Best 2-day skiing choice in Tahoe

Jan 31st, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Best 2-day skiing choice in Tahoe

My wife and I are looking for suggestions on the best 2-day, 3-night getaway skiing trip in Tahoe. We will be driving from San Fran or Sacramento on a Thursday, skiing Friday 2/26 and Saturday 2/27, and flying back home from Sacramento or San Fran. Some blogs suggest Heavenly and the Marriot. We are intermediate/advanced skiiers. Would like to avoid crowded conditions as much as possible, but want to experience the best skiing. Thanks.
PhillyGuy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:25 AM
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One factor in your decision making process might be whether you want to gamble in the evenings. If so, staying in South Lake Tahoe and skiing Heavenly is a good choice.

If you're not intrested in gambling, we like Squaw Valley, and have been very happy staying si/so at the Squaw Valley Lodge.
abram is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Heavenly is great (excellent skiing and amazing lake views), and the Marriott in South Lake Tahoe is a good choice (condos with kitchens, gondola right outside your door). I personally prefer Northstar and Squaw (in North Lake Tahoe) -- in the former, I would stay in the resort (the "level" of accommodations you chooose is very budget-dependent). Squaw has much more truly advanced skiing than Northstar. Weekends will be crowded everywhere, especially with the amount of precipitation/snow we've had in the last few weeks. Oh, and driving to Northstar/Squaw is quite a bit easier, all freeway, whereas the last part of the drive to South Lake and Heavenly is "mountain-road" (the cliff-hugging kind!). Nothing wrong with the latter as long as you're comfortable doing it. Lastly, Sacramento is much closer to Tahoe than San Francisco is (about half the distance).
sf7307 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Good, balanced recommendations from sf7307. I agree. I love skiing at Heavenly. But - Driving to North Tahoe area is much easier than to South Tahoe where Heavenly is. Squaw is my pref over Northstar but have not been skiing there in many years. Have you considered flying into Reno? That would be a first choice; second choice would be flying into Sacramento.
elnap29 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:38 AM
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ok, great. So if we decide on Nortstar or Squaw, and we want a ski/on/off, where would you recommend?
PhillyGuy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:51 AM
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If you are intermediate/advanced skiers you may be a little disappointed in Northstar. I know alot of people who say that Northstar is a little on the falt side for their skill level. I think Squaw would be perfect for you. Stay in the village or at the resort for nice accomodations.

Both Northstar and Squaw say that 75% of their runs are intermedite or expert. Squaw just has more total runs. It's a bigger mountain.
Suzie is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 12:57 PM
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As I said, Squaw Valley Lodge.
abram is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:28 PM
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Thanks again for the very helpful comments. We checked out the Squaw Valley website and a few reviews; sounds superb. However, my wife, who is an intermediate skiier, was a bit intimidated by what she read (vertical drops, cliffs, etc), so we are leaning towards Northstar. This will be our first time skiing anywhere other than east coast (NY and VT) where I ski the black diamonds and she skis the intermediate trails. I'm assuming a black diamond VT trail is at least a few notches below the advanced skiing at Squaw Valley. Am I off base here, or would Northstar or Heavenly be a better fit for us?

One more question: We have our own skis/boots, but the thought of packing them, checking them in and paying extra baggage fees has us leaning towards leaving them home and renting. Any recommendations for those who travel with skiis frequently? I am assuming we could get good (demo) rental skis at any of the mountains.
PhillyGuy is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:11 PM
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Is there a reason you can't fly in/out of Reno? Makes more sense than SMF, and MUCH more sense than SFO. Plus - if we get a winter storm that week, you will have to rent a 4WD and carry chains. We've had some amazing storms so far this season -- el nino conditions. Some Sundays recently - the trip down the hill from Tahoe to Sacramento/San Francisco has taken many hours longer than usual due to road conditions and the crowds.

Unless it is a blizzard/white out conditions, you can get through w/ 4WD w/o chains, but you are still supposed to carry them. Most rental agencies don't allow chains on their cars.

If you flew into Reno, you can take a shuttle to South Lake Tahoe and not need a car.
janisj is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:21 PM
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The diamond-rating system at ski resorts is "intra" resort, so a black diamond at Northstar could be quite a bit less intimidating/hard to ski than a black diamond at Squaw Valley. Squaw has lots of intermediate skiing, but lots of "real" black diamonds, too -- it definitely has the reputation for being the most advanced skiing around here. Northstar has more blues and fewer black diamonds -- it's reputation is as a "family resort". I would definitely characterize Northstar as mostly intermediate (which is what I am - intermediate and never aspired to be anything more than that LOL) with some harder/more advanced slopes.

You could, if you do decide to have a car, ski one day at each -- they're not far apart.

As for rentals, I'd definitely not lug my stuff. That said, of course, if you have boots you love, and that fit great, I doubt rental boots will fit as well.
sf7307 is offline  
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