Visitors Have Some Man-Made Tahoe Fun

December 30, 2011

It is reported to be the driest December in the Lake Tahoe region in the past 100 years, but that hasn’t kept skiers and snowboarders from hitting the slopes and wetting their whistle at the respective ski lodges.

Village at Northstar

“The snow is actually pretty darn good,” said one patron as he enjoyed a cold beer after a day at Diamond Peak Ski Area. “I probably couldn’t tell the difference between the man-made stuff and the real stuff. The conditions seem normal to me.”

While the snow may seem normal on the slopes, the conditions are anything but. With pretty much no precipitation since before Thanksgiving, ski resorts throughout Northern California have been forced to make their own snow.

With extremely frigid temperatures, sometimes dropping to the low teens, that has not been a problem.

Yet, the brown panoramic views around Lake Tahoe have almost all locals and tourists wondering when the next storm will bring the white stuff. Outside a few north-side patches,  the only consistent snow that can be seen is under chair lifts.

Or in the case of Diamond Peak – chair lift.

“They only have one top-to-bottom run open, but I am pleasantly surprised at how good the conditions are,” said another skier.

Despite the lack of precipitation, it seems as if it’s business as usual. Just like all the Whos down in Whoville celebrated Christmas without any presents, outdoor winter enthusiasts are celebrating in Tahoe without the presence of natural snow.

With parking lots full and a huge crowd enjoying all the amenities the Village has to offer, Northstar-at-Tahoe is all abuzz this holiday.

“Wow. It was extremely enjoyable out there on the slopes, but a little bit crowded. Getting through the Village, past all the people at the ice rink and everywhere was quite the slalom course in itself,” said a young skier as he waited in the parking lot for his ride home.

No snow in the month of December is very unfortunate for a variety of reasons, but visitors and locals continue to make the most of it. Still, the dry conditions only continue to whet everyone’s appetite for some fresh powder skiing and snowboarding.

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North Tahoe Ski Resorts Groomed for Families

November 29, 2011

With daily lift tickets approaching $100 at many resorts across the country, skiing is becoming quite an expensive venture these days. Like successfully navigating the moguls of a black diamond run, finding affordable places to hit the slopes is proving very difficult.

View from Diamond Peak

Thankfully, the north shore of Lake Tahoe has a few diamonds in the rough when it comes to inexpensive ski lift tickets.

Located in Incline Village, Diamond Peak not only contains challenging terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, but the lake views are spectacular. It also has ticket prices that will bring a smile to anyone’s face – especially a parent’s.

Designed with the family in mind, there are a variety of different discount options. For those just learning to ski or snowboard, there is the “beginner lift access” ticket that can be purchased for just $25 and can be used at both of Diamond Peak’s beginner ski lifts.

Realizing that many children may not want to hit the slopes alone or have the skill to do so, there is an “interchangeable parent” option, which allows one ticket to be swapped back and forth between mom and dad throughout the day. It has proven wonderful for parents who need to split their time watching children on the slopes and perhaps a younger one back at the lodge.

Speaking of little ones, there is also a Child Ski Center for kids ages 3-7. It is separate from the rest of the resort and contains its own powerline lift. As if that weren’t enough, kids 6 years and under ski for free.

Just over the rather large hill from Diamond Peak is Mt. Rose Ski Area. Somewhat forgotten since it’s on the eastern slope of the Sierra facing the city of Reno, this resort has panoramic views of both Lake Tahoe and the vast Nevada desert. It, too, is nicely designed for families from both a terrain standpoint and a pricing one.

While other resorts on the lake may run upwards of $85 per ticket, adults can get a ski pass for $67 after December 16th. Teenagers, ages 13-17, are $37 and children, 6-12, are just $17. With Tahoe’s highest base elevation and only 25 minutes from both Lake Tahoe to the west and Reno to the east, Mt. Rose is a very nice choice for any family to consider.

Ticket prices at Northstar-at-Tahoe are definitely higher than other resorts in the area, but with its own rustic village and a plethora of family-friendly restaurants and attractions, including an ice rink, it, too, may be an ideal destination when traveling to the north shore this winter.

There is no doubt that skiing and snowboarding is getting expensive these days. Yet, while some resorts offer prices only corporate moguls can afford, thankfully there are others that keep the moguls on the slopes and ticket costs much more affordable.

NOTE: All ski resorts offer early and late season discounts, online deals, season passes, and a variety of ski packages that help parents save money. Feel free to contact the ski resorts directly. For more information on local ski resorts or help planning your next ski vacation, please contact us at 1-800-948-7311 or visit us at http://www.goldfishproperties.com.