Some big Prizes will be given away. Don’t miss your chance to win a free heli-ski trip!
Snap up great gear prizes during our live online events, like goggles, gloves and more. In addition, the Heli Huddle series will wrap with the chance to win TWO incredible grand prizes: anyone who purchases a CMH trip after attending any of the events will be entered for the change to win that trip! We’re giving away one heli-skiing trip and one summer adventure trip.
CMH Heli-skiing and Summer Adventures is the premier heli-ski operator with 11 lodges and 3 million acres based in the Columbia Mountains of British Columbia.
Step into the heli, soar above the glaciers, and drop into the best runs of your life in this beautifully immersive virtual reality film (watch it below).
CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures
‘CMH Heli-Skiing: 50 Years’
Celebrating 50 years, the world’s largest skiable terrain and over 12 metres of annual snowfall, CMH Heli-Skiing is truly one of life’s ultimate experiences.
WHY CMH Heli-skiing?
SAFELY LEADING THE WAY FOR 50+ YEARS
Over 50 years of experience has put us at the forefront of industry-leading snow safety and helicopter practices. From our 130 strong team of highly-qualified ACMG and IFMGA guides to our dedicated helicopter pilots; safety is the foundation from which CMH is built.
PIONEERS & INDUSTRY LEADERS
Our founder Hans Gmoser not only invented heli-skiing, but he pioneered the entire experience you enjoy here today. We remain the oldest and largest Heli-Skiing operation in the world, offering massive terrain, untouched snow and leading standards to guests from across the world.
BEING FIRST HAS ITS ADVANTAGES
Being the first in our field means we had the best pick of skiable areas in the world’s best regions of snow. Today, this amounts to a private claim to a massive 3,000,000-acres of terrain, creating an experience that isn’t replicated anywhere else. This is winter at its best.
STUNNING VIEWS & GOURMET FOOD
Your best ski days pair well with gourmet food. Our dining is almost as famous as our skiing. With a dedicated team of 44 chefs crafting individual menus for each lodge, every meal is an opportunity to celebrate.
YOUR BEST SKI DAYS ARE WAITING
Here at CMH, you’ll ski or ride in personalized groups of 11 people or less while exploring at least 400 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) of pristine terrain per lodge. There’s nothing else like it.
If you can’t participate in the above VR event but would like to learn more about CMH? Please email Anne Trott at for upcoming CMH heli-ski trips or any questions you may have. Remember to mention you say this on SnowPals 😉 for special VIP service.
At SnowPals we help foster friendships and encourage personal enrichment by sharing snow-sports experiences. Join SF Bay Area Professionals to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies, btw, that’s how we came up with our name: Snow (Snow-Sports) + Pals.
Founded in 1999 by a small group of friends; we are now 8,249 members and growing. Celebrating our 21st year of connecting folks to expand their circle of snow sports activity partners. Also, a great way to network professionally since most of our members are busy Bay Area and Silicon Valley professionals who share a keen interest to make the most of their recreational time for trips to Tahoe and other powder destinations (road trips & air travel after the pandemic is behind us) for snow-sports. In addition, socially connect with skiers and snowboarders in regards to all things Tahoe.
Connect with skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels for trips to Tahoe and to snow destinations covered by your multi-resort ski season pass especially like Epic, Ikon, Powder Alliance and the Mountain Collective Pass.
As a result of the COVID pandemic, we encourage all to abide by state and county safety guidelines as specified for your county’s COVID color coded tier. For Tahoe ridesharing, please keep updated with safety requirements detailed here and arrange ridesharing/carpooling with one or at most two other people for the entire winter season to maintain the same rideshare bubble to reduce risk.
How do members connect for rides to Tahoe and other snow destinations?
SnowPals’ members only forum connects members for trips almost every day of the week since we have members who are college students, Bay Area working professionals, digital nomads, visitors on vacation to Lake Tahoe as well as retirees(who likes to ski off-peak weekdays, non-holiday periods) who engages in an active snow sports lifestyle.
Below is a screenshot of SnowPals’ members forum messages for Tahoe ride-share:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I live in Monterey/Santa Cruz/Sacramento/Davis/Roseville/Stockton/Central Valley California, are there Bay Area members who can give me rides to Tahoe?
A: Yes, if you live along the route to North Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada ski resorts, you can find rides since members stop along the route for a pitstop/to pick-up passengers on the way to Tahoe or other high Sierra resorts.
Q: Do you have ski/snowboard families? We are a skiing/snowboarding family and would like to meet other families who frequent Tahoe often to share snow sports experiences to give kids opportunities to meet new ski/ride friends to make the experience more fun.
A: Yes, many of our members have kids and would like to connect with other families to enjoy snow-sports together; often-times members collaborate to share a ski cabin to reduce their ski cabin lease expenses. Some parents enrolled their kids in resort based ski, snowboarding race training team programs. Many of our members got married over the years and became parents so naturally they would like to connect with other like-minded parents.
Q: I mainly do backcountry skiing/boarding, are there backcountry skiers/riders in the group?
A: Yes, we have many members who are backcountry skiers at various levels from beginners to expert touring level.
Q: I want to find folks for Nordic skiing/cross-country skiing and snowshoeing; are there members who engage in Nordic type snow sports?
A: Yes, we have members who cross train and who enjoys Nordic skiing/snowshoeing; a favorite destination is Lake Tahoe area’s backcountry trails, in addition, many often go to Yosemite National Park to not only engage in snow sports but to engage in winter snow photography and to enjoy off the beaten path Nordic skiing adventures.
Q: What’s the best way to meet people?
A: Make a point to attend our meetups to meet skiers, snowboarders in person to quickly establish rapport and plan Tahoe trips. Nothing beats in-person socializing which instantly creates rapport and connect by way of sharing similar interests and activities.
Screenshot of Tahoe Ride-share Contacts Preferences:
After college, it’s likely that our circle of friends become smaller and smaller with each passing year as family and work responsibilities require a bulk of our personal time, so at SnowPals, we would like to help expand your circle of snow-sports buddies so you can go on more powder ski and snowboarding trips than you have done in previous years.
At SnowPals, we help to expand your FUN horizon by connecting with SF Bay Area professionals of all ages/skill levels, college students and even retirees for Tahoe ski, ride trips and POWDER trips to snowy destinations world-wide. Network, connect and socialize with our active and friendly members.
Before the ski season starts (in October), join our pre-snow season ski-and-ride movie screenings, ski/board festivals, connect for ride-shares and join winter ski leases to make the most of your ski pass.
Our members often extend group activities into the summer seasons. We encourage an active lifestyle of not only snow-sports but the entire gamut of outdoor recreational activities, in the off-season, members often engage in various activities from active travel adventures to tropical R & R destination vacations or travel to bucket list destinations, or locally connect for nature hikes, surfing, sky-diving, rock climbing, mountain biking, wake boarding among other outdoor activities.
Over the years, we’ve noticed that ..
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. That is in two words: ‘truly priceless’ 😉 “- SnowPals
What adventure(s) have you checked off your bucket list this year?
* To get an idea of folks who join SnowPals, the following are excerpts of members’ intros:
“I love snowboarding and starting to get into backcountry riding. Open to riding with new people and meeting others who are into BC riding/skiing.” – Daphne from Newark, CA
“Will be based in Tahoma and skiing on the Tahoe Local Epic pass this season. Getting back to skiing after a 10-year hiatus.” – Lydia
“I finally moved back to Roseville after living in Portland for the last 5 years. I’ve got season pass to Sierra at Tahoe & hoping to have a good snowboarding season! Ill be mostly going on the weekends, and taking a few days off here and there on weekdays. Im interested in tahoe rideshare & possibly finding mates for snowboarding!” – V from Roseville, CA
“I’ve lived in the Bay Area for nearly 4 years now. I’ve skied off and on for about 19 years (with a big layoff in between). I started skiing annually again about 5 years ago. I mainly ski in Park City, UT (A big group of friends host an annual ski trip there).
This year I decided to really lean in and embrace skiing more. I purchased my own equipment and an all resort Epic Pass. I plan on visiting Tahoe a few times this year and hopefully a few non-CA resorts as well. I would love to find a buddy or group to join for a few trips this year. I’m open to joining a ski lease as well.” – Kevin from Emeryville, CA
“I am a digital nomad and thought it would be fun to spend some time up in Tahoe improving my boarding and skiing skills. I would love to find a ski lease that could be a month continuous or at least two to three weeks at a time, maybe twice over the season. I am a fun, easy-going person who can be social or quiet, as needed. I don’t want to live in a party house, but love to cook, enjoy wine, beer and cocktails and board games (sorry!). I am from LA, but please don’t hold that against me, I love San Francisco” – Dagney from SF, CA
“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
Why are new members required to send in a self-intro as part of SnowPals’ new member application?
Although internet interactions are quick and easy, they tend to be very one dimensional, unlike meeting someone 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 the new member and to learn more about what his/her snow sports interests which helps 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.
How do I join? Is there a membership fee?
Unlike traditional ski and snowboard clubs with yearly recurring membership fees, join us with a one-time fee of $20.
This one-time fee helps us pay for web hosting, backend technical website services, time invested in marketing and growing the club, club management and various time consuming backend work 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 and separated couples with and without kids).
✔ Access to our Tahoe ridesharing/carpool members network of 8,249 members. We’re a free alternative to fee-based Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services. Expand your circle of ski and ride buddies for resort skiing and riding or opt for the backcountry and have the safety of a wing man and woman to stay safe.
✔ Participate in fun and engaging social events
✔ We often hold giveaway raffles for swag and lift tickets at our events and online
✔ In the off-season, we may facilitate connections for outdoor activities such as hiking, road cycling, mountain biking, wakeboarding, surfing, etc. to encourage an active lifestyle.
* Please note: our club/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).
** In addition to Tahoe trips, join us to plan POWDER Destination Trips to:
1) Mammoth Mountain Trips (in Central Sierra Nevada)
4) British Columbia Trips / Whistler Blackcomb
5) Hakuba, Niseko also known as the Japanese Alps
6) Other international ski and ride trips to Europe, South America, Australia (endless winter skiing and riding) covered by your multi-resort pass
Trip dates and lodging are opened to discussion and planning by all club/group members; you can propose a trip and if folks are interested, can join in.
♥ Got family and friends who like to ski or snowboard? Please tell them about SnowPals.org – “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.”
Part 4 – Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding (spilt-boarding) Q&A Series
Background timeline context
The boom in backcountry skiing, snowboarding and other snow-sports was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic as ski resorts started closing down like falling dominoes starting in March of 2020 as state and local counties mandated ‘stay at home’ (SIP) orders as coronavirus outbreaks spiked.
Winter season 2020/21 will likely see similar trends especially pronounced if resorts are unable to implement effective protocols of limiting on-site visitors’ capacity, and social distancing especially indoors in common areas which will result in COVID infection outbreaks resulting in resorts’ closures.
Back to our topic, our backcountry Q&A feature looks at backcountry from a range of diverse perspectives, from an amateur to expert backcountry skier, from a ski shop small business retailer to backcountry touring guide, these Q&A series provide some key insights and also we’ll list resources to consider for avalanche safety training that is critical to stay safe in the backcountry. Most importantly, we list key resources to connect you with folks who share a passion and love for the backcountry.
Part 4 Q&A interview with interview with Richard Bothwell, Director of the Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) which has been around since 1996; OAC professional guides have been organizing and leading great adventures all over Tahoe Sierra Nevada and up and down the length of California ..
Could you tell us a little about your background in BC, snow-sports and how you came to create your backcountry skiing/Avy training and touring company; how it grew to become one of the best backcountry training camps around?
Sure! I started snowboarding in the early 90’s while living in NYC. In 1996 I moved to SF to help start the Outdoor Adventure Club and started riding at Squaw and in the Lassen backcountry. I also started learning about avalanches and wilderness first aid. I went through the AMGA Backcountry Ski Guide class soon after, as well as going through the AIARE instructor training program. I’ve been teaching/guiding for years, gaining experience in a variety of operations, including LTCC, Feather River College, ASI, and TMS, in addition to my own company. The Outdoor Adventure Club became an AIARE course provider, and permitted to guide backcountry trips in Lassen, where we love guiding and teaching. We’re working with the Forest Service to obtain a permit in Tahoe to teach avy classes in the Truckee area this winter, which will be nice as I live and ski in Truckee.
There are a few things that set the Outdoor Adventure Club backcountry program apart from other companies. We have smaller class sizes. We’re limiting our avalanche classes to 8 students with two instructors this year. Most avy classes have 12 or more students. It’s tough to get to everyone’s questions with that many students. We do a lot of private classes, too. If you have a group, we can set up a custom class just for you and your friends. Mentorship is an important part of backcountry education, so we offer an open door to students who want to follow up and ask more questions after the classes. And we have a FB group just for people who have taken our classes, where you can continue to learn, meet other backcountry skiers/riders, plan trips, etc. In “normal’ years we have everyone in our avalanche classes stay in our house in Lassen during the class. This provides an immersive learning environment, where you can ask questions to your instructor over breakfast or dinner.
How many backcountry training levels do you offer?
We teach backcountry skills as well as avalanche classes. We also teach online classes on using CalTopo to plan trips.
For people who are new to the backcountry we have a great intro to backcountry program where you learn the mechanics of backcountry skiing/riding, while getting out skiing/riding. We have a one day class in Tahoe and a weekend-long program in Lassen, where (Covid-depending) everyone stays in our cabin there.
We also have AIARE avalanche classes, AIARE 1, AIARE 2 and Avalanche Rescue. And we have a really cool AIARE refresher class, where you go out with a small group and run through your processes, under the watchful eye of a guide/instructor. It’s a unique opportunity for recreational skiers to see if they are applying what they learned in their avy class.
When Covid hit, we pivoted quickly to develop a series of online “mini-classes” focusing on avalanches that people can take as either new material, a refresher, or prep for an avy class. Some people just aren’t able to commit the time to a full class, or they are just interested in one topic, like “what is surface hoar?”..we created a class just for those people.
We have a series of online classes just for using CalTopo to plan trips. There’s so many features to CalTopo, with little documentation, so a lot of people don’t realize the power it has. We get people up to speed using everything from basics to advanced features.
With the impact of resort closures due to the Covid pandemic from mid-March of this year, can you describe from your observations if there’s an increase in demand for backcountry snow-sports?
Oh yeah. There is a huge uptick in interest among people who want to get into the backcountry. I’m hearing from people who want to get into the backcountry for the first time, and I’m hearing from “50-50” folks people who historically split their time between resorts and the backcountry. It seems like everyone wants to get into the backcountry this winter. It’s going to be an interesting, exciting season I’m sure!
What is the most important aspect of backcountry that you would like to get across to new-comers?
There’s a lot to learn and it’s a long, fun process to gain that knowledge. You should take an avalanche class, but taking an avalanche class doesn’t teach you everything you need to know.
Oh, it’s also dangerous…people can/do die going into the backcountry. Fortunately, people don’t die often, but it does happen. And in Tahoe accidents often happen only a short distance from the road.
So what’s important? Be patient. Start with a cup of coffee. Literally and figuratively. Start small, especially with new partners, or going to a new area. If your spider sense is tingling, listen to it. If you realize the group you’re with isn’t behaving how you’d like…bail. The best time to bail is before you leave the trailhead, so get to know your team before you get to the trailhead.
How does a newbie get started?
Give me a call at 415.377.1195 and let’s set up a private day of guided skiing or splitboarding! Seriously, going with a guide is a great way to get started. Get out and do it with someone who is well prepared to manage the risks, while also able to choose appropriate terrain for you, and who is a good teacher. That’s a tough mix to find in a recreational setting, especially in groups. Get a couple of friends together to split the cost, and let’s go have some fun!
Take a couple of classes; Take an intro to backcountry class and an AIARE 1 avalanche class. Then go skiing with friends, once you can contribute to the team planning, discussions and decision making.
None of the technical skills of backcountry riding are difficult. Skinning, transitioning, making uphill turns, when to use crampons, etc. I’ve never met anyone who can’t do it. But I’ve met a lot of people who have terrible form, are inefficient and fall over their skis. Spending a day with a guide gets you up the learning curve a lot faster, confirms you’re doing it right, and should put you on a good path for more training.
You can skip classes and get started by going with friends, but we’ve all heard horror stories about being taught to ski by friends in resorts. Think about that dynamic in the backcountry and you can imagine how things can be sub-optimal.
When you do start going out recreationally, start with short, less committing trips. Go out on days when the avalanche advisory suggests the danger level is low. Go out on days with clear weather. Go on trips with easy route-finding. Ski on terrain that is well within your ability level. Go out with people you know. If you feel like your friend is pushing you into something more committing than you’d like, don’t go. No one is forcing you to go backcountry skiing.
We’re lucky these days- there are so many great brands creating great gear. The challenge we have is tuning our gear choices to our objectives. What works well for someone else, doing something else may not be the ideal gear for us. My splitboard boots for day trips are different than my boots for overnight trips, for instance. I chose my ski bindings with an eye toward reliable release. Someone else may priortize light weight.
The essential gear list:
Avy gear- every day, every partner; transceiver, shovel, probe
First aid gear- including splints, pressure bandages, steri strips
First aid training
Rescue gear*- sled, tarp
Navigation gear- map, compass, app with your route in it (I’m a big fan of CalTopo)
Communication gear- varies with the location, but includes a whistle for everyone, phone, FRS radios to talk in the team, InReach to get a message out to the outside world
*For years I’ve heard people say that rescue sleds are “guide gear”, not recreational gear. Rescue sleds are gear for people who want to be prepared to deal with injuries in the backcountry. People break legs and tear ACLs in the backcountry. If your partner breaks a leg a mile from the car, how are you going to get him/her back? Hitting SOS on your Inreach may get a response, but it could be hours or overnight before help arrives. Are you ready for that?
What mountain guide trips are you planning for 20/21 winter?
What is the takeaway message for newbies, intermediate & advance level BC skiers in regards to what you’d like folks to learn from your experience and outfit?
Go skiing. It’s fun. Do it often. It’s more fun the more you do it. Keep learning.
If you’re new, ease into it.
If you’re intermediate, find a more experienced friend to mentor you and help you sharpen your skills.
If you’re more experienced, help out the newbies. We were all new to the backcountry once. There will probably be a lot of people who could benefit from your insights this season. Don’t take people out on trips over their head, and seek out opportunities to take less experienced people on easier trips.
My trip plans for this year: With the expected influx of so many more people in the backcountry this year, I know the roadside standards/classics are going to be crowded. I’m using that as motivation to explore new areas, go to less well known trailheads, check out some of the lines that I’ve always wanted to ride, but never motivated myself to get after. I’m looking forward to some adventures!
Have a plan for every trip. Sometimes plans are really simple, sometimes not. Reflect on each day, the good ones and the bad ones, so your next trip will be awesome. What did we do that we’d want to do again? When did we first get a sense that things were going sideways? Have frank conversations with partners before, during and after trips…Tell your partners what you expect from them before the trip…hold them to it during the trip, and let them know how they did after the trip.
Pick your partners wisely, and don’t ski with people who rub you the wrong way.
Program Director, Guide,
AMGA SPI Climbing Guide
AIARE Level 1 and 2 Avalanche Educator
PSIA Ski Instructor &
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Outdoor Adventure Club “Make every weekend count!”
✔ San Francisco Backcountry Skiers Facebook Group: ‘San Francisco Backcountry Skiers (and Riders) is a resource and inspiration for people in the San Francisco area (and beyond) who are interested in backcountry skiing and riding. SFBS welcomes both experienced and aspiring backcountry skiers and riders.’ Membership type: free, public group. 3.3k members. Visit their FB group page.
✔ SnowPals.org is a non-traditional snow-sports club for busy Bay Area professionals. Join SF Bay Area professionals to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies (resort based and backcountry), btw, that’s how we came up with our name: Snow (Snow-Sports) + Pals. Membership type: one-time paid membership fee of $20; join SnowPals. Read members’ intros to get an idea who joins. Founded in 1999 by a small group of friends; we are now 8,249 members and growing. Celebrating our 21st year of connecting folks to expand their circle of snow sports activity partners.
✔ California Ski Company in Berkeley is one of the top ski shop retailer for ski gear for sale and rentals, plus boot fitting and equipment service. Cal Ski Co is a ‘specialty ski shop focused on ski equipment sale and rental since 1989. They sell and rent equipment for both Resort and Backcountry Ski Touring. Their team of expert ski boot fitters are the best in the business. They repair and tune about anything that slides on snow. Looking for a job? Cal Ski Co is currently hiring as of October 29, 2020. Full-time and part-time employment available: job openings, ski tech and boot-fitter. Experience is desirable but not necessary. The only criteria is that you are a skier. Interested or know of someone who is? Email resumes to .’
✔ Backcountry and Outback Adventures for Telemark and Randonee Ski Rentals, Fremont, CA and Larkspur, CA – Outback Adventures is a comprehensive outdoor adventure guide service, rental shop, and paddlesports and nordic ski specialty retailer located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Located in the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park, Wuksachi Lodge is a modern lodge with 102 guestrooms. It offers a cocktail lounge, a full service restaurant and both a retail and ski shop. At an elevation of 7,050 ft. (1,980 m), Wuksachi Lodge is only 4 miles away from the Giant Forest Museum.
Delaware North Parks & Resorts offers multiple services like overnight accommodations, retail, food and beverage, etc. at Kings Canyon National Park in the area of Grant Grove and Cedar Grove. Limited Internet is available in some areas of the main lodge. Wuksachi Lodge is open throughout all the seasons.
At an elevation of 6,500 ft (1,980 m), the Grant Grove Cabins is located in the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park. It offers 6 types of cabins; some are even opened all year. Main attractions like a sequoia grove, gifts shop, markets and restaurants are half a mile (800m) away from the Grant Grove Cabins. Open: All Year (limited in the winter)
✔ PEAR LAKE WINTER HUT
Managed by the Sequoia Parks Conservancy, Pear Lake Winter Hut is a rustic hut of 10 bunk beds that opens during winter and requires reservations but only for wilderness skiers who travel to Pear Lake during the cold season. At an elevation of 9,200 ft. the hut sits high above Lodgepole. This hut includes a wood-pellet stove. To get to it, you need to go through six miles on skis or snowshoes. Reservations can be made online or by phone: 559-565-3759.
Got a key backcountry resource not listed here that you’d like to share? Contact . Advance thanks for sharing.
SnowPals is a Good Value Rental & Ski Lease Listing / Advertising Alternative to VRBO and Airbnb for the Lake Tahoe Area Niche Rental/Ski Lease Market
About SnowPals: we have been connecting busy SF Bay Area snow-sports enthusiasts together to share skiing, snowboarding experiences and to share ski leases / to book Lake Tahoe area vacation rentals for the last 21 years since 1999.
Advertise on SnowPals by listing your Tahoe rental, seasonal ski lease or family / group members ski lease share to get results. We’re results driven – increase rental bookings & fill your ski lease lodge for the winter.
Feedback from property owners who have listed with us:
“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.
“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 $40 listing 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 $40 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 | Page down to read more feedback from property owners, ski lease groups and families who have listed on SnowPals.
Are you looking for a good value and effective alternative to listing your Lake Tahoe area vacation rental or ski lease on Airbnb, VRBO, FlipKey or HomeAway? We offer a simple and low $40 ad listing fee; notably we do not charge renters and we’ve been connecting property 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.
For 21 years, SnowPals have been connecting San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors to Tahoe together for outdoor activities and snow sports. SnowPals’ 8,230 members list (as of October 2019) grows yearly and we have a 16,000+ audience reach for social media, newsletter list and new visitors to our website; the chart below is a screenshot of SnowPals’ visitor statistics from Google Analytics:
Get results: increase your vacation rental bookings by advertising on SnowPals to reach your Lake Tahoe rentals target audience.
Comparison of Airbnb & VRBO Advertising / Listing 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.
Are you considering turning your home or vacation rental property into a seasonal winter ski lease?
Reviews And Feedback From People Who Have Listed With Us
== The following quotes are feedback/reviews from ski lease and vacation rental advertisers who have listed with SnowPals ==
“I was able to quickly rent my condo by posting on snowpals.org – very effective, highly recommended!” – George September 5, 2020
“Another year, another house filled! Will we ever have continuity of ski lease members? Probably not. Thank you SnowPals for making the worst part of ski season as easy as possible.” – Malcolm; listed: Alpine Meadows ski lease. Ski lease filled on November 10, 2019.
“I highly recommend using SnowPals to post your available ski lease. I listed my ski lease to look for 2 more ski lease members for my ski lease and it worked perfectly within 1 week of posting. Thanks Snow-Pals!” – Caroline, listed: Tahoe City Ski Lease. Two membership spots filled on 10/9/2019.
“We had our place posted on Airbnb as a Winter Ski Lease and on other online listings for about 4 months and maybe had 3-4 inquiries. Within 1 day of posting our chalet for winter ski lease rental on SnowPals, we had immediate inquiries and we had it leased within a couple of weeks. Tim is great to work with and made the process super easy. I will definitely continue to use SnowPals listing!” – Margie, property owner of Tahoe City Chalet. 10/2/2019; you can also read this review on SnowPals Facebook Page.
“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 $40 listing fee which is comparatively 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 $40 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 $40 ad fee!” – 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 $40 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 $40 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’ Facebook page:
✔ Olympic Valley 2019-20 Ski Lease 3BR, 2 1/2 bath 1960’s vintage cabin with large communal open space, a king bedroom, double, and bunk room. E-Z access, only 10-minute drive to Squaw and Alpine Meadows – details & contact.
Heavenly Ski Run Townhouse Sleeps 6
✔ Heavenly Ski Run 2019-20 ski lease; everything is NEW and modern decor! gourmet kitchen, new appliances, new bathrooms, new washer/dryer, new carpet, new beds and linens. 950 sq feet townhouse with 2 bedrooms 1 1/2 bath: 1 queen bed, 1 full and 2 twin – details & contact.
Lake Tahoe Area Vacation Rentals + Rentals Available for Seasonal Ski Lease
✔ Condo at Village at Squaw Valley. Skip the daily traffic this winter at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. Ski lease available for lovely condo at base of Squaw in The Village at Squaw Valley complex, a two-minute walk to ski lifts. Sleeps six, 1.5 bathrooms. Steps away from fitness center and two outdoor hot tubs. Includes underground parking for one vehicle and two ski lockers. Coin-operated laundry on same floor. One minute walk to free shuttle to Alpine Meadows. Lease term is December 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020. $5,000 per month plus departure cleaning fee – details & contact.
✔ Blue Majestic – Tranquil Tahoe Keys Home$9000
Available to lease is this tranquil, 5 bedroom, 4200 sq. ft., waterfront home, with majestic views of the mountains and the channels, is the perfect location for families and friends to get together for a relaxing visit to South Lake Tahoe. Located just 3 miles from Heavenly, 4.8 miles from the casinos, and 16 miles to Sierra Ski Resort – details & contact.
What: San Francisco premiere of Winterland (Ski Snowboard Film Screening)
ABOUT WINTERLAND starring Jeremy Jones + Angel Collinson + Cody Townsend + Sage Cattabriga-Alosa + more..
“Winterland is a celebration of ski and snowboard culture. Today’s mountain athletes can only stand as tall as those who came before, the pirates of the past who followed their own path and passion. This story of adventure is far from over, as a new crop of modern-day pioneers are eager to etch their names in the annals of history. The technology and style might evolve, but the rush, excitement, and pure fun remain eternal, bonding past, present, and future riders. The film will follow these individuals as they leave their own mark on these fabled locations.”
How Much: Show Tickets are $20 each, only $10 for ages 16 & under at the early show.
Details: Lift ticket offer to Mt Bachelor for all attendees! 2-of-3 days for only $109
San Francisco, get ready! On Tuesday, October 29th, TGR is returning to the Palace of Fine Arts for the winter kick-off party of the year. Join us to get hyped for the coming winter with our new feature length ski and snowboard film, Winterland.
Whether you choose to come to the family-friendly early show or to experience the party of the late show, it’s sure to be a great night. There will be a ton of prizes from our partners at Atomic, Volkl, The North Face and more. Plus, everyone in attendance will have a shot at the tour grand prizes – including trips to Sierra Nevada’s beer camp in California, TGR’s hometown Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and more. Don’t miss your chance to see Winterland on the big screen!
New this year – bring the groms for early entry, where families will have early access to seats, receive an exclusive TGR Grom Squad helmet sticker, and an athlete meet and greet. Doors will open at 5:45 pm for families with kids under age 16 only.
For those of you looking for a more exclusive experience, we are also bringing Winterland for an early look at the film at our WhiSKI Series at the Delancey Street Theatre, on Friday, October 11th. This intimate event includes a high-end whiskey tasting (featuring High West Distillery whiskeys), athlete and production team Q&A, and VIP screening of the film.
–> VIP SCREENING Friday, October 11, 2019 WINTERLAND WhiSKI Series BY High West Distillery EVENT DETAILS
What: WhiSKI Series – San Francisco premiere of Winterland
When: Friday, October 11. Doors at 6:45 pm, Whiskey tasting and Q&A at 7:00 pm, Film at 8:00 pm.
Where: Delancey Street Screening Room
TGR is bringing our small batch experience back to San Francisco! Join us in a more exclusive setting on Friday, October 11th as the TGR WhiSKI Series heads to Delancey Street Theatre. This intimate event pairs a VIP screening of our new ski and snowboard film, Winterland, with a high end Whiskey tasting (featuring selections from High West Distillery) and Q&A from athletes and production team. In addition to the whiskey, all attendees will receive gift bags at this limited capacity event.
How Much: Tickets are $75 and include: High West whiskey tasting, Q&A, gift bags and a VIP screening of Winterland.
ADULTS ONLY: 21+ only. BUY TICKETS AT TGR.
* Looking to join a Tahoe area ski lease to max out your ski season pass, expand your circle of ski buddies, get a place to store your ski gear and people to rideshare to your fave resorts? Browse 2019-20 ski leases @
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.
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!
Use promo code ‘snowpals’ to get 1/2 off discount on Powder Pass and VIP Beer Tasting Admission Tickets to SnowBomb’s NorCal 2019 Ski and Board Festival. A VIP ticket costs $20 using ‘ snowpals ‘ promo code which is 1/2 off $40 ..
Looking for a family fun filled weekend activity perfect for kids and adults?
Let the kids play in the game booths to win Tahoe lift tickets, season pass + prizes/swag and watch pro BMX bike & skateboard show while adults enjoy craft beer tastings, listen to music and shop for up to 75% off last season’s ski, snowboard, boots, snow-sports gear and winter clothing.
Two festival locations to choose from:
→ November 9-10, 2019 at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds located at
344 Tully Rd San Jose, CA 95111, CA (map, get directions below)
Festival Show Hours:
Saturday, November 2nd, 10am-6pm
Sunday, November 3rd, 11am-5pm
Beer Tasting for VIP Ticket Holders Sat & Sun: Noon-4pm.
All 21+ VIP ticket holders are welcome to beer tasting experience with several local and popular micro-breweries from Noon to 4pm Saturday and Sunday at the festival.
Buy 1/2 off tickets at Eventbrite; once on Eventbrite page, click on ‘TICKETS’ then click on ‘Enter the Promotional Code’ link. Enter discount code: ‘ snowpals ’ then click apply to receive the 1/2 off ticket discount.
→ November 1-3, 2019 in San Francisco @ Pier 35 at
1454 Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94133
(map, directions below)
Buy 1/2 off tickets at Eventbrite; to get 1/2 off tickets; once on Eventbrite page, click on ‘TICKETS’ then click on the ‘Enter the Promotional Code’ link; enter discount code: ‘ snowpals ‘ then click apply to receive the discount.
Enter to win a Snowbomb VIP Festival Ticket Giveaway
Here’s how to enter:
(1) Copy and paste to your Twitter post this:
SAN FRANCISCO ski & board festival this weekend; enjoy beer tastings, pro BMX shows, chat w/ ski resorts, buy ski/board gear; 1/2 off tickets @ http://www.snowpals.org/2019/half-off-snowbomb-festival-tickets/
In your post, tag us using our hashtag: #snowpalsdotorg on Twitter.
(2) Be sure to specify using our hashtag #snowpalsdotorg which Snowbomb festival location and date you’d like to be entered into for our VIP ticket giveaway.
(3) Giveaway winners will be announced on Twitter between 12pm-1 pm Saturday Nov 2, 2019.
One VIP ticket will be given away to each of the above festival location. The winners will have 2 hours to claim his/her VIP ticket prize.
with family and friends to invite them for a fun weekend activity that’ll get you stoked for the ski, ride season 😉
== SUMMARY OF WHY $20 VIP EVENT TICKETS ARE YOUR BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK ==
VIP event tickets include:
1) 3 hours of craft beer tastings
2) Lift ticket to Homewood – ($79 value)
3) Lift ticket to Bear Valley – ($79 value)
4) Lift ticket to China Peak – ($83 value)
5) BOGO (Buy One Get One) Squaw Alpine lift ticket – ($119 value)
6) Free Basic Ski/Board Rental ($35 value) or
Free Edge and Wax
Valid 7 Days a week, 11/1/19 – 4/10/20,
Non-HolidayRainbow Mountain Sports
South Lake Tahoe Only
Total value: $395 not including beer tasting + fun weekend activity for the entire family or group of friends = priceless
* For free lift tickets valid dates & blackout dates: scroll down page to read
HOW TO GET YOUR FREE GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS
Order your Free General Admission Tickets for free entry tickets to the Santa Clara Festival and SF Festival. Get free entrance to the Festivals, ski and snowboard sale, access to exhibitors and festival entertainment. Note that the FREE GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET DOES NOT INCLUDE FREE LIFT TICKETS.
POWDER PASS + VIP PASS BENEFITS
** Powder Pass and VIP Pass (Discounted 1/2 off when ‘ snowpals ‘ promo code is used; discount available online only at Eventbrite, click on the links above for the desired festival location).
** POWDER PASS admission comes with THREE FREE LIFT TICKETS.
POWER PASS includes the following LIFT TICKETS TO:
Homewood Mountain Resort
1 Free All Day Lift Ticket ($79 value)
During the 2019/20 Ski Season
Valid Tues – Thurs, Non-Holiday.
VIP PASS includes 3 FREE LIFT TICKETS as described above and UNLIMITED BEER OR WINE TASTING PLUS a BONUS Free Squaw Valley/Alpine lift ticket($119 value) (buy one get one free(BOGO); Valid Sunday – Friday, non-holiday. Both lift tickets must be used on the same date.
*VIP admission includes beer unlimited tasting 1 PM – 4PM at both locations. In addition, to the three FREE LIFT TICKETS detailed above, you will also get a BONUS Free Squaw Valley/Alpine lift ticket BOGO (buy one get one free).
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
2-for-1 Weekday Lift Ticket ($119 value)
During the 2019/20 Ski Season
Valid Monday – Friday, Non-Holiday
Holiday Dates: 12/26/19 – 12/31/20, 1/18/20 – 1/19/20, 2/15/20 – 2/16/20
Buy One (1) adult lift ticket at the resort window and receive a second lift ticket for FREE. Complimentary ticket must be used on the same date as the purchased ticket.
Why it's best to ski, ride on weekdays?
(1) Powder days usually happened when we least expect it: on weekdays 🙂
(2) Tahoe resorts on weekdays: practically empty slopes – you have the entire mountain to yourself
(3) Services such as eateries and ski/snowboard lessons are more enjoyable/less rush/less crowded (which means you get a semi-private lesson for the cost of a group lesson since there are less sign-ups on weekdays) and quality of service is much better
(4) No waiting in line to get on the lifts and no waiting in line for lunch or drinks
(5) Resort parking is a breeze; no road traffic on weekdays
Bonus included in POWDER PASS + VIP PASS:
Rainbow Mountain Sports
South Lake Tahoe Only
Free Basic Ski/Board Rental ($35 value) or
Free Edge and Wax
Valid 7 Days a week, 11/1/19 – 4/10/20,
At San Jose and SF Festival locations: enjoy unlimited Beer Tasting Available with VIP Tickets.
Saturdays: Enjoy Some of the Best Beer in the World from California.
Tasting times are from 1pm – 4pm on Saturday + Sunday
SKI/SNOWBOARD SALE, SKI RESORTS REPS, VENDORS: Over $1 Million dollars in snow sporting goods from top brands such as Burton, K2, Atomic, Rossignol and many, many more… UP TO 75% OFF. Over 25 premier ski resorts from all over North America. Leading manufacturers in the ski and snowboard industry. Hoteliers and destination getaways. Featured auto show.
ENTERTAINMENT: Bounce House for Kids, Pro Athletes, BMX/Skate Ramp Show & Live Music. Get a chance to win lift tickets, season pass and prizes when you play games at most ski resort booths. Attend to get a chance to buy discount ski season pass to your favorite Tahoe ski resort and chat with resorts’ reps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Which Snowbomb Ski Festival location is more fun?
Answer: Hands down SF ski festival is typically more fun because: (1) it’s bigger (2) more ski resorts exhibitors (3) more vendors (4) more chances to win prizes and lift tickets and season pass giveaway when you play games at the resorts’ info booth (5) beer tasting.
Mark your calendar, gather family and friends together and make it a fun filled day together.
Question: How do I activate my Snowbomb Festival Free Lift Tickets included in the Powder Pass and VIP admission tickets?
Answer: Important, remember to redeem your 2019 Snowbomb Festival Activation Code to get your free lift tickets before December 1, 2019; enter your festival pack code at http://www.sfskifest.com/activation/
Video of Snowbomb’s first ski and snowboard festival event at Fort Mason in SF:
At Sports Basement we have some exciting specials for the winter ski season specifically geared to get families snow-ready.
Join us for SNOWFEST..
Start the snow season off with a bang at Sports Basement SnowFest this November!
We’ll be hosting SnowFest 2019 at all 10 of our Sports Basement stores this year where you’ll have access to sweet deals on winter gear & resort passes. Plus, attend to win raffle prizes such as an unrestricted IKON pass, Snowboards from K2, Burton Bindings, GoPro Camera +
Outerwear jackets and pants from Roxy, Pret Helmets, Blizzard Skis, and swag from many of your favorite brands!** Raffles will be held every 30 Minutes!
Spend $100 or more you’ll get a 2-for-1 voucher to Squaw | Alpine* in addition to an extra raffle ticket to win tons of prizes.
RSVP below and keep checking back as we update more details including raffle prizes, guest lists, our beneficiaries, and more!
Sports Basement Presents SnowFest (click on the location below to RSVP):
It’s time to get your winter stoke on! Save the date and get ready to kick off the season with our 70th anniversary film, Warren Miller’s Timeless, presented by Volkswagen. Featuring ski legends like Glen Plake, alongside newcomers Caite Zeliff, Jaelin Kauf, and Baker Boyd. Road-trip with rippers from Arlberg to the Matterhorn, be immersed in the hometown hill of Eldora and discover a different side of Jackson Hole, plus much more.
At Sports Basement we have some exciting specials for the winter season specifically geared to get you ready for the snow! Whether your renting or buying, we’ve got you covered.
Sports Basement truly is Bay Area born n’ raised. Our first ever store opened up in Mission Bay in San Francisco back in 1998, and though we grew out of that space pretty quickly, we’ve made sure to maintain our local roots. Twenty years later, we’re proud to say we’ve kept it local, though our reach has spread wide—you can find us as far south as Campbell and as far north as Santa Rosa!
Become a Basementeer and get 10% off every item, every time you shop! 10% of the profits made from your purchases go to the charity or school you choose. No points. No waiting. Just saving and giving.
Plus, your Basementeer discount stacks so you get your 10% off in addition to the SnowPals discount! SnowPals members need to show the coupon at checkout to get the discount at any of Sports Basement’s 10 Bay Area locations.
Membership can be purchased online or in-store for a one-time $25 fee.
Please so everyone can take advantage of deals and special promotions.
Sports Basement SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Store Locations & Hours
== BERKELEY ==
2727 Milvia St
Berkeley, CA, 94703
Sat & Sun: 9am-8pm
== CAMPBELL ==
1875 S Bascom Ave, Suite 240
The Pruneyard Shopping Center
Campbell, CA, 95008
Sat & Sun: 8am-8pm
== NOVATO ==
100 Vintage Way
Novato, CA, 94945
Sat & Sun: 9am-8pm
== REDWOOD CITY ==
202 Walnut Street
Redwood City, CA, 94063
Sat & Sun: 8am-8pm
== SAN FRANCISCO ON BRYANT STREET ==
San Francisco Bryant Street
1590 Bryant St.
San Francisco, CA, 94103
Sat & Sun: 8am-8pm
== SAN FRANCISCO PRESIDIO ==
San Francisco Presidio
610 Old Mason St.
San Francisco, CA, 94129
Sat & Sun: 8am-8pm
== SAN RAMON ==
1041 Market Place
San Ramon, CA, 94583
Sat & Sun: 9am-7pm
== SANTA ROSA ==
1970 Santa Rosa Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA, 95407
Sat & Sun: 9am-7pm
== SUNNYVALE ==
1177 Kern Ave
Sunnyvale, CA, 94085
Sat & Sun: 9am-8pm
== WALNUT CREEK ==
1881 Ygnacio Valley Road
Walnut Creek, CA, 94598
Sat & Sun: 9am-7pm
At SnowPals, we invite snow-sports businesses (world-wide) to join us as an affiliate to cross promote/share with San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe Area snow-sports consumers about what you do best: (1) services you offer, and/or (2) products you sell.
We strive to build stellar long-term business relationships with consumers; we strive to deliver great value and service to customers in order to build a genuinely loyal customer base; if this sounds like your business’ endeavor, please reach out to become an affiliate by submitting the form at the end of this page.
Our 2019/20 Affiliates List
Apres’ Ski Club Lodge at Kings Beach (North Lake Tahoe): Join Apres ski and snowboard club based out of the Santa Clara, CA (South Bay) is a singles club for active adults residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Website: http://apres.org
Backcountry Ski Maps is the best all-in-one backcountry ski touring maps on the marketplace where you can find all the route information you need on one piece of paper or via digital format on your smartphone or laptop. Website: https://backcountryskimaps.com
SkiBuds: Find friends to ride with based on skill level making the skiing experience in Whistler, British Columbia more enjoyable. Website: http://www.skibudsapp.com
Our 2019/20 Partners List
If you’d like to partner with SnowPals, please reach out to for metrics and benefits of partnership.
What does becoming an affiliate entails? Send us a one sentence description detailing what you offer as a business, a URL link to your biz’s website and your business logo.
Please use the following sentence and logo to add SnowPals to your affiliates’ page (your business must have an affiliate page that you can easily include us on your page as well). We will in turn do likewise on this page, please contact (Monday to Friday, non-holidays, 9 AM to 5 PM) once you have added SnowPals to your business’ website. View a sample of what an affiliates’ page look like on SkiBuds’ website.
For Lake Tahoe ski trips, join SnowPals.org – San Francisco Bay Area based snow-sports club for busy professionals, since 1999.