|Bear Valley in Feb|
I'm a little late writing this but wanted to recap an incredible season of skiing this year.
El Nino came through this year with a long and great ski season. My last day of skiing was at Squaw Valley in early May. Squaw and Alpine were the last ski areas open in the area with Squaw planning to stay open until Memorial Day.
|Granddaughter's 1st day of skiing|
I live in Sacramento and there are about 13 ski areas within a two hour drive. Under three hours and you have a few more. It is real easy to get in a day trip of skiing. I live a little over an hour from Sierra at Tahoe and can leave the house at 7am and be home before 6pm, skiing from open to close of the lifts.
|Last day of skiing in May|
This year was a great year as I was able to average about 1 trip a week after the first of the year. Ski areas I hit were Sierra at Tahoe, Heavenly Valley, Squaw Valley, Bear Valley and Northstar. All days were mid-week and most days were just after a fresh dumping of snow. Even in May the conditions were good. One highlight was at Squaw in May. We skied over to a run that was closed for the USA Ski team which was practicing. After watching for about 10 minutes they opened it up and the conditions were perfect.
The Sierra in Northern California has a lot to offer from large resorts to small operations and everything in between. Everyone has their favorites and I do too.
Bear Valley is a longer drive, about 3 hours, but worth it, The terrain is rough with cornices and cliff areas but also has runs for the beginner. I skied there a lot in the 70's and remember seeing a lot of celebrities as it is off by itself and was more self sufficient.
Heavenly Valley is where I learned to ski. and will always be one of my favorites. It is a huge area where you can either start in California or Nevada and ski between the two sides.
Sierra at Tahoe is the closest to my house and has a good variation in terrain. It is smaller and there are no lift lines mid-week. I can get in a full day of skiing without waiting in lines.
Whatever your ski level the Tahoe area offers plenty of options. If you want a resort atmosphere then go to Squaw Valley or Northstar. For exciting nightlife try the ski areas on the south shore of Tahoe. For more of a mom and pop atmosphere try the smaller areas.
Next year I plan on going to Mammoth Mountain. It is a larger ski area and a longer drive, about 4 hours. This will have to be a weekend trip.