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2012Media Placements ~ The Abbi Agency


Sugarbowl Table Of Contents Date

Publication

12/31/2012

Examiner

12/30/2012

YubaNet.com

12/29/2012

Examiner

Title Lake Tahoe Ski Report: No Snow In Forecast, But Cold Temperatures Will Continue California's Only Snowkite Center Opens At Royal Gorge Lake Tahoe Ski Report: Tahoe Has More Than Any Region In The United States

12/28/2012

Lahontan Valley News - Online

Mountain Resorts Rejoice After Weekend

12/28/2012

The Union

12/27/2012

SF Gate

12/27/2012

SF Gate

12/26/2012

San Diego Business Journal

12/24/2012

SF Gate

Olympian To Teach Skate Skiing For Only $35

12/24/2012

Examiner

Lake Tahoe Ski Report: Sugar Bowl Has More Than 7 Feet Of Snow From Tahoe Storms

12/24/2012

SF Gate

Olympian To Teach Skate Skiing For Only $35

12/23/2012

Family Health & Wellness

12/22/2012

Reno Gazette Journal - Online

12/22/2012

The Sacramento Bee

12/21/2012

Sierra Sun

12/21/2012

Inside Bay Area

12/21/2012

PR Newswire

12/21/2012

Reno Gazette Journal - Online

12/20/2012

Santa Cruz Sentinel

12/19/2012

The Modesto Bee

12/16/2012

Examiner

Snowkiting The Sierra: California's Only Snowkite Center Opens At Royal Gorge Big December Snowfall Brings Euphoria, Danger Snow Conditions Bring Fun, Danger Wilson Cos. Completes Receivership Sale Of Ski Resort

Snow Play: The Health Benefits Of Winter Sports New Year's Eve Celebrations At Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Land Trust Buys Royal Gorge Ski Area At Donner Summit Tahoe Truckee Community Announcements Landmark Land Deal Protects Key Piece Of Sierra Nevada Famous Cross-Country Ski Resort In Sierra Nevada Protected Funding Secured To Close Deal Protecting Royal Gorge On Donner Summit Outside Roundup: Nic H'dez And Sam Coffey Score NSSA Wins Cross Country Ski Resort Guide Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort In Lake Tahoe Opens With 20K Of Trails


Sugarbowl Table Of Contents Date

Publication

Title

12/16/2012

The Sacramento Bee

12/14/2012

North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

12/14/2012

Sierra Sun

12/13/2012

First Tracks

12/13/2012

7x7 San Francisco

Free North Tahoe Ski Shittle - One Bus Smaller - Ready For Launch Free North Tahoe Ski Shittle - One Bus Smaller - Ready For Launch Win A Day Skiing Sugar Bowl With Olympian Daron Rahlves Five Place

12/12/2012

Auburn Journal

Sugar Bowl Launches Contest To Win A Day

12/12/2012

The Daily Meal

12/11/2012

The Ski Channel

8 Awesome Apres Ski Spots Rahlves' Banzai Tour 2013 Returns To Lake Tahoe Resorts

12/8/2012

Earn Your Turns

12/5/2012

Reno Gazette Journal

12/5/2012

SF Gate

12/4/2012

YubaNet.com

12/4/2012

Examiner

12/3/2012

The Ski Channel

12/1/2012

Unique Homes

12/1/2012

Sierra Sun

11/29/2012

Mercury News

11/29/2012

Sierra Sun

11/28/2012

Los Angeles Times

11/26/2012

Capital Public Radio

11/23/2012

Oakdale Leader

11/21/2012

Manteca Bulletin

11/21/2012

East Bay Express

Escapes: See Death Valley From Las Vegas

Event: Sugar Bowl Hosts Apres Ski BC Ball

Outdoors Notes: Learn To Ski And Board Weekend, Plus More Big Snow Update: Sierra Resorts Adding More Terrain Sugar Bowl Announces Thursday Re-Opening With Nearly Four Feet Of New Snow And More On The Way Fresh Snow Has Sugar Bowl Ski Resort Reopening This Week Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Welcome 2 To 4 Feet Of New Snow After Heavy Storms Hit The Region Sugar Bowl Resort's 'Summit Crossing' Offers Homesites Sugar Bowl Will Reopen For Skiing And Riding Saturday, Dec. 8 Staycation Specials: Tahoe Lift Tickets, Ski Lessons; Santa Clara Festival Ski And Ride For $40 Or Less To Benefit Local Schools North Lake Tahoe: Learn To Ski And Snowboard Weekend Ski Season Off To A Good Start With More Snow On The Way Sugar Bowl Open Thanksgiving Weekend Sugar Bowl Re-Opens Today For Ski Enthusiasts Off To A Powdery Start


Sugarbowl Table Of Contents Date

Publication

Title

11/20/2012

Easier - Travel

Let It Snow - Californian Ski Resorts Open Early

11/18/2012

Mercury News

What's New At Sierra Nevada Ski Resorts

11/18/2012

Examiner

Lake Tahoe Snow Report: Kirkwood Gets 16 Inches, Boreal Records 15

11/17/2012

Examiner

Sugar Bowl Opens Today With Fresh Snow; Latest Lake Tahoe Ski Resort To Open

11/16/2012

SFist

11/16/2012 11/16/2012

7x7 San Francisco Diablo

11/15/2012

West County Times

11/15/2012

Mercury News

11/13/2012

Sierra Sun

11/12/2012

KTVN News 2

11/12/2012

YubaNet.com

11/11/2012

Examiner

11/10/2012

Sierra Sun

Sugar Bowl Resort Launches New Website

11/9/2012

SF Gate

11/8/2012

Sierra Sun

11/5/2012

Outside

Tahoe Ski Resorts: Expectations High Sugar Bowl Academy Nordic Skiers Receive 200K Expansion The Best Ski Resorts In North America: 25. Sugar Bowl Resort

11/1/2012

Tahoe TV

Sugar Bowl Announces Opening Weekend

10/31/2012

JustLuxe

Lake Tahoe's Sugar Bowl Resort Releases 25 Homes In Snowbound Village

10/27/2012

Aspen Times

10/26/2012

Sierra Sun

10/26/2012

YubaNet.com

10/25/2012

Reno Gazette Journal

Tahoe Report: Mountains Are Open Early, If You Don't Need Much Snow Tying The Knot Tahoe Style What’s New In Tahoe Conservationists Save Royal Gorge; Resort To Be Operated By Sugar Bowl Conservationists Save Royal Gorge; Resort To Be Operated By Sugar Bowl Sugar Bowl Announces Early Opening This Weekend Sugar Bowl Opening Weekend November 17th & 18th Storm Drops Over 18" Of Snow On Sugar Bowl; Opening Weekend 17 & 18 Sugar Bowl Ski Resort In Lake Tahoe Announces Nov. 17 Opening Date

Sugar Bowl: A Sweet Road Trip Celebrating 25 Years Of Excellence In Education Sugar Bowl resort Hires JoJo Toeppner As Royal Gorge General Manager Tahoe-Area Ski Resorts Take Advantage Of Early Snow


Sugarbowl Table Of Contents Date

Publication

10/25/2012

SF Gate

10/25/2012

SF Gate

10/23/2012

7x7 San Francisco

10/22/2012

The Ski Channel

10/19/2012

Sierra Sun

10/18/2012

Tahoe Daily Tribune

10/15/2012

South Bay Accent

10/13/2012

Sierra Sun

10/11/2012

Sacramento Bee

10/10/2012

Snowshoe Magazine

10/10/2012

Outside Inn

10/7/2012

Sacramento Bee

10/5/2012

Mammoth Times

10/5/2012

Los Angeles Times

10/5/2012

Examiner

10/4/2012

Tahoe Truckee Outdoor

10/4/2012

American Alpine Institute

10/3/2012

South Tahoe Now

10/3/2012

The Union

10/3/2012

Tahoe Daily Tribune

10/3/2012

Reno Tahoe USA

10/2/2012

YubaNet.com

Title Boreal Ski Resort To Open Friday The First Blizzard Of The Season Hammered Donner Summit And I-80 On Monday Morning Sugar Bowl Adds Royal Gorge's Winter Playground Winter Hits Hard In Lake Tahoe, Jumpstarts Snowmaking Operations North Shore Ski Resorts Finalizing Upgrades In Anticipation Of Season Daron Rahlves, Skiing Action Figue: 'Spills Are Part Of My Style' The New Tahoe Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers And Sugar Bowl Resort Planning Tahoe-Truckee Sled Dog Races Tahoe Hiring Could Get A Lift As Resorts Schedule Job Fairs Sugar Bowl Inks Deal To Operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort As Conversation Purchase Nears Getting Ready For Ski Season Lots Of Development Down, Snow To Come At Tahoe Ski Resorts What's Up, Up Here Sugar Bowl To operate Royal Gorge Nordic Ski Area It's Official: Sugar Bowl Assumes Operation Of Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort Sugar Bowl Will Operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Climbing And Outdoor News From Here And Abroad Sugar Bowl Inks Deal To Operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort Sugar Bowl To Operate Royal Gorge Cross Country resort Sugar Bowl Inks Deal To Operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort Sugar Bowl And Royal Gorge Unite Sugar Bowl Inks Deal To Operate Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort As Converation Purchase Nears


Sugarbowl Table Of Contents Date

Publication

Title

10/2/2012

Lake Tahoe News

10/2/2012

First Tracks

10/2/2012

Sierra Sun

10/2/2012

SF Gate

Sugar Bowl Taking Over Operations Of Royal Gorge Sugar Bowl Signs Agreement To Operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort Sugar Bowl Inks Deal To Operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort Sugar Bowl Links Up With Royal Gorge

10/2/2012

2 News

Someone 2 Know: High Fives Foundation

9/28/2012

Ski Area Management

9/28/2012

SnoCountry

Sugar Bowl To Operate Royal Gorge Sugar Bowl Signs Lease To operate Royal Gorge XC; Truckee Donner Land Trust Will Own

9/28/2012

Examiner

Under New Agreement, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort May Operate Royal Gorge This Season

9/24/2012

Sacramento Bee

Nevada City Makes Outside Magazine Best-OfList

9/10/2012

Examiner

Rahlves Unhappy About Winter X Games Dropping Skier X, Snowboarder X Events

9/6/2012

Outside

The Best River Towns In America: Nevada City, California

8/8/2012

First Tracks

Conservation Groups Purchase North America's Largest Cross-Country Ski Resort


Don’t expect any snow for the next four or five days. But the skiing and snowboarding should be great, assuming one doesn’t mind the cold temperatures. The Weather Channel forecasts a 10-percent chance of snow today and New Year’s Day, followed by zero percent over the next three days. View slideshow: Lake Tahoe Ski Report for December 31 The temperatures will continue being cold in the Tahoe region. Temperatures aren’t expected to get higher than the low-30s today and New Year’s Day and will likely be dropping into single digits in the evenings. Although the majority of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts received no snow on Sunday, area ski resorts have the most snow of any ski region in this U.S. thus far.


Ski totals are high for this time of year, starting with Sugar Bowl’s 170 inches at its peak. Sugar Bowl is one of eight Lake Tahoe ski resorts that have 100 or more inches of snow. Joining Sugar Bowl in the 100-plus club are Boreal (132), Soda Springs (132), Mt. Rose (128), Squaw Valley (121), Sierra-at-Tahoe (108), and Alpine Meadows (104) and Northstar California (101). Below is the National Weather Service forecast for today through Thursday for the Lake Tahoe region. Today: Sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Patchy freezing fog in the morning. Temperature highs 23 to 28. Light winds. Tonight: Partly cloudy. Patchy freezing fog after midnight. Temperature lows 6 below to 4 above zero. Light winds becoming east around 10 mph after midnight. New Years Day: Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny. Patchy freezing fog in the morning. Temperature highs 26 to 31. East winds around 10 mph. Ridge gusts up to 55 mph. Tuesday Night: Clear. Patchy freezing fog after midnight. Temperature lows 5 below to 5 above zero. East winds up to 10 mph. Ridge gusts up to 50 mph. Wednesday: Sunny. Patchy freezing fog in the morning. Temperature highs 31 to 36. Southeast winds up to 10 mph in the morning becoming light. Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy. Temperature lows 4 to 9. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Temperature highs 30 to 35. Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers. Temperature lows 7 to 17. SKI REPORT FOR DECEMBER 31 ALPINE MEADOWS New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 75-100" Location: Highway 89, six miles west of Tahoe City Web Site: www.skialpine.com BOREAL New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 89-132" Location: Interstate 80 at Donner Summit Website: www.borealski.com DIAMOND PEAK New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 36-60" Location: Incline Village Website: www.diamondpeak.com HEAVENLY New Snow: 2"


Base snow depth: 42" Location: Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe Website: www.skiheavenly.com HOMEWOOD New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 64-81" Location: Highway 89, six miles south of Tahoe City Website: www.skihomewood.com KIRKWOOD New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 77-96" Location: Highway 88 in Kirkwood Website: www.kirkwood.com MT. ROSE New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 74-128" Location: Mt. Rose Highway in Reno Website: www.skirose.com NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 50-101" Location: Highway 267 near Truckee Website: www.NorthstarCalifornia.com SIERRA-AT-TAHOE New Snow: 2" Snow depth: 62-108" Location: Highway 50, 12 miles west of South Lake Tahoe Website: www.sierraattahoe.com SODA SPRINGS New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 89-132" Location: Interstate 80, Soda Springs exit Website: www.skisodasprings.com SQUAW VALLEY New Snow: 1" Snow depth: 63-121" Location: Highway 89, six miles from Tahoe City Website: www.squaw.com SUGAR BOWL New Snow: 1" Snow depth: 81-170" Location: Interstate 80, Norden exit Website: www.sugarbowl.com


Lake Tahoe ski resorts • Boreal: Open • Heavenly: Open • Northstar: Open • Kirkwood: Open • Squaw Valley: Open • Mt. Rose: Open • Sierra-at-Tahoe: Open • Sugar Bowl: Open • Alpine: Open • Homewood: Open • Soda Springs: Open • Donner Ski Ranch: Open • Diamond Peak: Open • Tahoe Donner: Open


DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. December 30, 2012 - California's first and only snowkite school opened Dec. 27 at Royal Gorge ski resort, offering customers state-of-the-art snowkiting equipment and expert instruction in a high Sierra meadow known for consistent wind. Snowkiting is the growing winter sport of wind-powered skiing and snowboarding. Snowkiters capture the wind with a kite that is attached to their bodies by a harness. Powered by the wind, snowkiters can climb mountainous terrain, travel across flat meadows and perform aerial maneuvers and tricks. Sierra Snowkite Center is only the second snowkite school in the nation to partner with a ski resort. Sierra Snowkite Center is led by North American Snowkite Tour Champion Tyler Brown. Brown is a Tahoe native who has traveled the world competing in snowkiting events, and was named the Best Overall Rider at the 2012 Superfly Event in Utah. Brown and his team of snowkite instructors will offer group and private lessons, as well as guided backcountry snowkite tours. The center will also offer gear demos and a full selection of rental gear. The center also plans to host a snowkiting race series beginning the week of Jan 9. "Whether you like to glide through untouched powder, launch gentle, soaring jumps, or race across backcountry terrain powered by the wind, snowkiting has something for all skiers and riders," said Tyler Brown, Sierra Snowkite School Director. "Sierra Snowkite Center is proud to partner with Sugar Bowl Resort and Royal Gorge to introduce snowkiting to Donner Summit and the Lake Tahoe area." The center's instructors embrace a relaxed but effective teaching style that can be tailored to a wide range of snowkiters — families seeking a fun day of kiting, kiteboarders wanting to adapt their skills to the snow, or intermediate snowkiters who want to perfect their technique and skills. Sierra Snowkite's location at Van Norden Meadows offers consistent wind, 250 acres of


undulating terrain, and a wide array of natural and man-made features. The meadow has both beginner and advanced terrain for snowkiting. After recent snowstorms, the Sierra Snowkite Center terrain is covered in deep snow, making for prime snowkiting conditions. Only moderate wind is needed for snowkiting, and a Sierra Snowkite Center will update its website each morning at 7 a.m. to notify customers of wind conditions and hours of operation. The center is located on Soda Springs Road just off of Donner Pass Road (Highway 40) across from Soda Springs ski resort. For more information on Sierra Snowkite Center visit www.sierrasnowkite.com, email info@sierrasnowkite.com or call 530.816.0485. To learn more about Royal Gorge and Sugar Bowl Resort, go to www.royalgorge.com or www.sugarbowl.com. Sugar Bowl Resort: California owned and operated since 1939, a Top 25 ski resort in North America as voted by Outside Magazine


Skiers and snowboarders can consider themselves lucky this season. Lake Tahoe ski resorts have the most snow of any ski region in this U.S. thus far. Ski totals are high for this time of year, starting with Sugar Bowl’s 170 inches at its peak. Sugar Bowl is one of eight Lake Tahoe ski resorts that have 100 or more inches of snow. Joining Sugar Bowl in the 100-plus club are Boreal (132), Mt. Rose (128), Soda Springs (123), Squaw Valley (121), Sierra-at-Tahoe (113), and Alpine Meadows (104) and Northstar California (101). There was barely any measurable snow Friday in the Tahoe region. But powder stashes could still be located, thanks to the Sierra range receiving 8 feet of snow or more from the recent storms, which began on Dec. 21.


Don’t expect much additional snow between now and New Year’s Day. The Weather Channel is forecasting a 50-percent chance of snow today, followed by 30 percent on Sunday, 20 percent on Monday, and a zero-percent chance on New Year’s. While there is some sun hitting Tahoe resorts, the temperatures are fairly cold. The temperatures aren’t expected to get higher than the mid-30s in the day and will likely be dropping into the teens or lower at night. Below is the National Weather Service forecast for today through Monday for the Lake Tahoe region. Today: Cloudy with scattered snow showers. Temperature highs 26 to 31. Light winds. Tonight: Cloudy. Isolated snow showers in the evening ... then scattered snow showers after midnight. Temperature lows 7 to 12. Light winds. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow showers in the morning ... Then isolated snow showers in the afternoon. Temperature highs 22 to 27. Light winds becoming northeast around 10 mph in the afternoon. Sunday Night: Partly cloudy. Temperature lows 2 below to 8 above zero. Northeast winds around 10 mph in the evening becoming light. Monday: Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Temperature highs 26 to 31. Light winds. Monday Night: Mostly cloudy. Temperature lows 1 below to 9 above zero. SKI REPORT FOR DECEMBER 29 ALPINE MEADOWS New Snow: 0-1" Snow depth: 81-104" Location: Highway 89, six miles west of Tahoe City Web Site: www.skialpine.com BOREAL New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 89-132" Location: Interstate 80 at Donner Summit Website: www.borealski.com DIAMOND PEAK New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 36-60" Location: Incline Village Website: www.diamondpeak.com HEAVENLY


New Snow: 1" Base snow depth: 42" Location: Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe Website: www.skiheavenly.com HOMEWOOD New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 41-89" Location: Highway 89, six miles south of Tahoe City Website: www.skihomewood.com KIRKWOOD New Snow: 1-2" Snow depth: 68-94" Location: Highway 88 in Kirkwood Website: www.kirkwood.com MT. ROSE New Snow: 1-2" Snow depth: 74-128" Location: Mt. Rose Highway in Reno Website: www.skirose.com NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA New Snow: 0-2" Snow depth: 50-101" Location: Highway 267 near Truckee Website: www.NorthstarCalifornia.com SIERRA-AT-TAHOE New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 64-111" Location: Highway 50, 12 miles west of South Lake Tahoe Website: www.sierraattahoe.com SODA SPRINGS New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 71-123" Location: Interstate 80, Soda Springs exit Website: www.skisodasprings.com SQUAW VALLEY New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 63-121" Location: Highway 89, six miles from Tahoe City Website: www.squaw.com SUGAR BOWL New Snow: 0 Snow depth: 81-170" Location: Interstate 80, Norden exit Website: www.sugarbowl.com


Lake Tahoe ski resorts • Boreal: Open • Heavenly: Open • Northstar: Open • Kirkwood: Open • Squaw Valley: Open • Mt. Rose: Open • Sierra-at-Tahoe: Open • Sugar Bowl: Open • Alpine: Open • Homewood: Open • Soda Springs: Open • Donner Ski Ranch: Open • Diamond Peak: Open • Tahoe Donner: Open


The Lake Tahoe ski industry received the ultimate Christmas present by way of a large storm that dumped upward of 4 feet of snow this past weekend at many locations throughout the region. On Monday, Sugar Bowl Resort atop Donner Summit reported 41 inches of snow had fallen in the past 24 hours, and a whopping 87 inches had fallen at the mountain's peak (8,383 feet) from the storm, putting its upper-elevation depth so far this season at 138 inches. Closer to Lake Tahoe, Vail Resorts-owned Northstar California reported 68 inches over the weekend, boasting a 100-inch snow depth at its summit (8,610 feet) and season snowfall totals exceeding 240 inches. “The series of storms we saw over the weekend set us up nicely for the holidays, and for the rest of the season,” said Bill Rock, chief operating officer at Northstar. As of Monday, Squaw Valley had received 55 inches of snow at upper mountain from the storm, while neighboring Alpine Meadows saw 50 inches fall in the same time frame, according to the resorts, which had seen 70 and 68 inches of snow, respectively, over a 7-day period. To date this season, the resorts have recorded 220 inches of the white stuff, marking the second-largest amount of pre-Christmas snow since Squaw began record-keeping in 1970, Squaw Valley Public Relations Manager Amelia Richmond said Monday. The lone exception, she said, was the record-setting 2010-11 winter, when the resort had an additional 26 inches by Christmas. Other ski resorts reported multi-feet snow totals on Monday. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe saw between 40 and 48 inches from the storm, said Kayla Anderson, public relations coordinator for the resort that's seen 160 inches of snow so far this season. “It's been awesome,” Anderson said Monday. “The last two days, I've had to clean a foot of snow off my car.” “There's no doubt that Tahoe has snow right now,” Anderson later added with a chuckle.


On Lake Tahoe's South Shore, Heavenly Mountain Resort — also owned by Vail — reported a storm total of 42 inches at upper mountain, and 172 inches of snow this season. So far in December, Heavenly received more than nine feet of snow, resort officials said, which is the secondmost snowfall for December since 1997-98, trailing only 11 feet recorded in December 2002-03. The storm began Friday afternoon and fiercely swept through the greater Truckee/Tahoe region, aided by wind gusts of 45 mph at lake level and about 100 mph along Sierra ridges. Heavy snow and whiteout conditions led to numerous slide-offs, spin-outs and accidents along many major regional highways, according to various reports, forcing officials to close portions of Interstate 80 from Donner Summit to Reno and the winding Mt. Rose Highway (Hwy 431) from Reno to Incline Village throughout the weekend. While area law enforcement and emergency personnel were busy throughout the weekend managing the slick roads and monitoring the backcountry, area ski resorts are hailing the snowfall as the perfect set-up for the busy holiday tourism season at Lake Tahoe. “The two recent storms that have come through have brought a lot of light, fluffy snow and have really allowed us to expand our operations going into this holiday season,” said Pete Sonntag, Heavenly's general manager, in a statement. “The conditions out there are beyond mid-winter quality.” And it appears more snow is on the way. According to the National Weather Service in Reno, the greater Truckee/Tahoe region will be under a winter weather advisory until 4 p.m. Wednesday; the advisory began late Tuesday. As much as 10 to 15 inches of snow are expected above 7,000 feet, with 5 to 10 inches possible at lake level. Temperatures are expected to dip drastically as well, according to NWS, which forecasts a low of 8 degrees for Truckee Wednesday night and minus-3 degrees Thursday evening. Sunshine is expected to return Friday, according to NWS, although more “chances” of snow are possible this weekend. Heavenly Mountain Resort opened all remaining terrain Monday and will be 100 percent open heading into the holiday season. Since Saturday, the resort has been slaughtered with 29-42 inches of snow and opened all 97 trails and 30 lifts, accessing 4,800 acres with top-to-bottom skiing and riding on both the California and Nevada sides. All four base locations, Stagecoach, Boulder, Gondola and California, are open to the public for access to the mountain.


NORDEN, Calif. — California’s first and only snowkite school opens today at Royal Gorge ski resort, offering customers state-of-the-art snowkiting equipment and expert instruction in a high Sierra meadow known for consistent wind. Snowkiting is the growing winter sport of windpowered skiing and snowboarding. Snowkiters capture the wind with a kite that is attached to their bodies by a harness. Powered by the wind, snowkiters can climb mountainous terrain, travel across flat meadows and perform aerial maneuvers and tricks. Sierra Snowkite Center is only the second snowkite school in the nation to partner with a ski resort. Sierra Snowkite Center is led by North American Snowkite Tour Champion Tyler Brown. Brown is a Tahoe native who has traveled the world competing in snowkiting events, and was named the Best Overall Rider at the 2012 Superfly Event in Utah. Brown and his team of snowkite instructors will offer group and private lessons, as well as guided backcountry snowkite tours. The center will also offer gear demos and a full selection of rental gear. The center also plans to host a snowkiting race series beginning the week of Jan 9. “Whether you like to glide through untouched powder, launch gentle, soaring jumps or race across backcountry terrain powered by the wind, snowkiting has something for all skiers and riders,” Brown said. “Sierra Snowkite Center is proud to partner with Sugar Bowl Resort and Royal Gorge to introduce snowkiting to Donner Summit and the Lake Tahoe area.” The center’s instructors embrace a relaxed but effective teaching style that can be tailored to a wide range of snowkiters — families seeking a fun day of kiting, kiteboarders wanting to adapt their skills to the snow or intermediate snowkiters who want to perfect their technique and skills. Sierra Snowkite’s location at Van Norden Meadows offers consistent wind, 250 acres of undulating terrain, and a wide array of natural and man-made features. The meadow has both beginner and advanced terrain for snowkiting. After recent snowstorms, the Sierra Snowkite Center terrain is covered in deep snow, making for prime snowkiting conditions. Only moderate wind is needed for snowkiting, and a Sierra Snowkite Center will update its website each morning at 7 a.m. to notify customers of wind conditions and hours of operation. The center is located on Soda Springs Road just off Donner Pass Road (Highway 40) across from Soda Springs ski resort. For more information on Sierra Snowkite Center, visit www.sierrasnowkite.com, email info@sierrasnowkite.com or call 530-816-0485. To learn more about Royal Gorge and Sugar Bowl Resort, go to www.royalgorge.com or www.sugarbowl.com.


Exceptional snow conditions this week in the High Sierra have been shadowed by the specter of two deaths in avalanches at Tahoe-area ski and snowboard resorts. On Wednesday, steel-gray clouds cast crystal-like sugar across soft powder and a deep snowpack that spans hundreds of miles up and down the Sierra. This has created some of the best surface conditions for skiing, boarding and snow play for the Christmas-New Year's holiday in many years in California's high country. Yet in some areas, wind-driven snow slabs, piled atop ice blocks high on steep slopes, await like a death trap for anybody who ventures amid them.


Here is the latest on conditions at resorts, avalanche danger, cross-country skiing and snowplay areas: Resort areas In little more than a week, the entire high-country landscape has been transformed and reborn. Early last week, for instance, Homewood Resort, perched just above Lake Tahoe along the west shore, had one beginner run open out of 64 runs. For the holidays, all 64 runs are open with exquisite surface conditions, a sugar layer on top of powder. The runs at Douglas at Mount Shasta Ski Park went from dry dirt to a snowpack of 7 feet. Badger Pass in Yosemite National Park went from 100 percent closed to having its runs 100 percent open. Resorts across the Tahoe region report a base snowpack of about 5 feet at lower levels, more than 10 feet at upper staging areas. Sugar Bowl near Donner Summit, for instance, reported bases on Wednesday of 62 to 138 inches. There has been so much snow in the past week that many would like a break in the weather that would ease mountain driving and improve visibility on the runs, especially near the ridges. Info: sfgate.com/skiing/norcal. Avalanche danger The deaths this week of a ski-patrol avalanche expert at Alpine Meadows and a snowboarder in bounds at Donner Ski Ranch has shocked the industry across America. At the 25 resorts in California and Nevada, avalanche experts are horrified that such incidents could occur in bounds, and there is an industry-wide crusade to make sure it never happens again, anywhere. It has long been common for top ski-patrol experts to venture to the ridges above ski runs before dawn and then throw small explosive charges into snow slabs. That releases the buildups and removes the avalanche danger. To regain the confidence of visitors, resorts may post signs that they guarantee the slopes have been checked and are safe. Meanwhile, conditions in the backcountry remain dangerous. Avalanche centers for Tahoe-Sierra, Mount Shasta and the Eastern Sierra have posted alerts that "people without backcountry avalanche skills and equipment are advised to stay out of the backcountry." The snow depths and impressive surface conditions might make it difficult for the maverick few to comply with that order. Skilled mountaineers often trek up ridges above the tree line in wilderness, outside the boundaries of resorts, then ski or snowboard freelance-style down into mountain bowls. That is most common in Yosemite out of Tuolumne Meadows on both the adjacent ridges (and sometimes the slopes of Unicorn Peak). Same at Mount Shasta, where freelancers climb Green Butte Ridge and then sail down into the old Ski Bowl (wiped out by an avalanche) or Avalanche Gulch (justly named).


The avalanche conditions were predicted in The Chronicle on Dec. 16, a week before they occurred, in the story " 'Whumph!' - The sound of avalanche danger and how to avoid it." Info: Truckee area, avalanche hotline, (530) 587-3558, sierraavalanchecenter.org; Mount Shasta, avalanche hotline, (530) 926-9613, shastaavalanche.org; Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-0200, nps.gov/yose; National Avalanche Center, avalanche.org. Hear this sound one time, know what it means, and it can send a wave of fear through you: “Whumph!” It sounds like somebody just dropped a sack of potatoes from 50 feet high into 3 feet of powder snow. On instinct, you will turn to see where it came from. There are no indicators: A moonscape of fresh snow extends as far as you can see up the steep mountain slopes. If you’re not scared by now, then you don’t realize the risk: The daunting power of nature may be about to unleash its ultimate winter force, an avalanche. The “whumph” noise is a warning sound that an avalanche may be imminent. It occurs when a deep layer of light, fresh powder is piled high atop a dense layer of frozen ice beneath it — the whumph noise is the sound of that powder compressing, shifting or sliding a bit downhill. That’s how an avalanche often gets started. Over the coming holidays and into January, anybody who ventures into the snow country away from resorts should use extreme caution for avalanche danger. This includes those who crosscountry ski, snowshoe, telemark free-lance style or ride a snowmobile, especially into mountain bowls that feed up into steep slopes. Last week, there was a shift in force, as we call it. Just a week ago, the snow line was as high as 9,000 feet, with heavy rain on top of snow in the high country. The moisture soaked in like a giant sponge. When temperatures plummeted, it then froze into a giant ice block. The snow level then dropped as low as 3,500 to 4,000 feet in the Sierra foothills with 15 inches (and more in some spots) of powder high in the scoop-like cirques. That light powder piled high on the ice block. If you were up there, you might have heard a whumph or have seen an avalanche, like the one in Lee Vining Canyon east of Yosemite along Highway 120. On steep slopes, the light powder can slide down across that ice block, gather in strength and eventually unleash a wall of hurtling snow that plunders everything in its path. In current conditions, Class 2 slab avalanches, which are large enough to bury a person, are possible in the upper reaches of steep-sloped bowls in wilderness. Class 3s are big enough to break trees. If it keeps snowing – and storms are forecast to pulse on and off into the New Year – there is a chance for that in some spots, especially canyons and steep, bowl-like areas that receive little sunlight.


Typical danger spots include the Old Ski Bowl high on Mount Shasta, the north-facing slope of Unicorn Peak in Yosemite, the canyon below Taboose Pass in the Eastern Sierra, and many other similar spots. Many are great destinations to trek to the ridge and then sail down on a snowboard or skis, do-it-yourself style. Two feet of powder sitting on top of a sloped ice block can be plenty to create avalanche danger. If a slope is facing the wind, huge drifts, or what are called wind slabs, can form. This is common at some ski parks, where ski patrol members will inspect the mountain before dawn and throw small charges into the slabs to release the pressure. If you can’t recognize a wind slab when you see one, you should not try to freelance in areas outside of ski parks. The best advice is to wait until the snowpack stabilizes. There’s an easy way to determine that: Dig a hole in the snow and see how much powder is piled atop the frozen layer, which is often marked by pine needles and twigs. Powder at least 2 feet deep on an ice block can sound a warning. Wilderness rangers use a more sophisticated method, but anybody can do this: On a slope where there is fresh powder, isolate a square of snow from 1 to 6 feet across by digging around it into the ice slab so that a square of snow sits as a separate block. Then step on it. If the snow block slides across the ice, avalanche probability is high. With a failed test, a 25-degree slope in avalanche-prone areas can be enough for danger; 30and 40-degree slopes, popular with maverick boarders, can be deadly. And if you go anyway, hoping for the best, and hear the “whumph” noise, it may be too late. Info: Truckee area, avalanche hotline, (530) 587-3558, sierraavalanchecenter.org; Mount Shasta, avalanche hotline, (530) 926-9613, shastaavalanche.org; Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-0200, nps.gov/yose; National Avalanche Center, avalanche.org.


12/27/2012

Big December Snowfall Brings Euphoria, Danger

Exceptional snow conditions this week in the High Sierra have been shadowed by the specter of two deaths in avalanches at Tahoe-area ski and snowboard resorts. On Wednesday, steel-gray clouds cast crystal-like sugar across soft powder and a deep snowpack that spans hundreds of miles up and down the Sierra. This has created some of the best surface conditions for skiing, boarding and snow play for the Christmas-New Year’s holiday in many years in California’s high country. Yet in some areas, wind-driven snow slabs, piled atop ice blocks high on steep slopes, await like a death trap for anybody who ventures amid them. Here is the latest on conditions at resorts, avalanche danger, cross-country skiing and snowplay areas: Resort areas In little more than a week, the entire high-country landscape has been transformed and reborn.


12/27/2012

Early last week, for instance, Homewood Resort, perched just above Lake Tahoe along the west shore, had one beginner run open out of 64 runs. For the holidays, all 64 runs are open with exquisite surface conditions, a sugar layer on top of powder. The runs at Douglas at Mount Shasta Ski Park went from dry dirt to a snowpack of 7 feet. Badger Pass in Yosemite National Park went from 100 percent closed to having its runs 100 percent open. Resorts across the Tahoe region report a base snowpack of about 5 feet at lower levels, more than 10 feet at upper staging areas. Sugar Bowl near Donner Summit, for instance, reported bases on Wednesday of 62 to 138 inches. There has been so much snow in the past week that many would like a break in the weather that would ease mountain driving and improve visibility on the runs, especially near the ridges. Info: sfgate.com/skiing/norcal. Avalanche danger The deaths this week of a ski-patrol avalanche expert at Alpine Meadows and a snowboarder in bounds at Donner Ski Ranch has shocked the industry across America. At the 25 resorts in California and Nevada, avalanche experts are horrified that such incidents could occur in bounds, and there is an industry-wide crusade to make sure it never happens again, anywhere. It has long been common for top ski-patrol experts to venture to the ridges above ski runs before dawn and then throw small explosive charges into snow slabs. That releases the buildups and removes the avalanche danger. To regain the confidence of visitors, resorts may post signs that they guarantee the slopes have been checked and are safe. Meanwhile, conditions in the backcountry remain dangerous. Avalanche centers for Tahoe-Sierra, Mount Shasta and the Eastern Sierra have posted alerts that “people without backcountry avalanche skills and equipment are advised to stay out of the backcountry.� The snow depths and impressive surface conditions might make it difficult for the maverick few to comply with that order. Skilled mountaineers often trek up ridges above the tree line in wilderness, outside the boundaries of resorts, then ski or snowboard freelance-style down into mountain bowls. That is most common in Yosemite out of Tuolumne Meadows on both the adjacent ridges (and sometimes the slopes of Unicorn Peak). Same at Mount Shasta, where freelancers climb Green Butte Ridge and then sail down into the old Ski Bowl (wiped out by an avalanche) or Avalanche Gulch (justly named).


12/27/2012

The avalanche conditions were predicted in The Chronicle on Dec. 16, a week before they occurred, in the story ” ‘Whumph!’ – The sound of avalanche danger and how to avoid it.” Click on story to see it. Info: Truckee area, avalanche hotline, (530) 587-3558, sierraavalanchecenter.org; Mount Shasta, avalanche hotline, (530) 926-9613, shastaavalanche.org; Yosemite National Park, (209) 3720200, nps.gov/yose; National Avalanche Center, avalanche.org. Cross-country The two best-known areas for cross-county skiing, Royal Gorge near Donner Pass and Badger Pass in Yosemite, have cranked up operations. In past years, you hardly heard a peep from crosscountry destinations until winter set in for keeps in mid-January. Royal Gorge, under new ownership, has 45 groomed tracks available that total 111 kilometers. On Saturday, Olympian Marcus Nash will teach skate skiing for $35. At Badger Pass, tracks have been set out to Summit Meadow, a mile out on Glacier Point Road. In the near future, the plan is to set tracks farther up Glacier Point Road; 2.8 miles to Bridalveil Campground, 4.1 miles to Ostrander, 5.7 miles to the view of Clark Range, 10.5 miles to Glacier Point. In addition, with a rest in the snowfall, trekkers will break routes to Dewey Point. On a side note, last week I ran into the cook from Tioga Lodge (closed for winter), which is located near the eastern entrance to Yosemite and Tuolumne Meadows at Tioga Pass on Highway 120. He confirmed that about 20 to 25 cross-country skiers are camping near the lodge, then skiing into Tuolumne Meadows from there. Info: Royal Gorge, (530) 426-3871, royalgorge.com; Badger Pass, (209) 372-8444, yosemitepark.com. Snow play The No. 1 snow-play area in California, Leland Snowplay near Strawberry off Highway 108 east of Sonora, has opened for full-on operations. This is the only snow-play area that has a tow to the top of the hill, where kids (and their parents) then sail down in saucers, tubes or sleds; surface lift and gear included in the price, as low as $12 for kids under 44 inches. California State Parks operates 18 designated Sno-Park areas. Daily permits are $5 per vehicle, which are not available on site and are best purchased online. Sno-Park areas are dependent on Caltrans plowing out parking spaces. After storms subside, plow drivers can catch up and clear parking. Info: Leland Snowplay (209) 965-4719, snowplay.com; Sno-Park hotline, (916) 324-1222, ohv.parks.ca.gov.


San Diego-based Douglas Wilson Cos. has completed the $11.25 million receivership sale of 3,240 acres of Sierra Nevada land in Northern California, which includes the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort. Truckee Donner Land Trust and Trust for Public Land, working as part of the Northern Sierra Partnership, acquired the property off Interstate 80 near Lake Tahoe, according to a statement from Douglas Wilson Cos. The ski resort includes more than 3,000 acres of trail systems and the Summit Station day lodge. The acquisition also included the surrounding watershed area of Serene Lakes and the area around Summit Valley. The statement said the lender on the property, Armed Forces Bank N.A., successor by merger to Bank Midwest N.A., sought the appointment of a receiver in 2011 after the partnership of Kirk Syme and Mark and Todd Foster defaulted on a $16.7 million loan. The developers had proposed a 950-unit, recreation-centered conservation community. The project was thwarted by the real estate downturn, constraints related to availability of public services, and opposition from conservationists. — SDBJ Staff Report


Olympian Marcus Nash will teach an intermediate-to-advanced skate skiing clinic Saturday at Royal Gorge. The Marcus Nash clinic will begin at 9 a.m. on Dec. 29 at the Summit Station Lodge. The cost is $35. Nash is a nine-time national champion in cross country skiing and competed in both the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Nash is a Truckee resident and experienced, respected crosscountry skiing coach. Royal Gorge is America’s largest cross-country ski resort, with over 200 kilometers of trails and 6,000 acres of terrain. it is located on Donner Summit near Interstate 80. The resort is currently open seven days a week with 48 kilometers of groomed trails for skiing. At 10 a.m. Monday, it was snowing lightly, with 16 inches of snow in the past 24 hours. Royal Gorge had 33 groomed tracks open for cross-country skiing. Adjacent Sugar Bowl Resort reported base snow levels of 62 to 138 inches, the latter the highest reported snow total in California. For more information visit royalgorge.com, (530) 426-3871. Dec 24 at 10:22 am


It was another day for Lake Tahoe residents to be immersed in snow mode, shoveling driveways, navigating treacherous road conditions, and trying to sneak in some powder runs and last minute Christmas shopping. The vicious snow storm that has descended on the Lake Tahoe region continued Sunday with more impressive snow totals. Seven of Tahoe’s 14 ski resorts reported 20 or more inches of snow at its peak. View slideshow: Lake Tahoe Ski Report for December 24 Sugar Bowl ski resort, located off Interstate 80 at Donner Summit, had another amazing day of snow. The resort received 31-40 inches of new snow on Sunday and now has more than 7 feet (87 inches) from the storm.


Sugar Bowl plans to open Summit Chair this week, giving skiers and snowboarders access to 100 percent of Sugar Bowl’s 1,500 acres of terrain during the holiday season. Nearby Soda Springs and Boreal Mountain Resort both got 30-40 inches on Sunday, while Kirkwood Mountain Resort off Highway 88 was receiving 18-38 inches. Diamond Peak and Homewood Mountain Resort both had 20 inches at the top of the mountain and Alpine Meadows recorded 18-22 inches. What might be more important is the ski resorts are building up quite the base. There are seven Lake Tahoe ski resorts that now have snow depths of 100 inches or more this season. Northstar California (100), Boreal (121), Mt. Rose (116), Soda Springs (121), Squaw Valley (111), Sierra-at-Tahoe (107) all have over 100 inches of snow base. Sugar Bowl has the deepest base, ranging from 62-138 inches, while Alpine has a 99-inch base. Today should be a good powder experience for skiers and snowboarders, who will most likely get a break from the snow (20 percent chance). But according to The Weather Channel, the snow should return again on Christmas day with a 60 percent chance of snow followed by a 90 percent chance on Wednesday. For travelers heading to the Tahoe region, the roads should be relatively open, although chains could be required. Below is the National Weather Service forecast for today through Wednesday for the Lake Tahoe region. • Today: Mostly cloudy. Isolated snow showers in the morning. Temperature highs 31 to 36. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Ridge gusts up to 65 mph in the morning. • Tonight: Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows 10 to 20. Light winds. • Christmas day: Cloudy. Chance of snow in the afternoon. Temperature highs 32 to 37. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Ridge gusts up to 55 mph in the afternoon. • Christmas night: Snow. Temperature lows 16 to 21. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Ridge gusts up to 60 mph. • Wednesday: Snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Temperature highs 26 to 31. Southwest winds around 10 mph. • Wednesday Night: Snow showers likely. Temperature lows 7 to 17 Ski Report for December 24


ALPINE MEADOWS New Snow: 16-22" Snow depth: 71-99" Location: Highway 89, six miles west of Tahoe City Web Site: www.skialpine.com BOREAL New Snow: 30-40" Snow depth: 79-121" Location: Interstate 80 at Donner Summit Website: www.borealski.com DIAMOND PEAK New Snow: 20" Snow depth: 31-45" Location: Incline Village Website: www.diamondpeak.com HEAVENLY New Snow: 18" Snow depth: TBA Location: Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe Website: www.skiheavenly.com HOMEWOOD New Snow: 12-20" Snow depth: 31-73" Location: Highway 89, six miles south of Tahoe City Website: www.skihomewood.com KIRKWOOD New Snow: 18-38" Snow depth: 64-90" Location: Highway 88 in Kirkwood Website: www.kirkwood.com MT. ROSE New Snow: 3" Snow depth: 63-116" Location: Mt. Rose Highway in Reno Website: www.skirose.com NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA New Snow: 15-18" Snow depth: 40-100" Location: Highway 267 near Truckee Website: www.NorthstarCalifornia.com SIERRA-AT-TAHOE New Snow: 12-15" Snow depth: 58-107" Location: Highway 50, 12 miles west of South Lake Tahoe Website: www.sierraattahoe.com SODA SPRINGS


New Snow: 30-40" Snow depth: 70-121" Location: Interstate 80, Soda Springs exit Website: www.skisodasprings.com SQUAW VALLEY New Snow: 18" Snow depth: 48-111" Location: Highway 89, six miles from Tahoe City Website: www.squaw.com SUGAR BOWL New Snow: 30-41" Snow depth: 62-138" Location: Interstate 80, Norden exit Website: www.sugarbowl.com Lake Tahoe ski resorts • Boreal: Open • Heavenly: Open • Northstar: Open • Kirkwood: Open • Squaw Valley: Open • Mt. Rose: Open • Sierra-at-Tahoe: Open • Sugar Bowl: Open • Alpine: Open • Homewood: Open • Soda Springs: Open • Donner Ski Ranch: Open • Diamond Peak: Open • Tahoe Donner: Open


It’s no revelation that California fosters a reputation for sunshine, summer and beaches. For many here in northern California, however, that ubiquitous imagery is replaced half the year with dreams of soft white powder and the crisp sound of edges slicing through snow. With our close proximity to the Lake Tahoe Basin, northern California has emerged as a haven for winter sports, and the multitude of available activities leaves little room for excuses to hibernate. Winter sports build muscle mass, endurance and balance, and are one of the few activities one can participate in from youth to old age, making it accessible for the entire family. Engaging in a winter sport also burns more calories than their warm weather equivalent, since it takes more energy for the body to maintain homeostasis in a colder environment. But it’s not just about maintaining your beach bod; the psychological benefits are amazing as well. When you engage in a winter sport, endorphins and adrenaline are released into the bloodstream, elevating the mood and providing an overall sense of well-being and contentment. Plus, you’re outdoors in the fresh air: There’s a reason it’s called cabin fever. Fueling a growing popularity is the formidable winter sports retail industry, whose vast improvements in equipment and affordability have allowed for mass participation in a previously exclusive culture. Winter sports retail brought in $3.5 billion ($1.3 billion in apparel, $1.1 billion in accessories, and $847 million in equipment sales) last year, according to Kelly Davis, SnowSports Industry America’s director of research. She also adds that participants in winter sports burned more than 332 billion calories in America last season—enough to offset 475 million cheeseburgers or 2.2 million beers. In a season typically fraught with calorie-laden food and drink, that’s what we call incentive! Family Health & Wellness Magazine gets you motivated by taking a look behind the hype and exploring the health benefits of winter sports in our area.


SNOWSHOEING This low-impact activity may not seem much like a sport, but anyone who has participated in snowshoeing can testify to the exertion it demands. The activity consists of trekking through deep powder with 8” x 22” “boats” attached to your feet. The apparatuses work by distributing a person’s weight over a larger surface area so that the person’s foot does not sink completely into the snow, a quality called flotation. Ray Browning, Ph.D., of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado’s Health Science Center and Vail Mountain Man champion, told snowshoes.com: “Snowshoeing is the best bang-for-your-buck, fat-burning workout in winter…It’s an exceptional way to achieve cardiovascular fitness, expend energy and reduce your chance of heart disease; plus it’s low cost, easily mastered and fun.” Snowshoeing is easy to learn, and in appropriate conditions, is a relatively safe and inexpensive recreational activity. And if you’re wondering where you might find snowshoes, local REI stores in Roseville and Folsom offer equipment for either rent or purchase. For more information and to find trails available in our area, visit trails.com. DOWNHILL SKIING

Also known as alpine skiing, downhill skiing is by far the most popular snow sport. Of the 6.9 percent of the total U.S. population over 6 years old who participates in at least one snow sport, 44 percent chose to downhill ski in 2012. Skiing is one of the most calorie-intense sports. Depending on body weight, the type and intensity, skiing can burn more than 1,000 calories per hour. Alpine skiing is considered a “power sport,” using short bursts of energy and major muscles such as the hamstrings, quads, calves, hips, and to a lesser degree, the abdominals and arms. In the midst of a run, a skier is crouched in a squat position—turning, jumping and stabilizing, and engaging muscles for the duration of the trail. Advanced skiers are more likely to tackle moguled terrain, increasing the calorie expenditure and muscle engagement. Skiing is intense, requiring a lot of energy and effort, which is why it’s a great sport choice for those who are looking to shed a few pounds and trim up. There are 37 ski resorts in northern California alone to chose from, with the highest concentration (and the highest rated) ones located in the Lake Tahoe area. Many of these offer extremely affordable single day and package options for those on a budget. For deals on lift tickets and packages for the whole family, visit skilaketahoe.com.


CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING In terms of endurance building, cross-country skiing, or Nordic skiing, is one of the best sports a person can do. Unlike downhill skiing in which one engages in activity for short bursts, in cross-country skiing one moves nonstop for an extended period of time. Think of the difference between the two like interval training versus cardio, and you’ll start to get the idea. With a little help from gravity, a cross-country skier’s heart is required to continuously pump oxygen to his muscles through his blood vessels, developing lung capacity. If you’re a runner, cyclist or triathlete, cross-country skiing is a great off-season sport alternative to maintain your body condition and lung function. While the exact muscles worked vary with skiing style, they typically include the thighs, glutes and calves, while the biceps and triceps are engaged for poling. If your interest is piqued, you’re in luck. Lake Tahoe’s Sugar Bowl Resort recently signed an agreement to operate neighboring Royal Gorge XC, which the Truckee Donner Land Trust acquired this past summer. America’s largest cross-country resort, Royal Gorge consists of 200 kilometers of trails and approximately 6,000 acres of terrain. Sugar Bowl Resort and Royal Gorge are already connected by an “interconnect trail” that allows skiers to go back and forth between the two, and plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes and a $500,000 renovation for the iconic resort. Sugar Bowl also offers a season pass that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and cross-country ski at Royal Gorge for one rate. For more details, visit sugarbowl.com.


SNOWBOARDING Once considered a rogue sport on the slopes, snowboarding has continued to ascend as the fastest growing snow sport. In fact, snowboardinghelp.com, an online guide to snowboarding by Jakob Jelling, estimates that 80 percent of snow sport novices choose snowboarding for their entry into winter activities. And they’re no slackers. The calories you burn while snowboarding are comparable to what you might burn with cross-country skiing, downhill skiing or snowshoeing. Depending on the variables (exertion, body weight), snowboarding can burn 250 to 630 calories per hour for a 110-200 pound adult. Competitive or rigorous snowboarding can burn 700 to 1,260 calories per hour for a 110-200 pound adult. For adults in the same weight range, 30 minutes of recreational snowboarding would burn 125 to 315 calories per hour, and 30 minutes of competitive or rigorous snowboarding would burn 350 to 630 calories. Snowboarding engages the core as you balance, as well as calf muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings as you rock back and forth. The muscles in your ankles and feet will help you steer the board and even arm and shoulder muscles—used for balance and to pick yourself up when you fall—are worked. The best way to learn the sport is to (surprise!) take a lesson. Squaw Valley, one of the largest ski resorts in America and host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, has partnered with Burton and their acclaimed Learn to Ride (LTR) program for Winter 2013. As a part of the LTR program, Squaw will be offering specially designed equipment for beginner snowboarders (both kids and adults). Already a staple of Squaw’s Snowboard School, Burton’s LTR teaching methodologies help new riders to learn to make and connect their turns faster, making for a great first time experience— and a better workout. For more details, visit squaw.com.


ICE-SKATING If you’ve ever watched ice-skaters on television and spent as much time appreciating their fab physique as their moves, there’s a good reason why. Ice-skating uses a lot of small stabilizer muscles that don’t normally get a workout (hips, knees and ankles) while toning larger muscles in your legs, butt and core at the same time. The calories burned in this aerobic activity depend on your speed: A 155-pound woman skating slowly burns about 387 calories per hour. Fast, fullout skating (for example, chasing a puck) burns 633 calories per hour. Skating outside offers a bit more of a workout than an indoor rink since you’re contending with wind and bumpier, harder ice. However, one of the best benefits of ice-skating is that it’s low-impact…unless, of course, you’re a newbie. Then your rear-end may tell a different story. In that case, it might be beneficial to take a lesson (or two!) and wear enforced skates. Gather some friends and family and head to Historic Folsom; a major re-haul of the district was recently completed and features an ice rink (through January 21) at the public plaza’s railroad turntable off Sutter Street. Besides the picturesque location, the Folsom Historic District Ice Rink offers fun events, such as party packages and theme nights. For more details, visit historicfolsom.org. HYDRATION AND SAFETY Dehydration is one of the biggest problems facing winter sport participants. Similar to swimming, athletes tend to forget that they are losing important fluids through sweating and normal respiration. In fact, at elevations of 6,000 feet, you exhale and perspire two times more moisture than you do at sea level. Additionally, cold weather and high altitudes tend to inhibit thirst and appetite. Add to the equation the fact that skiers and riders are notorious for consuming alcohol and caffeine—diuretics that rob the body of fluids. When a person becomes dehydrated, the heart must work harder to pump the same amount of blood; in addition, the body can lose the ability to regulate temperature. With the added exertion of winter sports, this can potentially be a recipe for disaster. To protect yourself, make sure to wear a backpack that contains a reservoir and consume 12-16 ounces of fluid (water or sports drink) per hour. We like the Camelbak’s Powderbak, a mid-layer designed in both men and women’s sizes that integrate a hydration system into a full-zip vest. The shell utilizes core body temperature to prevent freezing. If you’re feeling the heat in the midst of all your exertion, beware of stripping those outer layers. Exposed skin poses of a risk of sunburn or lacerations from falls. Always wear an SPF, and think about investing in some of the newer ski apparel, which is designed to wick away moisture while keeping your body heat regulated. We like The North Face Kannon jackets for both men and women, which are constructed with waterproof, breathable, seam sealed HyVent® 2.5L fabric. It also includes FlashDry™ technology, which dramatically improves wicking, dry time and breathability to keep you content over a longer period of exposure.


BOTTOM LINE While staying bundled next to a cozy fire watching movies and eating popcorn all winter may sound appealing, it can lead to serious repercussions, such as depression from lack of sun exposure. Weight gain from inactivity will not only increase your derriere but can lead to a host of health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease. So, get outside, try something new and have some winter fun. Your body (and mind) will thank you. •


Mt. Rose celebrates New Year’s: Mt. Rose will host a New Year’s torchlight parade and fireworks on New Year’s Eve at its Winters Creek Lodge. A DJ will start spinning tunes on the deck at 3 p.m. A Cat Parade starts at 4:30 p.m., and the Torchlight Parade down Slide Bowl is at 5:15 p.m. Fireworks are set for 5:25 p.m. New Year’s at Heavenly: Heavenly Village will host a New Year’s Eve celebration with music, games such as snowboard simulators, fireworks, and the world’s only Gondola Ball Drop, from 6 to 9 p.m. Entertainment includes music from LA Allstars, ice sculpting performances, fire dancers, a photo booth and face painting. New Year’s with Moseley: Ski with Squaw Valley’s Chief Mountain Host and Olympic Gold medalist Jonny Moseley from 2 to 4 p.m. (meet at the Gold Coast demo center) on both Dec. 30 and 31. On New Year’s Eve, stick around for fireworks at 9 p.m. A New Year’s Eve Bash (21 and older) with DJs and a live band starts at 9 p.m. at Olympic House. New Year’s Eve Toast at High Camp: Ring in the new year with your family at High Camp. Ride the Aerial Tram to a buffet dinner and an East Coast toast at 9 p.m. Dinner starts at 6 p.m., and reservations are required. Price is $59 for adults and $26 for children. Does not include Aerial Tram ticket. Torchlight Parade at Tahoe Donner: A fun, free event for intermediate skiers and riders ages 10 or older who can ski or ride unassisted in the dark on our Race Course run. Come early to secure a spot in the parade. A DJ and snacks will be provided in the bar area before the parade. Signups are from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., with a chair loading time of 6:15 p.m. Fire & Ice New Year’s Celebration: Northstar will have a DJ, live music by Livin’ on a Prayer — A Bon Jovi Tribute, a spectacular fireworks show, s’mores, drink specials, ice skating and more. Live music and skating is from noon to 3 p.m., and a Ripperroo Parade for kids starts at 4:45 p.m. Livin’ on a Prayer plays from 7 to 9 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Sleigh rides at Sugar Bowl: The Village at Sugar Bowl is offering horse-drawn sleigh rides today through Jan. 3 from 3 to 8 p.m., with rides departing on the hour. Cost is $45 per person for an hour-long ride. Call 530-426-6790 to make reservations. Alpine Bar Celebration: The après party at Alpine Meadows’ bar is the perfect way to jump-start the countdown to midnight. Featuring festive cocktails and live music, the New Year’s Kickoff Celebration invites skiers and riders to celebrate a resolution, bid 2012 farewell and ring in 2013. The party is from 2 to 5 p.m.


Conservation groups announced Friday they had finalized their purchase of the Royal Gorge ski area after raising more than $11 million to buy the Donner Summit property, which had been proposed for development.

Following the close of escrow late Thursday, the cross-country ski resort's 3,000 acres of forests, meadows and mountain peaks will be preserved for public use by new owners the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land. The nearby Sugar Bowl ski resort will manage the cross-country area, while new public access will be granted via hiking trails and other amenities. "We're going to take down the no trespassing signs and embark on the fun and rewarding process of figuring out where the trails will go," said Tom Mooers, executive director of Sierra Watch, a group that helped raise funds and organized opposition to the development proposal. The acquisition of Royal Gorge, with its stunning natural beauty and storied history, was regarded as a top priority among conservationists. Named for the ill-fated Donner Party of emigrants, the summit has been a crossing point for American Indians, wagon trains, railroads and motorists on Interstate 80. Royal Gorge opened in 1971 and introduced downhill-style ski amenities to cross-country skiers. It billed itself as the largest cross-country ski resort in North America.


In 2005, Bay Area developers bought the property for a reported $35 million from Royal Gorge co-founder John Slouber. The developers, Kirk Syme and cousins Todd and Mark Foster, proposed building 950 condos and single-family houses on the summit. Their plan raised a howl of protest from environmentalists and local residents, including homeowners at Serene Lakes, a vacation spot surrounded by Royal Gorge. The plan ultimately fizzled. The developers defaulted on a $16.7 million loan from Armed Forces Bank in June 2011, and a judge placed the property in receivership. Last summer, the receiver, Douglas Wilson Cos. of San Diego, agreed to sell the 3,000 privately held acres of the ski resort to the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land, both part of the Northern Sierra Partnership. The purchase price was $11.25 million, and the groups had until close of escrow on Thursday to raise the money. The Nature Conservancy and Sierra Watch aided the fundraising effort. So did more than 1,000 individuals who donated to the five-month campaign. Serene Lakes and Sugar Bowl residents contributed about $7 million to the effort, Mooers said. Their homes were "literally surrounded by the proposed development, so they had a keen understanding of what was at stake and became a huge part of the solution," he said. State and federal dollars made up much of the rest, he said. The groups are trying to raise about $4 million more to pay for maintenance and improvements. The Royal Gorge purchase was the most prominent of a series of acquisitions made by land trusts in the Sierra Nevada in recent years. Many were bought at bargain prices during the recession and its aftermath. Mooers said he believes buying a large piece of Donner Summit for what some luxury homes cost in Lake Tahoe or the Bay Area will be seen as a remarkable accomplishment. "We're going to look back even five years from now," he said, "and be amazed by what we got."


Community briefs TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Content for briefs is selected from e-mail submissions to Community Editor Amy Edgett at aedgett@sierrasun.com. Visit www.sierrasun.com to events for the online calendar. Please limit descriptions to 50 words. E-mail for print submissions may be 150-300 words. Items published in the print edition news space permitting. Guys Night Out announced Downtown Truckee wraps up its December Fridays holiday festivities with “Guys Night Out” Friday, Dec. 21, 5-8 p.m. Gentlemen, grab your buddies to enjoy hearty grub and beer tastings while completing your holiday shopping. Find the perfect gift for your significant other, enjoy wine tastings, local artists, live music and special gift deals at various retailers. Confirmed participants include: Artisans Marketplace, Art Obsessions, Backstreet Boutique, Bespoke, Bluestone Jewelry and Wine, Cabona's, Cooking Gallery, Gratitudes Gifts and Home Décor, Kalifornia Jean Bar, Kitsch, La Fleur Rouge, Lorien Powers Studio Jewelry, Mo, Jo & Zoe, Mountain Home Center, MTN Loot, Nox Fashions, Riverside Studios, Sipes Tahoe, Spirit Interior Design, The Pour House, and The Treehouse. Visit www.historictruckee.com/events, or www.facebook.com/HistoricTruckee. Donner Memorial State Park to host Holiday Open House The Sierra State Parks Foundation and California State Parks invite you to an afternoon of free activities at the Donner Memorial State Park Museum in Truckee, Dec. 22, noon-5 p.m. All attendees will receive a free gift from the Sierra State Parks Foundation as thanks for your continued support of California State Parks. In addition, all Foundation members will receive a 20 percent discount on visitor center merchandise throughout the day. There is a State Park parking fee of $8 per vehicle. For more information, call the Donner Memorial Museum at 530-582-7892. Improved website for seniors, caregivers and professionals


It can be difficult to find public services such as transportation, legal advice, and support for family caregivers. Area 4 Agency on Aging (A4AA) presents their newly redesigned website: www.a4aa.com For almost 40 years, A4AA has contracted with fellow nonprofit organizations to provide federal, Older Americans Act (OAA) services to people age 60 and older. Meals on Wheels is the program people know best. Area 4 is the major funding source for Meals on Wheels, senior lunch sites and many other services in Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba Counties. By law, OAA services are free to eligible seniors, regardless of income; although donations are encouraged. To learn more about services and for news, facts and event announcements visit www.a4aa.com. To speak to someone in person call your local Senior Information & Assistance program at 800-510-2020 or call the Area 4 office directly at 916-486-1876. Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe Pet Pantry Help the less fortunate in this holiday season by supporting the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe's Pet Pantry program. The economy continues to affect dogs, cats and people, forcing some families to give up their beloved pets for financial reasons. HSTT wants to help keep furry friends in their homes through the Pet Pantry program. With the slogan “Give what you can, take what you need,� this program collects pet food and distributes it to needy families and their pets in the Truckee-Tahoe area. If you have extra food or want to donate some, collection barrels are available at the following locations: Safeway in Truckee and Kings Beach, Pet Station, and Scraps Dog Bakery in Truckee. Dog food will be handed out at the Humane Society Shelter every Saturday noon-2 p.m. at the old Truckee Corporation Yard, 10720 Riverview Drive, Truckee. If you are in need of pet food, call HSTT at 530-587-5948. Ski and Ride for $40 or less to benefit local schools Take advantage of discounted lift tickets and support local education when you pre-purchase Skiing for Schools lift tickets to participating resorts. Upcoming Skiing for Schools days include: Royal Gorge, $15 trail pass valid any one day through Dec. 23; Northstar California, $40 lift ticket valid any one day Jan. 6-11; Tahoe Donner Cross Country, $15 trail pass valid any one day Jan. 6-11; Homewood Mountain Resort, $35 lift ticket valid any one day Jan. 1318; Tahoe Donner Ski Area, $25 lift ticket valid any one day Jan. 27-Feb. 1; Tahoe Cross County, $15 trail pass valid any one day Jan. 27-Feb. 1; Resort at Squaw Creek, $15 trail pass valid any one day from Feb.


3-9; Sugar Bowl, $35 lift ticket valid any one day March 23-29; Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, $35 lift ticket valid any one day at either resort from April 7 through end of season. Downhill resort tickets may be purchased the week prior to the designated dates at Porters Sports in Truckee and Tahoe Dave's in Tahoe City, Truckee and Kings Beach. Cross-country resort tickets may be purchased the week prior to the designated dates at Paco's in Truckee and Alpenglow in Tahoe City. A limited number of tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and will not be available at the resorts the day of the event. Check and cash are payment only. Tickets are not refundable. Proceeds from each lift ticket purchase goes directly to the Excellence in Education Foundation, which provides enhanced educational opportunities to local Tahoe Truckee area students. For more information and updates visit www.exined.org. You're invited to Town Holiday Party at new Tahoe City Winter Sports Park The Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD) recently announced its partnership with Tahoe XC and Duncan Golf Management to offer winter recreation at the Tahoe City Golf Course this season. Plans are to open the new “Tahoe City Winter Sports Park� on Saturday, Dec. 22 (weather permitting). Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and equipment rentals will be offered, as well as a restaurant, bar, outdoor fire pits, and dog friendly course. The Park will be open Friday-Monday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with extended hours during the holiday periods. As part of the Grand Opening, the partners are on putting on a fun-filled, town holiday party on Sunday, Dec. 23 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Winter Sports Park. The event includes family fun and games, holiday activities, music, s'mores by the fire, a family-style dinner and silent auction. Santa will be stopping by to visit all the kids as well. Purchase dinner tickets in advance at 530-583-3796, adults $15 in advance or $20 at the door and kids, ages 5-13, are only $5 (kids under 5 are free!). Nevada County furlough days coincide with holiday closings Nevada County wants to remind residents County offices will close Monday, Dec. 24 through Tuesday, Jan. 1, in observance of the December holidays and previously announced furlough days. Closures will not impact access to public-safety and other 24-hour operations. The following Departments will be open during designated furlough days: Departments of District Attorney, Sheriff, Probation, Public Works, Registrar of Voters, Clerk-Recorder, and Public Defender. The County encourages residents to plan ahead for needed services and to visit www.mynevadacounty.com for on-line services and for additional information on county departments.


Nevada County apologizes for any inconvenience closures might cause to citizens who rely on County services. They look forward to serving you on Jan. 2, 2013. Ice Skating Rink passes for Christmas Give your family a season pass for the Truckee Ice Rink this Christmas. Cost is $32 for a Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District child and $40 for a District adult. Skate as much as you like through March 3. Have a Birthday party in the new warming hut for up to 12 children for $25 an hour. Hot chocolate included. Admission and skate rental not included. Call 530-582-7720 for more info. Cabin Fever and Truckee Jazz Band to perform holiday music The group will perform holiday music in downtown Truckee weekends and some weekdays about noon3 p.m. weather permitting, through the New Year. Donations will go toward the Truckee High School Jazz Band. Truckee Optimist Club Christmas Tree Sales The Truckee Optimist Club announces 2012 Christmas tree lot/sales through Dec. 23 at the Truckee Crossroads Shopping Center, corner Highway 89 and Deerfield Drive. All profits go directly to youth activities, programs, and scholarships for the youth of Truckee. There will be a very nice selection of locally cut Red Firs (silver tips) as well as Noble and Grand fir trees shipped from the club's grower in Oregon. Tree sales will conclude on Sunday, Dec. 23 (or once the last tree is sold). Visit www.TruckeeOptimist.com for hours of operation or call 530-559-1466. The tree lot is manned by Truckee Optimist Club members, youth from schools and teams that benefit from the proceeds, and by other community volunteers. All profits are included in the Truckee Optimist Club annual budget of nearly $50,000, which goes directly to youth activities (both educational and recreational), major scholarships, and grants for Truckee youths.


DONNER SUMMIT -- For more than 150 years, waves of change have flowed through the lodgepole pines, glorious meadows and granite outcroppings at Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada. There were wagon trains, then workers laying track for the transcontinental railroad and more recently vacationers and skiers from around the world. Now, a landmark deal to protect 3,337 acres here along the crest of the Sierra Nevada range just west of Lake Tahoe ensures little else will disturb the majestic landscape. In a sale that closed late Thursday, a coalition of environmental groups based in Palo Alto has paid $11.25 million to buy the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort, the site of a recent development battle that highlighted choices for the future of the mountains that naturalist John Muir once called "the Range of Light." The deal ends developers' plans to build hundreds of luxury condominiums, retail stores and hotels. "This is truly one of the great stories of conservation in the Sierra Nevada in our generation," said Tom Mooers, executive director of Sierra Watch, an environmental group based in Nevada City. "It's a continuation of the legacy that started with the protection of Yosemite in the 19th century and saving Mono Lake in the 20th century. Future generations will appreciate it forever." Located six miles west of Truckee, the property is the largest cross-country ski resort in North America. But since it opened in 1971, Royal Gorge has remained a low-key destination with about 100 miles of cross-country trails, and none of the heavy development that characterizes many Colorado and Lake Tahoe downhill resorts. It became a flash point, however, in 2005, when a group of Bay Area developers purchased the land for a reported $35 million. The partnership included Todd and Mark Foster, grandsons of real estate magnate Jack Foster, who filled in a large section of San Francisco Bay wetlands in the early 1960s with 1.4 million truckloads of sand and rock to build Foster City, a community of 30,000 residents today. The developers announced plans to build 950 housing units, including vacation homes and luxury condominiums, along with retail stores, parking lots and hotels. Residents in the tiny Placer County communities off Interstate 80 pushed back hard. "It met instant, stiff and vigorous opposition," said Perry Norris, executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust, an environmental group based in Truckee. "It was completely out of character with the community."


The plans imploded as the economy crashed. The developers defaulted on a $16.7 million loan, and last year, a judge placed the property in receivership. Under Thursday's deal, three conservation groups purchased the property: the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The ski resort will remain open, operated by Sugar Bowl, a nearby ski resort that has been in business since 1939. Through the deal, the property will remain intact, rather than sold off by the bank to developers and land speculators. "It would have been cut up into 160-acre or 40-acre lots," Norris said. "Donner Summit is still largely intact open space. It has extensive trails. The view is not interrupted by high-rise condominiums and it never will be." Instead, the property will be upgraded, with new signs and trails. It will be owned eventually by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, and open to the public in the summer free for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding, allowing people to travel along the Pacific Crest Trail, which abuts the land, or venture out through national forests for about 10 miles to the shores of Lake Tahoe. The land is rich with wildlife -- including black bears, gray foxes, mountain lions and more than 100 species of butterflies. It also serves as the headwaters of the South Yuba River and the upper watershed of the North Fork of the American River. "If you want to maintain wildlife, you need unbroken corridors," said Roger Bales, director of UC Merced's Sierra Nevada Research Institute. "Whenever there is a housing development going in, you evict the wildlife and break up the wildlife corridors." Funding for the deal totals $15.5 million. That includes the purchase, transaction costs and upgrades to the land. The money is coming from a variety of sources. Donations by property owners in two nearby communities, Sugar Bowl and Serene Lakes, generated $7 million. Bay Area foundations contributed as well: $1 million from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; $400,000 from the Flora Foundation; $250,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and $250,000 from former Applied Materials CEO Jim Morgan and his wife, Becky, of Los Altos Hills. The land trusts are pursuing federal and state grants and bond funding for another $5 million or so, and the groups are still seeking donations. In a wider sense, the deal is the latest example of a movement largely started by the Morgans in 2007 with the goal of preserving 100,000 acres between Lake Tahoe and Mount Lassen for $100 million. The group, a partnership of land trusts known as the Northern Sierra Partnership, has so far preserved more than 20,000 acres since then, raising $87 million. Most of that land was in outright purchases, but in the years ahead, large deals will buy development rights instead, which can stretch dollars further, said Lucy Blake, president of the partnership. The goal is to fill in century-old "checkerboard" patterns of private and public land left from the railroad grants of the 19th century, and to preserve key wildlife habitat, forests and rangeland, limiting clear cuts and outsize development. "The Northern Sierra is an area that most Bay Area residents think of as already protected," said Blake, a former a MacArthur genius grant winner. "When you drive up Interstate 80 you see these beautiful landscapes. But there is a very fragmented landscape up there. We're trying to consolidate and protect it while we still have the chance."


TRUCKEE, Calif., Dec. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -Conservation groups today announced the purchase and protection from development of the nation's largest cross-country ski area, the 3,000-acre Royal Gorge property on Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada. The Trust for Public Land and the Truckee Donner Land Trust, working as part of the Northern Sierra Partnership, raised $11.25 million, meeting a Dec. 20 deadline. The total includes private donations along with public money. The groups bought the property from Court-appointed Receiver Douglas P. Wilson, who took over the land after a failed development plan that would have built a 950-unit resort on the property. More than 1,000 people donated to the five-month-long campaign. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation will provide bridge funding through a program related investment to cover for the expected public funds until those funds are available over the next two years. Overall, the three groups are trying to raise $15.5 million, which will include future improvements on the property. "Saving Royal Gorge is a great example of our goal of protecting land for people," said Will Rogers , President of The Trust for Public Land. "Families have been coming to Royal Gorge for many years and now those families can be assured that this wonderful place will still be there for future generations to enjoy." Local residents at Serene Lakes and Sugar Bowl, both near Royal Gorge, provided most of the private money. The Nature Conservancy, as well as Sierra Watch, also helped raise funds for the campaign. "We couldn't have succeeded today without the astounding generosity of hundreds of people who dug deep into their pockets to make this conservation victory possible," said Lucy Blake , President of the Northern Sierra Partnership. The Truckee Donner Land Trust will own the land and lease it during the winter to the nearby alpine Sugar Bowl resort to manage.


"It is not exaggerating to say this might be one of the most important conservation victories for the Sierra in a generation," said Perry Norris , Executive Director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. "This is a project that eliminates an enormous development threat, provides world-class recreation, and has fantastic and truly unique natural resources." Royal Gorge is at Donner Pass, one of the West's best-known historic sites, chiefly because of the tragic story of the ill-fated Donner Party . In 1869, the nation's first transcontinental railroad crossed the Sierra at Donner Summit, opening the region to travelers. The Royal Gorge resort was opened in the 1960s by alpine skier John Slouber . A number of famous winter athletes have trained there, including Glenn Jobe , Keterina Nash, and Marcus Nash . "Our shared success on Donner Summit will go down as one of the great chapters in the proud history of conservation in California," said Tom Mooers , Executive Director of Sierra Watch, which organized opposition to the proposed subdivision and development of the property. "Future generations will forever appreciate what we've done to prove, once again, that we can work together to protect the places we love." The Palisades, Mountain Area Preservation, Sierra Business Council, North Fork American River Alliance , and Sierra Club also joined Sierra Watch in advocating for the conservation of Royal Gorge. The Truckee Donner Land Trust preserves and protects scenic, historic and recreational lands with high natural resource values in the greater Truckee Donner region. Visit www.tdlandtrust.org. Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 40 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Visit http://www.tpl.org. The Northern Sierra Partnership is a collaborative initiative to conserve, restore, and enhance the magnificent natural landscape of the northern Sierra Nevada, and build the foundation for sustainable rural prosperity. Visit www.northernsierrapartnership.org.


What is described as one of the most important conservation successes in the Sierra’s history is now complete after conservationists secured necessary funding to seal the deal. The 3,000-acre Royal Gorge property, including the nation’s largest cross-country ski area, will be protected for future generations after the Trust for Public Land and Truckee Donner Land Trust succeeded in meeting a Thursday deadline to raise $11.25 million, members of the groups report. “It is not exaggerating to say this might be one of the most important conservation victories for the Sierra in a generation,” said Perry Norris, executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. “This is a project that eliminates an enormous development threat, provides world-class recreation and has fantastic and truly unique natural resources.” The deal to protect the Donner Summit property was announced in August by the conservation groups and a court-appointed receiver, San Diego-based Douglas Wilson. Wilson took over the land after a development plan to build a 950-unit resort on the land failed. Both public money and private donations combined to finance the transaction in time to meet the Dec. 20 deadline. In all, participants are trying to raise $15.5 million, which would include funding for future improvements to the property. As part of the deal, nearby Sugar Bowl, a popular downhill ski resort, assumed management of the famous Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort. “Our shared success on Donner Summit will go down as one of the great chapters in the proud history of conservation in California,” Tom Mooers, executive director of Sierra Watch, said in a statement. That group was a lead opponent of the failed development proposal at Royal Gorge. “Future generations will forever appreciate what we’ve done to prove, once again, that we can work together to protect the places we love,” Mooers said.


Santa Cruz surfers Nic H'dez and Sam Coffey each scored two wins in the National Scholastic Surfing Association's Northwest Conference doubleheader at Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point over the weekend. H'dez, 16, won the men's division of the second conference event of the season on Saturday at Pleasure Point, with fellow Santa Cruzan Wyatt Barabee coming in second and Pacifica's Kadin Panesi coming in third. And H'dez won the men's division of the third conference event of the season Sunday at the Lane. In that contest, Panesi took second and Brogie Panesi, also of Pacifica, took third. Coffey won the boys divisions both days, edging runner-up Zane Booth, of Santa Barbara, and third-place finisher Burkley Eggers, of El Granada. Sunday, Coffey earned his second win, with Eggers again taking second place, and Soquel's Sean Winterburn taking third. In other divisions the first day, Huntington Beach's Kirk Weissinger of Huntington Beach won the open juniors and Erik Weissinger, also of Huntington Beach, took the win in the open mini groms. Due to extreme tidal conditions, women's, girls and longboard competitions were postponed. In other divisions the second day, Santa Cruz's Ben Coffey won the open juniors, Santa Cruz's AJ Menna won the open mini groms, Santa Cruz's Ashley Held won the open women's and Santa Cruz's Autumn hays won the girls.  Santa Cruz native John Mel, who now lives in Newport Beach, was runner-up to Eithan Osborne in the Surfing America Prime West series stop at T Street in San Clemente on Dec. 8-9. Mel won both his first-round heat and semifinal heat to advance to the boys 14-and-under final, where he scored a two-wave point total of 14.34. Osborne scored an even 15 for the win.


In earlier heats, Mel -- son of pro big wave surfer Pete Mel -- dominated. He scored 13.44 points in his first heat, where Nick Marshall was second with 9.60. And Mel scored 11.86 points in the semis, where Zach McCormick was second with 9.97. Mel also competed in the boys 16U division, where he again won his first heat, but he was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Nic H'dez had a similar story, winning his first heat in the boys 18U division, but suffering elimination in the quarters. In the boys 14U standings, Mel is in 13th place, and in the boys 18U standings, H'dez is in second. The next Surfing America Prime West series stop is scheduled for Santa Cruz on Jan. 20-12 at Steamer Lane. FILM Santa Cruz surfer and filmmaker Kyle Buthman's third installment in the Get Rad series, "Get Rad 3," is scheduled to premiere at the Rio Theatre at 7 p.m. Saturday. Buthman's "Get Rad" films use comedy to break the traditional surf-film mold, while highlighting local talent at area breaks. Nat Young, Austin Smith-Ford, Noi Kaulukukui, Darshan Gooch, Noah Wegrich, Kyle Thierman, Bud Frietas, Adam Replogle, Shaun Burns, Miles Clanton and Nic H'dez all show off their surfing -- and also some stellar acting as they perform short skits -- in "Get Rad 3." "I'm really stoked to make another episode of the 'Get Rad' series," Buthman said in a statement. "I wasn't sure if we were going to pull it off this year, but it all came together." Tickets are $8 at the door, which opens at 6:30 p.m. Children 8 and under are free. WINTER SPORTS Royal Gorge at Donner Summit just outside of Lake Tahoe is open for the winter ski season, according to a press release. Royal Gorge, which touts 19 trails and more than 20 kilometers of terrain for cross country skiing, is now operated by Sugar Bowl Resort and is open to the general public seven days a week 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. "Trail passes will also be available for purchase at the Van Norden trailhead. All-day lift tickets will cost $27. Skiers can receive a $10 discount on a Royal Gorge trail pass on Saturday, and every day throughout the season, by purchasing a $19 CORE pass," according to a press release.


Cross-Country Ski Resorts • Tahoe Donner • Getting There: Donner Pass Road off I-80. Drive time 3:15. www.tahoedonner.com • Trail Pass: Adult $26 (half-day $21); 60-69 $20 (half-day $17. • Terrain: 49 trails, 115 kilometers of trails, 4,800 acres for all levels. • Reason to go: More than 100 kilometers of groomed trails for diagonal striding, skating and snowshoeing. • Royal Gorge • Getting There: I-80 east to Soda Springs exit. Drive time 2:45. www.royalgorge.com • Trail Pass: Adult $27 (half-day $22); 13-22 $21 ($16 half-day); 60-69 $21 (half-day $16). • Terrain:65 trails, 195 kilometers. • Reason to go: It reopens this season and is managed by Sugar Bowl. Summit Station is renovated. • Northstar • Getting There: I-80 to Highway 267, 6 miles. Adjacent to Northstar downhill area. Drive time 3 hours. www.skinorthstar.com • Trail Pass: Adult $27 (half-day $20); 5-12 $15 (half-day $10); snowshoeing $15 (half-day $14). • Terrain: Nearly 40 kilometers of cross country and snowshoe trails. • Reason to go: The cross country, telemark and snowshoe center features sundeck and larger teaching area. • Tahoe Cross Country • Getting There: I-80 to Truckee, south on Highway 89 to Tahoe City. East on Highway 28, two miles. At Dollar Hill, take Fabian Way to Village Drive to Country Club Drive. Drive time 3:30. www.tahoexc.org • Trail Pass: Adult $23 (half-day $19), 10-17 $19 (half-day $15); 60-69 $19 (half-day $15). • Terrain: 65 kilometers. • Reason to go: Ski anytime on Tuesdays for $12 (non-holidays). Dogs are welcome Monday through Friday (non-holidays). • Kirkwood


• Getting There: Highway 99 to Eight Mile Road (north of Stockton) to Highway 88 through Jackson. Drive time 3:10. www.kirkwood.com • Trail Pass: Adult $22 (half-day $19); 13-18 $17 (half-day $15); 11-12 $8 (half-day $6); 65-69 $17 (halfday $12). • Terrain: 80 kilometers of groomed trails. • Reason to go: 80 kilometers of groomed trails at 7,800 feet offer spectacular scenery and exciting terrain. • Dodge Ridge • Getting There: Highway 108 to Pinecrest exit 32 miles east of Sonora. Drive time: 1:45. www.dodgeridge.com • Trail Pass: Free. • Terrain: One mile ungroomed loop trail. • Reason to go: Crabtree and Gooseberry systems, which begin a half-mile from Dodge, offer ungroomed but extensive trails. • Badger Pass • Getting There: Yosemite National Park (take Highway 120), Glacier Point Road. Drive time: 2:45. www.yosemitepark.com • Trail Pass: Adult $42 (half-day $32.50); 13-17 $37 (half-day $30); 7-12 $22 (half-day $18). • Terrain: 25 miles of machine-groomed track and 90 miles of marked trails. • Reason to go: Cross country track and skating lanes are groomed from Badger Pass to Glacier Point (21-mile round trip). Great for the novice and expert. • Bear Valley • Getting There: Highway 4 east of Murphys. Drive time: 2:15. www.bearvalleyxc.com • Trail Pass: Adult $25; 13-17 $18; 9-12 $10; 60-69 $18. • Terrain:Extensive 35-trail system covering 3,000 acres, all carefully groomed for track and skate skiing and snowshoeing. • Reason to go: Trails carefully groomed for track, skate skiing and snowshoeing. Sledding


It’s been a great early season thus far for skiing in the Lake Tahoe region with 12 ski resorts open right now. With a sizable amount of early-season snow it makes sense that cross country skiing would be opening its terrain as well. Royal Gorge officially began its season on Saturday, opening 19 trails and over 20 kilometers of terrain for cross-country skiing. The Donner Summit resort will now be open seven days a week for the season. View slideshow: Royal Gorge cross country ski resort opens The opening of America’s largest cross-country resort will be the first time that the resort opens to the general public under Sugar Bowl Resort’s new management team. Sugar Bowl took over operation of Royal Gorge in the fall, and updated the resort’s Summit Station lodge, added grooming equipment and bought new ski rental gear for the resort.


All services will be available at Summit Station lodge, including ticketing, rentals, food and beverage and ski lessons. Trail passes will also be available for purchase at the Van Norden trailhead. All-day lift tickets will cost $27. Skiers can receive a $10 discount on a Royal Gorge trail pass on Saturday, and every day throughout the season, by purchasing a $19 CORE pass. Royal Gorge has over 200 kilometers of trails and approximately 6,000 acres of terrain that stretches from the open expanse of Van Norden Meadows to the foot of majestic Devil’s Peak. It is connected to Sugar Bowl Resort by an “interconnect trail” that leads skiers through Van Norden Meadows. A cold winter storm dropped nearly a foot of snow at the resort on Wednesday, making for superb snow conditions across the resort’s trail system. Visit www.royalgorge.com for more information. Lake Tahoe ski resorts status • Boreal: Open • Heavenly: Open • Northstar: Open • Kirkwood: Open • Squaw Valley: Open • Mt. Rose: Open • Sierra-at-Tahoe: Open • Sugar Bowl: Open • Alpine: Open • Homewood: Open • Soda Springs: Open • Donner Ski Ranch: Open • Diamond Peak: Dec. 20 • Tahoe Donner: TBA


ADVENTURE TOUR When is it not hot in Death Valley? That would be about now and for the next few months, when temperatures are mild. That window is your chance to tour Death Valley, but the catch is you've got to be in Las Vegas to do it. Really, wouldn't you rather see Zabriskie Point than lose another $100 at the blackjack table? The Vegas adventure and eco-touring company www.tourguy.com is discounting its daylong Death Valley tours to $179 per adult and $159 for children 12 and younger. The tour features stops at Rhyolite, an Old West ghost town; Furnace Creek Museum and Visitor Center; Artists' Palette, formed during a volcanic period; Zabriskie Point, an overlook at the edge of the appropriately named Funeral Mountains; Badwater, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (282 feet below sea level); Devil's Golf Course, a sprawling salt pan; and Hell's Gate, a panoramic vista point. Tours will be offered Mondays and Wednesdays from now till ‌ "Indefinitely," said www.travelguy.com CEO James Hoke. "There are thrill-seekers who think it's an adventure to be in Death Valley in the summer, when it's 120." Pickup at your hotel is at 7 a.m., with dropoff at 5:30 p.m. The tour includes lunch and snacks. For more information: (888) 801-1575, www.tourguy.com. FAVORITE CITIES Where's Sacramento? Travel + Leisure magazine asked its readers to rank their 35 favorite American cities in 66 categories (www.travelandleisure.com/americas-favorite-cities/2012). The results, listed alphabetically:


THE WEST Anchorage, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix-Scottsdale, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Seattle. THE MIDWEST Austin, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul. THE SOUTH Atlanta; Charleston; Memphis; Miami; Nashville; New Orleans; Orlando; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Savannah. THE EAST Baltimore; Boston; New York City; Philadelphia; Portland, Maine; Providence; Washington, D.C. OAKLAND Giant rummage sale Here's a reason for a day trip to the East Bay: The 54th annual White Elephant Sale will be stomping through Oakland on March 2 and 3, but now's the time to plan for the Jan. 27 preview rummage sale, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On offer will be a wide range of quality used vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles, tools, furniture, sporting goods, books and much more. The sale will be in a 96,000- square-foot warehouse at 333 Lancaster Ave. on the Oakland Estuary. Tickets are $15 in advance online, $20 at the door. For more information: (510) 536-6800, www.whiteelephantsale.org. SNOW PLAY Lift ticket fundraiser A number of downhill and cross country ski resorts will honor discounted lift tickets and trail passes as part of a fundraiser to support the Excellence in Education Foundation. It provides enhanced educational opportunities to local Lake Tahoe-Truckee area students. Skiing for Schools lift tickets will accepted at these resorts. For more information, updates and where to buy tickets: (530) 550-7984 or go to www.exined.org. Upcoming Skiing for Schools days include: • Sugar Bowl: $35 lift tickets valid any one day from Dec. 15-21. • Royal Gorge: $15 trail pass valid any one day from Dec. 17-23. • Northstar California: $40 lift ticket valid any one day from Jan. 6–11. • Tahoe Donner Cross Country: $15 trail pass valid any one day Jan. 6-11. • Homewood Mountain Resort: $35 lift ticket valid any one day from Jan. 13-18.


• Tahoe Donner Ski Area: $25 lift ticket valid any one day from Jan. 27-Feb. 1. • Tahoe Cross Country: $15 trail pass valid any one day Jan. 27-Feb. 1. • Resort at Squaw Creek: $15 trail pass valid any one day from Feb. 3-9. • Sugar Bowl: $35 lift ticket valid any one day from March 23-29. • Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows: $35 lift ticket valid any one day at either resort from April 7 to the end of the ski season.


TAHOE/TRUCKEE — After some funding uncertainty, the free North Tahoe-Truckee Coordinated Ski Shuttle is a go for launch next Saturday, albeit with a smaller fleet. The main issue stemmed after budgeted funds from two area ski resorts — Northstar California and Diamond Peak — didn't materialize, officials said. Since Northstar California runs its own shuttle fleet, including routes that travel from Incline Village and Tahoe Vista to Northstar, the resort recently decided to continue with its existing service and not contribute money to the coordinated shuttle, said Brooke Rose, communications coordinator for Northstar. Northstar will act as an “in-kind partner” to the program, however, by providing its Castle Peak Park and Ride lot as a pick-up and drop-off station, said Jan Colyer, executive director for the Truckee/North Tahoe Transportation Management Association. Gordon Shaw, principal of LSC Transportation Consultants, a company that provides consulting services in transportation planning and traffic engineering, said an $86,800 investment from Northstar into the program had been budgeted. Without that funding, it affected the number of buses the program could finance, he said. Originally, it was planned for Diamond Peak to have a 4 p.m. departure time, but with the elimination of a bus from the free shuttle's fleet, the departure changed to about 5 p.m., and the resort “thought that was too late,” Shaw said at a Dec. 6 TMA meeting. The number of runs for Diamond Peak also decreased from two to one during days of shuttle operation, Colyer said. As a result, Diamond Peak decided not to be a part of the program this year, pulling approximately $7,000 in budgeted funds, Shaw said. Helping to fill some of the financial gap is Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows by putting an additional $40,000 into the program, upping the resort's total investment to $169,000, said Chevis Hosea, Squaw Valley's vice president of development. “Squaw Valley/Alpine are committed to promoting and funding efficient and effective transit


programs to (and) from our ski resorts,” Hosea said. “Successful transit programs reduce traffic, parking and emissions, while usually improving the overall skier/rider experiences.” Additional program funding is provided by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association through local Transient Occupancy Tax funds and from Truckee Tahoe Airport, the town of Truckee and other lodging partners outside of Placer County. The total price tag for the shuttle program is $253,100, Colyer said, allowing for five buses to be financed instead of the six originally planned. Squaw/Alpine's additional $40,000 allows for the fifth bus to exist, Shaw said. The schedule for the five-bus fleet is still being tweaked, Colyer said, but the resorts being serviced are: Sugar Bowl, Boreal, Soda Springs, Royal Gorge and Donner Ski Ranch, by way of Truckee's Donner Summit Shuttle, which has two buses in its fleet, as well as Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Homewood and Northstar. Additional stops are planned to be made along the shuttle's route, including lodging establishments, transit areas and the old Sierra Mountain Middle School on Donner Pass Road, Colyer said, essentially providing skiers and riders a door-to-door service to the area's various mountain resorts. The shuttle will run to March 31 on weekends and holiday weeks only, for a total of 46 days. Amador Stage Lines will be the program's operator. “I think everybody's working as hard as they can to the vision (of a fully coordinated ski shuttle), so we just have to be patient,” said TMA chair Steve Teshara at the Dec. 6 meeting. “If this was a slam dunk, it would have been done 20 years ago.”


TAHOE/TRUCKEE — After some funding uncertainty, the free North Tahoe-Truckee Coordinated Ski Shuttle is a go for launch next Saturday, albeit with a smaller fleet. The main issue stemmed after budgeted funds from two area ski resorts — Northstar California and Diamond Peak — didn't materialize, officials said. Since Northstar California runs its own shuttle fleet, including routes that travel from Incline Village and Tahoe Vista to Northstar, the resort recently decided to continue with its existing service and not contribute money to the coordinated shuttle, said Brooke Rose, communications coordinator for Northstar. Northstar will act as an “in-kind partner” to the program, however, by providing its Castle Peak Park and Ride lot as a pick-up and drop-off station, said Jan Colyer, executive director for the Truckee/North Tahoe Transportation Management Association. Gordon Shaw, principal of LSC Transportation Consultants, a company that provides consulting services in transportation planning and traffic engineering, said an $86,800 investment from Northstar into the program had been budgeted. Without that funding, it affected the number of buses the program could finance, he said. Originally, it was planned for Diamond Peak to have a 4 p.m. departure time, but with the elimination of a bus from the free shuttle's fleet, the departure changed to about 5 p.m., and the resort “thought that was too late,” Shaw said at a Dec. 6 TMA meeting. The number of runs for Diamond Peak also decreased from two to one during days of shuttle operation, Colyer said. As a result, Diamond Peak decided not to be a part of the program this year, pulling approximately $7,000 in budgeted funds, Shaw said. Helping to fill some of the financial gap is Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows by putting an additional $40,000 into the program, upping the resort's total investment to $169,000, said Chevis Hosea, Squaw Valley's vice president of development.


“Squaw Valley/Alpine are committed to promoting and funding efficient and effective transit programs to (and) from our ski resorts,” Hosea said. “Successful transit programs reduce traffic, parking and emissions, while usually improving the overall skier/rider experiences.” Additional program funding is provided by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association through local Transient Occupancy Tax funds and from Truckee Tahoe Airport, the town of Truckee and other lodging partners outside of Placer County. The total price tag for the shuttle program is $253,100, Colyer said, allowing for five buses to be financed instead of the six originally planned. Squaw/Alpine's additional $40,000 allows for the fifth bus to exist, Shaw said. The schedule for the five-bus fleet is still being tweaked, Colyer said, but the resorts being serviced are: Sugar Bowl, Boreal, Soda Springs, Royal Gorge and Donner Ski Ranch, by way of Truckee's Donner Summit Shuttle, which has two buses in its fleet, as well as Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Homewood and Northstar. Additional stops are planned to be made along the shuttle's route, including lodging establishments, transit areas and the old Sierra Mountain Middle School on Donner Pass Road, Colyer said, essentially providing skiers and riders a door-to-door service to the area's various mountain resorts. The shuttle will run to March 31 on weekends and holiday weeks only, for a total of 46 days. Amador Stage Lines will be the program's operator. “I think everybody's working as hard as they can to the vision (of a fully coordinated ski shuttle), so we just have to be patient,” said TMA chair Steve Teshara at the Dec. 6 meeting. “If this was a slam dunk, it would have been done 20 years ago.”


Norden, CA - You’ve seen him rocketing down Olympic and World Cup downhill courses, fighting for position in X Games skiercross contests and skiing Alaska’s steepest spines in ski movies. Now, courtesy of California’s Sugar Bowl Resort, you have the chance to spend a day skiing with Truckee resident Daron Rahlves. Sugar Bowl Resort is giving away an all-inclusive adventure with Rahlves, the Tahoe area ski resort’s Ski Ambassador who has won 12 World Cup ski races, had 28 World Cup podium finishes, seven U.S. National Titles, is the 2011 World Champion in Super G, silver medalist at the 2005 Worlds in downhill and bronze medalist in GS, and is an Olympian and X Games medalist. He is the creator of the Rahlves Banzai Tour, which makes its grand finale stop at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort every year. Contestants can win a full day of fun with Rahlves just by “liking” Sugar Bowl’s Facebook page, and entering their email address at www.facebook.com/sugarbowlresort. Once on Sugar Bowl’s Facebook page, just click the “Enter To Win” Sweepstakes tab near the top of the page. “Any intermediate to advanced skier or snowboarder who dreams of having their best day in Tahoe should enter,” Rahlves said. “We’ll ski my favorite runs, exploring the mountain’s best spots.” The winner will start the day off with Rahlves over breakfast at the Lodge, then head out onto the hill for some morning laps, followed by lunch at the Lodge Dining Room. In the afternoon, head out of bounds for fresh tracks with one of Sugar Bowl’s backcountry guides, then finish it all off at the Sierra Vista Bar for some après drinks. “Skiing at Sugar Bowl is a different experience from most resorts in Tahoe,” Rahlves said. “It retains that connection to the history of skiing while serving up the terrain and snow conditions for a ‘best day of your life’ experience no matter what level skier or rider you are.” The all-inclusive mountain adventure will be held January 13, subject to winner’s availability.


So, you've just spent the day busting pow, playing in the park, hitting the bump runs or racking up a gazillion vertical feet cruising the groomers, and your stoke level–and not to mention thirst–is high. It's time to find a good apres watering hole, preferably a short walk from the base of the lifts. Here are five favorite hangs to order a cold one and share your adventures with others, or simply sit back and reflect on your busy day. The Belt Room Bar, located on the main floor of the Lodge at Sugar Bowl, is an old-school establishment with a slightly European vibe, harkening back to the days of wooden skis, leather boots and cable bindings. The array of blackand-white photos that line the walls stretch back to the early days of the resort, which was built in 1939. The drink menu is generous and the view of the ski hill spectacular. Le Chamois and Loft Bar, or simply "the Shammy," is an institution at Squaw Valley, having served beer and pizza–mostly the former–to generations of legendary Squallywood hardmen and women. Located in the shadow of the tram building, the walls are lined with photos and other memorabilia dating back to Le Chamois' opening in 1969. If you're planning to hang out in Squaw for a while, check out the $40 Buddy pass–good for 20 pints of Budweiser–or the $60 pass for pints of better brew.


McP's Pub Tahoe, located across Lake Tahoe Boulevard from the bottom of the Heavenly gondola, has a jumping apres scene, with live music, featuring local bands pounding out a variety of musical genres, and daily drink specials. The upstairs balcony, as one local puts it, is like "hanging out in someone's treehouse." Tavern 6330, formerly known as Baxter's Bistro, has an outdoor patio, warmed by fire pits, that sits less than 50 feet from the bottom of Northstar's Village run and offers a grandstand view of most skiers and snowboarders coming off the hill. Located on the ground floor of the gondola building, the Tavern has a good selection of wines and microbrews, has a relatively inexpensive apres food specials and offers live music on weekends and daily through the holidays. The West Shore Cafe and Inn, located across the street from the Homewood parking lot, has an award-winning and upscale ambience that may deter a few, but the posh surroundings can't take away the establishment's main attraction: The bar sits a few feet from the west shore of Lake Tahoe. You may have to spend a bit more for your apres drink, but the view of Big Blue is worth every penny.


12/12/2012


The tour will span four weeks with some of Tahoe’s most popular ski destinations headlining the bill. Kirkwood’s Wall Banzai will host the first weekend of competition on February 2-3, 2013. Alpine Meadows’ Face Banzai will be the stop for week two on February 9-10, 2013, and Squaw Valley’s KT-22 Banzai will serve as week three’s destination on March 2-3, 2013. The final tour stop is slated for March 9-10, 2013, and will take place on Sugar Bowl’s Silver Belt Banzai. Competitors during the first three stops will battle for a $15,000 prize purse. Those who make it to the finale at Sugar Bowl will be in the running for a $35,000 prize purse. Skiers and snowboarder 18 year older and up are invited to sign up and put their big mountain racing skills to the test! The format consists of solo timed runs on Saturday. The times recorded will be used to rank the top 32 men ski/board and top 16 women ski/board, who will then go on to participate in the finals on Sunday. The head-to-head portion of each stop pits four competitors against each other racing at the same time, with the top two in each round


advancing. Once the field of competition has been whittled down to a remaining four, the grand finale will take place to see who will go home with the 2013 title, and big payday. Points are earned at all events and added up to crown male and female ski and snowboard Overall Banzai Champions.

Quite possibly the coolest part about the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour is the involvement and constant presence of the man-himself — Daron Rahlves. On top of organizing and making operation decisions, Daron makes a point to have a presence at each tour stop. The world-renowned skier mingles with attendees, and even takes a qualifying timed run to get into the mix at each mountain stop. Then during the “Super Final” at his home resort Sugar Bowl, the “Banzai Master” will go head-to-head against the tours top five men for an extra bonus of $10,000. Fans are invited to attend all of the race stops for a guaranteed good time. Those that are unable to make it out to Lake Tahoe will be able to watch all of the action via Rahlves Banzai Tour Facebook page, RahlvesBanzai Twitter, a Rahlves Banzai mobile app, live Sunday Finals radio coverage on 101.5FM Truckee Tahoe Radio and video coverage from Tahoe TV.


Sugar Bowl ski resort, the Tahoe’s most backcountry friendly resort will be hosting a Backcountry Ball next Sunday, Dec. 16th from 3pm to 6pm upstairs in the Judah Lodge. What: Apres Ski Backcountry Ball When: Sunday, Dec. 16th from 3pm — 6pm Cost: FREE PRESS RELEASE: Both seasoned backcountry skiers and resort skiers curious about what lies beyond the resort boundary will have the chance to preview the latest backcountry gear, talk to experts and learn about guided backcountry trips at Sugar Bowl Resort’s après ski Backcountry Ball event on Sunday, Dec. 16. Sugar Bowl Ski Ambassador Daron Rahlves will host the event, ski brands such as Atomic will showcase their latest backcountry-specific gear, and informational booths by organizations including Alpine Skills International and the Sierra Snowkite Center will educate skiers and riders on the local backcountry offerings. “Sugar Bowl’s commitment to backcountry skiing goes beyond a simple open boundary policy,” said John Monson, Director of Marketing for Sugar Bowl Resort. “As the only resort in Tahoe with a full-service backcountry adventure center, we provide education, information and training for everyone from the novice backcountry skier to the seasoned veteran. The Backcountry Ball celebrates Sugar Bowl’s commitment to backcountry skiing.” Backcountry skiing’s popularity has grown rapidly in the last five years as advancements in gear provide easier access to more backcountry terrain. Sugar Bowl’s open boundary policy and expansive neighboring backcountry terrain has made it a favorite destination of skiers and riders interested in both lift-assisted backcountry skiing and long backcountry tours in world-class terrain. Sugar Bowl Resort responded to that demand by partnering with internationally acclaimed guide service Alpine Skills International to open the resort’s Backcountry Adventure Center, a fullservice backcountry guide, rental and education center in 2009.


Backcountry Ball attendees can talk with Alpine Skills International guides about the seasonlong schedule of guided tours, avalanche education workshops and other services offered at Sugar Bowl’s Backcountry Adventure Center. The event will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Coldstream Room upstairs in the Mt. Judah Lodge. The Backcountry Ball is free and open to all members of the public. (Visited 109 times, 55 visits recently)


Dr. Geoff Schladow will present the U.C. Davis Tahoe: State of the Lake Report at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center, 291 Country Club Drive, Incline Village. Attendees will learn about how natural variability, long-term change and human activity have affected the lake’s clarity, physics, chemistry and biology over the previous year. Cost is a suggested donation of $5 per person. Details: gschladow@ucdavis.edu or 775- 881-7560, ext. 7563. Learn to Ski and Board Weekend

The 13th annual Learn to Ski and Board Weekend is Saturday and Sunday. The event is geared for beginners, costs $30 and includes an all-day beginner lift ticket, group lesson and gear rental. First-timers can visit Alpine Meadows, Boreal Mountain Resort, Granlibakken Resort, Homewood Mountain Resort, Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. Several resorts will also offer guests savings on a return visit.


Reservations are not required, but participants should arrive early. Lesson packages can be purchased at each resort the day of lessons. Resorts not open this weekend may offer a Learn to Ski Weekend later in the season. Landscape artist at Moana Nursery

Don Britton, an award-winning artist who creates oil paintings of the American West, will be at Moana Nursery, 1100 W. Moana Lane, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Britton’s art will be on display as well. His focus includes the Sierra near Lake Tahoe, where he lives, the western national parks and the Pacific Coast. Lululemon Community Day

The High Fives Foundation welcomes Lululemon Athletica for a community day from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the CR Johnson Healing Center, 10775 Pioneer Trail, suite 108, Truckee. There will be five Lululemon fitness instructors teaching hour-long group classes in yoga, TRX, Pilates, Crossfit and Bar Effect. The event is open to anyone, and participants can join one or all classes for any size donation to the High Fives Foundation. Details: www.highfivesfoundation.org. Ski resorts continue to open more terrain

Sugar Bowl reopens today after a colder-than-expected storm blanketed Donner Summit with nearly four feet of new snow. The resort will offer top-to-bottom skiing and riding on Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Disney, Christmas Tree and Nob Hill lifts from Thursday through Sunday. Sugar Bowl will announce its operation schedule for the week of Dec. 10 later this week. Mt. Rose also received about four feet of snow from last week’s storm and operations continue there. Heavenly recently opened additional terrain. Alpine Meadows opens for the first time this season on Friday. Mammoth Mountain, with 4 to 6 feet of fresh snow, will be open the entire mountain Friday – all lifts, Canyon and Eagle lodges and all terrain.


12/5/2012

Big Snow Update: Sierra Resorts Adding More Terrain

With over a week of snow dumping at high altitudes in the Sierra Nevadas, many of California’s biggest resorts are opening up more terrain for the upcoming weekend. And it looks like the weather is going to let up, allowing for less lift closures and more snowmaking. Here’s what we’re hearing: –Over at Mammoth, they’re reporting 4-6 feet of fresh snow. As a result, they’ll be opening the entire mountain on Friday – all lifts, Canyon and Eagle lodges and all terrain. Mammoth is offering $82 lift tickets with advanced purchase. Click HERE for early season ticket deals. –At Heavenly, 42” of new snow has allowed them to open 331 acres with more planned to open this weekend. Forecasts for cooler temperatures should help them build the base with man-made snow, as well.


12/5/2012 –Sugar Bowl Resort will re-open on Thursday Dec. 6, after a powerful and colder-than-expected winter storm blanketed the Donner Summit ski resort with nearly four feet of new snow over the weekend. Sugar Bowl will offer top-to-bottom skiing and riding on four chairlifts — Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Disney, Christmas Tree and Nob Hill — from Thursday through Sunday. Ticket prices will be announced on sugarbowl.com. –Off the slopes,the 11th annual Tahoe Adventure Film Festival at MontBleu will happen on Dec. 8. According to the release, “Guests should brace themselves for this anything goes, beer-chugging, film watching party complete with go-go dancers, hideous costumes and plenty of outrageous contests.” Check it out at www.laketahoefilmfestival.com. –If you’re looking for something a little tamer, the family-themed Tahoe Arts Project, Holiday Art Festival, at St. Theresa’s Grace Hall, December 8, will feature handcrafted arts and crafts, food, wine, music, dance and a visit from Santa. Go to www.tahoeartsproject.org for details.


Sugar Bowl Announces Thursday Re-opening with Nearly Four Feet of New Snow and More on the Way Published on Dec 4, 2012

DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. December 4, 2012 - Sugar Bowl Resort will re-open on Thursday Dec. 6, after a powerful and colder-than-expected winter storm blanketed the Donner Summit ski resort with nearly four feet of new snow over the weekend. Sugar Bowl will offer top-to-bottom skiing and riding on four chairlifts — Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Disney, Christmas Tree and Nob Hill — from Thursday through Sunday. Sugar Bowl plans to announce their operation schedule for the week of Dec. 10 later this week. The current forecast calls for even more snow at Sugar Bowl early this week, with clearing skies for Thursday's re-opening date. A winter storm is forecast to drop a fresh layer of snow on Sugar Bowl beginning Monday night and lasting through Wednesday evening, setting up skiers for fresh powder skiing on Thursday. "With nearly 10 feet of snowfall at Sugar Bowl so far this season, and more snow on the way this week, we knew that Sugar Bowl skiers and riders were itching to get back on the mountain," said John Monson, director of marketing for Sugar Bowl. "By re-opening two days earlier than planned, skiers and riders can take advantage of Sugar Bowl's deep snow and superb ski conditions from top to bottom." Access to Sugar Bowl will be through the Village Gondola. Special Tickets at the Judah Lodge will be open for season pass holders to pick up their passes. Food and beverage, lessons and free rentals will all be available through the gondola entrance at the Village base area. Ticket prices will be announced on sugarbowl.com. Check sugarbowl.com for updates on conditions and Sugar Bowl's upcoming operation schedule. Sugar Bowl Resort: California owned and operated since 1939, a Top 25 ski resort in North America as voted by Outside Magazine.


After some early-season difficulties, Sugar Bowl ski resort in Lake Tahoe has plans to begin running its lifts again this Thursday (Dec. 6) – perhaps for time this time. Like many Lake Tahoe ski resorts, Sugar Bowl benefitted from the early snow and opened prematurely this season on Nov. 17. The resort stayed open through the Thanksgiving holiday, then planned to go on a weekend schedule, weather permitting. View slideshow: Sugar Bowl ski resort will reopen this week Unfortunately, the weather turned warm and last week’s rainy conditions mixed with snow didn’t help Sugar Bowl much. Suffering from lack of coverage at its lower levels, the resort off Interstate 80 at Donner Summit never opened last weekend when high winds also ravaged the Lake Tahoe area. But the resort also got 4 feet of snow over the weekend, and added 6-12 more inches on Monday, and has pointed to Thursday as its re-set day. Sugar Bowl will offer top-to-bottom skiing and


riding on four chairlifts – Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Disney, Christmas Tree and Nob Hill – from Thursday through Sunday. Sugar Bowl, which received 16-44 inches of snow from the recent storms, plans to announce their operation schedule for the week of Dec. 10 later this week. The current forecast calls for even more snow at Sugar Bowl early this week, with clearing skies for Thursday’s re-opening date. A winter storm is forecasted to drop a fresh layer of snow in the Lake Tahoe region. It began Monday night and may last through Wednesday evening, setting up skiers and riders for fresh powder skiing on Thursday. “With nearly 10 feet of snowfall at Sugar Bowl so far this season, and more snow on the way this week, we knew that Sugar Bowl skiers and riders were itching to get back on the mountain,” said John Monson, director of marketing for Sugar Bowl. “By re-opening two days earlier than planned, skiers and riders can take advantage of Sugar Bowl’s deep snow and superb ski conditions from top to bottom.” Access to Sugar Bowl will be through the Village Gondola. Special Tickets at the Judah Lodge will be open for season pass holders to pick up their passes. Food and beverage, lessons and free rentals will all be available through the gondola entrance at the Village base area. Ticket prices will be announced on sugarbowl.com. Check www.sugarbowl.com for updates on conditions and Sugar Bowl’s upcoming operation schedule. The Weather Channel is forecasting a 40-percent chance of snow or rain today in the Lake Tahoe area and that jumps to 100 percent on Wednesday. There’s a 20-percent chance of snow on Thursday and it dips to 10 percent Friday and Saturday. While temperatures are expected to remain in the high 40s in the daytime this week throughout Lake Tahoe, the temperatures are expected to drop into the mid-20s, starting Wednesday night. Snow Report for December 4 BOREAL New Snow: 0 Storm total: 31-40" Location: Interstate 80 at Donner Summit Web site: www.borealski.com HEAVENLY New Snow: 0 Storm total: 42" Location: Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe Web site: www.skiheavenly.com KIRKWOOD New Snow: 0 Storm total: 30-36"


Location: Highway 88 in Kirkwood Web site: www.kirkwood.com MT. ROSE New Snow: 0 Storm total: 35-45" Location: Mt. Rose Highway in Reno Web site: www.skirose.com NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA New Snow: 0 Storm total: 4-25" Location: Highway 267 near Truckee Web site: www.NorthstarCalifornia.com SIERRA-AT-TAHOE New Snow: 0 Storm total: 18-44" Location: Highway 50, 12 miles west of South Lake Tahoe Web Site: www.sierraattahoe.com SQUAW VALLEY New Snow: 0-4" Storm total: 48" Location: Highway 89, six miles from Tahoe City Web site: www.squaw.com SUGAR BOWL New Snow: 6-12" Storm total: 16-44" Location: Interstate 80, Norden exit Web site: www.sugarbowl.com Lake Tahoe currently has seven ski resorts open for the 2012-13 season. Opening dates are tentative. Lake Tahoe ski resorts Opening Dates • Boreal: Open • Heavenly: Open • Northstar: Open • Kirkwood: Open • Squaw Valley: Open • Mt. Rose: Open • Sierra-at-Tahoe: Open • Sugar Bowl: Reopen Dec. 6 • Alpine: December 7 • Tahoe Donner: December 7 • Diamond Peak: December 13 • Homewood: December 14 • Donner Ski Ranch: TBA • Soda Springs: TBA


Get pumped ski and snowboard lovers! As a result of the heavy storms that pounded Northern California, anywhere from 2 to 4 feet of snow fell at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada since last Wednesday. To paint a beautiful picture in your head, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe welcomed 45 inches of snow throughout the series of storms and has received a total of 100 inches of snowfall to date. On Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is reporting storm totals of 44 inches, and Squaw Valley’s upper mountain at 8,200 feet got 42 inches of snow. Below is a list of recent snow totals within the last 3 days: Alpine Meadows: 23 inches of snow last 72 hours; 43 inches at the mountain summit (8,637 feet), 19 inches at lower mountain (6,835 feet). Heavenly: 31 inches of new snow last 72 hours; 50 inches at the mountain summit (10,066 feet), 36 inches at lower mountain (6,564 feet).


Kirkwood: 32 inches of new snow last 72 hours; 46 inches at the mountain summit (9,800 feet), 32 inches at lower mountain (7,800 feet). Mt. Rose: 29 inches of new snow last 72 hours; 65 inches at the mountain summit (9,700 feet), 38 inches at lower mountain (8,260 feet). Northstar: 28 inches of snow last 72 hours; 60 inches at the mountain summit (8,610 feet), 18 inches at lower mountain (6,329 feet). Sierra-at-Tahoe: 7 inches of new snow last 72 hours; 52 inches at the mountain summit (8,852 feet), 12 inches at lower mountain (6,639 feet). Squaw Valley: 30 inches of new snow last 72 hours; 48 inches at the mountain summit (8,200 feet), 4 inches at lower mountain (6,200 feet). Sugar Bowl: 18 inches of new snow last 72 hours; 40 inches at the mountain summit (8,383 feet), 10 inches at lower mountain (6,883 feet). It’s definitely starting to feel like Winter has arrived! Now is a greater time than ever to hit those slopes and shred it up!


12/1/2012

DONNER SUMMIT, CALIF. — Sugar Bowl Resort has released 25 new homesites for sale at Summit Crossing in the ski resort’s ski-in/ski-out base area. The homes are centrally located in one of the most unique ski settings in the nation— a snowbound village where residents are brought to their home by snowcat and walk out their door to a frontyard of lift-served skiing or endless cross-country ski trails. The quarter-acre, forested homesites range in price from $475,000 to $700,000 and feature creekside sites along the headwaters of the Yuba River, filtered views of the surrounding peaks of Donner Summit and a central location in a ski area renowned for its family friendly vibe, world-class ski team and tight-knit community. The Summit Crossing offering is a rare opportunity to buy into one of the most storied ski areas in the country, a California-owned and -operated ski resort founded in 1939 that built the first chairlift in the state and where Walt Disney, Warren Hellman and Daron Rahlves have all called their home slopes. Six of Summit Crossing homesites have been reserved or sold, leaving 19 currently on the market. Summit Crossing homeowners gain access to a number of exclusive benefits. Homeowners enjoy 24-hour VIP concierge service, ensuring that all arrival and departure needs are met, and that homes are properly maintained and protected. In addition, on-mountain perks such as private Express Line privileges at the chairlifts, and access to the world-class Sugar Bowl Ski Team are included.


12/1/2012

But many homeowners choose Sugar Bowl Resort for a completely unique Tahoe ski experience that combines world-class skiing with the unhurried feel of a true mountain experience. Once the resort’s chairlifts close for the day, the village becomes a private snowbound playground for families to enjoy. Sugar Bowl is also the closest major Tahoe resort to the Bay Area and Sacramento, and has limitless, four-season recreation available in the area, including world-class skiing, hiking, cycling, climbing, mountain biking and boating. Sugar Bowl’s downhill skiing is complemented by a direct connection to Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort, North America’s largest crosscountry ski area. The profits from each Summit Crossing homesite sale are re-invested into the ski resort in improvements that directly benefit homeowners. Current sales are financing planned projects to build a fitness and aquatic center at the village base area and a new ski lift at the resort. Sugar Bowl helps homeowners escape the hassles of home construction while still staying in control of as much of the home’s design and build-out as they desire. Each Summit Crossing homesite comes with the option of using Sugar Bowl’s Construction Contract Administration, the resort’s full-service custom service that handles all of the details of home design and construction from permitting to change orders. For more information on Summit Crossing, please visit www.villageatsugarbowl.com or contact Sugar Bowl’s real estate development professionals on (530) 426-6780 or by emailing homes@sugarbowl.com. For more information on Sugar Bowl Resort, visit www.sugarbowl.com or call (530) 4269000. California owned & operated since 1939.


Lift tickets for less Go cross-country skiing for $15 or snowboarding and downhill skiing for less than $40 with an offer that benefits students in the Lake Tahoe area. A limited number of tickets are available for the nonprofit Excellence in Education Foundation's "Skiing for Schools" promotion. Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge are the designated December resorts. Northstar, Tahoe Donner and Homewood are on tap for selected January dates. Tickets must be purchased in the week before each resort's valid period; only cash and checks are accepted. Buy skiing/riding tickets at Porters Sports locations in Truckee and Tahoe City. Buy cross-country tickets at Paco's in Truckee and Alpenglow in Tahoe City. Find a full list of dates and resorts at www.exined.org. Learn to snowboard Six North Lake Tahoe resorts will participate in the annual learn-to-ski-and-snowboard weekend, during which novices pay $30 for a lift ticket, lesson and gear rental. The event takes place Dec. 8-9 at Alpine Meadows, Boreal, Granlibakken, Homewood, Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl. Details: www.gotahoenorth.com. Lanterns in the rain The second annual Global Winter Wonderland is offering "Rainy Days" pricing through Dec. 2. General admission will be $6 before 6 p.m. The gates open at 4 p.m.

The festival, which features hundreds of illuminated lanterns, entertainment, children's activities and a food court, is located inside the Great America theme park, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara. Details: www.globalwonderland.org.


TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Take advantage of discounted lift tickets and support local education when you pre-purchase Skiing for Schools lift tickets to participating resorts. Upcoming Skiing for Schools days • Sugar Bowl, $35 lift tickets valid any one day, Dec. 15-21 • Royal Gorge, $15 trail pass valid any one day, Dec. 17-23 • Northstar California, $40 lift ticket valid any one day, Jan. 6– 11 • Tahoe Donner Cross Country, $15 trail pass valid any one day, Jan. 6 – 11 • Homewood Mountain Resort, $35 lift ticket valid any one day, Jan. 13-18 • Tahoe Donner Ski Area, $25 lift ticket valid any one day, Jan. 27-Feb. 1 • Tahoe Cross County, $15 trail pass valid any one day, Jan. 27-Feb. 1 • Resort at Squaw Creek, $15 trail pass valid any one day, Feb. 3-9 • Sugar Bowl, $35 lift ticket valid any one day, March 23-29 • Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, $35 lift ticket valid any one day at either resort from April 7 through the end of season. “We are so pleased to bring this program back for another season,” explains Laura Abbey Brown, executive director of the Foundation. “Skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of discounted tickets and our local students benefit greatly.” Downhill resort tickets may be purchased the week prior to the designated dates at Porters Sports in Truckee and Tahoe Dave's in Tahoe City, Truckee and Kings Beach. Cross-country resort tickets may be purchased the week prior to the designated dates at Paco's in Truckee and Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City. A limited number of tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and will not be available at


the resorts the day of the event. Check and cash are payment only. Tickets are not refundable. Proceeds from each lift ticket purchase goes directly to the Excellence in Education Foundation, which provides enhanced educational opportunities to Tahoe Truckee area students. The Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization that supports quality education with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Each year the Foundation raises money and provides grants, resources and partnerships to benefit students, teachers and educational community as a whole. For more information and updates, visit www.exined.org.


If you’re a novice who’s interested in skiing or snowboarding at North Lake Tahoe on Dec. 8 and 9 and want to start with a lesson rather than having a friend or spouse teach you, consider this: Six resorts will host their annual Learn to Ski and Board Weekend those days. The event is designed for beginners, costs only $30 and includes an all-day beginner lift ticket, group lesson and gear rental. First-timers can choose from Alpine Meadows, Boreal Mountain Resort, Granlibakken Resort, Homewood Mountain Resort, Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl Ski. Several resorts also will offer guests savings good on a return visit.


Reservations aren’t required, but participants should arrive early. Lesson packages can be purchased at each individual resort the day of lessons. Students should contact resorts directly for resort-specific information. Some restrictions apply. Resorts not open Dec. 8 and 9 may offer a Learn to Ski Weekend later in the season. Info: For more information about the Learn to Ski and Board Weekend, North Lake Tahoe ski resorts, events, activities and other winter offerings, check out Go Tahoe North. And for the best bargains, including lodging, go to the website’s Cool Deals, which is updated daily. Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.


Monday, November 26, 2012 Some ski resorts in the Sierra say the Thanksgiving weekend was a busy start to their season. Peter Avedschmidt with Sugar Bowl says any time the resort is open on a Thanksgiving weekend that's a good sign, "Compared to other years? You know a lot of years we're not even open at Thanskgiving. IT really depends on snowfall. This year,we were lucky to have a lot of early-season snowfall and some storms. We had a really good base. We were open top-tobottom. We did really well all four days. Luckily it ended with some sunny days." Kayla Anderson is with the Mount Rose Ski Resort between Reno and Lake Tahoe. She says this past Saturday was the best Thanksgiving-weekend Saturday ever‌ and the forecast is for more snow, " If we do get the snow that they're calling for then we'd be able to open the whole mountain. We're trying to get our slide bowl open as soon as possible and if this storm comes with another foot, we' d be able to open the other side." Heavenly Ski Resort's opening was the earliest in eight years. Ski Resorts are expecting three feet of snow on the western-side of the Sierra and a foot of snow on the eastern side by the end of the weekend. Many resorts have early-season specials that are set to expire by mid-December.


Over six feet of early season snow so far this season has allowed Sugar Bowl resort at Donner Summit to re-open for top-to-bottom skiing and riding this Thanksgiving weekend, with a forecast that calls for blue skies and beautiful weather. Sugar Bowl will run the Lincoln Express, Disney Express and Nob Hill ski lifts from Thursday to Sunday this Thanksgiving Day weekend, giving Sugar Bowl skiers and riders access over 1,500 vertical feet of mountain terrain and 19 ski trails. A series of Sierra storms set up Sugar Bowl for deep powder skiing on opening weekend, and Thanksgiving Day conditions are shaping up beautifully. A small storm that deposited over four inches of snow to the top of the mountain on Wednesday is forecast to give way to clear skies and mild weather over the weekend. Access to Sugar Bowl will be limited to the Village Gondola, operating 6a.m. to 6p.m., with Village-side operations only. Village food and beverage will be operational, and Village Tickets will be open to accommodate ticketing and pass needs. Special tickets will also be open on the Mt. Judah side to assist with any season pass purchase and/or fulfillment needs. Lift tickets will be $67/day. Stay tuned to www.sugarbowl.com for operational updates (including opening plans for Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, also available on www.royalgorge.com), as snow and weather may mandate updates as needed. For a video of Sugar Bowl’s opening weekend snow conditions, visit www.sugarbowl.com/resort-video. Sugar Bowl Resort, California owned and operated since 1939, was recently voted a Top 25 resort in North America by Outside Magazine. For more information on Sugar Bowl Resort visit the website or call (530) 426-9000.


Asian Cajun Crawfish restaurant in Tracy TRACY - The Tracy Chamber of Commerce is conducting a ribbon cutting ceremony for Asian Cajun Crawfish on Thursday, Nov, 29, at 4 p.m. at 95 W. 11th Street No. 103. Asian Cajun Crawfish is a full service restaurant specializing in Cajun seafood cuisine with an Asian twist. They opened their doors to the public in mid-November. Owners Jeremy Magtoto and Alice Gimenes have opened a new fusion restaurant with traditional Cajun dishes such as live crawfish, whole Dungeness crab, shrimp, pork chops, catfish or cod, red beans and rice and many more. For more information regarding the ribbon cutting contact the Tracy Chamber at 209-835-2131. Sugar Bowl re-opens today for ski enthusiasts DONNER SUMMIT – Over six feet of early season snow so far this season has allowed Sugar Bowl resort to re-open for top-to-bottom skiing and riding this Thanksgiving weekend, with a forecast that calls for blue skies and beautiful weather. Sugar Bowl skiers and riders can access over 1,500 vertical feet of mountain terrain and 19 ski trails. Lift Tickets will be $67/day. Stay tuned to www.sugarbowl.com for operational updates (including opening plans for Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, also available on www.royalgorge.com), as snow and weather may mandate updates as needed.

Facebook wants to end voting on privacy issues MENLO PARK (AP) — Facebook is proposing to end its practice of letting users vote on changes to its privacy policies, though it will continue to let users comment on proposed updates. The world's biggest social media company said in a blog post Wednesday that its voting mechanism, which is triggered only if enough people comment on proposed changes, has become a system that emphasizes quantity of responses over quality of discussion. Users tend to leave one or two-word comments objecting to changes instead of more in-depth responses.


Facebook said it will continue to inform users of "significant changes" to its privacy policy, called its data use policy, and to its statement of user rights and responsibilities. The company will keep its seven-day comment period and take users' feedback into consideration. Facebook began letting users vote on privacy changes in 2009. Since then, it has gone public and its user base has ballooned from around 200 million to more than 1 billion. As part of the 2009 policy, users' votes only count if more than 30 percent of all Facebook's active users partake. That did not happen during either of the two times users voted and it's unlikely that it will now, given that more than 300 million people would have to participate.


Off to a Powdery Start

Below-average snowfall is the forecast for Lake Tahoe this season, but new terrain parks, express chairlifts, and aprèsski parties guarantee good times. By David Downs 11/21/2012

Wax that board, check last year's gear for tears, and sign up for a powder alert — the 2012-13 ski and snowboard season in Lake Tahoe beckons. A cold, wet November launched the winter snow sports season early in Lake Tahoe, and while the seasonal weather forecast remains mixed, both skiers and resorts are acting with confidence, sources say. Snow lovers are snatching up early-bird deals on season tickets at Lake Tahoe's eighteen world-class resorts, while resorts are busy hiring staff and finishing tens of millions of dollars in capital improvements to draw everyone from toddlers to grandparents out onto the slopes. It all starts with the weather.


Two strong, cold, wet, early winter storms brought several feet of snow to the Lake Tahoe area in October and early November, but the outlook for the entire winter is mixed. A weak El Ni単o will bring below-average precipitation to the region this winter, according to forecasting from Tahoe Weather Discussion's Bryan Allegretto, a must-read forecaster devoted to the region. El Ni単o is the name of a cycle of oceanic warming in the Pacific Ocean that can bring extra moisture to California. "... [I]n a weak El Ni単o year we do tend to get an early start to the snowfall before we fizzle out going into the Winter," Allegretto wrote on TahoeWeatherDiscussion.com. "We could see a cold and snowy Fall here [but] one thing is almost certain, this will not be anything like the last couple years in the Pacific NW and could be really dry." Allegreto predicts "75-85 percent of average" snowfall this year "with an early start to the cold and snow and then a more even spread out winter. I don't think we will see too many of those 100-inch weeks like in 2010-11, and hopefully no six-week droughts like last January," he wrote. Indeed, the 2011-12 ski season punished resort operators. That winter saw a La Ni単a weather pattern, with little precipitation early in the season and a bone-dry New Year, followed by a wet spring. "[Last ski season] was one of the more challenging seasons that we had in the Sierra in terms of snow," said Julie Maurer, president of Ski Lake Tahoe, which represents six huge resorts around the gorgeous lake. "We didn't get early snow." By contrast, many resorts opened early this month due to the storms. Resorts that would have opened for Thanksgiving with man-made snow were open as early as November 14 with a mix of natural and synthetic snow that allowed for top-to-bottom skiing in some places. Long-range forecasting is as much an art as it is a science, Maurer noted. In a study of eight analogous years, Allegretto found that six years posted below-average snowfall, "but two of them were huge years," he wrote. So start praying, powder-hunters. What's certain is heavy, pent-up demand for rooms and season passes, Maurer said. "It seems like the skiing public is optimistic about the season, based on lodging reservations we have on the books and season-pass interest," she said. By far the best deal for regional travelers are season passes, Maurer continued. They pay for themselves within four or five days of skiing, and the rest of the year is gravy. Among them, the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley "Super Pass" just got better with the addition of Sierra-atTahoe, down in South Lake Tahoe. Gold and Silver "Super Pass" owners are now "Super Pass Plus" owners, and can ski or board at all three resorts, as opposed to just two. Passes cost $269$749. For those who can't commit to a season of awesomeness, however, advanced online ticket purchases offer good deals, Maurer said. Customers must buy tickets online three to five days in


advance, but they're cheaper than resort ticket-window prices. More and more resorts also use radio frequency identification chips in their passes, so you can go online and "re-load" your used pass at the best advance rate, then go directly to the lifts. Mt. Rose is offering deals on lift tickets and Reno lodging starting at $79. Alpine and Northstar are offering four-night stays for the price of three. Aiming to host the 2026 Olympics, the region continues to make substantial infrastructure investments that'll benefit visitors this season. Reno-Tahoe International Airport finished $27 million in improvements to security and baggage areas, making it "the nicest airport of any ski resort you could go to," Maurer said. CalTrans also completed resurfacing and widening roadwork on Tahoe segments of Interstate 80. Some segments of I-80 were down to one (nightmarish) lane last winter. "They've finally finished that," she said. "There's three lanes and it's all brand-new and much better." The resorts themselves have continued an $100 million capital-improvement spree in the face of a national resort industry pull-back, Maurer said. "We are spending more than just about any mountain resort area in the nation this year in terms of these improvements," she said. "We're very fortunate in Tahoe that resorts have not pulled back." That means a new mile-long terrain park at Alpine; two new express lifts at Squaw Valley; Sierra-at-Tahoe's "The Burton Star Wars Experience," which is a ski school for kids ages three to six; and Sugar Bowl's addition of Royal Gorge XC, which adds 6,000 acres of cross-country trails. It's easier than ever for newbies to get onto the mountain this year. Advances in fitted ski boots, heated jackets, specially designed rocker skis, and beveled snowboards have made it very, very easy for beginners to learn. "It can change your skiing," said Maurer, a veteran of snow sports for thirty years, about rocker skis. "It makes it so easy." Many Tahoe resorts now offer free mobile phone apps that push road and chairlift alerts and facilitate friend-finding on the mountain. Tahoe resorts have also invested heavily in "adventure areas" that provide snow-tubing and mini-snowmobiling. Heavenly has upgraded its Adventure Peak and kids' adventure zone Black Bear Hollow. "We call them 'high thrills, no skills,'" said Maurer. "These non-ski activities are becoming imperative to offer." Meanwhile, professionals can push farther into backcountry in 2012. Kirkwood's new "Howitzer avalauncher" can open up the resort's infamous vertical chutes faster after a big dump. Northstar is offering guided backcountry tours via snowcat, and Sierra-at-Tahoe has opened up Huckleberry Canyon to guided snowcat tours. Alpine and Squaw will again allow backcountry travel between the two resorts, conditions permitting. Just a few hours' drive from the Bay Area, Tahoe's resorts offer more to explore than can be done in a lifetime, Maurer said.


"All the resorts offer something different not just in terms of brand personality, but in terms of topography and terrain," she said. "It runs the whole gamut from wide-open bowl skiing to treeline skiing to incredible views of Lake Tahoe. The variety we can offer is one of our best selling points."


Thanks to California's early snowfall resorts including Mammoth Mountain and Heavenly, Northstar California, Squaw Valley and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe are all now open for the season. Tahoe South - tahoesouth.com Heavenly - skiheavenly.com Building on Heavenly's long-standing tradition of freestyle skiing and competition, the resort will host the U.S. Freestyle Championships, March 29-31, 2013. Heavenly's Sho Kashima, a member of the U.S. Ski Team, will join the nation's most accomplished freestyle skiers to showcase their talents in preparation for the 2014 Olympics. The new EpicMix Racing mobile app lets guests time their runs to compare with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, which can be shared through social media. Heavenly's photographers will continue to take portrait and action photos by scanning a guest's RF-enabled lift ticket or season pass. Heavenly Mountain Resort has an amped Unbuckle at Tamarack, Tahoe's ultimate après ski party, with DJs, half-off drink specials and go-go dancers at the Tamarack Lodge every sunset. The Gunbarrel Grill becomes an on-mountain man cave, stocked with flat screen televisions and table service with special pricing on heady microbrews and two-hands-required gourmet burgers. Heavenly is bringing back the infamous 500 ft-long, 56 ft-wide half pipe to the High Roller Terrain Park. The location allows for a uniform consistency between both sides of the pipe, meaning one side won't melt faster than the other. Sierra-at-Tahoe - sierraattahoe.com Sierra-at-Tahoe charges into the 2012-13 winter season with new Sierra Snowcat Tours that will whisk skilled skiers and riders to the top of Huckleberry Canyon to access pristine backcountry terrain. This adventure unlocks access to the pillow drops, cornices, rock chutes, open bowls and gladed runs of a backcountry trek. The Sierra Snowcat is also available for private tours by groups of five or more. The force is strong at Sierra-at-Tahoe for Younglings and Padawans this winter in the new Yoda's Riglet Park. Here, North America's only Star Wars Experience uses the beloved


intergalactic saga to help children aged 3-6 make their first snowboard turns. Jedis-in-training will learn through interactive drop-in nodes showcasing custom-made wood carvings of R2-D2, C-3PO and Chewbacca. Sierra's new Ski, Stay and Soar winter lodging package takes adventurers to new heights with two lift tickets, two 20-minute helicopter rides by Reno Tahoe Helicopters and a two-night stay in South Lake Tahoe starting from $265 per person. Skiers and riders can shred one day and soar the next for aerial views of the terrain they covered at the resort. Or go gung-ho and do it all in one day for an unforgettable take on Tahoe's high altitude altiutide. Kirkwood - kirkwood.com Kirkwood Mountain Resort celebrates its 40th birthday this season with several upgrades from its new parent company, Vail Resorts. Kirkwood guests can anticipate new bragging rights with the addition of EpicMix mobile app technology, to demonstrate to friends just how epic the resort is with cold hard stats via favourite social media channels. Expedition: Kirkwood provides a level of education and training that goes well beyond the classroom with a series of new courses for the 2012-13 winter season. Outdoor adventureseekers can step 5-feet outside the facility at Kirkwood and put their knowledge to the test in Class A avalanche terrain. Expedition: Kirkwood provides avalanche certification courses, women's specific programs, beacon training, powder cat tours, private guides, specialty ski and board clinics, and progressions sessions in some of the most extreme in-bounds terrain in North America. This season the mountain will play host to new special events like the Swatch Freeride World Tour, which combines that event with the Freeride World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding to create one unified global championship series. The only US event in the sixstop world tour will take place between 27th February and 3rd March 2013. North Lake Tahoe - gotahoenorth.com Northstar California - NorthstarCalifornia.com Northstar California celebrates its 40th anniversary on December 22, with a party hosted by Northstar team athlete Shaun White. This season, snow cat accessed skiing and riding will be offered for the first time on Sawtooth Ridge, offering unprecedented access to a popular gate-accessed area of terrain that was previously only open to advanced skiers and riders when snow conditions permitted. In addition, guided backcountry tours will be available to advanced skiers and riders interested in skiing or riding outside the resort's Sawtooth Ridge boundary to an area planned for future expansion, offering a preview of what's to come. This season Northstar will partner with Burton to introduce a new Riglet Park. The Riglet Park concept offers kids ages 3-6 years old on snow learning progressions for through an instructor


guided experience and use of the "Riglet Reel," which attaches to the nose of compatible Burton youth snowboards, allowing kids to be pulled around while getting used to standing sideways. Making headlines around the country is Northstar's new CMO, canine marketing officer, "Marsh Mellow." The lovable three-month-old pup was abandoned at the resort last August. After a long search in which no owner was found, the resort's marketing team adopted him. Over the last few months, Marsh Mellow has developed a following of guests who keep up to speed with his activities via the resort's social media channels and who regularly visit the Village at Northstar to see him. Squaw Valley - squaw.com Squaw and Alpine Meadows offer visitors the Tahoe Super Pass, offering access to 6,000 acres, 43 lifts, and 270+ trails on one pass. The lift ticket is interchangeable between the two resorts and allows skiers and riders to access both resorts in one day with a short 10-minute bus ride on the Free Squaw Alpine Express. Squaw has installed the Big Blue Express, a new, high-speed six-pack chairlift, to replace the High Camp chairlift. The base terminal of Big Blue Express starts where the base of the High Camp lift was formerly located and extends to the top of the ridge - providing easy access to the Shirley Lake, Solitude and Granite Chief chairlifts. This new alignment not only provides quicker and easier travel to Shirley Lake and beyond, but it also gives skiers and riders access to beginner and intermediate terrain that was previously inaccessible via the old High Camp chairlift. The new Park Pulley telecord, a modern day version of a tow lift, provides easy access to the Belmont terrain park and eliminates traversing across the mountaintop meadow. Squaw Valley is partnering with Burton and their acclaimed Learn to Ride (LTR) for winter 2012-13. As part of the LTR program, Squaw will be offering specially designed equipment for beginner snowboarders (both kids and adults). Alpine Meadows - skialpine.com With the recent partnership between Alpine Meadows and Snow Park Technologies (SPT), skiers and riders can look forward to continued terrain park improvements and an enhanced park experience throughout the winter season. Snow Park Technologies is renowned in the terrain park business with 15 years of experience designing parks for major resorts and events nationwide including the Dew Tour and Winter X Games. One of the most exciting changes to the terrain park experience is the expansion of the medium and large park. The combined parks, from Terry's Return to Dancefloor, will offer an entire milelong park run making it the longest terrain park run in the Tahoe region. Also brand new this year, there will be a beginner progression park on Subway where lessons will be available. Guests eating out on the sundeck can enjoy the view of skiers and riders testing out their skills at a new base area jib arena. New jibs will be added this season, including four new beginner boxes, two intermediate boxes and four new snowmaking pipe jibs, increasing the park's fleet to more than 60 jib features.


Like Squaw Valley, Alpine is also partnering with Burton and their acclaimed Learn to Ride (LTR) program for winter 2012-13. Homewood - skihomewood.com Homewood Mountain Ski Resort received government approval from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in December 2011 to begin redevelopment on the historic ski resort located on Lake Tahoe's West Shore. The $500-million project will include a five-star hotel, workforce housing, 15,000 square feet of retail space, swimming pool and ice skating rink. Phase 1 is scheduled to begin in 2014. Sugar Bowl - sugarbowl.com On Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort signed an agreement October 1 to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America's largest cross-country operation, which is being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust of Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The resorts are already connected by an "interconnect" trail that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the two, with plans in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. Sugar Bowl, who plans to invest $500,000 in Royal Gorge this season, is now offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill at Sugar Bowl and cross-country ski at Royal Gorge. Sugar Bowl pass holders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299.

Mammoth Mountain - mammothmountain.com / visitmammoth.com Mammoth has never been more accessible with flights from all three gateway cities - San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Combining a ski holiday with a surf, a tour of the winelands, a city break, or even Disneyland has never been easier. The airport is just a hop, skip and ten minute ride away from the village and many properties in Mammoth offer complimentary airport shuttles to their guests so there's no need to hire a car. Flights are scheduled to run as follows: LA - Mammoth Sunday to Friday: Departs LA: 11.35am and 3.50pm / Arrives Mammoth: 12.48pm and 5.03pm Saturday: Departs LA: 8.40am /Arrives Mammoth: 9.54am Mammoth - LA Sunday to Friday: Departs Mammoth: 1.25pm and 5.37pm / Arrives LA: 2.40pm and 6.55pm Saturday: Departs Mammoth: 10.25am / Arrives LA: 11.47am San Diego - Mammoth Daily: Departs San Diego: 7.45pm / Arrives Mammoth: 9.04pm


Mammoth - San Diego Daily (19/12 to 19/2): Departs Mammoth: 4.43pm / Arrives San Diego: 5.57pm Daily (19/2 to 14/4): Departs Mammoth: 5.43pm / Arrives San Diego 6.57pm San Francisco - Mammoth Daily (19/12 to 19/2): Departs San Francisco: 3.00pm / Arrives Mammoth: 4.01pm Daily (20/2 - 14/4): Departs San Francisco: 4.00pm / Arrives Mammoth: 5.01pm Sun, Mon, Thurs, Fri: Departs San Francisco: 1.10pm / Arrives Mammoth: 2.15pm Mammoth - San Francisco Daily: Departs Mammoth: 9.40am / Arrives San Francisco: 10.45am Orange County - Mammoth Sun, Mon, Thurs, Fri: Departs Orange County: 9.30am / Arrives Mammoth: 10.45am Mammoth - Orange County Sun, Mon, Thurs, Fri: Departs Mammoth: 2.50pm / Arrives Orange County: 4.08pm This season, Mammoth Mountain is making it easy for beginning skiers and riders to get their first taste of what it's like to catch some air with the introduction of the new Unbound Playground Progression Park. It's an ideal introduction to terrain parks with approachable features that allow beginners to learn how to do tricks and master the rails and box slides. Also new this winter, two of the top-rated terrain parks in the U.S —Mammoth's Main Park and South Park—get even better with new high-end, urban-inspired features called the Downtown Collection. Back by popular demand, The Village Day Care now offers infant care in addition to care for ages 2 to 6. Parents can leave their children in the capable hands of the day care staff at the state licensed facility and then enjoy some time on the slopes or a night on the town. Mammoth Mountain is giving parents' wallets a much-needed break this winter by offering a $30 (Approx. £ 19) Kids Lift for children aged 7-12. Children aged 6 and under are always free. Celebrated chef Mark Estee is bringing his popular restaurant to the Village at Mammoth with the addition of a vibrant après ski offering - Campo Mammoth. Inspired by Estee's travels through the rural villages of Italy, Estee's cooking ethic ensures authentic flavours with handmade authentic Neapolitan style pizza, catch-of-the-day seafood, hand-pressed pasta and pig dishes served in an establishment that is as much a gathering-place as a restaurant. At Main Lodge, the new Green V is Mammoth's first and only 'wellness' concept featuring vegetarian, vegan and gluten free fare and is open for breakfast and lunch. For more information about visiting California go to visitcalifornia.co.uk.


For skiers and snowboarders who love the Sierra, last season was the winter of our discontent. It barely snowed in December and January. When snow did fall later, the timing was often bad for weekend trips to the slopes. Business fell sharply. In the Mammoth Lakes area, the owners of June Mountain, which opened in 1961, announced they will close the resort for this season, then reassess the ski area's future. "It was a very challenging year," said Bob Roberts, president and CEO of the California Ski Industry Association. "Skier and snowboarder visits to Sierra resorts were down about 25 percent to 6 million for the season." He's "cautiously optimistic" about this season. Already, it's off to a very promising start, with early snows allowing a number of resorts to open well before Thanksgiving. It was Heavenly's earliest opening since 2004 and Boreal's best opening since that year. Despite lower revenues, a number of resorts this offseason found the funds to erect new chairlifts, open new terrain, expand terrain parks and buy more snow-making gear, just in case Mother Nature does not deliver all season long. Here are capsule summaries of new developments at the Sierra resorts. Check out resort websites for the many discount deals being offered to lower lift ticket prices. Alpine Meadows Noting the growing popularity of man-made terrain features, the resort will open a mile-long terrain

park dubbed the Firing Line. It will be the longest such park in the Lake Tahoe region. Alpine has substantially beefed up its snow-making capability in the park and elsewhere on the peak, so look for excellent snow cover this season. (www.skialpine.com; 800-441-4423) Badger Pass On most Tuesdays after Jan. 22, two guests can get in for the price of one -- $42. And members of the military can drop by anytime and get free lift tickets, rental equipment and a group lesson. (www.yosemitepark.com; 801-559-5000) Bear Valley


The resort is unveiling 300 acres of new skiing and riding terrain in the Kings Realm area. This is side-county terrain (just outside the groomed slopes) for advanced and expert types with steep chutes, open bowls, gladed tree skiing and stunning views. Access to the new terrain is via resort snowcats; hop on a chairlift at the bottom to return to the top. (www.bearvalley.com; 209-7532301) Boreal Woodward Tahoe, a major training center at Boreal for skiers and snowboarders, is now open daily to anyone 7 years and older. The center, which offers multilevel Olympic trampolines, foam pits, ski/ride ramps and other features, previously was open only for weekly youth camps and to athletes 20 and younger. (www.rideboreal.com; 530-426-3666) Diamond Peak This Incline Village resort improved the tree skiing terrain off Crystal Ridge and will debut a new children's terrain area called Pete's Playground. It is aimed at introducing kids safely to offpiste skiing and riding. The resort also hopes to expand its season by increasing its snow-making capacity by 20 percent. (www.diamondpeak.com; 775-832-1177) Dodge Ridge This season, guests can get instant coverage on breaking news, lift status, trail conditions and events via Facebook and Twitter. Go to the website to sign up for the program. The resort also is expanding its instruction programs to teach kids as young as 2 to ski and as young as 3 to snowboard. (www.dodgeridge.com; 209-965-3474) Donner Ski Ranch The Donner Pass ski area is building a new day lodge on the back side of the mountain, and if weather conditions permit, they hope to get it open before the crowds come. (www.donnerskiranch; 530-426-3635) Granlibakken This West Shore resort's zipline network, which opened last summer, is now open to fall and winter visitors. The complex features bridges and aerial features anchored to about 60 platforms high in the trees. Children as young as 4 can harness up and fly through the pines. (www.granlibakken.com; 877-552-6301) Heavenly Three new long and wide intermediate runs off the Galaxy chairlift will be open for the first full season on the Nevada side of the resort. After a four-year hiatus, Heavenly's 500-foot-long half pipe will reopen. This is an 18-foot-high competition-quality feature found in the High Roller terrain park. The resort will debut a kids adventure zone on the California side featuring groomed


whoop-de-dos and wood carvings of animals. Unbuckle, Heavenly's apres-ski party that opened on a limited basis last season, now will run daily with entertainment, including go-go dancers. (www.skiheavenly.com; 800-432-8365) Homewood This West Shore resort has opened its Burton Learn to Ride Center for adults who want to try snowboarding. Packages include a beginner lift ticket and rental equipment. And the resort announces Homewood Bound Pizza. Order a pizza from the slopes and pick it up at the bottom on your way home. (www.skihomewood.com; 530-525-2992) Kirkwood This will be Kirkwood's first full season as part of the Vail Resorts portfolio. Guests will find some serious upgrades on the menus at resort cafes. Safety bars have been installed on all the chairlifts. And a new Howitzer cannon will speed up avalanche control, enabling the resort to open its steep terrain soon after snowstorms. (www.kirkwood.com; 209-258-7277) Mammoth Direct flights from the Bay Area to Mammoth will start Dec. 19 via United Airlines flying out of San Francisco. A new terrain park called Unbound Playground Progression Park opens for novices who want to learn their terrain tricks in a low-volume setting. Look for a new high-end restaurant called Campo in the base village. And a snowcat (Little Mill) laden with chow will rove the slopes for skiers and riders who want to dine on the snow. (www.mammothmountain.com; 800-626-6684) Mount Rose Tree thinning continues on the slopes to reduce the prospect of destructive fires. The Rosebuds teaching terrain has been expanded. College students get in for $49 midweek, while military folks pay $39 for a discounted ticket. (www.mtrose.com; 800-754-7673) Northstar For the first time, skiers and riders will have access to Sawtooth Ridge via snowcat. Guided back-country tours also will be available to advanced guests who want to get outside the resort boundary and explore an area planned for future expansion. A new Burton Riglet Park opens where kids ages 3 to 6 can learn to snowboard. Locals are eagerly anticipating the opening of Tavern 6330 (as in 6,330 feet of elevation), a new eatery in the base village with an extensive food and booze menu. (www.northstarattahoe.com; 800-466-6784) Sierra-at-Tahoe Lack of snow last winter prevented the start of back-country snowcat tours into Huckleberry Canyon, so the resort aims to run the tours this season. Sierra also is offering a new and unusual


ski package that starts at $265. The price includes a cool lodge in South Lake Tahoe, lift ticket and two 20-minute helicopter rides between your room and the slopes. (www.sierraattahoe.com; 530-659-7453) Squaw Valley The resort erected Big Blue Express, a new six-passenger, high-speed lift that will take guests to the Shirley Lake area and the Granite Chief terrain. The old and slow Links lift was replaced with a new and bigger lift dubbed Mountain Meadow. And energy-draining traversing across the High Camp area will be eliminated by a new Park Pulley, a modern version of the tow lift. Look for major upgrades at the Olympic Plaza Bar, making it more of a full-service restaurant. (www.squaw.com; 800-403-0206) Sugar Bowl The Donner Summit resort agreed to operate the neighboring Royal Gorge cross-county resort (see sidebar story). Sugar Bowl is offering 25 new homesites in the resort's snowbound base village. Funds raised by the lot sales are earmarked to build a fitness and aquatic center at the village base along with a new ski lift. The resort's new interactive website lets guests view various runs, before they take them, from the top on down via film shot by skiers and riders with helmet-mounted cameras. (www.sugarbowl.com; 530-426-9000)


Following Saturday’s opening at Sugar Bowl, there are currently six Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts operating right now for skiing and snowboarding.. Sugar Bowl and the rest of the Lake Tahoe resorts had a challenging weather day with rain hitting early in the day, but it thankfully turned into snow as the evening temperatures dropped. View slideshow: Lake Tahoe Snow report for November 18 Kirkwood ski resort of Highway 88 benefitted the most from Saturday’s storm, recording 14 inches at base level and 16 inches of fresh snow at its higher elevations. Boreal ski resort wasn’t far behind with 10-15 inches and Sugar Bowl had 14. The Weather Channel is reporting 100 percent chance of rain or snow today and that dips to 30 percent on Monday. The chance of snow remains through Wednesday with Thanksgiving Day expected to be partly cloudy with 10 percent chance of snow. Temperatures will remain on the high side this week, expected to be in the 40s during the day and dip to the mid-20s at night. LAKE TAHOE SNOW REPORT: November 18


BOREAL New Snow: 10-15" Location: Interstate 80 at Donner Summit Web site: www.borealski.com HEAVENLY New Snow: 7" Location: Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe Web site: www.skiheavenly.com KIRKWOOD New Snow: 14-16" Location: Highway 88 in Kirkwood Web site: www.kirkwood.com NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA New Snow: 4-9” Location: Highway 267 near Truckee Web site: www.NorthstarCalifornia.com SQUAW VALLEY New Snow: 1” Location: Highway 89, six miles from Tahoe City Web site: www.squaw.com SUGAR BOWL New Snow: 8-14" Location: Interstate 80, Norden exit Web site: www.sugarbowl.com Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Opening Dates: Boreal: Open Heavenly: Open Northstar: Open Kirkwood: Open Squaw Valley: Open Sugar Bowl: Open Mt. Rose: November 21 Homewood: November 23 Diamond Peak: December 13 Alpine: December 7 Donner Ski Ranch: TBA Sierra-at-Tahoe: TBA Soda Springs: TBA Dodge Ridge: TBA Bear Valley: TBA


Like many Lake Tahoe ski resorts, Sugar Bowl has pushed up its opening date. The resort is open today and will have 4 inches of new snow available for its inaugural day of skiing and snowboarding Located on Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl is the closest ski resort from Sacramento along the Interstate 80 corridor. The resort is scheduled to have 12 runs and 1,500 vertical feet of for skiers and riders on the Mt. Lincoln and Nob Hill chairs. Skiing will be accessed from the Village side only with the Village Gondola open. View slideshow: Sugar Bowl opens for 2012-13 ski season Both Village Tickets and the Judah-side Special Tickets will be open for any pass or ticketing needs. Adult lift tickets are $67, or guests can join the CORE plan and save an additional $15 on lift tickets every day of the season.


Note that the Judah Lodge will be closed. Sugar Bowl is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. today and Sunday. The weekend wet weather is not all good. It’s raining at lower elevations, but ski resorts did receive fresh snow last night and should get more today. Sugar Bowl is projecting 18 inches of snow by Monday. The Weather Channel is reporting 100 percent chance of rain or snow today and that dips to 80 percent on Sunday. Temperatures should be in the 40s during the day and are expected to remain in the low 20s through at least Wednesday. Sugar Bowl becomes the sixth Lake Tahoe resort to open this season. On Friday, Squaw Valley and Kirkwood were the latest Tahoe-area resort to open. Both Heavenly and Northstar opened Wednesday and Boreal began running its lifts last weekend. Here are the projected openings for Lake Tahoe ski resorts: Boreal: Open Heavenly: Open Northstar: Open Kirkwood: Open Squaw Valley: Open Sugar Bowl: Open Mt. Rose: November 21 Homewood: November 23 Diamond Peak: December 13 Alpine: December 7 Donner Ski Ranch: TBA Sierra-at-Tahoe: TBA Soda Springs: TBA Dodge Ridge: TBA Bear Valley: TBA


November 16, 2012

After last year's abysmal season in Tahoe, we're holding out for a more bountiful season this year. While we definitely won't see the best powder days until well after Christmas, several of the bigger resorts are already open for business right this second and will gladly take your hard earned money in exchange for a couple runs on the bunny lifts. For the adventurers, however, there are already some good backcountry spots to be found. A couple October storms made the early season look pretty promising a couple weeks ago, and dumped enough snow to allow Squaw, Northstar and Heavenly to open earlier this week. Unfortunately, there's still not a ton of ground cover and none of the big mountains have


November 16, 2012

anything deeper than a 20 - 25 inch base at this point. Which means you'll be shelling out $60$70 at the ticket window for three or four open trails of packed man-made snow. At Squaw, on the northwest side, it looks like this rain we're getting in the city isn't translating into snow on the mountain. With temperatures hitting the low forties this week, conditions look could be pretty thin and sloppy by Thanksgiving weekend. South of the lake, where the storms tend to linger, Kirkwood is also open and got some new snow today. With only the mid-mountain lift #5 open though, you'll probably only get a couple blue runs in before starting the aprĂŠs-ski drinking at 2:30 p.m. That said, if you're backcountry-inclined, we hear there are backcountry lines to be had at Kirkwood, Alpine Meadows and Sugar Bowl if you're willing to hike for them. Some of those lines at Sugar Bowl will get even more accessible when they open three chairs and 15 runs this weekend. So, if you desperately need to break out the skis and snowboards in mid-November, Sugar Bowl looks like your current best bet. As for the rest of the season: well, the jury's still out on whether this is going to be one of those weak El NiĂąo years which tends to mean less snow for the Sierra, but this early in the season any precipitation is good precipitation.


As sunlight gleams over the powder dusting the Sierra Nevadas, the view from historic Truckee is breathtaking. Transformed from a rustic hamlet into a bonafide ski destination, Truckee is no longer just a quick stop for fuel or a slice of historic Tahoe. The town is thriving thanks to new gourmet eats, charming boutiques, and outdoor stops. But that’s not to say that the new developments have completely done away with Truckee’s small town feel. Bucolic accents such as rail yard–inspired lamp posts, wider paved sidewalks, newly planted mature trees, planter boxes, and benches have appeared downtown, creating welcoming gathering spots to chat outside the newest restaurants and shops. Truckee.com. Notable Noshes

Swing into Moody’s Bistro, Bar, and Beats (10007 Bridge St.) to check out the facelift. New chef David Lutz’s revamped menu includes thin crust Neapolitan pizzas, juicy burgers, and an extensive wine list. Oenophiles can also cozy up in the fab new wine bar and shop, Uncorked (10118 Donner Pass Rd.), for swigs of wine from around the world. Before heading off for a day on the mountain, pick up a quick bite made with fresh ingredients at Burger Me (10418 Donner Pass Rd.) or start your morning with steaming coffee from the modern Trokay Café (10115 Donner Pass Rd.). As the icing on the cake, or the mountain, Cake Tahoe (9932 Donner Pass Rd.) has a new walk-in location offering sweet indulgences like cupcakes, and carries vegan and gluten-free options.


Chic Shopping

Brands like Columbia and Northface come to mind for mountainwear, but new clothing boutique Nox (10115 Donner Pass Rd., Ste. B) offers fashionable choices from brands such as Free People and DL1961. Take a piece of Tahoe home from Bluestone Jewelry’s (495 N. Lake Blvd., Ste. 170) selection of precious stones, which mirror the lake’s clear blue waters. Or choose from industrial pieces with rough gems and minerals at Lorien Powers Studio Jewelry (10007 Bridge St., Ste. C). Shop for yourself and find the perfect gift at Bespoke (10130 Donner Pass Rd.), “a new shop with an old soul.” Go Play

Outside is the place to be in Truckee, especially with the newest addition to Camp Woodward training facilities. The 33,000-square foot Woodward Tahoe facility, which now calls the base of Boreal Mountain Resort home, offers skate, BMX, cheer, dryland skiing, snowboarding, and digital media training. 19659 Boreal Ridge Rd. Truckee isn’t the only place making changes in Tahoe this winter. Check out what’s new at your favorite Tahoe resorts.

NORTHSTAR Northstar celebrates its 40th birthday on December 22 with a bash hosted by Shaun White. The bash will include a snowboard clinic at the Burton Snowboard Academy and an evening celebration at Big Springs Day Lodge at mid-mountain. For kiddies learning to snowboard, the new Burton Riglet Park will open this winter, complete with high-quality Burton equipment. Advanced skiers and riders will have the opportunity to hop on a snow cat (three new cats will be added to Northstar’s fleet) for a guided backcountry tour on Sawtooth Ridge through the Adventure Guiding and Learning Center. For those seeking a challenge, EpicMix Racing will provide skiers with the chance to beat Olympic Gold Medalist, Lindsey Vonn’s time at all seven Vail Resorts, including Northstar and Heavenly. More information can be found on the EpicMix website. 100 Northstar Dr., Truckee, northstarattahoe.com.

HEAVENLY Heavenly’s very own Sho Kashima, a member of the U.S. Ski Team, will be showcased among other accomplished freestyle skiers at the U.S. Freestyle Championships in March, as they prep for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. “Having the U.S. championships at my home mountain is one of the coolest things I can imagine,” said Kashima. “I can’t wait to show the nation the world’s best mogul run!”


Guys can now hunker down in the ultimate man cave, Gunbarrel Grill, nestled inside Lakeview Lodge. Refuel with burgers and beer, while gazing at the flat-screen TV’s that dot the walls. 3860 Saddle Rd., S. Lake Tahoe, skiheavenly.com.

SUGAR BOWL America’s largest cross-country operation, Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, will be controlled by Sugar Bowl Resort this winter. Already connected by a trail, the two resorts unite for alpine adventure. Sugar Bowl plans to invest in upgrades and renovations to Summit Station in Royal Gorge. The popular ski destination is known for easy access, consistent snow conditions, and an expansive trail system, and Sugar Bowl looks forward to maintaining Royal Gorge’s reputation. 629 Sugar Bowl Rd., Norden, sugarbowl.com.

SQUAW VALLEY Hop on Big Blue Express, the new six-passenger chairlift at Squaw. Updates also include new dining and shopping options in the village like the modernized Olympic Plaza Bar, ski demo offerings from Parallel Sports, and Ledge Board Shop filled with the latest snowboards and street wear. 1960 Squaw Valley Rd., Squaw Valley, squaw.com.

Posted at 02:12 PM - Nov 16, 2012 in Diablo Getaways | Permalink


Royal Gorge, the country's largest cross-country ski resort, was in dire condition this past winter. The resort, atop Donner Summit, was closed on many days, many trails were not opened and there was little trail grooming. The resort owners defaulted on a loan, and the lender took over the property this past summer. Last month, three conservation groups agreed in principle to buy the sprawling resort for $11 million and signed an operating agreement with the adjoining Sugar Bowl ski resort under which Sugar Bowl will lease and operate Royal Gorge. The three organizations are the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. All parties expect the purchase to be finalized Dec. 20. Anne Chadwick of the Land Trust was quoted in the Sierra Sun as saying that $8 million of the purchase price has been raised. "Royal Gorge has incredible potential, and we're excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory," Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz said. Sugar Bowl plans to immediately invest $500,000 in Royal Gorge to upgrade and improve the resort for this season. The resort includes the Summit Station main lodge and eight warming huts that dot the expansive trail system. "It is clear to us that grooming is critical to our success," said John Monson, director of sales and marketing at Sugar Bowl. "We will have the 6,000 acres of trails at Royal Gorge open seven days a week and will groom the 200 kilometers of trails." There is a connecting trail between Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge. Monson said three new trails will be added to make it easier for Sugar Bowl guests to access the connecting trail.


Royal Gorge, the country's largest cross-country ski resort, was in dire condition this past winter. The resort, atop Donner Summit, was closed on many days, many trails were not opened and there was little trail grooming. The resort owners defaulted on a loan, and the lender took over the property this past summer. Last month, three conservation groups agreed in principle to buy the sprawling resort for $11 million and signed an operating agreement with the adjoining Sugar Bowl ski resort under which Sugar Bowl will lease and operate Royal Gorge. The three organizations are the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. All parties expect the purchase to be finalized Dec. 20. Anne Chadwick of the Land Trust was quoted in the Sierra Sun as saying that $8 million of the purchase price has been raised. "Royal Gorge has incredible potential, and we're excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory," Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz said. Sugar Bowl plans to immediately invest $500,000 in Royal Gorge to upgrade and improve the resort for this season. The resort includes the Summit Station main lodge and eight warming huts that dot the expansive trail system. "It is clear to us that grooming is critical to our success," said John Monson, director of sales and marketing at Sugar Bowl. "We will have the 6,000 acres of trails at Royal Gorge open seven days a week and will groom the 200 kilometers of trails." There is a connecting trail between Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge. Monson said three new trails will be added to make it easier for Sugar Bowl guests to access the connecting trail.


DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. Nov. 10, 2012 - A recent winter storm that surprised mountain operators with significantly more snow than originally forecasted has allowed mountain crews to ready the mountain for opening weekend. Sugar Bowl announced today that they will open the 2012/13 ski season with weekend operations on November 17th and 18th, offering 1,500 vertical feet of top-to-bottom skiing & riding off the Disney, Nob Hill, Christmas Tree and Lincoln Express Chairlifts. Access to the mountain will be via the Village Gondola, operating 6:00am to 6:00pm, with Village-side operations only. Village food & beverage will be operational, and Village Tickets will be open to accommodate ticketing and pass needs. Special Tickets will also be open on the Mt. Judah side to assist with any season pass purchase and/or fulfillment needs. Lift Tickets will be $80/day. Current operating plans call for a midweek resort closure Monday, November 19th through Wednesday, November 21st, reopening for the Than ksgiving holiday weekend November 22nd – 25th, but stay tuned to the all new www.sugarbowl.com for operational updates (including opening plans for Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, also available on www.royalgorge.com), as snow and weather may mandate updates as needed. For more information on Sugar Bowl Resort please visit www.sugarbowl.com or call (530) 426-9000. Sugar Bowl Resort, California owned & operated since 1939, was recently voted a Top 25 resort in North America by Outside Magazine.


An unexpected accumulation of snow this week has prompted Sugar Bowl ski resort in Lake Tahoe to announce it will open for the 2012-13 season on Saturday, Nov. 17. The storm dropped more than 18 inches on Sugar Bowl and the dramatic drop in temperatures this weekend ensured that the snow will remain and more can be added through snow-making methods. Located off Highway 80 at the Norden exit on Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl will open with weekend operations on Nov. 17-18, offering 1,500 vertical feet of top-to-bottom skiing and snowboarding off the Disney, Nob Hill, Christmas Tree and Lincoln Express chairlifts. View slideshow: Sugar Bowl ski resort announces Nov. 17 opening


Access to the mountain will be via the Village Gondola, which will operate from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. with village-side operations only. Village tickets will be open to accommodate ticketing and pass needs. Special tickets will also be open on the Mt. Judah side to assist with any season pass purchase and/or fulfillment needs. Lift tickets will be $80. Current operating plans call for a midweek resort closure Monday through Wednesday (Nov. 1921), and a reopening for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend Nov. 22-25. Sugar Bowl suggests visiting its new website – www.sugarbowl.com – for operational updates, including opening plans for Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, also available on www.royalgorge.com as snow and weather may mandate updates as needed. Boreal is currently the only Lake Tahoe ski resort open right now. It will operate daily from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and is hoping to maintain those hours on a regular basis. Here are the projected openings for Lake Tahoe ski resorts: Boreal: Open Heavenly: November 16 Northstar: November 16 Sugar Bowl: November 17 Kirkwood: November 21 Squaw: November 21 Mt. Rose: November 21 Alpine: December 7 Diamond Peak: December 13 Homewood: December 14 Donner Ski Ranch: TBA Sierra-at-Tahoe: TBA Soda Springs: TBA


This winter at Lake Tahoe ski resorts marks the latest progression in merger mania. The Vail Corp. now owns Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood, while KSL Capital Partners is investing in acquisitions Squaw and Alpine Meadows. Even independent Sugar Bowl is getting into the act with a recently inked agreement to operate the Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort. While some decry the corporatization of Tahoe skiing - as powder runs merely become another "product" in a portfolio and free-spirited skiers are reduced to blips in profit centers - others are glad that the influx of deep-pocketed corporations has brought overdue investment in on-mountain facilities and the overall ski experience, from lifts to snowmaking and grooming, dining and ski schools. But the improvements come at a price, with companies pressuring consumers to pay more in advance for season passes and tickets to avoid ludicrous on-mountain pricing (expect to pay more than $100 for daily tickets at big-resort lift kiosks). The remaining independent mountain resorts (including Homewood, Sugar Bowl, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Mt. Rose) are working to upgrade their ski experiences as well. Meanwhile, everyone continues to do his or her best snow dance, in the hope that the early-season snowfall will continue, to better enjoy the best of what's new at Lake Tahoe, outlined below. With Boreal already open, Northstar and Heavenly promoting a Nov. 16 opening day, and Squaw shooting for Nov. 21, it could be a good long season. Alpine Meadows: Alpine has increased its snowmaking capabilities and expanded its medium- and large-terrain parks - from Terry's Return to Dancefloor - to create a mile-long park (the longest in Tahoe) with more than 60 jib features. A beginner's progression park on Subway will be added with lessons available. www.skialpine.com Heavenly Mountain: Three intermediate runs introduced last year by the Galaxy "trail pod" will gain fans, and kids will like the new adventure zone. Heavenly's Peak Performance Academy offers new clinics, helping boarders manage the reintroduction of Heavenly's 18-foot half-pipe. Heavenly will also expand its après party scene at Unbuckle at Tamarack, complete with go-go dancers. www.skiheavenly.com Homewood Mountain: The great lake views and underrated runs at this west shore resort can be accessed for prices as low as $44 per day (and $44 beginner packages in January include rentals and a lesson). The new "Ski it to believe it" lesson program guarantees that every skier will be able to do the Homeward Bound run at the end of three days - or they'll continue to teach you for free until you can. www.skihomewood.com Kirkwood: The Expedition Kirkwood program will offer new courses in the classroom and on the mountain, including avalanche certification, beacon training and backcountry awareness. Then use the training in the powder cat tours and ski and board clinics accessing Kirkwood's advanced in-bounds and out-of-bounds terrain. www.kirkwood.com


Mt. Rose: Since skiing is always a gamble anyway, Mt. Rose has partnered with at least 10 Reno casinos for stay-and-ski packages beginning at $79 per person for lift ticket and lodging. Shuttle service also available. www.skirose.com Northstar: Last season's new Promised Land ski area has been expanded to add more gladed tree skiing. For shredding tots up to 6 years, the new Burton Riglet Park will provide a learning area. Snowcats will be offering rides for the first time on Sawtooth Ridge, giving better access to side-country slopes. Guided backcountry tours will bring skiers and boarders to new terrain beyond the Sawtooth Ridge boundary. www.northstarattahoe.com Sierra-at-Tahoe: This year, Sierra Snowcat Tours will convey skiers to the top of Huckleberry Canyon to access Sierra's backcountry. At the new Yoda's Riglet Park, children ages 3-6 can practice their moves amid wood carvings of R2-D2, C-3P0 and friends. www.sierraattahoe.com Squaw Valley: This season, in addition to expanded snowmaking and grooming, Squaw will introduce Big Blue Express, a high-speed six-person chairlift to replace High Camp, running to the top of the Shirley Lake ridgeline - providing better access to the Shirley Lake, Solitude and Granite Chief chairs and additional intermediate terrain. A new Park Pulley telecord (a fancy tow-rope), will drag skiers and boarders to the Belmont terrain park, while Links will be replaced with a triple chair (Mountain Meadow), to the ridgeline above Solitude and Silverado, improving access to beginner terrain. New ski shops will be added to the village, and the Olympic Plaza Bar has been remodeled with table-service dining. www.squaw.com Sugar Bowl: Sugar Bowl has signed an agreement to operate and improve neighboring Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort (recently purchased out of bankruptcy by conservation groups). Sugar Bowl is also expanding its backcountry programs with guides and training from Alpine Skills Center, and is continuing with its budget "general admission days" with free lessons and rentals. www.sugarbowl.com If you go Here are some resources with more information on Tahoe-area resorts: Resorts: www.skilaketahoe.com is a good consolidated website of info on most resorts, while www.tahoe south.com is a good portal with links to all things South Lake Tahoe. Lift tickets and ski shows: Ski deal website www.snowbomb.com will be hosting its annual Ski and Board Festival at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds Nov. 17-18, a good place to grab resort info, cheap used gear and pre-season deals, in addition to some wine and beer tasting. Rentals: Tahoe Dave's four Tahoe-area rental locations offer season-long equipment leases for kids, which can be a great way to save time and money for the season. Packages begin at $89. www.tahoe daves.com


For Sugar Bowl Academy's Nordic ski racers, “home snow” this season means more than 200 kilometers of the most scenic and expansive cross-country skiing terrain known to America. An agreement announced last month will put Sugar Bowl Resort in charge of operating Royal Gorge — the nation's largest crosscountry ski area. Sugar Bowl is home to Sugar Bowl Academy, an independent, college-preparatory school for competitive alpine, Nordic and freeride skiers and the Sugar Bowl Ski Team, an organization serving more than 400 junior skiers from around the region. Understandably, the news, along with more than 24 inches of fresh snow in October and more on the way, has energized the Academy's Nordic ski racers on the Sugar Bowl Academy campus and inspired the Sugar Bowl Ski Team to offer a development Nordic program based at Sugar Bowl. The development program will challenge young adults ages 12 to 16 who have limited experience in Nordic skiing, but have an interest in improving in the sport. The program will be an introduction to competitive Nordic skiing. Head Sugar Bowl Academy Nordic coach Jeff Schloss, will manage the program and the development coach to be named. Schloss, a former University of Nevada coach, has quickly built the Sugar Bowl Academy team into a quality program. “This is a big win for the SBA Nordic program,” said Schloss. “The SBA Nordic team and SBST Development Team can ski in and out right from campus and have access to 200 kilometers of


trails without having to get into a vehicle.” “It's really exciting,” said SBA Nordic Team Co-Captain Katrin Larusson. “It's going to be a ton of trails right outside our back door, so we will have a lot more trails to ski on than we have in the past.” The agreement with Royal Gorge will open up terrain for Sugar Bowl Academy to host school races and, more importantly, provide the opportunity to host national and international-caliber races, bringing the best skiers in the country right here. Two races have been scheduled for Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge this year, according to Schloss. A high school skate race is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 11, with the course tentatively set to start and finish in front of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team's Village Hall and venturing out onto the Royal Gorge trails in Lake Van Norden. Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge will also host a U.S. Super Tour race on April 8 or 9. “This will be a hill climb race up to the top of Mount Disney, and will be the culmination of the U.S. Distance Nationals Week, which will be having races all over North Tahoe for the week,” said Schloss. “These races will attract all of the top skiers in the country, including the U.S. Ski Team. Local junior racers, including the SBA team, will also be invited to these races, and will get to see how they stack up against the best in the nation.” All of that has the SBA Nordic community abuzz this week. “It's going to be so cool to have our own ski area that we can call home,” said Larusson. For more information about Sugar Bowl Ski Team's Nordic development program, contact the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation at 530-269-7408 or e-mail jill@sbst.org.


Sugar Bowl is really all about skiing and nature. The historic resort scored pretty dismally in the realms of après and off-hill recreation offerings (there’s a spa, sleigh rides around Christmas, a few laid-back bars, and that’s it) but its powder conditions speak for themselves. Annual snowfall here is 500 inches, and the rate of powder days is 14 percent. Though only 1,500 skiable acres descend 1,500 vertical feet, Sugar Bowl makes the most of its space with its 102 trails and 13 lifts. Runs are geared most toward intermediate-level skiers but for jibbers, five terrain parks do the trick. Comparatively speaking, this is a reasonably priced place to ski with good value. Case in point: If you’re unsatisfied with the snow conditions, turn your lift ticket in within an hour of buying it


to get full admission for another day. And, amazingly, your first ski or board lesson here is free: The price of an all-day lift ticket includes a free two-hour group lesson at any level on most weekdays. To really treat yourself, though, book a private session with boarder-cross Olympian X-Games medalist Jayson Hale. Equipment rental won’t break the bank, either—a standard one-day gear package during peak season costs $46 (but if you only want the stuff for a half-day, it’s $38). Of the three gear shops on site, one is specifically for kids. The one hotel here, the Lodge at Sugar Bowl, is ski-in/ski-out, low-key (though it does employ ski valets), and family-oriented. Walt Disney was an early investor in Sugar Bowl, and if this building looks familiar, that’s because it was featured in the 1941 Goofy classic The Art of Skiing. Rental homes are scattered throughout this scenic area—but if you feel like staying in a fancier hotel, or dining or partying, for that matter, take the free shuttle to Truckee, 10 miles away, whose quaint downtown strip offers a variety of pleasantries. Sugar Bowl is deeply invested in its environmental responsibilities (this seems to be a theme with the California resorts) and does more than can be listed here to make sure they’re bothering as little as possible. A conservation committee meets monthly to emplace programs that have so far preserved nearby wetlands, limited motorized vehicles in sensitive areas, cut energy consumption 10 percent over the last five years, and made the snowmobile fleet far more efficient. Most notably, Sugar Bowl buys wind energy to offset 100 percent of its electricity use. Now that’s sweet. CONTACT: (530) 426-9000, sugarbowl.com SEASON: Late November to late April TICKETS: General: $77 (50% off for military personnel), children: $25, ages 70 and older: $65, age 4 and younger: free


Twenty-five new home sites are for sale at Summit Crossing at Sugar Bowl Resort in Donner Summit, California. Sugar Bowl Resort is the nearest major Tahoe resort to both the Bay Area and Sacramento. The new, quarter-acre home sites are located along the headwaters of the Yuban River and priced from $475,000 to $700,000. The sites are in the ski resort?s ski-in/ski-out area. There are also numerous cross-country ski trails throughout the property.


Since its opening in 1939, the acclaimed Bavarian-styled, Northern California ski resort has been one of the most unique ski lodgings worldwide. It is a snowbound village without direct, drive-in access. Residents are specially transported to and from their homes by snow cats, which are fully tracked, truck-size vehicles that move on snow, and snow lifts. It is the only snowbound village without roads in all of North America. Lodge guests can cross-country ski or downhill ski directly from their doorstep. Community members also have direct access to a full-service restaurant and bar via the innovative shuttling system.

Home buyers at the resort may opt to use the Sugar Bowl?s Construct Contract Administration. This plan allows the resort?s administration to handle all details on behalf of buyers from inception to completion the new house. Royal Gorge Coming to Sugar Bowl Resort The Sugar Bowl Resort will lease and operate the nearby Royal Gorge cross-country ski resort this year and beyond. Royal Gorge sets on 6,000 acres of land and has more than 124 miles of ski trails that run through the expansive High Sierra from Van Norden Meadows to Devil?s Peak.


TRUCKEE, Calif. — There is no, “Sugar Bowl, California,” but there should be. Located on top of Donner Pass outside of Truckee and a few hundred yards from Interstate 80, the ski area stands alone but isn't on the map. Those who do know the area can tell you about the home of Daron Rahlves, who can be scene skiing the Alaska-like spines just out of bounds on a good day, and the fact that the resort was started and originally operated by Walt Disney in 1938. But it's not as harmless as it sounds. Disney found steep terrain, tons of drops and chutes, and spectacular access to Donner Lake Memorial Park — why do I feel like I shouldn't be telling all of you this? — and the base area reminds of you of what skiing was 30 years ago. The lifts are a bit slow, the terrain is not as neatly groomed as Colorado, but it's where I've had my deepest days skiing in my life — and one of the best crashes of my life — so for that, I will always be a fan. Just this week, the same storm that painted our town white also dumped more than two feet of snow on top of Sugar Bowl. When I saw this week's post from Rahlves, where he pushes his pole down to the grip and then says, “It's going to be deep. You just have to know where to go,” I had instant flashbacks to those days showing up at Sugar Bowl, when you could barely drive into the parking lot there was so much snow, and getting to the lifts was an exercise in itself. One Christmas day a few years ago, I found myself having to work in the newsroom. I took the chance to come in late, and so to prepare for the day at my desk, I got to Sugar Bowl early and was on the first chair. In fact, I think I had beaten a few of the lifties to their stations, as they looked a little haggard and more than annoyed when they looked at me, sans an eggnog hangover, ready to go up. When I got to the top, the temperature was close to zero, but the silence and stillness were


plentiful. I had packed a small breakfast into my backpack, and when I got to the top of the Disney lift, I found a steep, glazed trail that ran close to 1,200 vertical feet. A 3-foot cornice at the top was fairly easy to manage, and once I snuck under it, I found a strange sight — a cave. I stuck my head in, and to my delight, found evidence of civilization. A small wooden bench had been installed, and for a moment, I thought I might just move in. Unfolding my backpack, I pulled out my burrito and small jug of coffee and had a picnic. Out the cave door, I could see the Sierra Nevada stretching far into the distance. It ended up being a perfect spot to celebrate Christmas alone. I figured, if I'm going to be without company, I might as well be on top of the world. Oh yeah, and one side note. If you're going and driving in from Reno airport, take Old Highway 40 all the way to Sugar Bowl from Truckee, and avoid the interstate. If it's open, it is one of the best drives out there, and you can stop at the small market on the way for a cup of coffee and a donut. rslabaugh@aspentimes.com


TAHOE/TRUCKEE — Excellence in Education hosted its annual event at the Olympic Village Lodge in Squaw Valley on October 11, 2012. The gathering is an annual celebration of Excellence in Education donors, Fellow and Star Award recipients, and Foundation accomplishments. This year was particularly sweet as the Foundation marked twenty-five years in the community, while also celebrating Tahoe-Truckee's recent designation as an All-America City. TahoeTruckee received the national All-America City award for a plan to improve grade level literacy in our community. Over 200 people attended the anniversary celebration representing over two and a half decades of Foundation support. The crowd included educators, parents, business leaders and even a few founding board members. Alder Creek Middle School and North Tahoe High School's jazz bands treated those in attendance to energetic performances. At the event Cindy Gustafson, Tahoe City PUD General Manager and original Excellence in Education board member, recalled the initial vision of creating a non-profit organization that would supplement school needs and raise funds through local business efforts. “It is phenomenal to see how much our business community has contributed to our local schools,” she said. “It has touched students and enriched their opportunities for over twenty-five years.” The original members of Excellence in Education created the organization as a partnership between business and the community. “Skiing for Schools” was the Foundation's first fundraiser and launched in the winter of 1991/92. Local ski areas donated lift tickets or a portion of their proceeds from a designated day to the Foundation. Since its inception Skiing for Schools has raised almost two million dollars for the Foundation. The “Dining for Schools” and “Golfing for Schools” programs were developed in 1993 and 1994 respectively and are still primary fundraising tools for the Foundation. Many of our local ski areas have been partners with Excellence in Education from the beginning.


Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl and Northstar were original Skiing for Schools participants and continue to support the program today. Sugar Bowl General Manager, Rob Kautz, recalls conversations designing the Skiing for Schools fundraiser and is pleased with the enduring strength of both the program and the Foundation. “Northstar is a proud sponsor of Excellence in Education,” stated Northstar's Marketing Director, Davy Ratchford at the celebration event. “The programs they support have allowed local teachers to continue to be innovative, and have provided incredible results for our youth. We recognize that our annual contributions directly impact students in our community, and we are honored to work hand-in-hand with such a dynamic, impactful organization.” Jan Ganong, also a founding board member and TTUSD Speech Language Pathologist commented that the Excellence in Education Foundation “has truly become an integral part of our school district. Teachers look forward each year to the grants, which fund their innovative projects for student learning. I'm proud that our original vision to involve local individuals and businesses in our schools continues stronger than ever.” It is through the dedication of our local business community and the individuals who repeatedly support our fundraising programs that the Foundation is able to make a positive impact in our schools. The funds raised from these programs go directly to supporting the classrooms and students of our school district. Excellence in Education has funded over $2.5 million in classroom enhancements and educator awards over its twenty-five year history. — Laura Abbey Brown is executive director of Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation.


DONNER SUMMIT, CALIF. Oct. 25, 2012 — JoJo Toeppner, a 31-year veteran of cross-country ski instruction and resort management, has been hired by Sugar Bowl Resort to oversee the operation of Royal Gorge, the largest cross-country ski resort in the U.S. Sugar Bowl Resort will operate Royal Gorge under an agreement with the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land. The two conservation groups have agreed to purchase the iconic Donner Summit property after the previous owners defaulted on their loan. Toeppner comes to Royal Gorge from Tahoe Donner Cross Country, where she worked for 20 years, as an instructor, assistant manager, and manager. Toeppner has 31 years of experience in the Tahoe cross-country ski world, having also spent 11 years at Tahoe Nordic in Tahoe City (now called Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area). Toeppner is an accomplished athlete, having won 10 championships as an outrigger canoe paddler and competed as a member of the U.S. World team for flatwater kayak sprints. After a life of competing on the water, Toeppner moved to Tahoe and embraced the joys and aerobic challenges of cross-country skiing. Toeppner said she will focus on impeccable cross-county ski trail grooming, excellent instruction and attentive customer service at Royal Gorge. "I am assembling a team that will bring Royal Gorge back to what it once was — one of North America's most iconic cross-country ski areas," said Toeppner "We will work hard to deliver a cross-country ski experience that everyone can enjoy." Toeppner will have two additional Bison grooming machines at her disposal this season, as Sugar Bowl Resort has invested more than $500,000 into upgrades at the cross-country ski resort his season, including changes to the resort's lodge, Summit Station.


Toeppner, who learned to cross-country ski at Royal Gorge, said the resort's potential lies in its natural features — its high elevation, expansive terrain, and easy access off of Interstate 80. She is currently assembling a team of Royal Gorge instructors, groomers and customer service personnel who will operate the resort under the leadership of Sugar Bowl Resort. After all of the hiring and administrative work is put in place, don't expect to see Toeppner sitting behind a computer in the manager's office all winter. As a former ski instructor and toplevel athlete, Toeppner describes herself as a "hands-on manager." "I won't ask anyone to do something I wouldn't do myself," said Toeppner. With over 200 kilometers of trails and approximately 6,000 acres of terrain, Royal Gorge is the largest cross-country ski resort in the nation. Royal Gorge cross-country skiing varies from the beginner-friendly, open expanse of Van Norden Meadows to the challenging trails at the foot of majestic Devil's Peak. The Summit Station lodge is the center of the cross-country resort and warming huts dot the expansive trail system. Cross-country skiers can purchase an unrestricted Royal Gorge season pass for $299 ($249 for young adults and seniors). Sugar Bowl passholders can add a Royal Gorge season pass for $149 ($99 for young adults and seniors). For more information visit royalgorge.com or sugarbowl.com.


Tahoe-Area Ski Resorts Take Advantage Of Early Snow Oct 25, 2012

Can’t wait to get your skis or snowboard out of the garage? A pair of Tahoe-area resorts have made it possible for you to find some early-season turns, as early as today. Squaw Valley will run its Searchlight lift today only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lift tickets are $20 and all proceeds will go to the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Team Foundation. Season passholders are being asked to make a $10 donation to the nonprofit, and Squaw will match it. Boreal Mountain Resort, which is historically the first in the area to spin its lifts, opens Friday for the weekend, offering skiing and riding off the Castle Peak Quad chairlift. Boreal will have $15 tickets on Friday and $35 tickets Saturday and Sunday. Lifts will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Other area resorts that have announced openings include Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California on Nov. 16, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Squaw Valley and Kirkwood Mountain Resort on Nov. 21, Sugar Bowl on Nov. 24 and Alpine Meadows on Dec. 10.


The season's first major snowfall in the high Sierra can spark a thin line between wishful thinkers and those who are prisoners of hope. Skiers and boarders who can't wait for winter - can cross that line Friday at Boreal. Boreal Mountain Resort, nestled in the Sierra Nevada adjacent to Interstate 80 west of Donner Summit, announced it would open 9 a.m. Friday for the weekend, one of the earliest openers in years. Lift tickets on Friday will be $15. For the weekend, the price will be $35. The resort will also offer night skiing until 9 p.m. Boreal received 30 inches of snow early this week, reported Jon Slaughter at Boreal, then another 6 inches early Wednesday morning. With temperatures dropping into the 20s at night, he said the resort has cranked up its snowmaking operations, too. It's enough snow for Boreal to get a lift running and allow skiers and boarders to sail down the primary hill. This harkens back to the good ol' days in the 1980s and '90s when Boreal was always the first of the Tahoe-region resorts to open - typically with a run or two and traditionally around Halloween. The forecast is for partly sunny and cold weather early Friday, with a low of 23 and a high of 54. By Sunday, the forecast is a low of 35 and a high of 63. To get a picture of conditions across the Tahoe region, Mount Rose, located on the Nevada side, also reported more than 20 inches of snow. The long-term forecast in fall and early winter - and the dates when ski resorts open - is always like a shell game. The next storm for the region, forecast for Halloween is expected to be a mix of rain and snow, which means accumulation is anybody's guess. That is followed by Tahoe's typical dry pattern for early November, with 30-degree temperature swings from night to day, and a lot of snowmaking operations at night.


Some resorts have set opening dates. Northstar, located off Highway 267 at north Tahoe, and Heavenly, on the slopes near casino row at South Lake Tahoe, project they will open Nov. 16. That is based on snowmaking ability, not storm tracks. On its website, Northstar has a timer-clock on its home page that is counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to its opening day. In the eastern Sierra, Mammoth Mountain is projected to open Nov. 8. I visited here earlier this month and took a ride to the top of the Mammoth Summit at an elevation of 11,053 feet. With a light to moderate El Ni単o projected across the Pacific, operators expect 400 to 450 inches of cumulative snowfall at Mammoth. Operators of several other ski areas hope to open Thanksgiving weekend, including Sugar Bowl near I-80, Squaw Valley along Highway 89 in north Tahoe, and Kirkwood off Highway 88 near Carson Pass. The early openers are always fraught with issues. "Open" can mean just one run is available, such as at times during last year's early-winter drought. Dry patches and exposed rocks can sometimes be an issue in the early season, where some skiers and boarders will use back-up equipment rather than risk nicks to their pristine gear. Because of last year's long-delayed, truncated season, any open run to sail down is something of a phenomenon, and many are eager for salvation this time around. Some skiers and boarders who had season passes last winter never redeemed them. This winter represents a fresh start - and it can seem like your pass, having been paid for a year ago, is free. It's also a fresh start for many ski areas as well, with major changes in store that could transform experiences on the slopes. At Tahoe, competition between Vail Resorts and KSL Corp. means a new package-style multiresort passes will be available. Vail will offer a pass that provides access to Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar. KSL will do the same for Squaw and Alpine Meadows, which adjoin each other (with one small gap) in north Tahoe. In addition, Sugar Bowl, tucked near Donner Summit just south of I-80, is working out the paperwork to take over nearby Royal Gorge cross-country and link the two with trails. The annual delay in the announcement of single-day lift ticket prices, where each corporation waits for the other to make a move, likely means the competition will be over access packages, not single-day prices. Rather than focus on single-day lift ticket prices, resort operators are selling a large variety of season passes, about every type of package deal you might imagine. They hope to lure in vacationers from not only the Bay Area and Sacramento, but from across the nation, and then keep them under their control for multi-day visits.


10/25/2012

The first blizzard of the season hammered Donner Summit and I-80 on Monday morning. Snow, wind, low visibility greeted anybody trying to drive over the summit. The landscape at the adjacent ski areas, Boreal and Sugar Bowl, were like snow scoops. All eastbound drivers were being screened at Applegate to have chains in possession in order to proceed. At Meyers near South Lake Tahoe, a wintry mix was falling with light snow totals. For Monday’s story, “Signs of fall transform great outdoors,” and more on the storm, click on this link: sfgate.com/outdoors/article/Signs-of-fall-transform-great-outdoors-3969706.php.


Sugar Bowl, the oldest lift-served ski resort in California and a traditional weekend getaway destination for San Francisco's upper crust, has just added a new wrinkle for the coming snow season. The Donner Pass-area winter playground, which first opened for business in 1939, recently agreed to operate neighboring Royal Gorge, the nation's largest cross-country ski resort with about 6,000 skiable acres and 200 kilometers of marked trails. Sugar Bowl plans to put about $500,000 into the Nordic ski center this season; the investment means two new grooming machines, renovations to the Summit Station lodge, new trail signage and an updated Web site. Cross-country skiing newbies can also expect two beginner-friendly trails installed between the two resorts, which are separated by Van Norden Meadows. "Royal Gorge has incredible potential," Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz said. "We're excited about the opportunity to return ... (the) resort to ... its former glory. (Royal Gorge) is a perfect complement to ... Sugar Bowl." There's no word yet on when the refurbished Royal Gorge will make its 2012-13 season debut, but with the incredible early-season snowfall this week, it can't be too far off.


Lake Tahoe, a premiere destination for skiers and snowboarders, is getting a lift in spirit to all Tahoe areas just in time for the 2012/13 season, so get pumped up! After suffering from a dismal season last year, Tahoe is bringing in snow to Heavenly, Kirkwood, Mammoth, Bear Valley, Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows, Boreal, Diamond Peak, Donner Ski Ranch, Homewood, Mt Rose Ski Tahoe, Northstar, and Sierra at Tahoe! Taking a cue from three to six inches of snow Mother Nature provided on Monday, Heavenly Mountain Resort will fire up the largest snowmaking system on the West Coast tonight and begin making snow at the top of Gondola, on California Trail and Orion’s Run. Combining natural snowfall, snowmaking horsepower and Lake Tahoe’s highest elevation, guests are assured the best, most consistent and reliable snow surfaces when Heavenly opens for skiing and snowboarding on Friday, November 16, 2012. With a winter storm warning in effect until Tuesday morning, the forecast for the remainder of the week calls for snow until Thursday, with up to 32 total inches expected in the higher elevations. Historically, almost every year Heavenly has experienced significant snowfall in October, the following winter was above average. The average October snowfall total is 3.06 inches, with October 2004 experiencing the most recent largest snowfall for the month (24″). The 2004-05 winter recorded the fifth biggest snowfall season on record. With outlets like Accuweather calling for a return t0 normal snowfall for winter 2012-13, Lake Tahoe’s high annual snowfall average should position Heavenly for a big winter.


If Mother Nature doesn’t come through as anticipated, under optimum conditions, Heavenly can cover 73 percent of its 97 trails in machine-made snow, by far the most in the Lake Tahoe basin. In more visual terms, Heavenly can produce three-and-a-half feet of snow over one acre in an hour. That’s enough snow to blanket a football field with eight-and-a-half feet during an average three-hour game. The Pow Package This season, Heavenly will be offering a limited-time only, exclusive lodging deal whenever the resort receives six or more inches of new snowfall overnight. Beginning at midnight tonight, Heavenly will offer its first Pow Package, which includes 50 percent off two nights lodging and one free day of skiing. Prices start as low as $111 per person. This deal is only available until midnight on Sunday, October 28. Valid: November 18-December 20, 2012; Sunday-Thursday nights.


For skiers and snowboarders planning ahead, Heavenly Tahoe Vacations, Heavenly’s reservations office, offers guests an ‘Early Booking Snow Guarantee,’ which provides a refund or change of dates if less than 50 percent of the 97 runs are open seven days prior to arrival and no less than 48 hours prior to arrival. This offer is valid December 15-March 31. Call 1-800HEAVENLY for details or visit www.skiheavenly.com. Season Pass The Tahoe Local Pass remains unmatched in value, price and experience with access to over 263 trails, 14 terrain parks and 10,270 acres of some of the best terrain in the world at Heavenly, Northstar California Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort in California and Nevada. Ski or ride more than four days in one season and, priced at $459, the Tahoe Local Pass pays for itself, then ski or ride for FREE the rest of the season. Vail Resorts’ entire season pass lineup offers something for every type of skier and snowboarder, including four different season pass options in Lake Tahoe ranging in price from $419 to $699. For more information, visit www.epicpass.com.


NORTH LAKE TAHOE — Daylight hours are decreasing and the weather is starting to change. Days are still warm, with temperatures averaging in the 60s, but nights are dropping to approximately 35 degrees. Last week the region's upper elevations had a dusting of snow. “We've been reviewing all the long-range forecasts,” said Chief Marketing Officer Andy Chapman of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association. “And if Mother Nature keeps up her end, we should have above-average snowfall this winter.” That's music to the ears of North Lake Tahoe ski resorts, many of which have been pumping millions of dollars into their ski and non-ski products to enhance the winter enthusiast's experience. This season marks year two of Squaw Valley's $50 million renaissance. The improvements, unveiled for winter 2012-13, will greatly enhance the first-time and beginner experience, the terrain park and improve the overall flow of the upper mountain. The resort will install Big Blue Express, a new, high-speed six-pack chairlift, to replace the High Camp chairlift. The base terminal of Big Blue Express will start where the base of the High Camp lift was formerly located and will extend to the top of the ridge, providing easy access to the Shirley Lake, Solitude and Granite Chief chairlifts. The Links double chairlift will be removed and replaced with a triple chairlift call Mountain Meadow, which will be realigned to bring skiers and riders up to the ridgeline near the top of the terminals of the Solitude and Silverado lifts. Building on the $30 million recently invested at Northstar California, the resort celebrates this winter and its 40th anniversary with more glade skiing on The Backside, first-ever snow cat and backcountry tours on Sawtooth Ridge, a new Burton Riglet Park that introduces snowboarding to 3-6 year olds and EpicMix Racing that has participants comparing their race times against accomplished Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn. Also new this season is Tavern 6330' in the Village at Northstar with restaurant seating for as many as 200. On Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort signed an agreement Oct. 1 to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America's largest cross country operation, which is being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust of Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The resorts are already connected by an “interconnect” trail that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the two, with plans in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. Sugar


Bowl, which plans to invest $500,000 in Royal Gorge this season, is now offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill at Sugar Bowl and cross country ski at Royal Gorge. Sugar Bowl pass holders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299. Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, just outside of Incline Village on Highway 431, has continued to work on a multiyear forest management project in cooperation with the Nevada Division of Forestry. The project stretches from the Galena trail to the Mt. Rose Highway and involves concentrated efforts for selected thinning and the removal of dead, damaged and diseased trees with the goal of a healthier forest. Other resort projects include the realignment of the Little Mule conveyor lift and improvements to the Rosebuds teaching terrain. Decorative rock walls were added around the Main Lodge with the added perk of aiding in erosion control. Woodward Tahoe, a world-class action sports training center and youth camp which originally opened in June, will be open seven days a week for public access and daily drop-in sessions through the winter until April 14, 2013. The 33,000-square foot indoor facility at the base of Boreal Mountain Resort on Donner Summit, offers multi-level Olympic trampolines, a Super Tramp, a concrete skate park for skateboarding and BMX biking, a pump track and skatelite ramps to foam pits for aerial ski, snowboard, BMX and skateboard training. A season pass, called the “Bunker Pass,� is available for $279 and includes eight months of access, seven days a week for two-hour sessions. For more information about North Lake Tahoe, ski resorts, events, activities and other winter offerings, click to www.GoTahoeNorth.com.


He's been to four Winter Olympics and is known as “the most decorated American downhiller” in our ski team's history. In 2003, he became the first American since 1959 to win Austria's Hahnenkamm downhill — sort of like the World Series in racer-speak. But even six years post-retirement, Truckee's Daron Rahlves still has plenty of game. After a return stint on the U.S. SkierX Team and winning X-Games gold, he started his own fastpaced skier-cross tour. The Rahlves Banzai has grown to four events throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin and to date, the multi-talented skier has appeared in 12 adventure ski films. Not bad for a guy still in his 30s. His celluloid résumé includes stints with Matchstick Productions, Warren Miller and crowd-favorite Teton Gravity Research. Rahlves has been busy helping promote his latest flick, “The Dream Factory” by TGR, but we had a chance to sit down and find out how rough it is to be an action ski star. (Note: the movie has already played at both North and South Shore, but you can catch it in Sacramento or Reno. See www.tetongravity.com for dates.)

Q&A with Daron Rahlves By Dana Turvey Lake Tahoe Action He's been to four Winter Olympics and is known as “the most decorated American downhiller” in our ski team's history. In 2003, he became the first American since 1959 to win Austria's Hahnenkamm downhill — sort of like the World Series in racer-speak.


But even six years post-retirement, Truckee's Daron Rahlves still has plenty of game. After a return stint on the U.S. Skier-X Team and winning X-Games gold, he started his own fast-paced skier-cross tour. The Rahlves Banzai has grown to four events throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin and to date, the multi-talented skier has appeared in 12 adventure ski films. Not bad for a guy still in his 30s. His celluloid résumé includes stints with Matchstick Productions, Warren Miller and crowd-favorite Teton Gravity Research. Rahlves has been busy helping promote his latest flick, “The Dream Factory” by TGR, but we had a chance to sit down and find out how rough it is to be an action ski star. (Note: the movie has already played at both North and South Shore, but you can catch it in Sacramento or Reno. See www.tetongravity.com for dates.) Q: Do you have a favorite clip of you skiing? Rahlves: Yes, this self-edit from Matchstick Production's “In Deep” from 2009. It was my best trip in Alaska with snow and finding epic terrain to push me in many ways. I liked the variety and it was pretty much me and Henrik Windstedt skiing, so we were able to ski a lot. (In the clip, Daron says, “Sometimes at the top of these lines, I ask myself why am I here doing this? It scares the hell outta me. But the feeling I get at the bottom is a huge reward and it's irreplaceable.” If you check out the clip, note that some of those lines he skis so magically are pretty freaking vertical. You can view it on his website at http://daronrahlves.hookit .com.) Q: What goes on behind the scenes of action filming? I know there can be a lot of hurry up and wait. Does that change with helicopters at your command? Rahlves: Ha, ha … yes. Filming is always a slow process. Rarely do you get to ski much. So many factors need to line up to capture great moments on film, which is what the goal is every time the camera is out. The logistics, especially in Alaska, are very important, so you don't waste time or money flying around in a heli. A plan is always agreed upon between the production crew, athletes, guide and heli pilot. Once you find terrain with great snow conditions, you then need the right light, dial in the sequence of shots with other athletes, doors off for the camera crew, plan out the fuel levels and route the heli flies to capture the best camera angles. They take one or more practice fly-by passes and then once they are set they call out “10 secs we are going live!” Then as an athlete, you need to be mentally and physically ready to ski it and wait until the camera crew gives you the “go, go, go!” Q: One of the showcase events of Warren Miller films is always the spills section. Other than your famous crash on (World Cup racing's) Birds of Prey course, have you had any big falls while filming? Rahlves: I take big spills every year — part of my style. Biggest crash filming was my first run with TGR in Petersburg, Alaksa on the Devil's Thumb. That's in “Light the Wick” 2010.


Last year I had a few, too, that are in “The Dream Factory,� but not as scary. Q: Is there somewhere that you haven't yet filmed, that you'd love to go to? Rahlves: Many areas in Tahoe. My interest is not all over the planet, but more of what's out my back door. Q: What's going on with the Banzai Tour this year, and isn't it sort of perfect for a winter action movie? Rahlves: We will be running the same venues as 2012 at each stop: Kirkwood, Alpine Meadows, Squaw and Sugar Bowl. I'm working on landing a title sponsor and other levels are still open. Red Bull is back and sponsors from last year are interested. It's been a long process and will continue. October is the final budget meetings for a lot of companies, so I'm waiting for them to get back to me. I'm also working on TV options. This event shows well on TV and captures the attention of anyone exposed to it. It's great action that many can relate to on runs open to the public year round until it's closed off for the event. The fact that it's four at a time and the first one across the line wins is easy to follow. To me it shows who the best skier on the mountain is over terrain and natural conditions with speed. In a segment of the ski industry that attracts adrenaline junkies, edgy soundtracks and a constant quest for big freshies, Rahlves has managed a great balance of career, family life and a blazing desire to get out and charge. It comes across over and over in interviews, film clips and the occasional meet and greet, where you'll still find Daron Rahlves happy to shake hands, sign posters and share the mega-rush we all call skiing.


TRUCKEE — The Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers and Sugar Bowl Resort have signed an agreement to return a sled dog race to the Truckee / North Lake Tahoe region after a 16year hiatus. Sugar Bowl Resort will host the Jack London Commemorative Sierra Sled Dog Derby on the 3,000-acre property of the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort on March 2-3, 2013. The race will be conducted by the Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers, a nonprofit California corporation, under rules and the animal welfare policy of the International Sled Dog Racing Association. Sled dog teams in classes of from three to eight dogs will depart the starting line in Soda Springs and run to the Village at Sugar Bowl Resort and return. “As part of our overall efforts to return Royal Gorge Cross Country to its once and former glory, adding special events to the calendar is important. And with history in mind, this particular event fits the brand perfectly. It should be a lot of fun to watch,” said Sugar Bowl Director of Marketing John Monson. The Sled Dog Derby highlights the area's heritage and races that were centerpieces of Winter Carnivals in the early 1900s. The first sled dog race in the “lower 48” was held in Truckee in 1915 and was attended by Jack London. Sled dogs contributed to early regional development being relied upon for transportation, work chores, law enforcement and search and rescue. Annual races were a popular winter sports event until World War II and the advent of modern transportation led to their discontinuation. Completion of Interstate 80 brought growth to the area. In the 1960s local mushers, led by Truckee resident Bob Levorsen, formed the Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers and held races at Hobart Mills. The Truckee Lions Club initiated races at the Truckee Tahoe Airport in 1979. These annual races were successful in drawing mushers from western states and in attracting spectators. However, chronically poor snow cover at the site forced many races to be canceled and the last was held in 1997.


“I traveled from southern California to run a team in the 1997 race and was very impressed by the local community. It's wonderful to have the opportunity to assist in the return of this exciting family-oriented event to the founding location of our organization,” said Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers Vice-President Preston Springston, now a full-time Truckee area resident. “The race site at Donner Summit and the support of Sugar Bowl in trail grooming ensures a dependable and fast race course for our canine athletes,” said Springston. Race proceeds will benefit local animal welfare organizations. Volunteers and nonprofit service organizations interested in participating in the race should contact Preston Springston, pspringston@hughes.net. About Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers The Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers (SNDD) was formed in 1961 in Truckee by northern California mushers to organize and promote the recreational sport of sled dog racing in California. SNDD is a sled dog Race Giving Organization (RGO) that works closely with communities and service organizations. The importance of good sportsmanship and humane treatment of sled dogs is emphasized. SNDD partners with northern Sierra communities and service organizations to conduct sled dog race events on snow during the winter season. Proceeds from the events support local charities and youth activities. Race events are currently conducted at Chester, Portola (Lake Davis), and Foresthill (China Wall) in California. The later is conducted in partnership with the Foresthill Chamber of Commerce. SNDD is an IRS 501 c(3) non-profit incorporated in the state of California. Governance is by a seven member Board of Directors. Annual membership averages 45, principally from California, Nevada and Oregon. Visit www.sndd.org. About Sugar Bowl Resort Sugar Bowl Inc. owns and operates Sugar Bowl Resort in Norden, Calif. Sugar Bowl Resort, California owned and operated since 1939, provides family-oriented alpine skiing and sports events on terrain that receives the most annual snowfall in North Lake Tahoe. Sugar Bowl Resort recently inked a deal making it the operator of the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort, America's largest cross-country operation. Sugar Bowl plans to invest $500,000 into Royal Gorge this season, including upgrades and renovations to Summit Station, the purchase of two new grooming machines, enhanced way-finding signage and a new website


with comprehensive daily grooming report. Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge are already connected by an “interconnect trail” that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the Donner Summit resorts. Plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginnerfriendly routes. Visit www.sugarbowl.com. About International Sled Dog Racing Association The International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA) was formed in 1966 by Canadian and American mushers to organize and unify the sport of sled dog racing. Beginning in the New England states and lower Canadian provinces, ISDRA sought to standardize rules for “Nome style sprint racing.” Today ISDRA annually represents more than 100 days of sled dog racing and thousands of individual race performances. Traditional sleds, wheeled rigs or “gigs,” ski-joring and, most recently, bike-joring competitions are held for adult and junior divisions and team sizes from “unlimited” to one dog. The racing action begins in mid-October and ends in late March with multiple ISDRA sanctioned events occurring on any given weekend during January and February. ISDRA gives the highest priority to the welfare of the canine athletes that are partners in the wonderful world of sled dog sports. To underscore that commitment, each sanctioned event is provided with the Animal Welfare policy as an important component of their sanctioning materials. No abuse is tolerated and all injuries are documented and investigated. Annual membership averages 850 total members with 55 to 75 sanctioned events and 30 to 40 member clubs. ISDRA is an IRS 501 c (7) nonprofit incorporated in the state of New York. Governance is by an 18 member board of directors and an executive director.


Tahoe Hiring Could Get A Lift As Resorts Schedule Job Fairs Oct. 11, 2012 Last year's lackluster ski season dealt an economic blow to Lake Tahoe resorts and businesses while at the same time creating pent-up demand that could explode into profits if the weather cooperates. Tahoe-area resorts are gearing up for that possibility by hiring as many as 10,000 seasonal workers whose jobs will start when the snow flies. Most hiring is being done en masse at a series of job fairs that start this weekend with events at Northstar California and at Kirkwood, which will be taking on 1,200 and 750 workers, respectively, and conclude with a Nov. 3 frenzy of hiring at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley USA. Positions range from ski and snowboard instructors to ticket scanners, bus drivers, retail sales staff, parking-lot attendants, groomers, lift operators, janitors and reservation agents. Virtually all positions, even part-time ones, come with an unrestricted season pass. The influx of workers will provide an economic boost to a region still convulsing in the wake of one of the worst snow years on record. The 2011-2012 season was "way off, somewhere between 20 and 40 percent" compared with the 8 million resort visits recorded the year before, according to Bob Roberts, spokesman for the California Ski Industry Association. The seasonal migration of temporary workers to Lake Tahoe also benefits the real estate sector by creating a market for winter "ski leases" of condominiums and second homes. Craigslist's Reno/Tahoe pages are bursting with advertisements for such short-term leases, many of which are taken out by resort workers who team up to put a roof over their heads. Applicants should check with each hiring resort and follow procedures to obtain an interview on job-fair day. Most require online applications and interview appointments in advance. Walkins can apply in some cases, but are not guaranteed an interview. Here's a rundown of upcoming hiring events at Tahoe's major resorts: • Heavenly Mountain Resort: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 20, California Lodge; apply at http://jobs.vailresorts.com. • Kirkwood: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Red Cliffs building; and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 20, California Lodge, Heavenly Mountain Resort; apply at http://jobs.vailresorts.com. • Northstar California: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in the Village; apply at http://jobs.vailresorts.com.


• Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 3, Olympic House. Apply at www.squaw.com/job-openings. • Sugar Bowl: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 20, Mount Judah Ski Lodge. Apply at www.sugarbowl.com/employment. • Sierra-At-Tahoe: 9 a.m.-2 p.m Nov. 3, Ski and Snowboard School. Apply at www.sierraattahoe.com/employment. • Mount Rose: Will begin hiring Monday. Apply at www.mtrose.com/generalinformation/employment.


Sugar Bowl Resort in California has signed an agreement to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, one of America’s largest cross-country operation, which is being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The Sugar Bowl Resort operating agreement was inked on Monday, Oct. 1, and includes the 3,000 acres the conservation groups have agreed to purchase. The Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership put down a $500,000 non-refundable deposit on the property on Oct. 1, and plan to complete the $11.25 million purchase on Dec. 20, 2012. The previous owners of Royal Gorge defaulted on their loan on the property, and Royal Gorge was taken over by the lender last summer. The agreement unites two of North Tahoe’s premiere ski resorts. Sugar Bowl Resort, founded in 1939, is a 1,500-acre downhill ski resort with four peaks, 13 lifts and North Tahoe’s deepest annual snowpack. Royal Gorge is America’s largest cross-country ski resort. Its 200 kilometers of trails and approximately 6,000 acres of terrain stretch from the open expanse of Van Norden Meadows to the foot of majestic Devil’s Peak. The Summit Station lodge is the center of the cross-country resort and eight warming huts dot the expansive eight track trail system. Sugar Bowl has trail leases with Donner Summit landowners, which will ensure the entire 6,000 acres of cross-country ski will be open for skiing this winter.


Sugar Bowl Resort and Royal Gorge are already connected by an “interconnect trail” that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the Donner Summit resorts, and plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. Sugar Bowl is now offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and cross-country ski at Royal Gorge for one affordable rate. Sugar Bowl passholders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299. Sugar Bowl plans to invest $500,000 into Royal Gorge this season, including upgrades and renovations to Summit Station, the purchase of two new grooming machines, enhanced wayfinding signage, a new website with comprehensive daily grooming report and more. Sugar Bowl is committed to making Royal Gorge, again, the preeminent cross country resort in North America. It will also bring a tradition of exceptional customer service to the resort. Sugar Bowl Resort was one of three ski resorts across the nation awarded “Best Overall Guest Service Program” by the National Ski Area Association in 2010. “Royal Gorge has incredible potential, and we’re excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory”, said Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz. “It’s a perfect complement to the authentic alpine adventure brand that we’ve built here at Sugar Bowl, and we’re committed to investing in Royal Gorge as a world-class destination for years to come.” Royal Gorge is known for its easy access, consistent snow conditions and expansive trail system. The resort’s high-elevation base area (much of the resort sits above 7,000 feet), ensures reliable, high-quality snow conditions. And its location, significantly closer to San Francisco and Sacramento than other North Tahoe resorts, make it a popular day and overnight ski destination.


10/10/2012

It’s time to start thinking about the ski season. Lake Tahoe ski resorts have announced their opening days, it’s time to get in shape, get the gear and get out there. To help get you ready Mike Carville from South Yuba Club has made a 6 plus minute You Tube video with a great pre-season workout. The Clubhouse kicks off their pre ski season workouts Monday, November 5th, click here for days and times. Mountain Recreation has some great deals on season rentals, if you want to get the kids out this


10/10/2012 winter, but don’t want to commit to purchasing the gear stop by their Grass Valley shop, seasons rentals for kids 12 and under are $99 for the season. The annual Nevada Union Ski Team fundraiser showing of the Warren Miller ski movie is coming to Nevada Union, Saturday, November 24th at 7pm, $10 tickets available at Mountain Rec. So now you’re in shape, you’ve got the gear and you’re ready… well we’ve got a great giveaway for you. We’ve got 2 lift tickets* to Sugar Bowl, a Flylow Gear Apres Ski t-shirt, a $10 off coupon for a tune up at Mountain Rec and a 7 day pass to South Yuba Club. Post a comment on this blog post about your favorite way to get ready for ski season and I’ll draw the winner on Wednesday, October 31st. See you on the slopes!


Lots Of Development Down, Snow To Come At Tahoe Ski Resorts Oct. 7, 2012 To crib a line from Shakespeare, a colossus or two has come to bestride the Sierra Nevada. One would be the combination of the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows winter resorts under ownership of the KSL Corp., producing an entity that supplies 6,000 skiable acres served by 43 lifts, with the two mountains linked by a free shuttle; the other is Vail Resorts, combining Northstar-at-Tahoe, Heavenly and Kirkwood to present skiers and snowboarders with 10,100 acres on three mountains served by 63 lifts. Not far behind is Sugar Bowl, which is nearing a deal to take over and manage the huge Royal Gorge landscape on the west side of Donner Summit. This does not mean that all smaller resorts must peep about between the legs of giants to find themselves unprofitable marketing positions. To further crib a line from supply-side economists: This rising tide can lift all boats. Or it can spin all ski lifts. Something like that. Heavy investments flowing into Sierra infrastructure from big players will advance Tahoe's stature as a winter destination for both national and international travelers. More modest resorts can dip their cups into a swelling stream of visitors by competing on the basis of service, price point, cordiality, familyfriendliness, local cachet and nimble offers of special deals. "Tahoe as a whole is on the way to international stardom as a destination," said Bob Roberts, president and CEO of the California Ski Industry Association. "The Vail resorts and the KSL resorts don't seek to divvy up a pool of local customers as much as lure people in from afar. The ultimate result could be a region on a par with the best of Utah or Colorado." The 2011-12 season generally offered snowpacks that didn't attain satisfying depths until spring. That left lingering frustration on the part of resort managers and pent-up demand on the part of skiers and snowboarders. However, meteorologists say the 2012-13 season might be fortified by a new El Niño storm pattern. If so, Sierra resorts could see greatly improved infrastructure slathered early and often by deep snow – a recipe for happiness on all sides. Here's what to look for at many California resorts. Squaw-Alpine The $50 million in upgrades by 2015-16 KSL promised two years back has been sweetened to $70 million, thanks to the acquisition of Alpine and the need to jack up infrastructure and services there. At Squaw, you'll find major lift improvements on the upper mountain. The old High Camp lift is to be replaced by a new Big Blue Express, dropping skiers atop the Shirley Lake ridgeline for swift access to Shirley Lake, Solitude and Granite Chief – good news for experts. Also, the Links double lift is being replaced by a triple called Mountain Meadow, taking customers over to the top of Solitude and Silverado lifts – good news for inter- mediates and beginners.


A modern rope tow, the Park Pulley "telecord," will access the Belmont terrain park and upper meadow. More snow-making is added at the base between Squaw Creek and Gold Coast, with computerized triggers installed all over the hill to optimize production. Also there will be bar and ski-snowboard shop upgrades, including the launch of a Burton "Learn-to-Ride" center. At Alpine, snowboarders and twin-tip skiers will be stoked to find a new, mile-long terrain park that links Terry's Return with Dancefloor, a beginners park on the Subway run, and a new "jibbing" area in view of the base lodge. Alpine also wins a snow-making upgrade and better ticket windows. Passes will be good at both mountains, which will be linked by a continuous shuttle. Northstar-Heavenly- Kirkwood Vail's biggest recent capital infusion was the spacious Zephyr midmountain lodge built at Northstar last year. The $30 million also established the new Promised Land detachable quad lift on the mountain's back side, adding two broad inter- mediate runs, Castle Peak and the Island (which has 21 tree islands down its length, for those who like to dip in and out of groves). The Sawtooth Ridge gated-access expert area will add cat skiing and backcountry tours this year. For young would-be snowboarders, there's a new Burton Riglet Park, with leashed equipment to introduce 3- to 6-year-olds to the art of sliding. Heavenly last year replaced its Galaxy fixed-grip lift on the Nevada side with a high-speed detachable, providing swift access to Comstock, Mineshaft and Outlaw runs – as well as to tree-skiing and introductory powder runs. The après-ski "Unbuckle" parties at the midmountain Tamarack lodge became so popular that they will now be put on every evening. Resort managers have enough confidence in their robust snow-making that they promise a Nov. 16 opening date this season, that the Tyrolean terrain park near the California lodge will be fully operational with competition-quality cover, and that the U.S. National Freestyle Championships will ignite the air over Gunbarrel run next spring. At recently acquired Kirkwood, long-needed upgrades to restaurants, bars and restrooms are installed. Skier and snowboarder traffic and preferences will be studied this season to prioritize future lift and run improvements. Meanwhile, a new cat road will bolster access to expert terrain for the Expedition Kirkwood program. The resort also gets the same EpicMix program for automatic vertical tracking and photo-sharing that's been a hit at other Vail resorts. Sugar Bowl If the Truckee Donner Land Trust and Trust for Public Land succeed in saving the 3,000-acre Royal Gorge cross-country Mecca, Sugar Bowl will run the operation, improve trail links between the two resorts and issue a combination season pass. The outcome is to be known by December. At Sugar Bowl, ground was broken on a new campus for the academy that trains youths for high-level competition on skis and snowboards; it will be completed in 2013.


Also, Sugar Bowl now offers free gear rentals and group lessons with a daily lift ticket. The Rahlves Banzai Tour, a race that combines free- skiing with skier/boardercross, arrives for a March 16-17 finale on the classic Silverbelt Run – that should be a grand show. Boreal The resort's new, 33,000- square-foot indoor facility, Woodward Tahoe (nicknamed the Bunker) was jammed all summer. Young (mostly) athletes learn how to huck big air by training safely on the trampolines, ramps, foam pits and skateboard/BMX center. Snowboarders and skiers can click in to wheeled rigs and be coached through tricks and stunts. During snow season, indoor features will be replicated in the outdoor terrain parks. A core membership and introductory lesson is $49; subsequent sessions are $25. Annual enhancements of snow-making make the resort reasonably confident of an Oct. 31 opening; that is also the last day a season pass will be available for $279. Diamond Peak An intimate resort near Incline Village has bolstered snowmaking by 20 percent for this season, and summer-groomed open terrain for glade skiing. A kid-friendly terrain park, designed for those age 10 and younger – called Pete's Playground – is new. The popular Last Tracks program, which treats skiers to wine and cheese at midmountain, then lets them ski a freshly-groomed run at day's end, continues. Passes that can be loaded for two to seven days of skiing are the top bargain; get seven and you ski for $38 a day. Homewood Plans for new infrastructure on this classic hill on Tahoe's west shore have been stymied by a lawsuit, but the resort hopes to have the matter resolved by December. Operational improvements for the coming season include a pledge to run all lifts every day (instead of closing some at midweek, as most resorts do); a $44 special for first-time skiers and snowboarders that includes lift tickets, gear rentals and lessons; and a new Burton learn-to-ride center. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe OK, technically this resort is in Nevada. A lot of Californians still go there. A $23.5 million infrastructure plan will add 99 acres of skiing on the north side of Highway 431, with a skier bridge and long lift over the roadway, with new vistas and an expanded lodge and mountaintop restaurant. Work won't start until 2013. Meanwhile, Mt. Rose will compete on ambiance and price points: lift tickets on Bonus Mondays, $49; on Two-for-One Tuesdays and on Ladies' Day Thursdays, $29. Sierra-at-Tahoe This resort's innovative Burton Star Wars Experience learning park targets ages 3-6; it opened last spring and will enchant youngsters throughout the coming season. Experts will benefit from the new Huckleberry Canyon Sno-Cat tours, which offer guides and backcountry training in off-piste terrain ($79). Season pass holders will find added value with free access to Mountain High in Southern California, Stevens Pass in Washington, Monarch Mountain in Colorado and Grand Targhee in Wyoming.


Free membership in My Sierra Rewards program adds more perks. The innovative Ski-Stay-Soar package offers two nights of lodging and lift tickets, plus two 20-minute helicopter rides ($265). Soda Springs This family-friendly place near Norden has grown its popular Planet Kids snowplay site every year since it was launched; now it's 10 times its original size. Facilities include a play mountain called the Volcano and a tube carousel for children under age 8. For age 8 and up, there's a Tubetown with multilane runs, including a "TuberCross" area for those in search of additional excitement. A mere $25 gains entry; parents or guardians must supervise. Tahoe Donner In the Euer Valley just northwest of Truckee, this operation combines a 120- acre downhill ski area with a cross-country area holding 100 kilometers of trail. Both areas got new vehicles for improved grooming in the coming season. Kid-friendly downhill instruction for ages 3-6 is the TD Tykes program. The cross-country area will host the Nordic SuperTour contest. Season passes, $289 for the downhill, $304 for combo to both areas, remain on sale until Nov. 30. Bear Valley As of this writing, there was no confirmation as to whether the downhill area near this mid-Sierra resort village would open this season. However, the Bear Valley Cross-Country Ski Area, a separate operation with its headquarters in the village, vows to be up and running.

OPPORTUNITIES FARTHER AFIELD ... Winter sports enthusiasts aren't confined to the greater Lake Tahoe region of the Sierra Nevada to find fun. Here are three options a bit farther afield. • Mount Shasta Ski Park, about four hours north of Sacramento, is on the mountain's south side. Generally it is open December through April. The main draws this season are events: a New Year's Eve celebration with night skiing, 3 p.m.- midnight with a fireworks show and music ($20); a Rail Jam contest Jan. 26; Slopestyle, Feb. 23; Big Air, March 30. Lift tickets are $29 (Mon.-Thurs.) and $44 (Fri.-Sun.), night skiing (3-9 p.m.) is $20, and available throughout the Christmas holidays. • Mammoth, in the eastern Sierra, will open with a new focus on serving families. However, its related June Mountain facility will remain shuttered this season. New offerings at Mammoth range from a family-style Italian restaurant in the village, to an "Unbound Playground" – an entry-level terrain park with low features and instructional signs built near the Canyon Lodge. Programs are being developed for a new Mammoth Kids Club. Known for sure: Lift tickets for ages 7-12 will cost $30, an offer good every day of the season. • Dodge Ridge, a family-style Sierra resort up Highway 108 northeast of Sonora, has added appeal to both ends of the snow sports spectrum. The Second Summit backcountry area has been improved with installation of a tow; the new T-bar lift adds 1,000 feet of vertical and eliminates the long uphill slog that experts were once forced to take. For kids, there's a new Burton Riglet Park at the base, with soft skis and boards, and instructors able to supply introductions to snow for kids ages 2-5.


A big thank you to Andrea Walker and everyone at Stellar Brew for catering and to Michael Edelshtain of Mammoth Creek Inn for hosting our Mammoth Sierra Magazine Launch Party this past Wednesday. The food was fabulous, the company was fantastic, and the presidential debate was muted. … Laura Beardsley is the new executive director of the Friends of the Inyo, taking over from Stacy Corless, who now is riding herd with the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation. … The Mammoth Roller Rink finishes its summer season this Saturday, so get your skate on from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. while you can! … Also closing after this weekend: both Sierra Star and Snowcreekgolf courses. Great, long seasonat both this year. … And while we’re at it, better get on up to Rock Creek Resortfor Sue King’stasty Pie-in-theSkyconcoctions. After next weekend, no more. … Just for the heck of it: Bob Melvin. … The Weather Channelsays that (starting this winter) it will be naming winter storms just like the National Weather Servicenames summer hurricanes. The Weather Channel said most of the winter storm names will be of Greek and Roman decent, with the first three being Athena, Brutus and Caesar. … Sixty-one-year-old endurance athlete Marshall Ulrichof Idaho Springs, Colo., and Bay Area firefighter Dave Heckman, 38, this summer walked the perimeter of Death Valley National Parkduring the hottest part of summer, completely unaided and unassisted. They began on July 22 and concluded 16 days later on Aug. 7. … Welcome back to the States, U.S. Ski Teamracer Travis Ganong, a lifelong Mammothist who spent 33 of 45 days in Chile. Good ski racing for one of our best racers. … Over thar on the West side, armed robbersmay have made off with as much as $2 million in goldand gemsfrom the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa, and a statewide hunt for the thieves is on. …


Mammoth Movesis in its third week and the crowd keeps on growin.’ We support this idea simply to get out of the office in the middle of the day and enjoy the beautiful Eastern Sierrasurroundings ... right here in town! This upcoming Wednesday (Oct. 10), join Robin Roberts, director of Mono County Behavioral Health, for a 30-minute exercise session. This time, the group is meeting at Mammoth Creek Parkat 12:10 p.m. … Our local Edison Theatrelaunched its first show of the season yesterday (Thursday) with the show The Marvelous Wonderettes. Shira Dubrovnerdirects it with musical direction by Stephanie Everson, starring Kristin Reese, Jacqueline Marie, Leigh Ann Battista, and Amy Grahek. You have until Oct. 21 to enjoy a trip back to 1958. ... Why the Irishrun: Sez Irish Labour Senator Jimmy Harte, “Jogging is like sex—you don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it. Everyone can jogat some pace.” Um, right. … Need a job? Need to hire qualified people? Look no further than Saturday’s (Oct. 6)job fair, brought to you by the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce. Four training sessions will be available in addition to on-the-spot interviews. Starts at 11 a.m. at the Westin(Red Fir Room). … Last Mondaywas the anniversary of the creation, by Congress, of Yosemite National Park. President Benjamin Harrison signed it into law, but you knew that, right? … The Mono Lake communityis grieving with the passing of Ranger Jim Pence. While at home on Sept. 27, Jim died of heart attack. He was 49. Jim had recently retired in May as a California State Park Rangerafter 30 years of service. He had served as a ranger for the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reservesince 2006. … Sugar Bowl Ski Resorthas inked a deal making it the operator of the Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America’s largest cross-country operation. In early August, a consortium of conservation groups announced an intention to purchase the 3,000-acre property atop Donner Summitafter the previous owner, Kirk Syme, defaulted on his $16.7 million loanin June 2011. While the consortium collects funds, Sugar Bowl will take out a mini-lease with the bank that technically still holds the property. … In the new “2011 California Bear Take Report” issued Oct. 1 by the California Department of Fish and Game, the population of black bears was 5,000 fewerthan the department estimated for 2010 and nearly 10,000 fewersince 2009—a combined reduction of approximately 25 percent of the population in just the past two years. The Humane Society of the United Statessays it’s because of pressure from poaching, habitat loss, road mortality, pollutionand recreational hunting including harassment practices like the use of hounds, which will be prohibited on Jan. 1.


By Brian E. Clark Special to the Los Angeles Times October 5, 2012, 7:15 a.m. Sugar Bowl Resort, on Donner Summit northwest of Lake Tahoe, has signed an agreement to lease and operate Royal Gorge, North America’s largest Nordic ski area for the 2012-2013 season and beyond. Royal Gorge operates on 6,000 acres of land and has more than 125 miles of ski trails that cover beautiful High Sierra terrain from the expansive Van Norden Meadows to the scenic Devil’s Peak. Sugar Bowl was opened in 1939 by Austrian ski instructor Hannes Schroll. One of his backers was Walt Disney, after whom Mt. Disney is named.


On Monday, the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership put down a $500,000 nonrefundable deposit on the property. They plan to complete the $11.25-million purchase on Dec. 20, officials said. In 2005, developers purchased Royal Gorge and then announced controversial plans for a 950-unit resort. Local residents and vacation homeowners worked with regional conservation advocates to oppose the project and promote a different outcome. The recession also took its toll, and the previous owners of Royal Gorge defaulted on their loan for the property. As a result, the resort was taken over by the lender this past summer. Fans of Royal Gorge say its expansive size, breathtaking views, remote wilderness feel and easy access make it a top destination for cross-country skiers. The area has historic significance as well: Native Americans used Donner Summit as a trading hub and settlers, including the unlucky Donner Party crossed here at the end of their journey to the Golden State. The two resorts are connected by a trail that allows skiers to ski back and forth. Plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. Sugar Bowl also is offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and crosscountry ski at Royal Gorge for one rate. Sugar Bowl passholders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299. Officials said Sugar Bowl plans to invest $500,000 in Royal Gorge this season, including upgrades and renovations to Summit Station, the purchase of two new grooming machines, enhanced trail signage, a new website and more.


One of the most renowned cross country ski resorts in the nation will be operating under different circumstances this year. Sugar Bowl ski resort in North Tahoe has signed an agreement to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort. It is being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The Sugar Bowl operating agreement includes the 3,000 acres the conservation groups have agreed to purchase. The Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership put down a $500,000 non-refundable deposit on the property on Oct. 1, and plan to complete the $11.25 million purchase on Dec. 20, 2012. The previous owners of Royal Gorge defaulted on their loan on the property, and Royal Gorge was taken over by the lender last summer.


Royal Gorge is located in Soda Springs off Interstate 80 and operates on 6,000 acres of land. It has more than 200 kilometers of ski trails that cover the stunning High Sierra terrain from the expansive Van Norden Meadows to the scenic Devil’s Peak. Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge are already connected by an “interconnect trail” that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the Donner Summit resorts, and plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. A busy weekend at Royal Gorge can find approximately 500 or more people of all ages and abilities slipping into their long, narrow skis and heading out into the winter wilderness. Royal Gorge’s expansive size, breathtaking views, remote wilderness feel and easy access make it a top-tier destination for cross-country skiers from all corners of the nation. In addition to the resort’s main lodge Summit Station, warming huts dot the miles of groomed trails, allowing skiers to relax and hydrate in the middle of a long ski. Skiers will also enjoy the opportunity to purchase a bundled season pass product, offering an extraordinary alpine/nordic experience on one convenient Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge season pass. The Tahoe cross country areas definitely vary. They range from privately owned ski areas around the Tahoe basin with varying elevations and terrific panoramic views, to locations that offer open meadows, scenic climbs and isolated valleys and forests to explore. Once away from the base area, skiing into a secluded mountainous section often happens very quickly at Royal Gorge. The more adventuresses will find themselves climbing to look out over Castle Peak and Devil’s Peak. For more information on Sugar Bowl Resort, visit www.sugarbowl.com or call (530) 426-9000.


Thursday, October 4, 2012


Thursday, October 4, 2012 Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 10/4/12

Northwest: A 39 year old man fell while climbing at Mt. Erie on Saturday and had to extracted by a Navy helicopter. To read more, click here. Mazama-based North Cascades Heli-Skiing has been issued a notice of non-compliance by the Methow Valley Ranger District for cutting down two dozen trees in an effort to make landing areas in the backcountry more safe. To read more, click here. Sierra: Sugar Bowl Ski Area has signed a deal to take over as operator of the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort. This 3,000 acre property, which is the largest cross country area in the US, is already connected to the Sugar Bowl Area by an "interconnect trail", but there are already plans for more enhancements. To read more, click here. An investigation is underway after a group of South Lake Tahoe boulderers reported a man digging for native artifacts near the Barbed Wire Boulders area of the Hope Valley climbing area. To read more, click here.

Colorado: Colorado Parks and Wildlife are investigating the poaching of a 20 lb. female bear cub in Estes Park. Originally, the reward for information leading to the shooter was set at $500, but after donations from upset conservation groups, the bounty on the poacher is now up to $5,000! To read more, click here.


Notes from All Over: After an accident a few weeks ago in Red River Gorge, Black Diamond's Gear Lab decided to investigate the dangers of rope-worn carabiners in fixed draws. To read more, click here. A young man from the Chicago suburbs survived a fall in the Lone Tree Canyon area of Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. To add salt to the wound, he could be facing charges and a fine since this area of the park has restricted climbing. To read more, click here. A Maine woman is in fair condition after surviving a fall at Maiden Cliff in Camden Hills State Park on Tuesday. Witnesses say she fell at least 65 ft from the top of a climb, and speculate the fall was a result of an improperly rigged rappel. To read more, click here. What do you have in your med kit? A South Pole medic, in the midst of preparing for an excursion, decided to research what some of the early polar explorers brought with them. He was surprised to find such interesting remedies as dripping cocaine in the eye to cure snowblindness, and "parchment-like dressing only fractions of a millimetre thick" made from the intestines of an ox or shark. To read more, click here.


DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. - Sugar Bowl Resort has signed an agreement to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America's largest cross-country operation, which is being purchased by the Truckee Don...


Sugar Bowl To Operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort October 3, 2012 Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has inked a deal making it the operator of the Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America’s largest cross-country operation. In early August, a consortium of conservation nonprofits — including the Trust for Public Land, the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Northern Sierra Partnership — purchased the 3,000-acre property nestled atop Donner Summit, after the previous owner, Kirk Syme, defaulted on his $16.7 million loan in June 2011. On Monday, the conservation groups placed a $500,000 deposit on the property and will need to raise a total of $11.25 million by Dec. 20, when the purchase …


DONNER SUMMIT, Calif. — Sugar Bowl Resort has signed an agreement to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America's largest cross-country operation, which is being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The Sugar Bowl Resort operating agreement was inked on Monday, Oct. 1, and includes the 3,000 acres the conservation groups have agreed to purchase. The Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership put down a $500,000 nonrefundable deposit on the property on Oct. 1, and plan to complete the $11.25 million purchase on Dec. 20, 2012. The previous owners of Royal Gorge defaulted on their loan on the property, and Royal Gorge was taken over by the lender last summer. The agreement unites two of North Tahoe's premiere ski resorts. Sugar Bowl Resort, founded in 1939, is a 1,500-acre downhill ski resort with four peaks, 13 lifts and North Tahoe's deepest annual snowpack. Royal Gorge is America's largest cross-country ski resort. Its 200 kilometers of trails and approximately 6,000 acres of terrain stretch from the open expanse of Van Norden Meadows to the foot of majestic Devil's Peak. The Summit Station lodge is the center of the cross-country resort and eight warming huts dot the expansive eight track trail system. Sugar Bowl has trail leases with Donner Summit landowners, which will ensure the entire 6,000 acres of cross-country ski will be open for skiing this winter. Sugar Bowl Resort and Royal Gorge are already connected by an “interconnect trail” that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the Donner Summit resorts, and plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. Sugar Bowl is now offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and cross-country ski at Royal Gorge for one affordable rate. Sugar Bowl passholders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299. Sugar Bowl plans to invest $500,000 into Royal Gorge this season, including upgrades and renovations to Summit Station, the purchase of two new grooming machines, enhanced wayfinding signage, a new website with comprehensive daily grooming report and more. Sugar


Bowl is committed to making Royal Gorge, again, the preeminent cross country resort in North America. It will also bring a tradition of exceptional customer service to the resort. Sugar Bowl Resort was one of three ski resorts across the nation awarded “Best Overall Guest Service Program” by the National Ski Area Association in 2010. “Royal Gorge has incredible potential, and we're excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory,” said Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz. “It's a perfect complement to the authentic alpine adventure brand that we've built here at Sugar Bowl, and we're committed to investing in Royal Gorge as a world-class destination for years to come.” Royal Gorge is known for its easy access, consistent snow conditions and expansive trail system. The resort's high-elevation base area (much of the resort sits above 7,000 feet) ensures reliable, high-quality snow conditions. And its location, significantly closer to San Francisco and Sacramento than other North Tahoe resorts, make it a popular day and overnight ski destination.


Sugar Bowl And Royal Gorge Unite October 3rd, 2012 Skiers, what’s better than North Lake Tahoe’s resort with the deepest annual snow pack sharing a trail with the world’s largest cross-country ski operation? How about being able to ski both resorts in the same day for one great price! Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has agreed to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, which is currently being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, and Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The agreement unites two of North Lake Tahoe’s premier ski resorts and brings big savings to downhill and cross-country enthusiasts. Sugar Bowl season pass holders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge Pass for $149, or a standalone unrestricted Royal Gorge Pass can be purchased for $299. Along with offering great deals on passes, Sugar Bowl also plans to invest $500,000 into Royal Gorge this season; including, renovations to the Summit Station, the purchase of two new grooming machines, enhanced trail signage and a new website with comprehensive daily grooming reports. “Royal Gorge has incredible potential, and we’re excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory,” says Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz. Its easy access, consistent snow conditions and expansive trail system make it the perfect addition to Sugar Bowl, which already boasts 1,500 acres of downhill skiing on four peaks. “It’s a perfect complement to the authentic alpine adventure brand that we’ve built here at Sugar Bowl,” explains Kautz.


Sugar Bowl Inks Deal to Operate Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort as Conservation Purchase Nears Oct 2, 2012 DONNER SUMMIT, CALIF. Oct. 2, 2012 — Sugar Bowl Resort has signed an agreement to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America's largest cross-country operation, which is being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. Bowl Resort operating agreement was inked on Monday, Oct. 1, and includes the 3,000 acres the conservation groups have agreed to purchase. The Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership put down a $500,000 non-refundable deposit on the property on Oct. 1, and plan to complete the $11.25 million purchase on Dec. 20, 2012. The previous owners of Royal Gorge defaulted on their loan on the property, and Royal Gorge was taken over by the lender last summer. The agreement unites two of North Tahoe's premiere ski resorts. Sugar Bowl Resort, founded in 1939, is a 1,500-acre downhill ski resort with four peaks, 13 lifts and North Tahoe's deepest annual snowpack. Royal Gorge is America's largest cross-country ski resort. Its 200 kilometers of trails and approximately 6,000 acres of terrain stretch from the open expanse of Van Norden Meadows to the foot of majestic Devil's Peak. The Summit Station lodge is the center of the cross-country resort and eight warming huts dot the expansive eight track trail system. Sugar Bowl has trail leases with Donner Summit landowners, which will ensure the entire 6,000 acres of cross-country ski will be open for skiing this winter. Sugar Bowl Resort and Royal Gorge are already connected by an "interconnect trail" that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the Donner Summit resorts, and plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. Sugar Bowl is now offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and cross-country ski at Royal Gorge for one affordable rate. Sugar Bowl passholders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299. Sugar Bowl plans to invest $500,000 into Royal Gorge this season, including upgrades and renovations to Summit Station, the purchase of two new grooming machines, enhanced wayfinding signage, a new website with comprehensive daily grooming report and more. Sugar Bowl is committed to making Royal Gorge, again, the preeminent cross country resort in North America. It will also bring a tradition of exceptional customer service to the resort. Sugar Bowl Resort was one of three ski resorts across the nation awarded "Best Overall Guest Service Program" by the National Ski Area Association in 2010. "Royal Gorge has incredible potential, and we're excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory", said Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz. "It's a perfect complement to the authentic alpine adventure brand that we've built here at Sugar Bowl, and we're committed to investing in Royal Gorge as a world-class destination for years to come." Royal Gorge is known for its easy access, consistent snow conditions and expansive trail system. The resort's high-elevation base area (much of the resort sits above 7,000 feet), ensures reliable, highquality snow conditions. And its location, significantly closer to San Francisco and Sacramento than other North Tahoe resorts, make it a popular day and overnight ski destination.


Donner Summit, CA - California’s Sugar Bowl Resort has signed an agreement to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America’s largest cross-country ski operation, which is being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The Sugar Bowl Resort operating agreement was inked on Monday and includes the 3,000 acres the conservation groups have agreed to purchase. The Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership put down a $500,000 non-refundable deposit on the property on Oct. 1, and plan to complete the $11.25 million purchase on Dec. 20, 2012. The previous owners of Royal Gorge defaulted on their loan on the property, and Royal Gorge was taken over by the lender last summer. Royal Gorge trail map The agreement unites two of North Tahoe’s ski resorts, one alpine and one Nordic. Sugar Bowl Resort, founded in 1939, is a 1,500-acre downhill ski resort with four peaks and 13 lifts. Royal Gorge is America’s largest cross-country ski resort. Its 200 kilometers of trails and approximately 6,000 acres of terrain stretch from the open expanse of Van Norden Meadows to the foot of majestic Devil’s Peak. The Summit Station lodge is the center of the cross-country resort and eight warming huts dot the expansive eight track trail system. Sugar Bowl has trail leases with Donner Summit landowners, which will ensure the entire 6,000 acres of cross-country ski will be open for skiing this winter.


Sugar Bowl Resort and Royal Gorge are already connected by an “interconnect trail” that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the Donner Summit resorts, and plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. Sugar Bowl is now offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and cross-country ski at Royal Gorge for one rate. Sugar Bowl passholders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299. Sugar Bowl plans to invest $500,000 into Royal Gorge this season, including upgrades and renovations to Summit Station, the purchase of two new grooming machines, enhanced wayfinding signage, a new website with comprehensive daily grooming report and more. “Royal Gorge has incredible potential, and we’re excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory”, said Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz. “It’s a perfect complement to the authentic alpine adventure brand that we’ve built here at Sugar Bowl, and we’re committed to investing in Royal Gorge as a world-class destination for years to come.”


NORDEN, Calif. — Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has inked a deal making it the operator of the Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, America's largest cross-country operation. In early August, a consortium of conservation nonprofits —including the Trust for Public Land, the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Northern Sierra Partnership — purchased the 3,000-acre property nestled atop Donner Summit, after the previous owner, Kirk Syme, defaulted on his $16.7 million loan in June 2011. On Monday, Oct. 1, the conservation groups placed a $500,000 deposit on the property and will need to raise a total of $11.25 million by Dec. 20, 2012, when the purchase is scheduled to be finalized. In the meantime, Sugar Bowl will take out a mini-lease with the bank that technically still holds the property — San Diego-based Armed Forces Bank — as to begin operating the resort for the upcoming season, said John Monson, spokesman for Sugar Bowl. If and when the land consortium assumes ownership on Dec. 21, the resort will negotiate a lease with the conservation groups with an eye toward eventually purchasing the cross-country resort. “Royal Gorge has incredible potential, and we're excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory,” said Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz. “It's a perfect complement to the authentic alpine adventure brand that we've built here at Sugar Bowl, and we're committed to investing in Royal Gorge as a world-class destination for years to come.” Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge are already connected by an “interconnect trail” that allows skiers to ski back and forth between the Donner Summit resorts, and plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes, according to news release issued by Sugar Bowl. Sugar Bowl is now offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and crosscountry ski at Royal Gorge for one affordable rate. Sugar Bowl passholders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299, the release states. Despite many ski corporations owning both downhill and cross-country ski operations, Sugar Bowl is


unique in offering a season pass that allows access to both platforms, Monson said. The increasing popularity of alpine-touring or backcountry skiing, where skiers forgo lifts and opt to ski uphill before turning around to ski back down, means that more and more outdoor athletes are looking to train at cross-country ski resorts, Monson said. The Truckee-based resort is currently undertaking expansion on the Sugar Bowl Academy and believes the addition of Royal Gorge will help attract new cross-country athletes to the institution, Monson said. “I am confident (the demand will be there),” Monson said. Sugar Bowl plans to invest $500,000 into Royal Gorge this season, including upgrades and renovations to Summit Station, the purchase of two new grooming machines, enhanced wayfinding signage, a new website with comprehensive daily grooming report and more, Monson said. “Royal Gorge is back and it's an iconic brand,” Monson said. Perry Norris, executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust, declined to provide specific numbers regarding the progress toward the established $13.5 million fundraising goal, but said the support the organization has received bolsters his belief the goal will be accomplished. “The support has been overwhelming,” Norris said. “Not a doubt in my mind we will prevail.” The $2.25 million gap between the purchase price and the fundraising goal will be used for management of the property, which is in need of fuels management and the implementation and maintenance of recreational trails, Norris said.


Sugar Bowl Links Up With Royal Gorge Oct 02

Good news for Nordic skiers in the Sierra Nevada. Sugar Bowl Resort has signed a deal to operate Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, its nearby nneighbor and the largest cross-country ski operation in the country. What’s so good about that? Well, the Sugar Bowl people run a good shop. And they plan to invest $500,000 this season to spruce up facilities at the massive Royal Gorge site, including a facelift for the area’s Summit Station lodge along with new grooming gear. While the Sugar Bowl folks will run Royal Gorge, they won’t own the land. Royal Gorge is being purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership for over $11 million. Royal Gorge has 200 kilometers of trails and approximately 6,000 acres of terrain, stretching from Van Norden Meadows to the foot of Devil’s Peak. The Summit Station lodge is the center of the resort and eight warming huts dot the expansive eight-track trail system. According to a release detailing the deal, “Royal Gorge and Sugar Bowl are connected by an trail that allows skiers to shuttle between the Donner Summit resorts. Plans are in the works to further enhance the connection with two additional beginner-friendly routes. Sugar Bowl is offering a season pass that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and cross-country ski at Royal Gorge for one rate. Sugar Bowl passholders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adult price), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299.


Tucked away up in Truckee, California, you will find a non-profit unlike any other. We walked in to find a bunch of people, who are overcoming physical and emotional hardships, with nothing but smiles on their faces. "I'm super good," said one person when we asked. Every person who visits the High Fives Foundation is a winter sports athlete who was hurt doing what they love. Eighteen-year-old, Taylor Fiddyment cannot feel her legs. She suffered a spinal cord injury in May of 2011 while four-wheeling with friends on a camping trip. Her quad hit a lip and flipped; rolling over her. Taylor says she knew immediately that she lost the use of her legs. The High Fives Foundation found her in the hospital and offered to help her through recovery. They fit her for a sit ski and are providing her with a personal trainer – at no cost to her.


Meantime, well-known athlete, Grant Korgan was one of the foundation's first recipients. Grant excelled in all winter sports, but especially loves snowmobiling. In March 2010, a trip to the back country with friends changed his life. He took a jump that he had been dreaming about and overshot it – by just two feet. It burst-fractured his first lumbar vertebrae and left him paralyzed from the waist down. Everyone who walks into the CR Johnson Healing Center, where the High Fives Foundation is housed, has a story of survival. Lifelong skier, Roy Tuscany started the non-profit after he, too, survived a life-altering accident. "For some reason, something was different that day. I hit the same spot, same point, went in the same speed and I ended up over-shooting the bottom of the landing by 30 feet and blowing apart my back instantly upon impact." Sugar Bowl Ski Resort started a fund to help their former coach pay for alternative healing costs that insurance wouldn't cover. He tried acupuncture, massage and physical therapy. So, Roy thought, "There had to be something like this set up for other because I'm not going to be the only person in the world hurt doing a sport that I love." That is when High Fives was born. It provides everything from financial assistance for therapy to emotional support for injured athletes. Grant travels the world for treatment. He just returned from Maui, Hawaii where he spent 30 days with a highly-respected neuropilates expert. He arrived in forearm crutches and left in canes. "To have this foundation, who would put up the resources to make that kind of physical gain for me, is huge and that is a beautiful example of what the High Fives Foundation does," explained Grant. The foundation also sent Grant on a trip of a lifetime to ski to the geographical South Pole in the name of all other athletes with spinal cord injuries. As for Taylor, the foundation fit her for a sit ski and is providing her with personal training. "That's helped me a lot just with everyday life; getting my chair in and out of my car. I just feel stronger and more accomplished because I can do things now." That is the goal. As Roy knows all too well, sometimes you need a helping hand getting up after you fall. "I just wanted to make sure that if anyone else happened to fall into the same shoes I did, that there'd be a support staff, financial assistance and guidance to get them through the recovery process." The High Fives Foundation pays for all these trips, therapy and training by hosting fundraisers. Roy and his team organized more than 50 a year. The next fundraiser will be a Dodge-Ball Tournament October 21st in Truckee. The cost is $150 per team. To learn more about the tournament and the High Fives Foundation, log onto www.highfivesfoundation.org.


SUGAR BOWL TO OPERATE ROYAL GORGE 09/28/2012 SAM Magazine—Norden, Calif., Sept. 28, 2012—Sugar Bowl has signed an agreement with the Truckee Donner Land Trust to lease and operate the neighboring Royal Gorge cross-country ski area this winter, pending completion of the Trust’s purchase of 3,000 acres of Royal Gorge terrain. If all goes according to plan, Sugar Bowl will also purchase the X-C resort’s Summit Station and related acreage in the Station’s immediate area within the next year. The Trust will retail control of 3,000 acres that are home to Royal Gorge trails. Sugar Bowl is working with 13 private landowners who have in the past leased another 3,000 acres to Royal Gorge, to keep the entire 6,000-acre resort intact. Royal Gorge has more than 200 kilometers of trails on this High Sierra terrain. “We want to return Royal Gorge to its pre-eminent position in the U.S.,” Sugar Bowl president and CEO Rob Kautz told SAM. “Royal Gorge really fits with and complements our authentic alpine adventure brand. We’re very excited about this opportunity.” To support its aims, Sugar Bowl plans to offer a combined alpine/Nordic season’s pass starting next week. It currently rents cross-country gear and sells lessons out of the Sugar Bowl village, where trails connect to the Royal Gorge system. Sugar Bowl has already purchased new Prinoth X-C trail grooming machines to maintain Royal Gorge’s trails. The resort hopes to expand the cross-country skiing, and the two resorts’ integration, over the coming years. As part of that effort, Sugar Bowl has consulted with Royal Gorge founder John Slouber on possible future developments. Sugar Bowl’s lease and operation of Royal Gorge is contingent on the purchase of Royal Gorge by the Land Trust. That purchase is expected to be solidified by Oct. 1 and completed by Dec. 20.


Sugar Bowl Resort on storied Donner Pass in the California High Sierra signed an agreement Oct. 1 to lease and operate neighboring and expansive Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Area, which is being purchased by the Tahoe Donner Land Trust. The lease-operate agreement was signed as the land trust posted a $500,000 non-refundable deposit on the property Monday. The trust’s stewardship director John Svahn confirmed to SnoCountry.com Tuesday morning that the deposit had indeed been made. The trust plans to complete the purchase Dec. 20, 2012. Purchase price is $11.25 million with funds being raised by the Trust for Public Land, Northern Sierra Partnership, and the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the latter of which will own the property and oversee a long-term stewardship plan. Sugar Bowl will manage and improve on the XC area under a lease agreement. The conservation groups are attempting to raise $2.25 beyond the purchase price by Dec. 20 to maintain the property. Sugar Bowl’s John Monson says the resort plans to make its own $500,000 investment into Royal Gorge this season, including upgrades and renovations to Summit Station, purchasing two new grooming vehicles, enhanced wayfinding signage, and a new website. Interconnect In Place Summit Station lodge is the center of the XC resort and there are eight warming huts along the trail system. An “interconnect” trail already ties Royal Gorge and Sugar Bowl and plans are in the works, Monson said, for two additional beginner-friendly routes. Royal Gorge, at 6,000 acres, is the largest cross country ski resort in the country and is located in Soda Springs, off Interstate 80. There are more than 200 kilometers of ski trails on terrain that rolls from mountain meadows to high peaks. The ski area has a remote wilderness feel about it that is nicely complemented by its easy access. Much of the resort sits above 7,000 feet generally ensuring reliable snow coverage. Ice Lake Lodge, Rainbow Lodge, and Long Lake are not included in the deal. The XC ski area opened in 1971. The XC area was purchased in 2005 for $30 million by Kirk Syme who intended to develop a large portion of it into a 950-unit luxury resort and vacation home subdivision. He defaulted on a $16.7 million loan in June 2011 and, following other court decisions, ended the project. The ski area has continued to operate.


“Royal Gorge has incredible potential and we’re excited about the opportunity to return such an iconic resort to its once and former glory,” says Sugar Bowl CEO Rob Kautz. “It’s a perfect complement to the authentic alpine adventure brand that we’ve built here at Sugar Bowl, and we’re committed to investing in Royal Gorge as a world-class destination for years to come.” 'Near Perfect Project' Perry Norris, Truckee Donner Land Trust executive director, recently told the Sierra Sun newspaper that, from a conservation standpoint, “This is a near perfect project. In our business, size matters, and this is an awful lot of land to set aside.” The purchase also opens the way to year-round recreation and the plans include a network of trails for visitors to explore, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Donner Lake Rim Trail, Western States Trail, and Emigrant Trail, among others. Norris is not worried over the fundraising. “Normally, I would lose sleep over a fundraising goal like that,” he told the Sun, “but the response from the community has been exceptional.” Royal Gorge reportedly generates about $1 million in gross revenues and employs up to 75 people. The agreement assures the ski area will remain in business. Sugar Bowl, aside from its investment in Royal Gorge improvements, is helping to raise $3 million from its homeowners. The resort is offering two ski passes for 10 years to any donor contributing $250,000 or more. Dual Passes Available Monson said a season pass will be available that allows holders to downhill ski at Sugar Bowl and crosscountry ski at Royal Gorge on one affordable pass for $149 (adults). Sugar Bowl passholders can add on an unrestricted Royal Gorge pass for $149 (adults), and can purchase an unrestricted, standalone Royal Gorge pass for $299. Donner Summit, as history buffs know, is rife with American frontier lore. The Truckee Donner Land Trust website describes it like this: “Donner Summit is the cultural crossroads of the American West. It’s home to a stunning history – from the spear points and rock art of the Martis Indians and wheel ruts of the first wagon trains, to the snow sheds of the transcontinental railway and the paved contours of Interstate 80.” The summit is also home to Boreal Ski Area and Donner Ski Ranch. Here is the donor form for those wishing to contribute or pledge to the Campaign To Conserve Royal Gorge. Donations are 100 percent tax deductible to the full extent of the law. What It Means: This is a significant, important project involving conservation groups and a private ski resort all working toward a winning end that protects a large and spectacular swatch of the High Sierra for recreational uses.


One of the most prominent cross country ski resorts in the nation most likely will be operating under different circumstances this year. Sugar Bowl ski resort is preparing to lease and operate North America’s largest cross-country ski resort – Royal Gorge – for the 2012-13 season and beyond. Royal Gorge is located in Soda Springs off Interstate 80 and operates on 6,000 acres of land. It has more than 200 kilometers of ski trails that cover the stunning High Sierra terrain from the expansive Van Norden Meadows to the scenic Devil’s Peak. Sugar Bowl resort’s lease and operation of Royal Gorge is contingent on the purchase of Royal Gorge by the Truckee Donner Land Trust. That purchase is still in progress, but should be solidified by Oct. 1, when a non-refundable deposit is due on the purchase. The purchase should be finalized by Dec. 20.


The Truckee Donner Land Trust intends to lease the cross country ski operation to Sugar Bowl. A busy weekend at Royal Gorge can find approximately 500 or more people of all ages and abilities slipping into their long, narrow skis and heading out into the winter wilderness. Royal Gorge’s expansive size, breathtaking views, remote wilderness feel and easy access make it a top-tier destination for cross-country skiers from all corners of the nation. In addition to the resort’s main lodge Summit Station, warming huts dot the miles of groomed trails, allowing skiers to relax and hydrate in the middle of a long ski. Skiers will also enjoy the opportunity to purchase a bundled season pass product, offering an extraordinary alpine/nordic experience on one convenient Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge season pass. The Tahoe cross country areas definitely vary. They range from privately owned ski areas around the Tahoe basin with varying elevations and terrific panoramic views, to locations that offer open meadows, scenic climbs and isolated valleys and forests to explore. Once away from the base area, skiing into a secluded mountainous section often happens very quickly at Royal Gorge. The more adventuresses will find themselves climbing to look out over Castle Peak and Devil’s Peak.


September 24, 2012

Nevada City Makes Outside Magazine Best-Of List Magazines thrive on "lists," and Outside magazine's latest compilation -- Best River Towns -- has given a nod to Nevada City. Credit should go to ... the citizens of Nevada City. According to the magazine, "a whopping 2,539 people -- 83 percent of the populace -- cast their ballots for this tiny hamlet on the edge of the Tahoe National Forest." Interesting, though: Many of the features that garnered Nevad a City attention aren't technically in the town proper: the Yuba River, the Tahoe National Forest, the Sugar Bowl ski resort. But, hey, all of those attractions are close enough. By the way, Sacramento did not get recognized as a top "river town," but it did get a tiny mention as a "write-in candidate." Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/ticket/archives/2012/09/nevada-citymak.html#storylink=cpy


Rahlves unhappy about Winter X Games dropping Skier X, Snowboarder X events September 10, 2012

Daron Rahlves of Lake Tahoe made his fourth and final Olympic appearance not as an Alpine skier, but competing in Ski cross, which made its Olympic debut in the 2010 Vancouver Games. Although an untimely on-course collision may have cost him a medal, Rahlves has gained a definite affinity for the sport and has continued to ski cross in “retirement.” The Truckee resident has helped invigorate the sport by helping to establish the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour each winter, which culminates with the finals at Sugar Bowl ski resort in late winter. Like many skiers and snowboarders, Rahlves was disappointed at last week’s announcement by the Winter X Games. Two of the longest-running competitions in X Games history – Snowboarder X and Skier X – will not be part of the show when the X Games returns to Aspen in January 2013. Event organizers confirmed last week that ESPN decided to cut the events, as well as Mono Skier X, and will not build the X Course for the first time in history.


“I’m against X Games' decision to take out the X Course for 2013. As a competition with straight up speed, skill and battles to the finish line, this is the best action in the Winter X Games,” Rahlves said. “I’m biased, of course, because that’s what I do. It might be time for a change in the build though. Shorter length, more technical, and keep the speed in it.” Snowboarder X was one of three events that had taken place every year since the Winter X Games debuted in 1997, along with Snowboard Superpipe and Slopestyle. Skier X had been staged 15 of those 16 years, starting in 1998. Mono Skier X was added five years ago. “These decisions are never easy, obviously,” said Tim Reed, senior director of content strategy for ESPN X Games. “We understand the ramifications these things bring. We come up with what we believe are the best events to showcase to our fans on-site and obviously the networks, too. There wasn’t one single factor that led to this decision. It just comes down to filling the schedule with how much we believe we need to make the event enjoyable to the fans and deliver on what we need from a product standpoint.” One of the top U.S. Alpine skiers of all time who entered the Ski Hall of Fame in 2011, Rahlves had 12 World Cup victories, 28 World Cup podiums and seven U.S. National Titles. Despite leaving the World Cup tour, he still savors the action. Ski cross is an unpredictable event that features four skiers racing down a course with huge jumps up to 100 feet through the air, and speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The first person to the bottom wins. “The bonus for me is the 2013 Rahlves’ Banzai Tour,” Rahlves said. “It should gain more attention now and attract athletes who want that ultimate race experience of four at a time over nature’s best natural terrain." For more information, visit www.rahlvesbanzai.com. Rahlves was quick to give credit to both the Winter X games and ESPN for promoting the event. “We all owe ESPN and the X Games a huge thank you for the progress they have made for the sport of ski cross, boarder cross and mono-X,” Rahlves said. “Unfortunately it will make the ski cross year a little less exciting without the premiere event.”


Nevada City was the smallest town in this year’s Facebook competition, but no other city turned out the vote in such a big way. A whopping 2,539 people—83 percent of the populace—cast their ballots for this tiny hamlet on the edge of Tahoe National Forest. The next closest per capita average: Hood River, Oregon, with 40 percent voting. And while Nevada City didn’t win (sorry, guys!), we understand the enthusiasm. Residents can ski at Sugar Bowl (45 minutes away), mountain-bike 120 miles of singletrack within a 20-minute drive into Tahoe National Forest, and visit five vineyards less than 30 minutes from downtown. But readers consistently cited one selling point: the “magical,” “sun-hugged,” “granite-lined” Yuba River. Seven miles north of town, the South Fork of the Yuba offers trout fishing, Class V kayaking, and summer lounging as it flows through a granite gorge in the Sierra foothills. “The most beautiful river I’ve ever seen,” says local Judy Meyers. But there’s culture, too. As Mike Mooers, creative director at


Wicked Good Copy and Communications, puts it: “Nevada City has all the outdoorsy stuff but also some seriously rooted heart and soul.” The Nevada Theater, where Mark Twain read in the 1860s, still features monthly plays. In July, the 150-year-old town closes two blocks to cars and lets artisans take over with booths selling wine, craft cheeses, and local veggies. The city also hosts eight annual events, including the acclaimed Wild and Scenic Film Festival and a Mardi Gras parade. There’s even a masquerade ball that has been known to attract police attention. “We’re trying to tame that down,” says George Harper, a former parade organizer. “It’s a family event.” All of which is to say—as Rich Bodine, a clinical support specialist, did—“Nevada City is alive!” BEST SWIMMING HOLE: “Cliff jumps, nudist beaches, family-friendly sandbars—there are oodles of options” on the South Fork of the Yuba, says Liza Hestbeck, who works at the Outside Inn. But if you want to combine a hike with a swim, Hestbeck recommends the two-mile Independence Trail from Highway 49 to Rush Creek, where you can dive off granite cliffs. ON THE TOWN: An old mining village, Nevada City has a bar for practically every type of drinker. But if you want to “mingle with the real locals,” according to Vanessa Richardson, a freelance writer, head to the Mineshaft, where you can order up 16-ounce PBRs for $2.50—starting at 7 a.m. WHAT YOU GET FOR $1: A one-year membership at Polly’s Paladar, a monthly dinner club that brings in prominent chefs from the region to make a seven-course meal with locally sourced ingredients ($50 per dinner for members).


Conservation Groups Purchase North America’s Largest Cross-Country Ski Resort August 8, 2012 Donner Summit, CA - A coalition of preservation groups have purchased California’s Royal Gorge Ski Resort, thereby removing from development 3,000 acres of land atop Donner Summit that constitute North America’s largest cross-country ski area. In the deal announced this week, the conservation groups paid a total of $11.25 million for the property from Bay Area developers who defaulted on payments on a $16.7 million loan. The developers had planned to construct 950 condominiums and single-family homes at Royal Gorge, which they acquired from the ski resort’s co-founder, John Slouber, for an estimated $35 million in 2005. The plan drew vehement opposition from environmental groups, including Sierra Watch. Following the loan default, after a judge placed the property in receivership environmental groups The Truckee Donner Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership stepped forward to purchase Royal Gorge and remove the property from development. “This is great news for all of us who love Donner Summit and the northern Sierra Nevada. The Royal Gorge property has been a top priority for us for decades, and now we finally have the opportunity to protect it for generations to come,” said Perry Norris, Executive Director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. “The response from the community is inspiring.” ““This is a wonderful opportunity to protect one of the prime spots in the Sierra,” added Sam Hodder, California Director of The Trust for Public Land. “It is great that we can preserve this property and its stunning scenery, rather than losing it to development.” The groups have until a December 20, 2012 closing date to raise the money to fund the purchase. They plan to keep the ski area open to the public, with management operated by nearby Sugar Bowl ski resort.


2012 Sugar Bowl Media Placements  

2012 Sugar Bowl Media Placements

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