beach town retreat / getaway?
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    Saving the Planet One Rider At A Time

         snowpals_logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Survival Guide & Tips: Skiing with Kids

    skiing-with-kids-tahoe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Confidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Comfort

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

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

    Sate

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

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

    =====

    More skiing with kids tips for parents..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    mountain-collective-pass-2018-19

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

    THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS 2018-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    Enjoy scenic Lake Tahoe: hiking and snowshoeing

    snowshoeing-tahoe

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

    How to snowshoe?

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

    Where to rent or buy snowshoes?

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

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

    What to wear?

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

    Where to snowshoe in Tahoe? Flume Trail

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

    tunnel-creek-cafe-incline-village

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

    flume-trail-tahoe

    flume-trail-tahoe-hiking

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Upcoming

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

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

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    How to join SnowPals

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

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

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

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

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

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

    How do I join? Is there a membership fee?

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

    Membership perks:

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

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

    Screen Shot of SnowPals’ Forum January 2018:

    snowpals-forum-screen-shot-jan-2018

    Screen shot of postings from our forum April 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    New Member Sign-Up

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

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


    Your Name & Email
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    Read some feedback from folks who’ve joined SnowPals.

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

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