Lake Tahoe Resorts Closing Dates, Snow Report, Live Cams

tahoe resorts opening dates

2020/21 Lake Tahoe Ski Resort Closing Dates, Snow Totals Report, Tahoe Resorts Live Cams

Page Last Updated March 18, 2021 at 10:00 AM PST. Bookmark this page for quick access.

Squaw Valley: May 31, 2021

Alpine Meadows: May 31

Heavenly: April 18

Northstar: April 18

Mt. Rose: April 18

Boreal: April 18

Sugar Bowl: April 11

Homewood: April 11

Kirkwood: April 11

Sierra at Tahoe: April 11

Diamond Peak: April 11

During COVID, most resorts require you to buy lift tickets online ahead of time; if you’d like to book your resort visit for fresh POWder days and holiday weekends, the best strategy is to..

Plan ahead by booking your lift tickets and lodging stay especially whenever there’s snow in the forecast since resorts are limiting their capacity during the coronavirus pandemic. Check the ski resort or ski area where you are headed: El Dorado (South Tahoe) or Placer County (North Tahoe), and your county’s COVID Tier and travel restrictions before you plan your trip.

Will you be sharing a ski lease or vacation rental? Tips on how to reduce your risk of COVID coronavirus when sharing accommodations.

Lake Tahoe Resorts Snow Report, Live Cams & Trail Maps

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

Heavenly Mountain Resort is opened Trail Map | Live Cams

heavenly-resort-opening-day

Sierra at Tahoe is opened Trail Map | Cam

Kirkwood opens Dec 4 Trail Map | Cam

kirkwood-resort

Squaw Valley USA is opened Trail Map | Cam

squaw-alpine

Alpine Meadows is opened Trail Map | Cam

Northstar-at-Tahoe is opened Trail Map | Cam

Sugar Bowl is opened Trail Map | Cam

Homewood Dec 11 Trail Map | Cam

homewood-resort

Diamond Peak Dec 10 Trail Map | Cam

Mt. Rose is opened Trail Map | Cam

Tahoe Donner TBD DECEMBER  Trail Map

Donner Ski Ranch TBD Trail Map

Bear Valley is opened Trail Map | Cam

China Peak  is opened Trail Map

Dodge Ridge TBD Trail Map | Cam

Soda Springs TBD Trail Map

Yosemite’s Badger Pass® Ski Area TBD Trail Map

Mt. Shasta Ski Park Resort TBD DEC 15 Trail Map | Cam | Extended night skiing/riding hours 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

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

View Southern California’s/Eastern Sierra Ski Resorts

* Plan a Tahoe getaway: browse/book a Tahoe vacation rental or if you have a season pass, join a ski lease to set a new personal record for most ski and ride days.

* Rideshare to your favorite Tahoe resort and expand your circle of friends for POWDER trips using your Epic/Ikon pass to Utah, Colorado, Whistler, Europe, Japan, South America and other worldwide snow destinations.

Quick Navigation Links:

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

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

* Join Tahoe ride-shares / carpool

* Get the Best Value Multi-resort Season Pass good for two days each at 16 Worldwide Resorts including Squaw Alpine, Mammoth, Colorado and Utah resorts + others.

* North Lake Tahoe Public Transportation Information

PUBLIC SHUTTLES

TART (Tahoe Area Regional Transit)

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

Truckee Transit

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

Ski Resort Shuttles and Schedules

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

Night Rider Free Night Service

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

TIMING YOUR BUS

NextBus.com

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Browse Season Pass and Lift Ticket Deals

season-pass-lift-ticket-deals

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

GoPro: Chasing POWder AdVANture with Chris Benchetler in 4K


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



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

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

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

* WINTER DRIVING TIPS

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

* CHAIN CONTROLS

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

* Roads, Traffic – Check Current Highway Conditions

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

* LIVE TRAFFIC CAMS

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

* CHP Traffic Incident Information

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

* TAHOE ROAD LIVE CAMS

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

* NORTH TAHOE LIVE CAMS

https://tahoetopia.com/webcams

* SOUTH TAHOE LIVE CAMS

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

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

Check weather forecast:

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

Cross Country Tahoe Ski Areas Opening Dates (Lake Tahoe Nordic skiing and snowshoeing areas)

Granlibakken Resort  DEC Trail Map | Cam

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort  DEC Trail Map

Spooner Lake Cross Country Ski Area  DEC Trail Map

Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area  DEC Trail Map

=== SoCal – Southern California/Sierra ===

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort  is opened Trail Map | Cam

mammoth-mtn-resort

Mountain High Resort (located in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County in California) is opened Trail Map | Cam

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

Map of Lake Tahoe Area Ski Resorts

map source: unofficialnetworks.com

For a detailed listing of Tahoe ski resorts, check out our handy guide to all the Lake Tahoe area ski resorts! It’s the fastest way to scan lift ticket prices and compare the resorts to find the perfect one for you.

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

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

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

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

 

Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Maps and Guidebook

Backcountry-ski-topo-maps-Tahoe-Southwest

Get the Inside Scoop on the best spots for skiing, splitboarding Tahoe Sierra backcountry:

Five backcountry topographical maps to choose from:

(1) Lake Tahoe: Southwest and West Shore

(2) Lake Tahoe: North Shore

(3) Lake Tahoe: Carson Pass

(4) Lake Tahoe: the Best of The Rest of Tahoe

(5) And ..Mammoth, California

Purchase a Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Map and Guidebook – use snowpals21 promo discount coupon code to get 10% off your purchase for hard copy maps and digital maps for your smartphone.

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/inside scoop you need to get into the backcountry.

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

Backcountry Ski Maps 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!

Let’s take an inside look at the Tahoe Southwest Map which 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: snowpals21

To get 10% off your backcountry map purchase, enter the discount coupon code ‘ snowpals21 ‘ at check-out; purchase maps at

https://backcountryskimaps.com/product-category/california/

Outside California backcountry topographical maps: formats available in paper and digital maps..

+ New Hampshire’s Presidential Range

+ Mount Hood, Oregon (Coming Soon)

+ Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (Coming Soon)

+ Vail Pass, Colorado (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.

At Backcountry Ski Maps 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 topographical maps on the market.

Something needed to change.

And so Backcountry Ski Maps, LLC was born.

backcountry-topo-maps-2020

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 face-shots.

Come join the fun!” – backcountryskimaps.com

 

backcountry-ski-maps

➦ Got a small business you’d like to partner with SnowPals for new sales referrals? Contact for partnership inquires. We’ll dispatch our digital media kit upon receiving your inquiry so you can see our visitor stats and demographics.

️☃️⛷ ⛸

Interested in backcountry skiing and snowboarding (using a splitboard)?

Benefits of backcountry skiing/boarding:

* Enjoy solitude serenity
* Earn your untracked powder runs = burn tons of calories/great workout 🙂
* Enjoy the beauty of our natural environment – views of glades, valleys, glorious lake views, pine trees, snow covered winter wonderland sear into memories that will stay with you a lifetime or more (reincarnation)
* Nature photography
* Many more intangibles you can’t get at ski resorts, so join in..

Connect with backcountry skiers & snowboarders .

Connect with a wingman/woman for backcountry safety, share rides to the mountain, perhaps share lodging expenses too, and it’s just more fun when you have some POWder friends to 🏂⛷❄️🏔 with 😉

* * Learn how to stay safe in the backcountry, register for an Intro to AIARE AVALANCHE RESCUE TRAINING
; Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC) got hands on backcountry safety courses/classes, details at

http://www.snowpals.org/2019/nonprofit-spotlight-sierra-avalanche-center/ 👍😎🏔❄️❄️⛷🏂

* Browse Tahoe area rentals and private seasonal ski leases:
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/rentals/

* Browse shared ski leases: :
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/leases/

* How to increase bookings for your rental, ski lease listing on Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, Craigslist:
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/2020/property-owners-guide-tips-create-appealing-listing-vacation-rental-ski-lease/

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Get 1/2 off NorCal Ski Fest Membership, includes 2 for 1 lift tickets at Squaw Alpine & Bear Valley Resort

norcal-ski-fest-membership
Need a last minute gift? Give the gift of lift tickets! Buy a 2020/21 NorCal Ski Fest Membership for family, friends and yourself.

A $14.99 membership gives you access to:

(1) a 2 for 1 Lift Ticket to Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Mon-Fri Pass, Non-Holiday (an adult lift ticket for Squaw Alpine costs $99 to $209 based on the date you select: supply & demand/holiday periods/weekends, etc)

(2) a 2 for 1 Lift Ticket to Bear Valley Mon-Fri Pass, Non-Holiday (an adult lift ticket for Bear Valley Mountain Resort costs $120 to $139 based on the date you select: supply & demand/holiday periods/weekends, etc)

(3) a Rainbow Mountain Free Ski or Snowboard Package Rental (a $32 value) or if you already have your own skis or snowboard, get a Performance Tune-up (a $35 value), Non-Holiday

NorCal Ski Fest is looking to add more deals as the snow falls so keep checking back!

Quantities are very limited based on NorCal Ski Festival contract agreements with the respective resorts; buy as a gift or for yourself as we expect to sell out especially with back to back snow storms inbound for Lake Tahoe starting on Christmas day and into the following week – the National Weather Service forecast for the next seven days:

tahoe-nws

Purchase a $14.99 Membership Now

skifest-membership

with family & friends to plan a Lake Tahoe ski, snowboarding trip getaway.


Snow-Sports: what safety measures should I take during COVID-19 for myself, family and friends?

Last Updated on January 14, 2021. with family & friends to help keep them safe.

    el-dorado-county-covid

Source: Heavenly and Sierra at Tahoe are resorts located in El Dorado County – https://news.google.com/covid19/map

    placer-county-covid

Source: Northstar, Squaw Alpine, Sugar Bowl are resorts located in Placer County – https://news.google.com/covid19/map

Check the current COVID case count for your county and CA’s Covid Tier assignments at

https://news.google.com/covid19/map.

Check El Dorado (South Tahoe).

✔ Placer County (North Tahoe).

*Remember to check your county’s COVID Tier and travel restrictions before you plan your trip. To ski, snowboard at Lake Tahoe resorts, advance reservations are required (no day of lift ticket sales available) because ski resorts have to limit resort’s visitors’ capacity as a Covid mitigation measure.

Still going to the grocery store? With new virus variants spreading, here’s what to do to mitigate your risk level.

View a U.S. Map of COVID-19 cases

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map

Lodging Share During the Pandemic FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION (FAQ)

A frequently asked question SnowPals.org get asked is..

Our group will be sharing a Lake Tahoe rental/ski lease lodge for the winter season and I’d like to ask you what safety measures should I implement during COVID-19 to prevent my friends and family from getting infected with the coronavirus (which will ruin everyone’s enjoyment of snow sports this winter)?

Great question and an important one because although deaths related to Covid19/coronavirus have decreased significantly, however, the rate of infection is still rising quickly as the winter months flu season starts and there is no united or coherent federal leadership and guidance on Covid prevention as states issue various guidance from no masks required to masks mandated.


Before we delve into safety measure tips, let’s first examine the impacts of coronavirus..

Long-term effects of COVID-19

According to the Mayo Clinic, long-term effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus) includes problems with mood swings and fatigue..

Many people who have recovered from SARS have gone on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, a complex disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest. The same may be true for people who have had COVID-19. – Mayo Clinic

Costs for a Hospital Stay for COVID-19

“FAIR Health estimated the costs based on ICD-10 procedure codes and revenue codes associated with flu and pneumonia (lung inflammation caused by infection). We analyzed data from our database of over 30 billion private healthcare claim records, the largest such repository in the country. We found the average charge per COVID-19 patient requiring a hospital stay to be $73,300. That charge is the estimated cost for a patient with no health insurance. It’s also the cost for a patient seeing an out-of-network provider and whose health plan has no out-of-network benefit.

The average estimated in-network amount per privately insured patient is lower: $38,221. The in-network amount is the amount that the providers in the plan’s network have agreed to accept as full payment. It includes both the amount the plan pays and the amount the patient pays. The amount the patient pays is based on the cost-sharing provisions of the plan.

These numbers are useful to know to help you understand how much the COVID-19 pandemic is costing our country. But it’s also important to know that they’re not the actual amount you’re likely to have to pay if you or someone in your family gets COVID-19. If you have insurance, your costs will be determined by the cost-sharing terms of your health plan. If you don’t have insurance, your costs will vary based on your specific case. And you may be able to negotiate a lower amount with your providers.” – https://www.fairhealth.org/article/costs-for-a-hospital-stay-for-covid-19


Symptoms of coronavirus/COVID

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

“COVID-19 is a respiratory condition caused by a coronavirus. Some people are infected but don’t notice any symptoms. Most people will have mild symptoms and get better on their own. But about 1 in 6 will have severe problems, such as trouble breathing. The odds of more serious symptoms are higher if you’re older or have another health condition like diabetes or heart disease.

Here’s what to look for if you think you might have COVID-19.

Common Symptoms

Researchers in China found that the most common symptoms among people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 include:

Fever: 99%
Fatigue:70%
A dry cough: 59%
Loss of appetite: 40%
Body aches: 35%
Shortness of breath: 31%
Mucus or phlegm: 27%

Other symptoms may include:

Sore throat
Headache
Chills, sometimes with shaking
Loss of smell or taste
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

Trouble breathing
Constant pain or pressure in your chest
Bluish lips or face
Sudden confusion
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish lips or face

You need medical care as soon as possible. Call your doctor’s office or hospital before you go in. This will help them prepare to treat you and protect medical staff and other patients.

Strokes have also been reported in some people who have COVID-19. Remember FAST:

Face. Is one side of the person’s face numb or drooping? Is their smile lopsided?
Arms. Is one arm weak or numb? If they try to raise both arms, does one arm sag?
Speech. Can they speak clearly? Ask them to repeat a sentence.
Time. Every minute counts when someone shows signs of a stroke. Call 911 right away.

Lab tests can tell if COVID-19 is what’s causing your symptoms. But the tests can be hard to find, and there’s no treatment if you do have the disease. So you don’t need to get tested if you have no symptoms or only mild ones. Call your doctor or your local health department if you have questions.

Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.” – WebMD

Is COVID-19 similar to the common cold?

“Coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. However, SARS-CoV-2 can cause serious illness and even death. Why people’s COVID-19 symptoms vary so greatly isn’t fully understood.

What is the difference between the flu and COVID-19 regarding how long it takes to develop symptoms?

Flu
Typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection.

COVID-19
Typically, a person develops symptoms 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary.

If you suspect you have the above symptoms, take a self-assessment.

The New York Times reported:

The U.S. recorded more than 90,000 new coronavirus cases yesterday, a new daily high. That’s more than one new case every second, The Times’s Mike Baker notes.

Stephanie Ruhle On COVID-19 Diagnosis: I Did All The Right Things, But I Still Got The Virus | MSNBC YouTube Video:

Some good news: Survival rates among severe virus patients are improving. At N.Y.U.’s hospital system, the death rate dropped to 8 percent in August, from 26 percent in March.

COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRESS UPDATE

READ the latest news on the progress of an effective COVID-19 vaccine (link opens in new window to show vaccine news update)

Coronavirus vaccines 101: What you need to know

What is a vaccine?

How will vaccines for the new coronavirus work?

Are these vaccines safe?

If a vaccine is working, how soon will a person who gets it be protected?

Why bother with a vaccine if we can just slow-burn until herd immunity?

Why do I keep hearing people talk about vaccines that are “safe and effective?”

How soon will coronavirus vaccines be ready?

How soon could I get a vaccine?

What’s a clinical trial? And what are these trial “phases” anyway?

Who will get vaccines first?

Will coronavirus vaccines have side effects?

UC HEALTH answers the above questions in a clear and easy to understand explanation 😉 – https://www.uchealth.org

Preventative Safety Measures

To prevent Covid infection/transmission, aside from keeping social distancing, our recommendations are sourced from leading career doctors and scientists:

(1) Agree on a set of safety protocols but most importantly, all members of the ski lease must stick to following them without fail. As a group collectively agree to and implement ‘preventive health measures like frequent hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask when going out in public, to help protect themselves and to reduce the chances of spreading the infection to others.’ – Read Harvard Health’s Recommendations

Have available at all corners of the ski cabin/ski lease from ski lodge entrances to bedrooms, hand sanitizer bottles readily available to use in all community areas/located by high touch shared items, microwave, door knobs, etc.

Work collectively means it’s critical to keep everyone in the loop and to communicate clearly with daily updates especially if a member have recently been in high risk situations/exposed to Covid. Make use of Group Coordination and Collaboration Calendars and Tools to keep everyone in the loop.


(2) Use HEPA air purifiers – one for each bedroom, one for the living, dining room area which can remove up to 99.97% of bacteria, molds, and viruses. ‘And long enough exposure to the UV light in an air purifying device can disable some viruses, including COVID-19.’ – https://www.mdanderson.org.

Find an AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) Certified Room Air Cleaner. Performance is key when choosing the right air filter for your home. – https://ahamverifide.org/directory-of-air-cleaners/

(3) Buy and use the best available N95 masks, CDC approved, NIOSH certified N95 masks

(4) Check your central air/heating system to see how air is directed/identify air flow vents and see how air is directed into each room of your home. If your air vent is blowing air from mid-torso to head level, consider having a qualified handyman or AC/Heating specialists install air flow duct accessories that will direct the outbound air directly to the ground. Why? It has been shown that air flow directly to the ground is key in preventing virus transmission by directing the air to the ground instead of to the torso and head level where infected asymptomatic person(s) virus exhalation can be captured and spread by the air flow of the AC/Heating unit.

See screen-capture photo of how airflow on an airplane effectively does this:

    heating-unit-air-flow-covid

Effective use of HEPA certified air purifiers to eliminate coronavirus:

    hepa-filters-covid

Safe travels start with science

“Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use
The latest research is showing that aircraft cabins are among the safest of public indoor environments. According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the risk of COVID-19 exposure on board our planes is almost zero thanks to advanced air filtration systems, required mask-wearing and diligent cleaning protocols.

Since airlines began putting these measures in place in spring 2020, “there has been little evidence to date of onboard disease transmission,” according to researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Their report notes that when the “highly effective” ventilation systems are running from boarding until deplaning, which is our practice at United, the risk of exposure falls below that of activities like grocery shopping and dining out.

And even when the plane is full, on average only 0.003% of infected air particles could enter the breathing zone of seated, masked passengers, according to the DOD study.”

Reference:

Read Harvard’s study
Read U.S. Department of Defense’s study

How using a humidifier to maintain your house’s humidity at 40-60% is optimal in reducing the risk of viral infections in the common flu and Coronavirus infections:


How taking Vitamin D supplements during the winter months help to boost your immune response to viral infections including Covid-19?

YouTube Interview with Professor Roger Seheult, MD; Dr. Seheilt explains the important role Vitamin D may have in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Dr. Seheult illustrates how Vitamin D works, summarizes the best available data and clinical trials on vitamin D, and discusses vitamin D dosage recommendations.

Roger Seheult, MD is the co-founder and lead professor at https://www.medcram.com

He is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine and Assistant Prof. at Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Dr. Seheult is Quadruple Board Certified: Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine


How maintaining regular exercise helps to boost your body’s immune system?


How effective are masks in terms of preventing Covid infection/transmission?

Mask Standards and Effectiveness Bottom Line


– Single use masks (normally one layer, very thin) are typically only effective at capturing larger dust particles, but can do so fairly well.

– Surgical mask standards have higher requirements for capturing virus-sized (0.1 micron) particles, however they vary by region.

– Pollution masks (respirators) typically capture >90% of virus-sized particles. You can use the rating system in the table above to see the exact proportion each certification requires. This includes ratings such as N95, KN95, FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. – https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/comparison-mask-standards-rating-effectiveness/

n95-masks

COVID-19: Droplet or Airborne Transmission? Penn Medicine Epidemiologists Issue Guidance

CDC updates guidance on aerosolized COVID-19 spread


Where do you buy your N95 NIOSH certified masks?

https://www.idcband.com/en-us/respirator-face-masks/

* Disclosure: SnowPals.org does not get any kick-backs/commission for any of the links in this featured article btw.

Comparison of Mask Standards, Ratings, and Filtration Effectivenesshttps://smartairfilters.com

(5) Collectively agree to get Covid tested 24-48 hours of first meetup at the ski lease cabin(in the meantime, shelter in place until you get your test result); share test results prior to first meetup, after which all ski lease members keep a contact journal of daily activities and share any incidents of concern. Keeping a social contact and activities journal can be time consuming but if it means everyone in the ski lease is more mindful of his/her contacts and activities they engage in that can be cause for concern/considered high risk, can then be shared among all members. Communication is key. Find free Covid testing near you (opens in a new window using Google search).

Which ski lease group did the most research and analysis on best practices for Covid safety protocols?

http://www.snowpals.org/leases/covid-adjusted-south-lake-tahoe-ski-lease-share/

Feel free to contact Mike (the ski lease organizer – see contact link in above URL) to share tips.

Additional Reading

Tahoe Ski Season Survey & Insights
Read about specific coronavirus safety measures Tahoe resorts are implementing to keep staff and visitors safe


CNN TRAVEL COVERS skiing in times of COVID..

the ‘lodge’
Flexibility is key
Ticket to ride
Planning for the worst

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/skiing-seasons-changes-coronavirus
🏂

✔ Keep track of United States vs California’s COVID19 cases as winter flu season starts.

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center: Homecoronavirus.jhu.edu

Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19 pandemic.

Who’s going to pay for Covid-19 treatment?

FDA’s information on the effective use of UV Lights and Lamps: Ultraviolet-C Radiation, Disinfection of Coronavirus

✔ Estimating potential spending on COVID-19 care, a report by Brookings Institute www.brookings.edu

What is the trend for snow sports during these times?
What did New Zealand do to control COVID-19 to successfully get to zero new infection; how did they managed to keep it that way, and what we can learn from them?

Please feel free to with friends and family ♥ to keep them safe 😉

😎❄️☃️⛷🏂⛸

Engage in Critical Thinking

– Critical to democracy & survival of citizens of these United States of America

TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL – Official Documentary Trailer On-demand on Hulu

On Demand October 13
On Hulu October 20

On January 20th, 2020 the US and South Korea both discovered their first cases of COVID-19. However, 9 months later, the novel Coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 200,000 Americans and caused staggering economic damage, while in South Korea, there were no significant lockdowns and, in an urbanized population of 51 million, only 344 lives have been lost. Where did we go wrong? As the presidential election nears, Americans are increasingly enraged by a lack of clear leadership, endemic political corruption and left to wonder how did the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world manage to fail so thoroughly in its response to a global pandemic?

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, directing with Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger, interrogates this question and its devastating implications in Totally Under Control. With damning testimony from public health officials and hard investigative reporting, Gibney exposes a system-wide collapse caused by a profound dereliction of Presidential leadership.

It will be a generation before we know the full extent of the damage wrought by this pandemic, but Totally Under Control will stand as the definitive account of the Trump administration’s incompetence, corruption and denial in the face of this global pandemic.


Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding (spilt-boarding) Q&A Series, part 8

Photo Credit: Eddy van der Kloot

Part 8 – Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding (spilt-boarding) Q&A Series

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.

Of particular concern is that finally CDC acknowledges that the coronavirus infection transmission is airborne by aerosols which means it is highly contagious. This fact does not bode well so we’ll see how this flu season and winter months play out.

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 8 Q&A interview with Eddy van der Kloot, founder and creator of BackcountrySkiMaps.com

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 skiing/boarding/snow-sports?

There’s been a definite uptick in people’s interest in the backcountry ever since COVID shut down lifts back in March, and I expect that this season will be the busiest yet for ski touring in Tahoe. Although the season has barely started, I’ve already seen an increase in demand for maps this year, which I suspect is a decent proxy for the increase in backcountry usage we’re about to see!

How did you get into creating Tahoe/Sierra topographical maps?

I’ve always been a map nerd – you don’t even want to know how many hours I’ve spent looking at CalTopo and Google Earth. After several years of backcountry skiing in Tahoe, I went up to Whistler and was pleasantly surprised to find that John Baldwin had made some incredible maps for touring in the area. That made me realize that nothing like that existed for Tahoe. There isn’t even a Tahoe-specific guidebook (though there are a few guidebooks which include some descents by the lake), much less anything that you can take out into the field. How were new ski tourers supposed to know where to go?

How many years have you been doing this and what do you find rewarding about it?

I’m in my third year of making maps now, and it’s been a rewarding process from start to finish. The whole undertaking has been a huge learning experience, which I always enjoy, but the biggest reward is when customers reach out to me and tell me how my maps have helped them have their best days in the backcountry. Ski touring has brought me so much joy, and it’s great to be able to help others get that same experience.

In terms of backcountry experience, what types of BC experience do you have? Do you go to the backcountry with a few friends or by yourself?

I don’t know how many hundreds of backcountry days I have under my belt now, but I’ve done everything from traverses to steep couloir skiing, pow days to ski mountaineering descents, and springtime corn runs to early winter bike-to-hike-to-ski days. That’s one of the joys of backcountry skiing – there are so many different ways to do it that it always keeps you interested.

I’ve done a handful of solo days, but I prefer to go out in a group of 2-4 people. I find that makes for the best combination of safety in numbers without causing too much groupthink when considering avalanche conditions.

What do you like about the backcountry?

Skiing pow without the anxiety of beating the lines at the resort certainly comes to mind first! But there’s also something enjoyable about the physical challenge of big days out. And of course getting into proper nature, away from the craziness of the resorts is a huge plus too. When I got into backcountry skiing, it was so that I could ski pow days after the resorts had been skied out, but it turns out that even the uphill is fun!

What was the most challenging part for you in creating these topo maps? How long did it take you to complete one coverage area section?

When I started the project I already had years of GPS data from my watch stored on my computer, so I thought it would be easy to just stick it on a map and go. That turned out not to be the case – there’s a ton of additional work that goes into getting things looking good, and even once the maps are printed and ready to go it takes a lot to maintain the website, find retailers, keep up with customer service, and try to give back to the community by doing things like running fundraisers with the Sierra Avalanche Center (and this winter also the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center). It took me about 8 months of full-time work to get the first map done, but after working on my processes I can now do that in about half the time. That of course doesn’t include the years of backcountry skiing to know where all the lines are – but thankfully that’s the fun part!

Name three favorite backcountry spots you like that’s not crowded?

I’m a huge fan of Herlan Peak (on the Tahoe: Best of the Rest map), for both tree skiing during storms and steep skiing when things are stable. It doesn’t hurt that you stare straight at the lake most of the time that you’re skiing there. The area around Echo and Angora Peaks has always been a favorite of mine too – it’s stacked with little chutes and couloirs, but doesn’t see nearly as much traffic as nearby Tallac or the West Shore peaks. For my last pick I’ll go with Carson Pass – it can get busy early and late season, but there’s so much terrain down there that it’s always easy to get away from the crowds if you know where to go. There are some huge bowls back there, some fun traverses to do, and of course the Crescent Moon Couloir is one of the best around Tahoe.

Final question: what is it about your backcountry ski topo maps that stands out from other maps available on the net?

First off, I don’t think that anything as comprehensive for ski touring exists on paper or on the net. Between the three paper maps (Tahoe: North, Tahoe: Southwest and West Shore, and Tahoe: Carson Pass) and the one digital-only map (Tahoe: The Best of the Rest) there’s something like 300 ski descents, each of which includes an approach (or several different approaches) and distance and elevation gain statistics. Then there’s the self-contained guide photos and text on the back. With about 16-20 of the top descents detailed with descriptions and color photos, the maps make it easy to get into the backcountry without needing to look up additional info elsewhere.

Would you like to add anything else?

If this is your first year in the backcountry, do yourself a favor and get educated before going out. Take an avalanche course, go out with more experienced friends, and always err on the side of caution. And if you’re the kind of heathen that bootpacks or pisses in the skintrack, may Ullr smite you with breakable crusts, sastrugi, and death cookies on all of your backcountry adventures from this day until the end of time!

Get the Inside Scoop on the best spots for skiing, splitboarding Tahoe Sierra backcountry:

Five backcountry topographical maps to choose from:

(1) Lake Tahoe: Southwest and West Shore

(2) Lake Tahoe: North Shore

(3) Lake Tahoe: Carson Pass

(4) Lake Tahoe: the Best of The Rest of Tahoe

(5) And ..Mammoth, California

Purchase a Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Map and Guidebook – use snowpals21 promo discount coupon code to get 10% off your purchase for hard copy maps and digital maps for your smartphone.

backcountry-topo-maps-2020

Part 1 

Part 1 Backcountry skiing Q&A interview with Alyssa Olenberg-Meltzer who got into backcountry skiing and loves it from the start; she has four winters of experience.

Part 2 

Read our Q&A with Greg of California Ski Company, a retail store specializing in ski, backcountry, and touring gear and service based in Berkeley, CA.

Part 3 

Interview with Robert Shattuck, founder of San Francisco Backcountry Skiers (SFBS) Community on Facebook Groups.

 Part 4

Interview with Richard Bothwell, Backcountry Touring Guide and Director of the Outdoor Adventure Club

Part 5 

Interview with Carl Hlavenka, ski patroller with Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol and California Winter Search and Rescue Team North

Part 6 

Interview with Shane Robinson Owner & Lead Guide at Graybird Guiding based out of the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Part 7 

Interview with Mathias Bjoern, Founder of 48 FreeRiders, a backcountry ski, board community based out of Denmark

Backcountry Skiing, Snow-Sports Resources

✔ 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.

Sierra Avalanche Center’s education resources where you can get the backcountry safety education and hands on training

Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Maps and Guidebook

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.

Sequoia National Park Lodging WUKSACHI LODGE

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.

GRANT GROVE CABINS

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.

* Browse Tahoe area rentals and private seasonal ski leases:
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/rentals/

* Browse shared ski leases: :
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/leases/

* How to increase bookings for your rental, ski lease listing on Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, Craigslist:
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/2020/property-owners-guide-tips-create-appealing-listing-vacation-rental-ski-lease/

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How to join SnowPals

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.

Read members’ introductions to get an idea who joins SnowPals.
How to join SnowPals
View Upcoming Bay Area & Tahoe Events: opportunities to meet in-person (after the pandemic) with skiers and boarders near you.

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:

snowpals-members-forum-2020

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:

tahoe-rideshare-contacts

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

Read additional feedback from folks who’ve joined SnowPals.


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.

Membership perks:

✔ 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.

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).

How do I join?

Unlike traditional ski and snowboard clubs with yearly membership fees, join SnowPals community for free; here’s how:

1) Post a message with a link to SnowPals.org on your social media Facebook/Instagram to promote us.

2) a screenshot of your post and the link to your social media post.

3) Within 24 hours of receiving your screenshot of your social media post promoting us ((Monday to Friday and excluding holidays), we will a) verify your posting and then b) we’ll send you an invite to SnowPals members forum. Please note this process can not be rushed.

New Member Sign-Up

New member application. Please complete the required steps above to promote us on social media which will earn you an invite to join our member's forum.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Have a question? .

* 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)

2) Utah

3) Colorado

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

If you are a holder of a multi-resort season pass like EPIC PASS, IKON PASS AND MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS, POWDER ALLIANCE PASS, ETC, join us to make the most of your ski pass to chase POWder at resorts worldwide.

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.

SnowPals-ski-ride-snowsports-activity-partners

♥ 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.”

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Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding (spilt-boarding) Q&A Series, part 4

Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding (spilt-boarding) Q&A Series

Part 4: interview with Richard Bothwell, Backcountry Touring Guide and Director of the Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC)

richard bothwell inbounds hiking

Photo Credit: Richard Bothwell

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.

Of particular concern is that finally CDC acknowledges that the coronavirus infection transmission is airborne by aerosols which means it is highly contagious. This fact does not bode well so we’ll see how this flu season and winter months play out.

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 ..

Richard bothwell violet

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?

Richard Bothwell couloir

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?

Be patient.

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?

Richard in Alaska

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:

Ski straps
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
Repair kit/tool
Headlight
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
PB&J

*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!

For everyone:
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.

Richard Bothwell

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!”
415.377.1195

For more information, browse events and outings at OutdoorAdventureClub.com

Outdoor Adventure Club backcountry ski and snowboard program
Outdoor Adventure Club online classes

outdoor-adventure-club-sf-bay-area

Part 1 

Part 1 Backcountry skiing Q&A interview with Alyssa Olenberg-Meltzer who got into backcountry skiing and loves it from the start; she has four winters of experience.

Part 2 

Read our Q&A with Greg of California Ski Company, a retail store specializing in ski, backcountry, and touring gear and service based in Berkeley, CA.

Part 3 

Interview with Robert Shattuck, founder of San Francisco Backcountry Skiers (SFBS) Community on Facebook Groups.

Part 5 

Interview with Carl Hlavenka, ski patroller with Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol and California Winter Search and Rescue Team North

Part 6 

Interview with Shane Robinson Owner & Lead Guide at Graybird Guiding based out of Mt. Baker, WA

Part 7 

Interview with Mathias Bjoern, Founder of 48 FreeRiders, a backcountry ski, board community based out of Denmark

Backcountry Skiing, Snow-Sports Resources

✔ 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.

Sierra Avalanche Center’s education resources where you can get the backcountry safety education and hands on training

Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Maps and Guidebook

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.

Sequoia National Park Lodging WUKSACHI LODGE

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.

GRANT GROVE CABINS

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.

* Browse Tahoe area rentals and private seasonal ski leases:
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/rentals/

* Browse shared ski leases: :
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/leases/

* How to increase bookings for your rental, ski lease listing on Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, Craigslist:
🏂
http://www.snowpals.org/2020/property-owners-guide-tips-create-appealing-listing-vacation-rental-ski-lease/

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Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding (spilt-boarding) Q&A Series, part 1

Alyssa Olenberg-Meltzer

Photo Credit: www.jshawphoto.com Jonathan Shaw Photography

Part 1 – Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding (spilt-boarding) Q&A Series

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.

Of particular concern is that finally CDC acknowledges that the coronavirus infection transmission is airborne by aerosols which means it is highly contagious. This fact does not bode well so we’ll see how this flu season and winter months play out.

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 1 Q&A interview with Alyssa Olenberg-Meltzer who got into backcountry skiing and loves it from the start; she has four winters of experience..

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 skiing/boarding/snow-sports?

Anecdotally, I can say that I have had a few friends reach out to me expressing interest….these are all folks that have been meaning to try backcountry skiing/splitboarding for at least a couple years but haven’t gotten around to it because it seemed too expensive and like a huge time commitment. We’ve had at least a couple posts and many comments from new folks on the group’s facebook page from folks interested in getting started. Personally, I’ve talked to more current backcountry skiers who are worried about new users flooding the backcountry than I’ve talked to people who plan to go backcountry skiing for the first time.

Do you know if there are backcountry snow sports folks from around the world visiting Tahoe/Sierra Nevada? Would BC visitors be able to connect with your FB group (see link below in resources) BC folks to freeski/split-boarding with when they join your group?

Yes, anyone can join and we love discussion. Lots of members (myself included) have found partners through posting on the group (see link below in resources), and at the very least posting is guaranteed to get you tons of advice from enthusiastic members. While everyone is nervous that an influx of new backcountry users may be a safety concern, I definitely believe that the people who are willing to spend time researching before they go out and asking questions of experienced backcountry users will be better equipped to make better-informed decisions, and I know that all of the moderators are committed to being welcoming and not acting like pompous gatekeepers.

That said, try to get some training before you go out. I wouldn’t feel super comfortable going out with someone who hasn’t had a good amount of practice with their beacon, shovel, and probe; an avalanche rescue course or AVY 1 is a good credential to put partners at ease.

How does a newbie get started in BC in three essential steps? What are just the bare essential set-up for BC skiing or split-boarding?

Step 1/pre-requisite: be comfortable skiing at least moderate un-groomed slopes in all snow conditions.

1) Get comfortable with backcountry equipment. I recommend both practicing what you can at home to make everything less fiddly (step into bindings, put on skins, transition, etc), and spending some quality time skinning without skiing. Cross country ski trails and flat forest service roads are great for skinning practice!

2) Learn to read terrain both from maps before you go out and in the field. I recommend spending lots of time staring at CalTopo maps with the slope angle shading overlay turned on for areas you know well- your usual ski runs are perfect, places you hike frequently, etc. You want to be able to have a mental image of what enjoyable (to you) skiing looks like on a map, so you can identify good potential routes. It’s also critical for being able to identify terrain traps to avoid and safe ascent routes.

3) Take an Avalanche AVY Level 1 course. It’ll help you understand avalanche terrain, improve your decision making process in the backcountry, give you necessary hand-on practice with beacons and probes and digging efficiently, and you may meet some great partners.

Bare minimum setup:

– skis/splitboard with AT, telemark or splitboard bindings
– boots for said bindings
– skins
– poles
– beacon, shovel, probe
– a comfortable backpack, preferably with a solid separate compartment for your shovel and probe that you can very quickly access
– warm, breathable and sweat-wicking layers…here in California much of my backcountry skiing is in thin soft-shell pants and relatively light base layers, but obviously having warm layers, windproof and waterproof layers is essential for safety and comfort. Packable is usually key too.

Your recommended gear and manufacturers with a success track record of building solid skis and or boards?

I care a lot more about my boots than my skis to be honest, but since you’re asking….Coalition is a Tahoe company that’s pushing the inclusion and equity that I want to see more of in the outdoor industry and makes super fun skis to boot! Also in the area, Moment makes some really killer skis too.

Can you recommend avalanche training outfits and mountain guides locally/in Tahoe/in Reno?

As part of the Mountain Festival, I took a course through Alpenglow Expeditions with Will Sperry and Ali Agee that really built my knowledge and confidence with reading avalanche conditions and terrain! I also can attest to Richard Bothwell (owner of Outdoor Adventure Club) as being a really thoughtful guide who will make you think critically about your risk taking and has a great attitude.

What is the takeaway message you’d like to get out to newbies about the joy of snow sports and the importance of Avy training, on-going BC education and connecting with mentors, ski buddies for safety?

Don’t be scared to reach out and ask questions. The folks worth going out into the mountains with will be happy to share their enthusiasm with you. Try to gain as much competence as you can on your own before going out by ideally taking Avy 1, or at least learning how to read an avalanche forecast, understanding the nine avalanche problems, and trying to solidify your terrain reading skills, and practicing with a beacon, shovel, and probe; then be ready to ask questions and learn.

Anything else you would like to add?

A lot of people assume that backcountry skiers start exploring the backcountry because they’re bored in resorts and want radder lines, but my experience was the opposite. I got interested in skiing because I love spending time in the mountains in the summer and wanted to get to explore the forests and alpine I loved in the winter. I tried cross country skiing once, but it seemed like it would be difficult to access the places I really wanted to go without beefier equipment. I started skiing resorts in January 2016 with the goal of gaining competence for backcountry skiing (but quickly fell in love with skiing because it is insanely fun, who knew?).

I went on my first tour in May 2016 and took Avy 1 the next winter, and since then I’ve become more and more obsessed. I’m still not, and probably will never be, a hotshot skier, but time in the backcountry has definitely helped my confidence in skiing all sorts of different snow and terrain, and the more competent I get, the more fun I have. It’s the hobby that brings me the most joy, I think because I get to have the unparalleled peace that comes with being in the mountains in the snow and the rush of racing down in the same day.

To be honest, COVID precautions are going to make it harder to get comfortable backcountry skiing. I’ve progressed and become more confident thanks to mentorship and some social situations…backcountry cabins, ski races, and classes. Try your hardest to find solid mentors that you feel comfortable going out with. And I can’t overstate the importance of this…be sure you understand what avalanche terrain is, what the nine types of avalanche problems are, and how to read an avalanche forecast before you go out. Lastly, don’t be falsely reassured by having a beacon, shovel, and probe; be sure you’re completely proficient in their use.” – Alyssa Olenberg-Meltzer, SF Bay Area resident and a member of the San Francisco Backcountry Skiers Facebook Group.

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Photo Credits: Edward Caldwell Photography https://edwardcaldwell.com

Part 2 

Read our Q&A with Greg of California Ski Company, a retail store specializing in ski, backcountry, and touring gear and service based in Berkeley, CA.

Part 3 

Interview with Robert Shattuck, founder of San Francisco Backcountry Skiers (SFBS) Community on Facebook Groups.

 Part 4

Interview with Richard Bothwell, Backcountry Touring Guide and Director of the Outdoor Adventure Club

Part 5 

Interview with Carl Hlavenka, ski patroller with Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol and California Winter Search and Rescue Team North

Part 6 

Interview with Shane Robinson Owner & Lead Guide at Graybird Guiding based out of Baker Mt, WA

Part 7 

Interview with Mathias Bjoern, Founder of 48 FreeRiders, a backcountry ski, board community based out of Denmark

Backcountry Skiing, Snow-Sports Resources

✔ 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.

Sierra Avalanche Center’s education resources where you can get the backcountry safety education and hands on training

Lake Tahoe Backcountry Ski Topographic Maps and Guidebook

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.

Sequoia National Park Lodging WUKSACHI LODGE

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.

GRANT GROVE CABINS

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.

* Browse Tahoe area rentals and private seasonal ski leases:
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* Browse shared ski leases: :
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http://www.snowpals.org/leases/

* How to increase bookings for your rental, ski lease listing on Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, Craigslist:
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http://www.snowpals.org/2020/property-owners-guide-tips-create-appealing-listing-vacation-rental-ski-lease/

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North Tahoe’s Sugar Bowl & Royal Gorge is Hiring Full & Part-Time

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Looking for a seasonal winter job where you can work, live and play in the mountains?

Recruiting Update

In these difficult times, the ability to offer outdoor recreation in a wide-open, high alpine environment is more critical than ever. The safety of our employees and guests is also of the utmost importance. We have been working hard to develop COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure that your workplace is as safe as possible this season and we look forward to having you join our team as we offer the wide open spaces of Sugar Bowl for all to enjoy.

Why Work at Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge?

“Since its founding in 1939, Sugar Bowl has been consistently recognized as a mountain that delivers great snow, diverse terrain and outstanding customer service. Our unique resort community and the way we work together is an important part of our heritage and is demonstrated in the way we respect and care for our guests, our homeowners, and each other.

Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge Cross Country enjoys many natural attributes including four distinct alpine peaks, Tahoe’s deepest snow, close proximity to the Bay Area, and a world-class location atop Donner Summit. What really sets us apart from other resorts, however, is our great team. We are known for regularly going above and beyond for our guests, for our genuine, friendly employees, and our desire to help guests create lasting memories. These elements are at the core of our brand and our culture. We call it “Plus One Service,” a commitment to ensuring we exceed our guests’ expectations.

We hope you choose to join the Sugar Bowl team!

Sugar Bowl encourage you to inquire about our winter operations by submitting your name and contact information through the “Request A Recruiter To Contact You” button below. This will allow us to contact you directly to discuss Winter 2020-2021 at Sugar Bowl.

A few of their job openings include: ski lift operations, ski, snowboard instructors, ticket sales, cashiers and line cooks just to name a few job opportunities; work, live, play where there’s awesome terrain + enjoy POWDER days; view current openings.

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* Looking for a good value rental property listing alternative to Airbnb and VRBO for Lake Tahoe area niche rental market that will get you QUALITY RESULTS? Here’s the scoop:

http://www.snowpals.org/2020/good-value-alternative-to-vrbo-and-airbnb/

* Browse Tahoe area rentals and private ski leases:
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http://www.snowpals.org/rentals/

* Browse Tahoe area ski leases that have shared ski lease memberships:
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http://www.snowpals.org/leases/

* Join SnowPals, snow-sports for busy SF Bay Area Silicon Valley Professionals @
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http://www.snowpals.org/2019/how-to-join-snowpals/

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How to Draft Effective Ski Lease/Rental Property Rental Agreements

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Lake Tahoe property owners, are you looking into turning your home or vacation rental property into a seasonal winter ski lease? Consider the following tips when drafting your lease agreement ..

How to Draft Effective Ski Lease/Rental Property Rental Agreements

The following article was written by David B. Cronheim, an attorney at Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, PA

It’s that time of year again. Winter is just around the corner and skiers and snowboarders are beginning to book their winter getaways. Most homeowners and real estate agents are focused on getting their properties ready for the busy ski season ahead. Understandably, the rental agreement they use to rent those properties is often one of the last things they consider. After all, many have a form agreement – often the same one they have used for years – and use it for every rental. The importance of a good lease is often overlooked.

Why should a homeowner or real estate agent care about having a well-drafted lease, particularly when the chances of litigation are remote? Simple. A good lease affords powerful protections. Basic issues like nightly rates, cleaning fees, and damage deposits are only a small part of any good rental agreement. A lease sets expectations in advance, can prevent problems before they arise and puts the law more clearly on the owner’s side in the event of a dispute. Even if you don’t plan on suing any of your guests, by setting expectations before arrival you may be able to deter destructive conduct. Unruly groups inclined to break the rules may look elsewhere if they understand the potential financial consequences.

It’s also good general practice to communicate clearly with potential guests. Commit conversations to writing via e-mail, but choose your words carefully. You’re not trying to sneak something past a potential guest, but rather trying to set expectations.

DRAFTING TIPS

A carefully drafted lease is key to successfully renting out a ski house.
Before discussing how to draft a better lease, it is important to note that a lease is not technically a contract. It is similar to a contract and generally interpreted under contract law principles, but because it is also a conveyance of real property (albeit a temporary one), a lease has some important areas of distinction from a normal contract. The most important distinction is that a rental guest is not merely a party to a contract, but a tenant afforded certain rights under state landlord-tenant laws.

It is worth noting that an effective agreement doesn’t need to be long. In fact some of the best agreements are simple, but on-point. However, there are certain elements which all rental agreements should include. These components may seem obvious, but their nuances are often overlooked. Below are some tips for drafting a better lease for your vacation rental.

Term

Every lease agreement should specify a rental period. Be specific. Instead of using just a date, use a date and time. State check-in and check-out times clearly. This is particularly important because houses are often rented by two groups back to back. List a morning time for check-out and an afternoon time for check-in. Well-drafted leases often also include an hourly fee for late check-outs. You don’t have to assess the fee, but when guests know it’s hanging over their heads, they’re more likely to leave on time.

Rate

Clearly state the rental rate. Even if the rate is calculated nightly, include a sum total. Be sure to note whether the rate includes things like taxes, cleaning fees, or surcharges. Have the guest initial next a grand total. Being clear upfront isn’t only important from a legal standpoint, it’s good business. Guests will feel blindsided by hidden fees, often leaving a bad taste and lessening the chances the guest becomes a repeat customer.

Security Deposit vs. Insurance

Many sophisticated property owners or real estate agents will give guests a choice between a security deposit and rental insurance. Providing this option can make your property more attractive because many guests are wary of putting down a large damage deposit. Some guests may have experienced unscrupulous owners who wrongfully retained all or some of their deposit. Still others may view the deposit as part of the overall cost of the rental, even though it will be returned. Either way, be sure to protect yourself by requiring one or the other.

If you decide to go with a security deposit, be explicit that the guest is liable for any damage to the property regardless of whether it exceeds the security deposit. Withholding a security deposit is merely your first recourse. Should a guest do serious damage to the property, you want to reserve the right to sue (or threaten to sue) them to recover for your loss.

Tailor the Agreement to Your Property

A one-size fits all, “fill in the blanks” lease from the internet is not the best way to maximize your protections. Make sure that your agreement is tailored to your property. Every property is unique and has unique challenges. Consider issues you may have had in the past and try to anticipate future problems. For example, are guests damaging your wooden floors by clomping around in ski boots? Include a clause prohibiting ski boots in the house.

Do you have a specific list of “House Rules” that you post somewhere on the property or give to guests before or upon arrival? Incorporate these rules by reference into your lease and attach them as an exhibit. Require guests to agree to abide by the rules. Incorporating your house rules transforms polite suggestions into legal duties.

Keep it Simple – No Overly Long or Complex Agreements!

An agreement that is too long, complicated or written in “legal-ese” can scare off potential guests. Mean what you say and say what you mean, but say it as simply and clearly as possible. If you find yourself using phrases like “party of the second part” and “inter alia,” start over.

It’s important to keep in mind that a good lease does not have to be long. Each of the specific issues discussed in this article can be accomplished in a well-written sentence or two apiece. Keep it simple so guests understand what they are signing. They are less likely to object to you enforcing your rights under the lease if they understood your rights and their duties when they entered into the agreement.

Specific Provisions to Consider Including

Liquidated Damages Clause

Liquidated damages clauses can be a powerful tool. State with specificity that if guests do something they shouldn’t, a certain fee will apply. The fee should be reasonable and roughly approximate damage. For example, include a provision that failure to replace the cover on a hot tub or to take out the trash will result in certain deductions from the security deposit.

It is important to remember that these provisions cannot be penalties. The law disfavors penalty clauses. Courts generally will not enforce them, so be sure to tie the liquidated damages provision to a reasonable estimate of the damage. A fee of $2,000 for failing to take out the trash won’t be enforceable, but $50 probably would be.

No Refund for Bad Weather

You’ll likely want to include a provision disclaiming responsibility for unfavorable weather. If it rains or there’s no snow, you want to make sure the lease is still in effect. No one can control the weather, but you can control who takes the risk of bad weather (hint: not you!).

Right of Entry of Homeowner at Reasonable Time

If you’re concerned about unruly guests and want to be able to check on your house during the guests’ stay, consider a clause permitting you to enter for a reasonable purpose. Include what those reasonable purposes may be.

Rental Only to Family Groups

If you don’t want to rent to groups of college kids throwing a keg party, don’t. Insert a provision which states you only rent to family groups. Then make the lease signer represent that the group is a family group. You can always remove this clause if the circumstances warrant.

Occupancy Caps

In conjunction with restricting your rental to family groups, a maximum occupancy can deter the type of destructive guests you don’t want. Include a per guest fee for overcapacity, should you discover it. Deduct that fee from the deposit if you discover guests exceeding the maximum occupancy.

Representations and Warranties

Be careful not to promise something you don’t have. If that hot tub hasn’t worked in years, don’t list it as an amenity on your promotional materials.

Immediate Termination of Lease and Repossession by Homeowner in Event of Breach

A recurring problem facing homeowners is what to do when they discover unruly conduct at their property while the guests are still there. Consider a provision that allows you to immediately regain possession of the property for a material breach of the lease. It’s important to note, however, that you’d technically still need to go to court to evict the guests because they’re tenants, but you can always tell the unruly guests to vacate before you’re forced to get the sheriff to serve an eviction notice.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The most important thing a strong lease can do for a property owner is save them money. Having a professionally drafted lease is a small upfront cost that pays off over the long term. A good lease can put arguments to rest before they turn nasty by setting expectations in advance. A clear, concise agreement which protects your interests is a valuable tool for any homeowner. After all, if a dispute does occur, you have your answer. It’s all right there in black and white.

Author David B. Cronheim, Esq. is the Chief Legal Correspondent for First Tracks! Online and is an attorney at Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, PA in Bridgewater, N.J. For more information or for assistance in drafting or updating a vacation rental agreement, please feel free to contact the author at . Source: http://www.firsttracksonline.com

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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 ride-share to your fave resorts? Browse ski leases @

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* Got a ski lease or Tahoe area vacation rental you’d like us to feature? Reach your snow sports SF Bay Area professionals audience: get it listed:

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* Read recently joined members’ intros & join SnowPals’ 8k+ members to ride-share to Tahoe and for buddies to ski/ride with at

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Advertise on SnowPals to get your listing in front of thousands of SF Bay Area professionals who enjoys the great outdoors and snow-sports!

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