JAPOW HAKUBA + NISEKO SKI/RIDE TRIP FEB 2020

japow

Is JAPOW Ski & Ride Silky POWDER TRIP on your list?

Join us Feb 1 to 12, 2020 for a once in a lifetime EPIC POWDER ski & ride trip to HAKUBA & NISEKO, Japan..

Flight departs from SFO – San Francisco International Airport on Saturday Feb 1, 2020.

Secure your spot with a deposit.

2 spots left as of November 7, 2019 (we’ll update if spots have been taken – refresh this page for updates).

Here’s your chance to discover simply some of the driest, lightest powder aka silky champagne powder in the world.

Japan’s powder consistently records winter seasonal snowfall of 45.9 feet of snow or more; it is among the top three 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.

How did JaPOW gets it’s name?

Seasonal winds from the Eurasian continent pick up moisture over the warm currents of the Sea of Japan to form snow clouds and in turn produce some of the driest and 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.

This trip includes two separate legs, first leg is to Niseko, the second leg is to Hakuba – both legs with multiple days of Skiing/Snowboarding plus an opportunity to check out the ultra popular Ice Festival in Sapporo as a side trip, in addition to Tokyo!

First Leg of the trip to Niseko:

Flights from SFO to Sapporo via Tokyo
Feb 2 – transfer from Sapporo to Niseko (aprox 2 hour drive)
5 nights at the Hyatt House in Niseko, double occupancy (Single occupancy available at additional cost) daily continental breakfast included
Dinner Feb 3rd (location TBD)
3-Day Lift Pass Niseko (Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko and An’Nuupri are all options with this pass)
1-Day lift pass to Rusutsu – (can be exchanged for train ride to Sapporo for Ice festival)

Second part of the trip to Hakuba:

Leave Niseko Feb 7th to Sapporo with Flight into Tokyo in mid morning
Transfers to Private Lodge in Hakuba (5 nights accommodations included)
Feb 8 – Ski Happo One
Feb 8 – Dinner (Location TBD)
Feb 9 – Ski Cortina
Feb 10 – Free Day
Feb 11 – Ski Hakuba 47
Feb 12 – early am transfer to Tokyo, have all day to explore and see Tokyo, with Evening Flights direct home to SFO

What is it like to ski powder slopes in Japan?

What is it like to snowboard/ride powder slopes in Japan?

Join us for an epic skiing and snowboarding trip that will be one of your most memorable experience of a lifetime.

In addition to the epic skiing/riding, some side perks:

+ enjoy natural onsen hot springs
+ enjoy some of the freshest seafood + sushi
+ expand your cultural insight and foodie palate discovering delectable foods & taste stellar sakes and plum wine brands only available in Japan 😉

If you have Ikon Pass, Vail’s Epic Pass or Mountain Collective Pass, let us know and we will reduce the cost by those lift ticket expenses.

FAQs:

1) How many total lift tickets/ski days are included in the cost?

4 days during first leg, and 3 days plus an optional 4th day on second leg.. All tickets, for the exception of the optional day, are included in price.

2) Any backcountry skiing?

Both Niseko and Hakuba have ample tree and Backcountry options at the resort. Also several expert local backcountry guides available for hire at both locations if that’s something you’d like to do.

3) Any meals included in the price?

Continental breakfast at the Hyatt is included, and for the second leg at the private chalet we’re staying at, we are finalizing breakfast to be included daily plus we will give out a snack package so you can take a snack break to recharge slopeside.

4) How close are the lodging to the lifts?

The Hyatt Niseko is at the base of Niseko village, with several resorts accessible via shuttle taxi, with some lifts that are only steps away; we will coordinate shuttles to a resort each day so no need to worry; in addition, if you’d like to venture on your own that is an option but you’ll have to cover those side trip expenses separately.

5) What expenses are not included in the trip price?

We will include two dinners and continental breakfast each day. Aside from that, you are free to have the remaining meals at restaurants of your choosing. We will provide restaurant tips so people have the option to enjoy meals together or you can choose to eat meals separately.

6) Couldn’t I just plan my own trip to Japan and save money?

Yes, certainly you could but it takes lots of detailed planning and time to properly research. In addition, Japan is a country whose citizens speak mostly Japanese even in tourist areas so there is a language barrier if you find yourself lost or in need of directions, advice or have travel related questions. Most importantly, it is the priceless intangibles we incorporate into our trips: wisdom and experience of the best lodging, hot tubs (onsens), restaurants and in addition, we take care of the details so you can focus on enjoying epic powder or shall I say “JaPOW” vacation 😉

7) Is there a discount if we use the lift tickets that’s included in IKON pass, Epic Pass, Mountain Collective Pass?

Holders of IKON pass, EPIC pass or Mountain Collective Pass – more reason to join this ski/ride trip to Japan since you can save $175 to $235 depending on which pass you have. Just let us know when you book and we will deduct the cost of the lift tickets for those using their season pass.

8) I am interested but will you help find me another person to share a room with since it’s double occupancy?

Certainly, we’ll help pair you up with another male or female according to your gender. Just let us know when you book.

9) Who is the trip organizer?

Tahoe Ski Trips is a tour & event management company that specializes in coordinating ski & adventure tours, senior graduation trips and guided wildlife tours.

Tahoe Ski Trips

‘TST (Tahoe Ski Trips) opened its doors in 1996 as Bay Area Ski Bus and today runs over 500 trips & tours per year! Management has over 40 years of combined experience producing tours and events ranging from skiing, to golf trips, wine trips and out of state adventures! Operating with integrity and a commitment to quality, TST contracts with the finest transportation companies and recreation outfitters with fantastic reputations and safety records. We focus on the details, while you focus on having fun! Our quality and service is unmatched!’ – TahoeSkiTrips.net

Why JAPOW?

Got a question or would like to reserve a spot?

to reserve your spot with a deposit by November 30, 2019; be sure to tell Kevin that you learned about this trip through SnowPals to get $40 off the trip price of $4300 which includes:

+ all flights and transfers,
+ 5 nights lodging at the Hyatt,
+ 5 nights lodging at a private chalet,
+ lift tickets for 7 days,
+ two dinners and
+ daily breakfasts.

*Lodging stay is with double occupancy. Single occupancy supplement available at additional cost.

To reserve, deposit 50% with the remaining balance due 30 days prior to trip; the deposit is required so that we can secure group flights pricing as that is the most pressing issue.

Is Hakuba, Niseko, Tokyo + Sapporo on your travel destinations bucket list? If yes, no better time than now. Share with friends to invite 😉

There’s good reason why Hakuba is the top travel destination for the Free Ride World Tour (FRWT) 2020: POWDER measured in meters.

The deep conditions and exciting terrain will give the riders the best possible start to the competition season.

Watch the live webcast of the FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2019 in Hakuba, Japan:


japow-feb2-2020-ski-trip

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What’s the best value season pass deal for 2019/20? Get the most mountain for your money

mountain collective ski season pass deal

Updated on August 8,2019

What’s the best value ski season pass deal for 2019/20?

IKON Pass ($749/$1049), Epic Pass ($699/$939), or Mountain Collective Pass at $489?

Here’s why the MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS 2019/20 is the best value season pass:

Ski, Ride & Explore 18 Mountains Around The World. 2 Days At Each Resort. No Blackout Dates, 2 Days at the Collective Ski Resort Destinations for Passholders.

For the 2019-2010 season included is a BONUS THIRD DAY AT THE DESTINATION OF YOUR CHOICE. Perfect Ski Getaway. Adults and Kids’ Passes. That’s a total of 35 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 destination. Includes big name resorts like Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Aspen Snowmass in Colorado, Taos in New Mexico, Niseko United (Japan) & more (see full list below)

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

+ Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (Northern California)
+ Mammoth Mountain (Central Sierra, California)

+ Alta (Utah)
+ Snowbird (Utah)

+ Aspen Snowmass (Colorado)

+ Taos Ski Valley (New Mexico)
+ Jackson Hole (Wyoming)
+ Big Sky Resort (Montana)
+ Sugarbush Resort (Vermont)

+ Revelstoke Mountain Resort (British Columbia, Canada) – sets record for highest vertical at 5,620 feet & longest ski season in Canada and is only 35 miles away from Banff Sunshine

+ Banff Sunshine (Alberta, Canada)
+ Lake Louise (Alberta, Canada)

+ Niseko United (Japan) – watch the epic powder riding video below; Japan skiing is on many skiers’ bucket list

+ Coronet Peak | The Remarkables (New Zealand)
+ Thredbo Alpine Village (Australia)

+ Mt Buller (Australia) – added for 2019/20
+ Valle Nevado (Chile) – added for 2019/20

Read more/buy the Mountain Collective Pass for $449 Adults. Kids 12 and under only $99.

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

1) Ski or ride three days and the pass will have more than paid for itself; keep in mind a single adult regular lift ticket goes for $169 at Squaw Alpine and similar resorts cost just as much. Once you have redeemed three days of lift tickets, you still have 32 more days of skiing at other resorts. The more days you ski and ride, the more value you get from the pass. So the key question is from your past experience, how many ski days do you actually take? If you have a busy work schedule, this pass offers the best value for the price aka the best bang for your buck.

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, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Niseko United (Japan), Banff Sunshine, and Taos Ski Valley resort. The pass gives you an excuse to explore new resorts. Take to 2-3 days at one resort, then take a road-trip 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, you can chase powder dumps at your choice of 16 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), Snowbird (Utah), Sugarbush Resort (Vermont), Taos Ski Valley (New Mexico), and Thredbo (Australia). THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE SKI SEASON PASS lets you go where the powder is. In case Lake Tahoe area resorts suffered from insufficient snow, you have a list of other resorts you can go to.

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, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR PASSHOLDERS

+ 2 days at Chamonix in France*

Chamonix — France

* Benefits at Chamonix apply to their 2019/20 season. Mountain Collective global affiliate benefits are valid only at the current Mountain Collective Global Affiliates. Global Affiliates are subject to change each ski season.

+ Complimentary 1-year Protect Our Winters (POW) membership

Get more details about the Mountain Collective Pass details/purchase.

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

Got ski & ride road trip?

How about an eight day road trip to ski resorts covered by the Mountain Collective Pass:

1st stop: Mammoth Mountain Resort, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

2nd stop: Squaw Valley Resort, 1960 Squaw Valley Rd, Olympic Valley, CA 96146

3rd stop: Alta Ski Area, 10010 Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Alta, UT 84092

4th stop: Snowbird Resort, 9385 S, Snowbird Center Dr, Sandy, UT 84092

mountain-collective-pass-ski-resorts-road-trip

Connect with ski and ride buddies to plan a POWder ski trip, share expenses and make this winter season one of your best.

Watch the YouTube video below to see why Japan is on many skier’s POWder galore bucket list.

Every year consistently Epic POWder: Niseko, Japan

Included in the pass is one of the top ski destination: 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 form 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):


Mountain Collective Pass details, to purchase



Join us for an epic silky powder ski/ride trip to Hakuba + Niseko, Japan Feb 1 to 12, 2020; details @

http://www.snowpals.org/2019/japow-hukuba-niseko-skiride-trip-feb-2020/

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You’re invited: Ski & Ride Winter Season Kick-off Party

donner-lake-cabin-share-2020

*** Annual Ski & Ride Winter Kick-off Party ***

What: Join to increase your ‘fun factor” by expanding your circle of ski, ride buddies for Tahoe ski trips & powder trips to other snow destinations especially covered by a multi-resort pass such as the
EPIC PASS, IKON PASS, MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS + POWDER ALLIANCE PASS.

Our Host is Emily ..

“I was born & raised Vermonter, and a current Epic Pass holder. Most weekends you can find me at Kirkwood, or Heavenly shredding the pow. Interested in carpooling on weekends, or weekdays to any Epic Resorts. Looking forward to meeting everyone!”

– Swag giveaway: $25 Sports Basement gift card Sports Basement + other swag in the works

– Watch ski/ride video from last season to get stoked for winter season powder ski/ride trips to Tahoe, Colorado, Utah, British Columbia, South America Europe and Japan.

– Share POWDER Stories from last season and enjoy complimentary drinks and light snacks 😉

– Expand your circle of friends/buddies for snow sports & backcountry ski/ride partners as well

Find yourself driving to/from Lake Tahoe with mostly empty seats?

Carpool/RideShare with skiers, boarders who love snow sports as much as you, share expenses and help preserve our environment by ride-sharing to/from Tahoe.

Got your skis/snowboard tuned & waxed?

Get 20% off at this event to shop at Sports Basement for ski/ride gear & winter attire and get your skis, snowboard waxed, tuned/serviced while waiting for resorts to open.

When: Tuesday November 5, 2019 from 7 pm to 9 pm.

At 8 pm, we will have a swag drawing giveaway so get there early to partake – print your event ticket and it will be used as your drawing entry to win event swag.

7:30 PM – New ski & board gear demo
8:00 PM – Event Swag Giveaway Drawing
8:10 PM – Learn how to wax your skis / snowboard based on the type of snow slopeside

Where: Sports Basement Bryant, SF

1590 Bryant St

San Francisco, California 94103

event-rsvp-eventbrite

RSVP for this event on Eventbrite.

Important: PLEASE be courteous and let us know if you can’t make it after you have RSVPed; sign into EventBrite to change your RSVP so that we can get an accurate count of how many folks to expect. Behind the scene, we work tremendously hard to put together events so in return please be mindful to give us a heads up if your plans have changed and you can no longer attend. Much appreciated!

View events in other parts of the Bay Area.

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Fun Poll Questions

Which Tahoe resort do you ski / ride at most often?

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What's your Skiing / Snowboarding Experience?

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* New to SnowPals? Join us to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies and Tahoe ride-share contacts for powder trips to Tahoe and beyond.

Best of Tahoe List: pitstops, apres-ski venues, pet-friendly hotels, etc

tahoe-ski-trips-logo

Thank you everyone for your vote for our ‘Best of Tahoe List” and tips. Congrats to winners (announced on Tuesday January 22, 2019 at 11 pm PST) on our Facebook page 🙂

Planning a getaway to Lake Tahoe to enjoy snow-sports​?​

Check out our ‘Best of Tahoe List’ and ti​​ps ​from our veteran skiers and boarders 😉

– pitstops en route to/from Lake Tahoe; best place to refill gas for low prices
– North Tahoe & South Tahoe apres-ski spots/venues + happy hour deals
– pet-friendly hotels
– pet-sitting
– winter driving tips
– wind protected Tahoe resorts, etc.

Travis S. tips:

(1) What is your favorite place for a pitstop whenever you drive to and from Tahoe & why?

Burger Barn in Pollock Pines. Quirky staff, cheap but good food, and really good meat and veggie burgers. https://www.yelp.com/biz/burger-barn-pollock-pines

(2) Owners of all wheel drive vehicles, this tip is for those looking to buy an AWD or 4WD vehicle for Tahoe trips/driving on snow/icy roads, what make & model do you recommend? why?

I think it’s less about the model and more about getting snow tires. They make all the difference.

(3) For winter snow & icy roads, which tire brand do you use and recommend for best traction control and why?

I like and use Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires. They’ve served me well, from Tahoe to Montana, Colorado, Utah, and all over icy/snowy conditions in the west.

(4) For Apres ski & ride, what places do you like to hang out to enjoy drinks / snacks? happy hour?

Tahoe Aleworx in South Lake Tahoe is the best. You can’t beat RFID wristbands to pour your own beer 🙂
They have 2 locations in South Lake Tahoe (Stateline near Heavenly Village and at the “Y”).

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lake-tahoe-aleworx-south-lake-tahoe

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lake-tahoe-aleworx-stateline-stateline

(5) Winter snow and ice driving and safety tips?

I’ve seen countless people driving to and from Tahoe in cars that have no business being in the mountains in snow and icy conditions. Have or use 4WD/AWD *and* snow tires!

(6) Which resort do you recommend for first time beginners and advance level/expert skiers and snowboarders?

– True beginners/first timers: Tahoe Donner
– Beginners: Sierra at Tahoe, Northstar
– Advanced: Heavenly, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

(8) What’s your favorite Tahoe area for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing?

Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge
Camp Richardson
Kirkwood
Tahoe XC

(9) On high wind days, which resort is your go to that is mostly protected from high wind/gusts? FYI, on high wind days, many resorts put ski lifts on wind hold; to avoid, good to know which resort is unlikely to be affected?

– Homewood
– Northstar
– Sierra at Tahoe

(10) For those who are new to skiing and snowboarding, what are your tips for gear? Buy new or used? Learn from friends/family or from ski resorts experts?

If planning to develop and progress, buy new. If just going for a few times then buy used or rent.

(11) What’s your favorite place for Tahoe area petsitting?

Truckee Tahoe Pet Lodge (Truckee)
https://tahoebestfriends.com/ (South Lake Tahoe)

(12) Which Tahoe area resort have the best lake view run?

Heavenly-Ridge Run

(14) What’s your favorite Tahoe area hotel? Fave hotels that are dog & pet-friendly?

Edgewood is the best, and priced accordingly.
– Best pet friendly: Basecamp (South Lake Tahoe & Tahoe City) or a vacation rental (such as those found on dogtrekker.com

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Marc D tips:

(1) What is your favorite place for a pitstop whenever you drive to and from Tahoe & why?

If driving to South Lake Tahoe, one good pitstop for the cheapest gas and coffee is the new Fuel Express Station between Folsom and Placerville. Stay along highway US-50 and take exit 39 for Shingle Springs Dr.

Coming back from SLT along the US-50 after a good skiing day, best is to escape SLT before traffic builds, drive all the way to Placerville where you can enjoy the best BBQ in town at the Hog Wild Bar-B-Que (good food and reasonable price). If you are not a meat fan, then not far away still in Placerville is Let’s Poke restaurant. Quick and delicious.

(2) Owners of all wheel drive vehicles, this tip is for those looking to buy an AWD or 4WD vehicle for Tahoe trips/driving on snow/icy roads, what make & model do you recommend? why?

Some newer cars like the RAV4 AWD, it is not AWD all the time but when required. This is good if you are driving on fresh snow on a flat road but I don’t like it when going downhill or uphill. So check your car before driving to ensure it is full time AWD or if it is a 4WD then put it to 4H and drive carefully.

(3) For winter snow & icy roads, which tire brand do you use and recommend for best traction control and why?

The best is to have studded snow tires but we all know most of the people live in the Bay Area and can’t have these snow tires in the city. So another safe option is to have All Season Tires. These tires can be identified with a Mountain / snowflake Symbol on the side of the tire or an M+S label.

(4) For Apres ski & ride, what places do you like to hang out to enjoy drinks / snacks? happy hour?

Again this is for Skiing Heavenly and staying in SLT.
If skiing from the Gondola, then you have multiple choices for drinks and food for Après-Ski.
Azul Kitchen and California Burger in Heavenly Village have good happy hour deals (4 to 6pm) and good food too.

The best pizza is not far too at the Base Camp Pizza Company just next to the Gondola.

If you are parked at the California lodge (top of Ski run Blvd) then don’t worry no need to drive after your long epic day. Himmel Haus is a great German restaurant across the street from the parking lot and have great drinks and food.

(5) Winter snow and ice driving and safety tips?

Driving on snow is tricky and the best is to avoid sudden braking or turning. Try to use engine braking when going downhill versus braking all the time. Don’t use your phone and get distracted, again sudden reactions when driving on snow can lead you to an accident.

Accelerating, stopping and turning take longer and are less predictable when driving on snow.
Slow driving is the key to maintaining control.

(6) Which resort do you recommend for first time beginners and advance level/expert skiers and snowboarders?

– for first timers, Heavenly has good easy runs (maybe easier on California side), but another great and easy resort (my favorite) is Northstar. Very convenient for families.

– for advance skiers and snowboarders, then Squaw Valley and Kirkwood are the best places around Tahoe to enjoy double diamond runs and push your skiing limits.

(7) For Lake Tahoe backcountry skiing/snowboarding, what are 2-3 of your favorite backcountry areas?

The north side of the lake (around Mt Rose) has great backcountry areas.

Also the road to Kirkwood along the 88 has multiple spots for backcountry (Waterhouse peak being the easiest).

Best is to check the App Snow Project for locations and levels.

(9) On high wind days, which resort is your go to that is mostly protected from high wind/gusts? FYI, on high wind days, many resorts put ski lifts on wind hold; to avoid, good to know which resort is unlikely to be affected?

Both Heavenly and Kirkwood get very windy during stormy days. Heavenly is probably the one that shuts down first.

Squaw as well is known to receive strong winds.

Northstar on the contrary is well protected from winds, being in the back side of Lake Tahoe so that would be my best option in a bad stormy day.

(12) Which Tahoe area resort have the best lake view run?

For best views over Lake Tahoe I recommend Heavenly and Mt Rose.

(13) What’s your favorite Tahoe area restaurant / eatery?

Basecamp Pizza Co is the best but it gets very busy.

Heidi’s pancake house has the best breakfasts.

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Adam J tips: is our 2nd prize winner; he innovates with his Subaru DIY POWder chaser makeshift sleeping pad so he can be slope-side for first tracks – see pic below (passionate pow seeker sans ski cabin)

Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 3.05.15 PM

(1) What is your favorite DIY money-saving strategy for Tahoe trips?

My greatest realization was that with a little bit of effort, I can make the back of my Subaru a very comfortable (and cheap) place to sleep for the night. So now, I drive up to the Truckee rest stop the night before, crash out in back since I’m usually tired from driving, and then pop up bright and early in the morning and I’m parked in the front row of free parking at Squaw within 20 minutes. Then I can take my time getting ready cuz I’ve already got a great parking spot! I love it.

(2) Owners of all wheel drive vehicles, this tip is for those looking to buy an AWD or 4WD vehicle for Tahoe trips/driving on snow/icy roads, what make & model do you recommend? why?

Subaru. Period. Also, luggage racks make your car top-heavy and reduce fuel efficiency people.

(3) For winter snow & icy roads, which tire brand do you use and recommend for best traction control and why?

Anything at Costco, mostly because they will do rotations for free. More importantly, have a good set of CHAINS. Also, make sure to test the chains before you need them! Amazon sometimes sends you chains for a different tire size by mistake.

(4) For Apres ski & ride, what places do you like to hang out to enjoy drinks / snacks? happy hour?

My backpack. The resort takes enough of my money. My wife’s sammiches are the bomb! Also, remember those lil flasks you see people use on tv? They work well for apres ski, too!

(5) Winter snow and ice driving and safety tips?

Checklist: Chains (that fit), good tires (lots o tread left), and good wipers (Rain-x, baby!). Don’t crowd the plow!

(10) For those who are new to skiing and snowboarding, what are your tips for gear? Buy new or used? Learn from friends/family or from ski resorts experts?

Thicker socks don’t help! If your feet are cold, they probably aren’t getting sufficient circulation (took me years to figure this out). Try loosening your boots.

🏂⛷❄️❄️❄️

Check out our Tahoe money saving tips such as where to go for lift ticket deals, free birthday lift ticket, learn to ski, snowboard package deals, apres ski happy hour venues, etc at

http://www.snowpals.org/deals/daily-tahoe-tips/

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Give a tip for snow-sports newbies planning to visit Lake Tahoe to enjoy snowsports and get entered into SnowPals giveaway for:

+ $25 Cheesecake Factory Gift Card

https://www.thecheesecakefactory.com

+ $20 gift card for Philz Artesian Coffee

https://www.philzcoffee.com

Entry deadline is Tuesday January 22 at 9:59 pm PST.


To enter our giveaway, please submit your tips for one or more of the following questions:

Tahoe Tips

Give your tips for the following questions; either one or multiple questions..
  • -->> PLEASE include a www.yelp.com link
  • -->> PLEASE include a www.yelp.com link

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* Join our fun informal happy hour meetups organized by our members to connect for Tahoe ridesharing (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.

* 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 for those who are holders of Epic Pass, Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective Pass, or other multi-resort season pass, connect for POWDER trips to Utah, Colorado, Whistler, Europe, Japan, South America and other worldwide snow destinations.

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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 coupon 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 coupon 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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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 members. Come join our pre-snow season ski-and-ride movie screenings, ride-shares, ski leases, snow events, parties, giveaways and wine tastings, pizza & beer socials. Our members often extend group activities into the summer seasons. In the off-season members often engage in various activities from travel to tropical destinations or travel to bucket list destinations, nature hikes, sky-diving, mountain biking, wineries tours, wake boarding among other outdoors activities.

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

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

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

How do I join? Is there a membership fee?

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

Membership perks:

✔ Access to our Tahoe ridesharing/carpool members network of 8,229 members as of October 2019. We’re a free alternative to fee-based Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services. Expand your circle of ski/ride buddies for resort skiing/riding or opt for the backcountry and have the safety of a wing man/woman to stay safe.
✔ Participate in fun and engaging social events
✔ We often hold giveaway raffles for swag and lift tickets at our events
✔ In the off-season, we may facilitate connections for outdoors activities such as hiking, road cycling, mountain biking, wakeboarding, surfing, etc. to encourage an active lifestyle.

Founded in 1999 by a small group of friends; we are now 8,229 members and growing. Celebrating our 21st year of connecting folks to expand their circle of snow sports activity partners.

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 members’ intros from December 2018 to October 2019:

“I am an intermediate snowboarder who enjoys park and free riding. 19/20 will be my 2nd full season. I have a season pass for Heavenly and Sierra and looking to ride up with people who enjoy snowsports. I live in San Jose.” – Mike

“Hi Skiers and Snowboarders!

I’ve been snowsporting in Tahoe my whole life and would like to move there someday. My boyfriend Aaron and I are from Los Gatos, and we have both Ikon and Epic passes but love to visit smaller resorts as well. I also love going to ski movie premieres to get pumped up for the season. We can cook pretty well so you definitely want us in your ski lease. Can’t wait to meet you!” – Anna

“Hi, I am from Chicago, moved here in 2018 from DC and spent many excellent weekends at Kirkwood last season. Typically overstoked Midwesterner, have AWD car, Epic local pass. Mostly a weekend warrior to save vacation days, open to ski lease options, and living in Oakland. In warmer weather I’m climbing in Yosemite and elsewhere. Looking for folks excited to hit the slopes all day long!

Looking to connect with others who have Epic Local- Kirkwood is my favorite, but also open to Northstar/Heavenly.” – Josh from Oakland.

Hi my name is Claire and I’m based in SF. I have the Ikon pass, and am interested in finding people to carpool with to Squaw Alpine.

I like to Ski and do Cross-country skiing too.”

“Hi, I grew up in SF, am 24, and recently got into skiing. I am hoping to go up more this season and am looking for a group or ski buddies to go with! 🙂 ” – Harmony

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

“Hi All! I just moved out to San Francisco after spending some time in Chicago and New York, I currently am on Volunteer Ski Patrol at Squaw Valley So I’m up most weekends and looking to offer rideshare or catch a carpool with others. Myself and some of my family and friends are currently starting a new ski lease in Homewood and we’re hoping to use it to make some new friends! I’m 26 and work as a Programmer.” – Brian

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

“Hi, I’m from the UK working as a doctor at UCSF and looking to do as many day trips/weekend trips as possible. I’m mainly looking for a ride, but if friends happen, it was meant to be! I am clean and travel without skis.” – V.

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

Hello POWDER LOVERS, I’m Brian, 47, and I love to Snowboard, advance level, Surf, watch the SF Giants, and go to Happy Hour. I’m married with two great kids (in the middle school range). My wife is from Canada, and she’s realized her dream of making me a devout snow monkey. We bought season passes for the first time this year, so I’m aiming to put as many miles on my Epic Pass as I can. The kids play sports so our Tahoe trips are tag team with one schlepping kids while the other ski’s/boards. I drive our Subaru Outback when I go and like not needing chains. I’m interested in carpooling with anyone else who wants to day trip. I typically go to Kirkwood from San Mateo on weekends, and some weekdays.” – Brian

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

“Hi everyone! I’ve lived in in SF for about 3 and a half years and am hoping to get up to Tahoe as much as possible on the weekends for some riding (intermediate/advance) this year. I would definitely be interested in ride-sharing with anyone who has space in their vehicle (I don’t have one). I’ve got the Ikon Base Pass so I will likely mostly be going to Squaw/Alpine, but open to other locations on Blackout Dates.” – Mike

“Hey, I live in Menlo Park, moved here from Toronto, Canada 1.5 years ago. Interested in carpooling up to Kirkwood, Heavenly, Northstar. Epic Local Pass holder. Preference is to drive up Friday nights. I have an AWD SUV with chains, can comfortably take 3 plus gear. I don’t have a ski lease so very interested in exchanging driving for a guest stay nights at a lease. I am planning on getting into the backcountry scene as I accumulate the required gear.” – Andrew

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

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

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

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

“Hello, A little bit about myself: single mom with 2 kids. We live in Scotts Valley. I work in Tech in Menlo Park so lots of commuting and computer hours.

I have been a skier since I was about 8. Last season we were at Heavenly quite a lot and spent $$$ on ski school and accommodations. I did find the ski school absolutely fantastic though and one of my friends recommended their ski team.

So here we are, I have signed both kids up for Heavenly’s Comet program and so looking forward to it and connecting with SnowPals who have kids who are in similar resort programs.

Thanks and looking forward to a great season.” – Mercedes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Question:

Why do you required new members to send in a self-intro?

Internet interactions tend to be very one dimensional, unlike meeting someone new face-to-face where you can immediately relate with and can readily establish rapport with; hence, to offset this, we need a catalyst in the form of a self-introduction whereby new members send in a self-intro as part of their membership application to facilitate social connections. Reading a person’s self-intro helps members to get to know more about a person and to learn more about what his/her snow sports interests are which help to serve as conversation starter and can result in cultivating new friendships, or, at the very least to connect for Tahoe ride-sharing to share carpool trip expenses and to help reduce our carbon footprint impact to our natural environment for our benefit and for our future generations to enjoy.

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. Alternative payment option: use Venmo to send the one time membership payment of $20 to SnowPals or . Once payment have been received, we’ll send you an invite to join the forum. Check your inbox (with some email services, it may show up in your spam folder so please check it as well). Look for our email subject header ~ ‘re: Welcome to SnowPals ‘. Please note: allow up to 24 hours (Monday – Friday, non-holidays, 9am to 5pm) for your membership application to be processed and an invite to be sent to the email you specified in the form above. Got a question? .


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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An Insider’s Guide to Ski Leases: Tips and Advice

apres-ski-club     heavenly-condo-rental

Ski Leases for families and groups. The Ins and Outs of Getting Into One.

I’d like to talk to you about ski leases. Not the kind to lease ski equipment, but condo and cabin rentals for an entire ski season for ski addicts like us. I had never heard of one until the end of last season. After I learned about them, they seemed so intriguing and beneficial to my situation that I had to learn more. I finally got into one and would like to tell you about my experience with my first ski lease. By doing so, I hope that you will gain some insight into them and learn about what they are and how you too can get into one. I’ll start with my story and then provide a general description of a ski lease and then some tips from people that have lots of experience with them. Hopefully this will help you into your very own ski lease either for your family or for your group of ski and snowboarding buddies.

When I discovered ski leases I saw them as a great ski housing opportunity for me and my family. You see, I’ve come back to skiing full tilt after almost 20 years of hiatus. Back in the day, I skied every opportunity I could get and being young and without responsibilities, never had an issue finding a place to crash when up in Tahoe. Back then, the freedom of being able to drive up to Tahoe, bum around, ski lots and have really no worries about a place to stay was taken for granted.

Flash forward twenty some-odd years and is it still that way? We all know that answer to that. Marriage and kids have become the major parts of the equation. Since the kids are now old enough to ski all day without a meltdown, we can go up quite a lot. However now when we go its not just me and my buds anymore. Can you imagine going up to Tahoe with my wife and three kids to just show up at someone’s place ready to crash there? It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

What is a family to do? Buying a ski house is out of the question right now. We could book a hotel stay, but that gets very expensive especially for those of us with a ski season pass with the goal of getting in as many ski days as possible. How about day trips? We had to go that route towards the end of last season because we were spending an ungodly amount of money on hotel stays. I’m sure I’m in a similar boat with many of you out there. The solution for someone like us was the seasonal ski lease.

What is it? Basically it is a rental of a condo or cabin in Tahoe for the ski season. If you know you’re going to Tahoe often for skiing then renting a condo/cabin for the ski season is a great alternative to paying for hotels/other lodging each time you go up. It can be more cost effective but also more convenient because you can leave your ski gear and clothing at your ski lease cabin and not worry about having a place to stay and the chore of having to pack for every ski trip. Combined with a season pass to your favorite ski resort, the major expenses are covered and you’ll only have the cost of meals and gas to worry about. If you’re a ski nut like me and aren’t yet in a similar situation, I can’t express how priceless it is to have peace of mind, comfort, and the convenience of having a ski season pass and a place to stay anytime during the season taken care of.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into a ski lease, how do you get into one of these great deals? Through my research, I’ve discovered three ways.

(1) – you can deal directly with the owner of a property and lease the place for you and your family or group for friends for the season. If that is too costly, then you could ask families/friends that you know if they’d want to go in with you and share the cost of the lease.

(2) – you could contact a local professional that brokers these kinds of deals. I haven’t had much luck finding these professionals though. From what I’ve heard and if you can find one, they can put you in touch with owners that are looking to rent out their property. Once in touch with the owner, you could do the lease yourself or put together a group of members to split the cost. A good resource is to search for Lake Tahoe area vacation rentals available as a seasonal ski lease listed on SnowPals rentals page.

(3) – you could go to online resources and search for individuals that already have a deal in place with the owner of the property and are looking for additional “members”. For those of you that are new to this, this route is probably the easiest way to enter the ski lease world. SnowPals is a great resource for Tahoe ski leases organized by various groups and has an entire section dedicated to available Tahoe area ski lease membership opportunities. For those of you looking for ski leases in areas outside of Tahoe, you could check TGR, EpicSki forums or Craigslist for postings.

The cost per membership varies and there are so many options out there. I’ve seen listings on SnowPals for full season (typically December to April) ski lease membership for one person from $700 all the way to $2500. If you’re single and can spend just $700 for lodging for an entire season–that’s an amazing deal; let’s say you stay at the ski lease for a total of 30 nights, your cost per night would be $23.34 per night. Naturally, the more nights you stay, the more value you get from the ski lease. Signing up for ski lease membership is a great way to maximize your ski season pass since it encourages you to go up to Tahoe the night before and be close to the ski resort and can take advantage of a good night’s rest and get the chance to ski/ride fresh tracks/powder when resorts start up their lifts. Also, the value of beating the crowds and traffic to the resort is priceless; how many times have you been stuck in traffic or frustrated with locating free parking spaces? In addition, getting into a ski lease gives you the chance to expand your social circle and make new friends.

So, how did I find my ski lease? I got into mine by letting everyone I knew know that I wanted to learn about ski leases and my desire of joining one. Within a short period of time, a friend contacted me to ask if my wife and I would be willing to go in with them on a ski lease. He knew the owners of a great place in Truckee and they mentioned to him that they wanted to rent the place for the ski season. I told him absolutely and that we should jump on that. We brought our families together along with one other family and now we have a great house to stay in any time we want from Dec 14 to May 15. Each “member” in our group is a family. We each paid an equal lump sum on November 1, have no guest fees and our lump sum cost includes all utilities and snow removal. It is such a great deal. Of course, if another family is up there when we go up, we must share the space with them, but since we all know each other and our kids are all friends, other members being up there makes our stay more fun. Also a great benefit is that we take turns watching the kids so each set of parents get some down time. We also rotate turns cooking so that gives us more quality family time to enjoy our time together.

So what are some of the pitfalls? There have to be some, right? From my research, most pitfalls come from a misunderstanding of the rules of use when in a group ski lease. If you leased the place on your own, then the rules are yours and yours alone. However, if you are going into a ski lease as part of a group, then it is important to understand the rules otherwise there could be trouble. Of course it is important to click with the other members and if you do then it is important to nail down whatever rules all the members of the ski lease decide on in a clear and concise written agreement. Here are some things to consider from my wise and experienced ski lease mates, Eric and Andy:

  • What does your membership cost include? Make sure you know up front what your membership cost includes and what other expenses (if any) you’ll be responsible for at the end of the lease (e.g. utilities, firewood, hot tub maintenance, snow removal, house cleaning services, etc.)
  • Guest fees. Some ski leases charge “guest fees” for non-members to stay overnight to cover any additional expenses for lease. Make sure you are clear about guest fees in your ski lease and the rules for them
  • Parking. What are rules for parking? Last thing you want is to go up late Friday night and not have a parking space or at least be prepared for no parking space. Consider the option to carpool or ride share to your ski cabin if you don’t have alot of people in your family and empty seats in the van/SUV.
  • Storage of your stuff. Can you store stuff at the ski cabin/ski lease and if so what are the rules and where do you store your stuff?
  • Priority for bedrooms. If it is important for you to be in a bedroom, then what are the chances that you might not get one if everyone in the membership happens to be up at the same time. Some ski leases have agreements to allocate a dedicated bedroom where it is solely yours for the entire season which is very beneficial to bringing your own bedding and store your winter clothing and gear in the closet for convenience and easy access.

So, if you go up to Tahoe a lot and need the convenience of your own home without the financial commitment, but want a more cost effective solution than hotels/motels, a ski lease is the way to go. There are so many different options available out there. A great place to start is to browse available ski lease memberships organized by families or group of skiers/snowboarders to share a ski cabin. If you’re in a different area than Tahoe, you can also try craigslist, TGR, EpicSki, SnowHeads forum and other places online in your search to join a ski lease.

Many thanks to Eric and Andy, my ski lease mates who share their many years of experience and useful advice on how best to get into a ski lease and to reap the benefits of maximizing our ski season pass, lodging cost savings and most of all, deepening our friendship with shared experiences. Also many thanks to those of you who provided me with some great stories and advice.

Read more about ski leases and/or list yours

Take care and enjoy!

Joe Woo is SnowPals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. He lives with his family in the North Bay.

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Free Lift Ticket at Ski & Snowboard Film Premiers Coming to SF Bay Area

ski-snowboard-film-screenings-2018

Mark you calendar for Ski & Snowboard Film Premier Screenings Coming to the San Francisco Bay Area

Gather some friends and family to watch ski and snowboard film premiers to get stoked for the coming snow season and score a free lift ticket at selected screenings.

*Most film/movie screenings will give out a free mid-week non-holiday lift ticket or a 2 for 1 lift ticket aka BOGO (buy one, get one) coupon/voucher. With adult lift tickets pricing of $100 and up, a free lift ticket is an added bonus for watching a ski and ride film which you can use or give it to a friend or family member.

At most film screenings, get a chance to win swag/prizes and ski/ride destination trips at intermission and after the film raffle.

A run-down of the best ski & snowboard films coming to the SF Bay Area

–>> Warren Miller’s 69th snow sports film comes to the Bay Area

When: From October 12, 2018 to November 2018, various dates and SF Bay Area film screening locations.

“Loving the pure joy of winter is something we have in common with the late, great Warren Miller—who helped create and capture the magic of skiing. This year, “Face of Winter,” the 69th installment from Warren Miller Entertainment presented by Volkswagen, will bring new and veteran athletes alike together to pay tribute to the man who started it all.

Watch as the world’s best skiers and riders cover ground in some of the most legendary destinations to honor a face that launched a thousand quips and got us all started on this long, crazy ride. Visit some of Warren’s favorite locations from Switzerland to Chamonix, British Columbia to Alaska, Chile, Iceland, New Zealand and more.

Come along to far off regions, meet the locals, carve faces of remote mountain ranges, and celebrate the thrills of a life lived in high places.

Join in the tribute and continue the legacy. We are all the “Face of Winter.”

*Free lift ticket at the show is for Mt. Shasta Ski Park Resort | Trail Map | Cam | Also enjoy extended night skiing/riding hours 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM | See Google Map & Driving Directions

Get the following lift tickets, swag and offers with every film ticket purchased:

(1) Free 2-FOR-1 WEEKDAY LIFT TICKET TO SQUAW VALLEY / ALPINE MEADOWS
(2) 20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE AT SPORTS BASEMENT
(3) JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT: BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE LIFT TICKET
(4) BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE (BOGO) LIFT TICKET TO ANGEL FIRE RESORT in New Mexico

Face of Winter Film Show Dates and Locations:

CASTRO THEATRE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Nov 16

PALACE OF FINE ARTS THEATRE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Nov 7 | Nov 8

CALIFORNIA THEATRE
BERKELEY, CA
Nov 15

MARIN CENTER
SAN RAFAEL, CA
Nov 17

THE FOX THEATRE
REDWOOD CITY, CA
Nov 24

THE LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
WALNUT CREEK, CA
Nov 6

AMADOR THEATER
PLEASANTON, CA
Nov 14

CAMPBELL HERITAGE THEATRE
CAMPBELL, CA
Nov 10 ~ join our Pre-film Meetup for Drinks & Good Eats

AMADOR THEATER
PLEASANTON, CA
Nov 14

THE FOX THEATRE
REDWOOD CITY, CA
Nov 24

RIO THEATRE
SANTA CRUZ, CA
Nov 20

The Warren Miller Film Tour kicks off on October 12, 2018.” Enter your zip code for the nearest film screening near you and to buy film tickets.

* Join us before the film screening to enjoy drinks, good eats and to connect with skiers and snowboarders for Tahoe trips and Tahoe ridesharing. Expand your circle of ski and snowboard buddies at our preseason meetup.

How to get my free lift tickets for Warren Miller’s Film Screenings?

You’re get a voucher at the film screening; go to www.wmecoupons.com to redeem the above free lift tickets/swag.

YouTube “Face of Winter” 2018 film screening:

–>> Teton Gravity Research’s (TGR) Film Far Out 2018 Tour Dates

EVENT DETAILS

What: San Francisco premiere of Far Out, presented by REI

When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Early Show – 6:00 doors, 6:30 show. Late – 8:30 doors, 9:15 show. Buy tickets.
Where: Palace of Fine Arts
How Much: Early Show – $18 advance, $20 day of show, $10 ages 16 and under. Late Show – $20.

* In Berkeley, CA on October 12, 2018 at The UC Theatre; showtimes: 6:45pm and 9:15pm. Buy Tickets.

* For those of you looking for a more intimate viewing experience, this year TGR is excited to announce the return of the TGR WhiSKI series. The WhiSKI Series pairs a high-end whiskey tasting (featuring High West whiskey) with a VIP screening of Far Out, and athlete/production Q&A. All WhiSKI Series attendees will also get swag bags including Yeti Ramblers, TGR films and more.

OCTOBER 11, 2018
DELANCEY STREET SCREENING ROOM (WHISKI SERIES)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Buy Tickets.

“Far Out embodies the imagination as much as it does a physical space. It is the quest to seek out undiscovered realms and inspire new waves of creativity, enlightenment, and progression. It is the quest to be blown away.

Join the TGR crew on one of its boldest missions ever. The film follows the perspective of an athlete as he embarks on a journey to one of the most remote and unexplored mountain ranges on the planet, the Albanian Alps. While the final destination appears to be the ultimate goal, it is the collective of athletes, experiences, and the array of locations around the world that inevitably drive the season’s adventure. Witness mind-bending pillow lines as the crew camps out deep in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia. Experience urban madness in Kamchatka and the insanity of the Crazy Mountains in Montana. Join the crew in the Slovenian Alps for over-the-head cold smoke and watch an 11-year-old rip Jackson Hole. Discover the alien landscape of Girdwood, Alaska in January and see Sean Jordan ride into Crested Butte on a black stallion to shred the Southern Rockies. Find out if the wildest and most untamed mountains in Europe let us in, and if the ultimate destination became a reality.

Whether you choose to come to the family-friendly early show or party with us at the late show, it’s sure to be a great night. There will be athlete appearances, plus a ton of prizes from our partners at Yeti, The North Face, Atomic, Volkl, TGR and more, plus everyone in attendance will get a buy-one-day-get-the-next-day-free lift ticket to Mt Bachelor (holiday restrictions apply)”

YouTube Far Out film trailer:


–>> Matchstick Productions “All In” 2018 Ski Film

When: October 8, 2018 at 6pm
Where: San Francisco, CA
Tickets: skimovie.com

KEEP TAHOE BLUE, 3RD ANNUAL SKI MOVIE FUNDRAISER!
Are you ready for Keep Tahoe Blue and Matchstick Productions 3rd annual movie premiere? Get stoked for the 2018-19 snow season and join us for the hottest new ski film “ALL IN”!

This year’s screening party and fundraiser will be held at the JCCSF on October 8th from 6 to 10:00PM. Ticket prices include film screening, top notch food from local caterers, beer sponsored by Sierra Nevada, high-end local wines, chance to meet athletes from the film and opportunities to win amazing auction items and giveaways. Above all, all proceeds will benefit the League to Save Lake Tahoe!

General Admission Ticket: $50. Includes movie ticket, amazing local food, beer and wine (21+). BUY TICKETS.

A limited amount of tickets will be sold at door, first come first serve for $70 (NOTE: this event WILL sell out!)

This years silent auction prizes include:
· Custom skies from Blizzard and Volkl
· Gear from The North Face
· GoPro, Sunski’s, Spy Opitcs, Betabrand
· Tickets to events around the Bay
· and much, much more… all to benefit the League to Save Lake Tahoe!

“ALL IN”, Matchstick Productions’ 2018 epic ski film delivers a first of its kind experience. This concept is spearheaded by a talented group of hard-charging women who wanted to disrupt the male-dominated ski film formula. This isn’t you typical “Women can shred too” film, this is a kick-ass ski film that just happens to feature as many women as men. Skiing isn’t exclusionary, true fun in the mountains can be shared equally by everyone.

Shot in exotic locations over the course of 2018, ALL IN will excite skiers across the globe. Follow the crew from the lift-accessed terrain of Snowbird to the dreamworlds of Japan and Alaska amplified by a soundtrack that will be on everyone’s ski playlist next year. Starring: Angel Collinson, Michelle Parker, Tatum Monod, Elyse Saugstad, Mark Abma, Wiley Miller, Johnny Collinson, and Cody Townsend.

YouTube “All In” film trailer:

* 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

Dream Trip: Ski/Snowboard Powder in Kashmir

~ where culture, travel exploration and skiing meet

“Twenty-two year old Swede, Lovisa Rosengren, chooses Gulmarg, Kashmir as her dream trip spot with Cody Townsend and Kalen Thorien. What was supposed to be a cultural trip, turns into so much more when a 3 meter snow storm rolls through the resort.” – Salomon TV

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Tahoe New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Heavenly, Live Music, Parties

heavenly-fireworks

Where you’d like to be for 2017 New Year’s Eve (NYE) celebrations?

Here’s an idea: partake in a fun-filled day of skiing and riding then follow that up as the sun sets with Live Music, Parties and count-down to 2018 enjoying Heavenly Resort’s spectacular New Year’s Eve Fireworks.

Mark your calendar and invite family and friends to join:

New Year’s Eve Celebration happens at Heavenly Village on Sunday, December 31, 2017, from 6:00 p.m.to 9:00 p.m.

Address
1001 Heavenly Village Way
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 | Directions

“Heavenly Holidays reach their zenith on New Year’s Eve when fire, lights, and music fill the air. 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, Live concert, Ice Carving Performance, fire dancers, a photo booth, face painting and at 9:00 p.m., in time for the midnight Ball Drop in New York City’s Time Square, Heavenly’s Gondola Ball Drop will cross above the crowd, and a fabulous fireworks show will light up the night. The party continues into the night at one of the many casino nightclubs.

Live Concert 7:00 pm
Ice Sculpting Show
LED Dance Show
Gondola Ball Drop and Fireworks Show 9:00 pm

Kick off 2018 in one of the many casino clubs in South Lake Tahoe, and go all in celebrating the New Year!” – tahoesouth.com

Driving to Tahoe often and interested in ride sharing? Meet new ski and ride friends. Preserve the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Join Snow Pals to car pool/ride share to and from Tahoe; share expenses and meet folks to ski and ride with.

Want to sleep and let a professional driver take 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.

For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

More info: https://www.skiheavenly.com

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