Page 1

winter 2015 -16

saving freeskiers


ďŹ nd a voice

kyle smaine made in tahoe

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it’s always a good day in tahoe

while others were out hiking and mountain biking Tahoe’s trails, enjoying the waters on Big Blue and lavishing in the long, beautiful summer days, the Tahoe o de a a a d a o d ea in a o the 2015-16 winter season and working on the next issue of Powder. OK, we did do all of those fun, summer things, too. We’re all excited about the coming winter and about this year’s edition of Tahoe Powder. While we’re all dreaming of this winter season, Jeremy Jones and other pro athletes are working to preserve the winters of the future through Protect Our Winters. Jones founded e o ani a ion dedica ed o fi in c i a e change after seeing ski hills covered in grass in the middle of winter as he traveled the world as a professional snowboarder. Jones talked to Associate Editor Jenn Sheridan for our cover story on “Saving Winter” in this edition.


There are many sides to enjoying winter in Tahoe and we explore several of those in this issue from cross-sport skill sessions at Woodward Tahoe, to snow biking on local trails (yes, you can bike on the snow), a cross-country trek to The Gorge on Donner Summit or taking a craft brew tour of the Tahoe-Truckee region.


We hope you enjoy this edition of Tahoe Powder, and another amazing winter season in Tahoe. After all, there’s no such thing as a bad day in Tahoe. – Katherine E. Hill


SHARE TAHOE POWDER > Free, digital download at or free issuu app on iTunes & GooglePlay

Courtesy Mount Rose

lake tahoe map where are you?


saving winter pro athletes take on climate change


calling the shots freeskiers find a voice


back to school avalanche training will save your life


a place to play learning skills at woodward tahoe


photo essay tahoe winter bliss


reflecting on the changing ski industry rob kautz


taking it to the next level local workshops


news from the lift line resort round-up


royal gorge breathtaking views await on cross-country tour


famed cal neva to reopen tahoe development


big blue brews local craft alehouses


dance the winter nights away music & festivals


a tahoe skier’s horoscope what’s in store


tips for tahoe ski trips


Publisher & Editor In Chief Katherine E. Hill publisher@tahoethisweek. com, ext. 102 Associate Editor Jenn Sheridan, ext. 104 Account Executive Greg Pisarski, ext. 108 Art Director | Production Alyssa Ganong production@tahoethisweek. com, ext. 106 Graphic Designer Mael Passanesi graphics@tahoethisweek. com, ext. 101 Adminstrative Manager Michelle Allen Contributing Writers Tim Hauserman Priya Hutner Michael O’Connor Tahoe Powder is a publication of Range of Light Media Group, which also publishes The Tahoe Weekly magazine and Tahoe Summer magazine. Tahoe Powder is published annually each November. Reproduction in whole or part without the publisher’s express permission is prohibited. Tahoe Powder is not responsible for unsolicited submissions

riding fat snow bike adventures


Who are we?

kyle smaine made in tahoe

On the cover | Photographer Keoki Flagg captures Tahoe skier Jamie Burge enjoying some of Tahoe’s legendary powder at Alpine Meadows. keoki flagg


After a day on the slopes

...our lakefront resort is a luxurious treat. Whether your post-ski routine calls for a fireside cocktail at the lakefront Lone Eagle Grille, a deep tissue massage at Stillwater Spa and Salon, or trying new local beers as part of the C.U.L.T. beer club in Cutthroat’s Saloon, you’ll find the perfect end to a perfect day at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.

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AR comes to the slopes


Tahoe receives an average of 409” of fresh powder each year

e a a a oe o de a in i ed en a o o ie o a o a en o e en inee a oac ed a e no o i no oa d e iva in an anci co in o e a o ei inven ion o e a



Tahoe Photos courtesy GogglePal

o e a a e o n ed on i o e and e a en ed ea i ec no o o ac and a e one da on e o e o e co anion i one a e device ac eed ve ica o a ion acce e a ion and ca o ie i da a a ea in on a di a in ide e o e LAKE TAHOE · TAHOE POWDER 4

o need o c a e ne i en a o e a a e o n ed o an ai o o e co e i a ec a ea e a e ac a a ei o e o e a o evie e ona a and ac o e in oin one oca ion on a eo a oca e and ac iend and o e o e a i a i in e o de in an a




The highest peak in the Tahoe Basin is Freel Peak at 10,881’



- KH


Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long & 12 miles wide

The deepest point in Lake Tahoe is 1,645’

saving winter pro athletes take

on climate change by jenn sheridan

TOP Squaw Valley has joined Protect Our Winters | Hank de Vre, Squaw Valley RIGHT Protect Our Winters has been lobbying Congress to take steps to combat climate change. Pictured, from left, on Capitol Hill are Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability for Aspen Skiing Company

a disturbing trend has defined the way


we talk about winter over the past decade. No, it’s not selfie sticks or rising tickets prices that has the ski community worried, but rising temperatures. While the drought is mostly responsible for the meager snowpack we’ve seen on West Coast mountain ranges in reWe’re strength in numbers and cent years, there is no denying we do have a voice at the White that the storms we have seen House because of the size of our are warmer, often resulting in group, but we need bigger numbers. rain at lower elevations includWe can’t operate with less than ing the base areas of local 1 percent of the industry on board. ski resorts.


… We need to step up as an industry and become a unified front on climate change.

“I’ve spent my life in the mountains and in doing so I’ve seen a change. By 2005, I became really - Jeremy Jones concerned with the changes I was seeing,” said Jeremy Jones, professional big mountain snowboarder and founder of Protect Our Winters. As a professional snowboarder and a business owner, Jones is aware of his personal INSET impact on the environment. Jones calls Lake eremy ones Courtesy Teton Tahoe home, but his career takes him to the Gravity Research ea o o n ain a o nd e o e o fi

eremy ones Olympic

silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler and Chris avenport, a renowned big mountain skier and mountaineer. | Courtesy Protect Our Winters

with his brothers’ action sports media company, Teton Gravity Research. When he’s not c ai in fi de cen do n ee ine e operates Jones’ Snowboards in Truckee, Calif. But when he looked for an outlet to give back to something that focused on the changing world, he found that it didn’t exist. “I didn’t like that answer, so basically I tried to ignore it, but I kept seeing more and more change happening,” said Jones. He recounts a day spent visiting a small ski resort in Prince Rupert, Canada. It was mid-winter and there were no skiers in sight; the lifts weren’t turning, the hills were covered in grass. “When I asked them why it isn’t open they said it just doesn’t snow at that elevation anymore. It was a real shock to see these guys who weren’t that old describe losing their resort to rising snow levels,” said Jones. It was another year before Protect Our Winters began to take shape as an organization that would give a voice to the changing environment. “I was really reluctant to start it. I’m not an environmentalist. I didn’t go to school for it. I have a carbon footprint, but I also knew I had connections in the industry with media

Creating the change Protect Our Winters is focused on mobilizing burning coal for energy and actively engaged the snowsports community to speak up against the community to contact local representatives and lawmakers to ask for clean power alterpolicies and projects that have a negative impact on the climate and the environment. natives. While the battle is still ongoing, their “I was naïve getting into the climate change, e o ave een cce in oc in e as you know it’s a really long and tough battle,” ports that would be used to ship the coal. says Jones. He continues that it is encouraging to see the small victories. Continued Homewood_Tahoe_Powder_725_49_4color_Outline.pdf 1 10/7/2015 1:57:09on PMpg 8...









don’t force it “I think people place too much emphasis on how they turn and not enough on where they turn. Skiing is supposed to be fun and feel good. It should be done with a smile, not a grimace. People grimace when they try to turn the way someone instructed them too. “Rather than force unnatural technique, just try looking further down the hill to where the snow is ideal for a turn. Skip the icy patch and point ‘em for the softer snow below or traverse across the hill for a few moments until the moment just feels right.”

- JT Holmes Professional Skier, Wing Suit Pilot, Stunt Man


companies and riders. I needed other people to Protect Our Winters joined communirally around me and to get on board with the ie ac o e acific o e oo o e cause,” said Jones. e o in coa o e o de ive a in Protect Our Winters launched in 2007 with o a a id e andin a e in ia o the mission of engaging the snowsports comdeep-water ports in Washington and Oregon. ni o ead e fi a ain c i a e c an e e e ed od ce e fi o en a through education, advocacy and communiwhich documents the negative impacts of ty-based activism. The organization operates out o a a o e n a i o nia a ed o ce i a a o o e ide iance inc de more than 40 athletes who dedicate their time to POW’s initiatives and a newly formed Science iance inc de a ea o ei o ovide the research behind every project. “One of the things I’m most proud of is what Protect Our Winters has become. I’m just a cog in the wheel. There are so many amazing people involved that it’s taken on its own life form,” said Jones.




ski events Tahoe Rim Tour Jan. 24, 2016 | Tahoe Cross Country to Northstar

Alpenglow Mountain Festival February 2016 Area venues

Chutes Fest February 2016 | Mt. Rose

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour Feb. 27-28, 2016 | Kirkwood March 5-6 | Sugar Bowl

The Great Ski Race March 6, 2016 | Tahoe Cross Country to Truckee


USANA International Cross Cup March 10-13, 2016 Squaw Valley

Pain McShlonkey Classic March 2016 Squaw Valley

High Roller Hold ‘Em


April 2016 | Heavenly

Cushing Crossing April 16 | Squaw Valley

Billy Dutton Uphill April 2016 | Squaw Valley

Protect Our Winters is a rallying cry for the winter sports community to show the economic impact of dirty energy and ask for change. Most recently, POW’s executive director, Chris Steinkamp, attended the announcement of the Clean Power Plan in the East Room of the White House. Developed under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Power Plan is focused on reducing air pollution emitted by power plants. The organization’s work extends beyond the borders of the United States. Recently, they’ve created a plan for supporting Community Carbon Trees, a company that works to reforest clear-cut swaths of the Costa Rican forest with a variety of native, tropical plants. I was really reluctant to start it. I’m not an environmentalist. I didn’t go to school for it. I have a carbon footprint, but I also knew I had connections in the industry with media companies and riders.” - Jeremy Jones

ddi iona e o a o e a year in grants for schools to build green programs on campus. Past grant recipients have used the money to create composting and recycling programs and eliminate the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam in schools. One student group built stationary bikes from used bicycles that could be used to charge cell phones and laptops on campus.

Strength in numbers The outdoor community is uniquely suited to drive a broad movement in climate action, i a e a co ec ive e o o eve e than 1 percent of the snow sports community, including athletes and outdoor companies, are involved with Protect Our Winters. “We’re strength in numbers and we do have a voice at the White House because of the size of our group, but we need bigger numbers. We can’t operate with less than 1 percent of the industry on board. I’m grateful for the membership we have and the companies we work with, but we need to step up as an ind and eco e a nified on on c i a e change,” said Jones.

Educating future generations Protect Our Winters is also committed to educating the next generation on how it can positively impact climate change. The Hot Planet Cool Athletes program brings professional athletes to schools around the United States and Canada to share their experiences i ne in c i a e c an e fi and i e ed ucating students with the latest climate change science. Any school may request a free assembly at Since 2011, the program has reached more than 30,000 den a di e en c oo

TOP Jeremy Jones spends time with school children as part of POW’s Hot Planet Cool Athletes program. RIGHT TOP POW’s Hot Planet Cool Athletes program brings professional athletes to elementary schools to speak about climate change. Pictured here with a group of children from a school in Oakland, Calif., is Jeremy Jones (back right), pro snowboarder Forrest Shearer (seated) and pro skier Caroline Gleich (middle). | Courtesy Protect Our Winters

on-thego water filtration Buying water bottles is pass , expensive and harmful to the environment. o what Tahoe locals do and bring a refillable cup.

because I drive the wrong car,’ or ‘I really like to snowmobile,’ or ‘I eat steak,’ but in general in i e ic ac and e can all work to improve our impact on the environment,” said Jones. or more information on Protect Our Winters, visit

Try out the eroWater Tumbler, which comes with a built-in filtration system that you can refill from your hotel sink or a water fountain for great-tasting water. The eroWater Tumbler is a BPA-free, leak-resistant bottle and fits in most car cup holders. The five-stage filter has a built-in indicator that changes color when it’s time to change the filter.

- KH


Purchase a Tahoe license plate and get two free Alpine or Nordic tickets to the Tahoe resort of your choice.* Now you can play in some deep powder without having to dig deep to make a difference. Your modest commitment will help fund hiking and biking paths, and water quality and restoration projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. For more information or to purchase your license plate online, visit TAHOEPLATES.COM. JEREMY JONES, pro snowboarder & big mountain freerider

*restrictions apply




One of the easiest ways to get involved is to become educated on ways to decrease personal impact on the environment, Jones a e o ec in e e ieo e resources for those who want to get involved including how to contact local representatives and ways to reduce one’s personal impact on the environment. “I feel like one of the problems in the environmental movement is that people have this belief that ‘I can’t care about the environment

“The AFP is helping to guide competition organizers. It’s cool to have the voice between the athletes and event organizers.” - Kyle Smaine

calling the shots TOP


An athlete drops into the halfpipe during the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain. | Jenn Sheridan RIGHT PK Hunder, Vincent Gagnier and

freeskiers find a voice by jenn sheridan

Jesper Tjader celebrate after being named AFP Big Air World Champions during the 2014 season. | Courtesy AFP

once the renegade faction


of the ski world, freestyle skiing has come a long way from a group of adrenalinefueled guys hucking backflips and breaking all the rules to growing into an organized sport that was most recently thrust into the spotlight of mainstream sports following the inclusion of halfpipe and slopestyle skiing in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. But the evolution didn’t happen without careful guidance from key players within the industry.

In the earliest stages of the sport, freestyle skiers were competing in various events around the world, but the discipline was largely fragmented and judging competitions were entirely subjective. Capitalizing on a growing interest in action sports, ESPN launched the X Games in 1997. It was a multi-day competition showcasing the talents of the highest caliber athletes in sports such skateboarding, BMX, Rally Racing, snowboarding and, later, freestyle skiing. “The Association of Freeskiing Professionals was initially a means of creating a transparent path for people to get into the X Games. None of the athletes knew how that process worked, so we wanted to create something that athletes would understand,” said Chris Schuster, a founding member and president of the AFP. Born and raised in Tahoe, Schuster spent his childhood years ski racing and later was hired by U.S. Pro Ski Tour to travel around the country and manage professional ski races.

For more information on AFP and upcoming events for the 2015-16 season, visit

Make espresso in your car > I can’t start my morning without a cup of coffee, so when I heard I could make a fresh cup of espresso in my car I was estatic. The Handpresso is a portable, fully enclosed espresso machine that operates using the power from the 12-volt cigarette lighter in your car. Purchase pre-packaged pods complete with several flavors of coffee or pour your favorite roast into the included filter. The Handpresso is easy to use. Just add coffee to the filter, fill the water chamber and secure the lid. Plug the Handpresso in and two minutes later, you’ll have a fresh cup of coffee. My only complaint is that it only brews one shot at a time. I killed my car battery trying to satisfy the caffeine needs of my group of six friends on a camping trip. - JS

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o i an o ce a ed in a oe i and a couple of the founding members working remotely, they set out to grow an organization that would best support the needs of the athletes and ive e a nified voice i in e ind a a ecific need a an ed e seed where we all realized there was a big void in e ind a needed o e fi ed said Schuster. “With the X Games or Dew Tour, they’re basically building a television show. They can create something that looks good on TV, but from an athlete’s perspective it’s not that good, so maybe they won’t want to do it the

next time. The AFP is helping to guide competition organizers. It’s cool to have the voice between the athletes and event organizers,” said Kyle Smaine, professional halfpipe skier and AFP member. The subjective nature of skiing makes it a di c o o d e and o e n ained eye, a trick that takes a lot of technical skill might not appear as impressive as a trick that is relatively easy in comparison. When it came to selecting athletes for the X Games, there needed to be clear criteria that judges and athletes could agree on. “We’ve worked very hard in developing the best judging educational materials out there. Many of our judges are people that have come up through the ranks as competitive athletes who later chose to focus on the judging aspect of the sport. I call it the non-sexy part of the sport,” said Eric Zerrenner, executive director of the AFP. The AFP’s judging program is built around the concept that someone with no freeskiing experience could start at the beginning with the AFP’s educational materials and get into the judging booth at entry-level events before working his or her way up to judging alongside any former athlete. “Not to say that athletes don’t bring a level of knowledge that no one else can because they’ve been there and done those tricks, but not every athlete wants to be a judge,” said Zerrenner. As unsexy as it may be, judging is especially important at the Olympic level. “Now it’s critical because the entire world is a c in o e fi i e and i i no d ed properly we’ve immediately lost all credibility,” said Zerrenner. Moving forward the team continues to rely on athletes to drive the direction of growth in the sport. They’re especially focused on growing events at the entry level and fostering relationships with athletes and event organizers that will continue to grow for years to come.


“One thing led to another and I ended up in the ski and snowsport event management business by default,” says Schuster. But his background made him the perfect candidate for the X Games athlete selection committee. Along with Josh Lubeck, a former professional freestyle skier and the head judge for freestyle events; Michael Spencer, an athlete agent who is well connected with the skiers vying for a spot in the X Games; and Chris Jerard, editor-at-large for Freeskier Magazine, Schuster set out to build an algorithm that would become a standardized way to rank not only athlete results but also the various events where they were competing. However, the four men soon realized that their work didn’t end at the X Games.


Get outside “Don’t sit inside. There are umpteen million hikes from Eagle Falls to Cascade Lake. You can be staying at the casinos and go across the street and up the Van Sickle Trail. Just get outside and disconnect.”

- Kyle Smaine Professional Skier, 2015 FIS World Half Pipe Champion

stay out of harm’s


> Limit the group’s exposure > Discuss the consequence of traveling on a slope before committing; avoid terrain traps > Place only one person on a suspect slope at a time >

on’t help a buddy find a lost ski or get unstuck in hazardous terrain


> Cross or ride suspect slopes one at a time > Stay in contact with one another > Be aware of groups above & below > Don’t stop in an area exposed to avalanche hazard


> Don’t enter a closed area or any place undergoing control work > Is anyone outside his or her comfort zone? > Is the group discussing options & concerns? > Identify safer & more hazardous terrain > Minimize exposure

back to school avalanche training will save your life by tim hauserman

TOP Taking an avalanche education course is essential for anyone heading into the back country. | Courtesy Lel Tone

you wake up to a blue bird day, with 2 feet of fresh powder laying still on the mountains above Lake Tahoe. Your new back-country ski gear sits next to the front door and you can’t wait to en oy your first day of skiing where the lifts don’t run.

Stop. Have you taken a Level One Avalanche Course and understand the dangers of avalanches? Have you checked the day’s forecast and advisories with the Sierra Avalanche Center? Do you have an avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and avalanche bag and understand how to use them? Are you going with at least one other person and is he or she also avalanche trained so you can rescue each other in the event of a slide? Have you told someone where you are going and when you expect to be back? If you cannot answer yes to all these questions, you are not ready to ski in avalanche-prone terrain. Instead, it’s time to go to school. “If you are going to be out there, it is important to know avalanches,” said Lel Tone, a long-time Squaw Valley ski patroller, heli-ski guide and avalanche instructor. “Conditions change minute to minute based on the weather, snowpack and snow conditions. Base knowledge is pretty critical.”

While getting an avalanche advisory every morning before going is key, skiers and snowboarders also need to understand what the forecast means and how to apply it. The best place to get that knowledge is through an American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) Level One course. These three-day courses teach the dynamics of snow and what causes avalanches, but equally importantly, they focus on know how to make good decisions. “It teaches you tools and checklists to help you avoid making critical mistakes out there that could end your life,” said Tone. Avalanches are caused by a combination of the current condition of the snow pack, wind speed, steepness of the terrain, altitude and the compass orientation of the slope. One danger

“It teaches you tools and checklists to help you avoid making critical mistakes out there that could end your life.”

- Lel Tone

Lel Tone teaches an avalanche awareness class. | Tim Hauserman

Continued on pg 14...


you go > Take an avalanche class > Get the forecast at > Identify expected avalanche problems > Discuss tactics, avoid the problem > Avoid areas where avalanche mitigation is planned > Research your route: review terrain photos, maps & reports > Create a riding plan before heading out > Set objectives & restrictions based on forecast conditions, group desires & capability > Agree to a plan within the group > Determine where & how to make critical choices > Let someone know where you plan to go & when you plan to return


“Snow can have dozens of individual layers. They change through time and that will make the snow stronger or weaker,” says Randall Osterhuber, who has been teaching avalanche courses through Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars for the past 15 years. He says that every winter develops a unique snowpack, so it is critical to know how to interpret the changing conditions. All back-country ski partners need to have the knowledge base to make smart decisions, and be willing to communicate that information to all the others in the group. Tone says one of the most common mistakes that leads to tragedy is when skiers let their personal agendas overcome reason. “They think, ‘It’s a powder day, so I gotta ski where the powder is. Other people are skiing it.’ Or, ‘It’s next to the ski area so it must be safe.’ ‘A stronger skier thinks it’s OK, so it must be.’ ” The key is that every person in a party must feel comfortable making a decision to change the route or cancel the day. Having good information and being skilled at understanding the terrain and the snow conditions is key, but even the most skilled avalanche forecasters sometimes get caught in avalanches.


for skiers is that the 35- to 45-degree slope that usually triggers avalanches is also a preferred steepness for skiing. Avalanches can be triggered by wind, a skier, a snowmobile or when the snowpack reaches its breaking point. Avalanche classes teach back-country enthusiasts how to be prepared to help fellow adventurers should an avalanche occur. This means learning how to use beacons, probes, shovels and airbags. About one-third of an avi class is indoors, with two-thirds of the time spent outdoors learning about snowpack, how to use rescue tools and how to determine a slope’s avalanche danger.

women’s gear that doesn’t suck

Tired of the same-old shrink it and pink it model of design for women’s gear? Tahoe-based Coalition Snow set out to design women’s skis and snowboards that don’t suck. They started with asking women what they wanted from their gear and launched its first line in fall 2014 with the SOS allmountain ski, the Abyss Powder ski and the Myth all-mountain snowboard.


The gear turned some heads earning positive reviews from Freeskier Magazine and Blister Gear Review and after a successful Kickstarter campaign in the spring of 2015, they’ve expanded the line for the upcoming season.


This season, Coalition Snow will offer the tried and true SOS all-mountain ski and Abyss powder ski in a wider variety of sizes. They’ve also added the Bliss ski for ladies looking to shred the park and Queen Bee Snowboard for the powder hounds. - JS

Lel Tone demonstrates how to search for someone buried by an avalanche. | Tim Hauserman

“Snow can have dozens of individual layers. They change through time and that will make the snow stronger or weaker.” - Randall Osterhuber

“A few years ago. I had to deploy my airbag and tomahawked for 500 to 600 feet. If you a in e edi eno i can a en said Tone. ne o one den oca ie and i ode ie n e e on en one i e-mail last season: “I am not sure if you have ea d a ca and ied in an avi

in Utah Monday. It was a scary experience and a perfect example of how dangerous the human factors can be. I do want you to no a o e o en e ide a ed o e e in ead idin e o I wish all the knowledge you have given me ad ic ed in ea ie a ae o eve in o a e o e ed e o ea did The goal of avalanche training is to have the knowledge to reduce the odds of avoiding an ava anc e in e fi ace and o e e a ed to rescue your friends if it does. For more information on avalanche safety, Tahoe area advisories and conditions, and for resources on local education classes, visit

What’s in your pack? > Carry these items at all times Avalanche transceiver - turned on

Radios to communicate with the group

Avalanche probe

a e oo fi aid i o a e shelter & evacuation kit to help survive an injury in winter conditions

Avalanche shovel Extra layers Snacks & water

Consider carrying Avalanche airbag (or inflatable pack) to increase chances of staying on top of an avalanche

e one a Locator Beacon ae


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e ona in

Practice with the gear regularly

by tim hauserman

trampolines, an indoor skate park and a wood pump track with ramps and jumps for skiers, snowboarders and bikers to fly into foam pits is a kid’s dream playground, and it’s all available at Woodward Tahoe.

The center located at the base of Boreal Mountain Resort is perfectly suited as a training center for athletes at all levels, but i i a o a ea ace o a fi i e o o e in ne o o o a e iend ina i e and e ea o d on evi o ood a d o o e a ac id o d in o e ace on i fi vi i i coac andon no a ed i o e e c in and a e e ci e i e e in evi a o e ae e i e evi a a i e icen a fi andon ic ade i ee a o e

n a e in e evi a nnin and in in o e oa i en andon in od ced i o e a o ine o in e e o o do i and en o a o ine o a o ine o in o e i n o o de evi a on i and avin a a ood a d i a ed on ea nin o o e ion ac e a on e a ead o e inne o advanced a ood a d a oe di ec o o o e a ion oe e i en ood a d a oe o ened in e oc a on a e oa din and in ine a in o a ee o on i and no oa d i and ove ac and o e een ein on e o n ain and in ood a d “We see a huge return on this process of using both the o n ain and ood a d o ainin i a e and eo e ea n ic e aid i e a e in e a o ine evi c i ed o e o o a i o e i i in c o and ea ed in o e i nd en e did i a ain and a ain ina i a i e o o e o e ac and i in i e evi a e in i oo and e e on a c ed a o o e a ood a d vi i o in o e on ei i e e ee a e in i i e en e enco a e en o a coac n e ecia ood eceived a o nd o a a e o e o e ide and an one e e o a a c in evi ac iced i e o e i oin and ove n i i coac o e a ead o a e e ea in o e i fi evi a a e en ive i en e enco a e en o i in c o and o e o ed do n e a and oo a o i in o e oa e e e ed o e i a i e and ead o do i a ain “Once you have gone through a safety training and introd c ion o can co e and a on o o n o a e e on e ei a a a a o nd o e aid no e e o a e a ie o no oa de oo in o nai o ne ic a i e ide o an o ea n o o eco e a e e ide o a id o an o a ood a d i a ood ace o e ood a d o e e ion o ad a e |

Woodward Tahoe includes foam pits, an indoor skate

Looking for more activities for the kids

park, a wood pump track and more. | Nina Miller

the latest events and fun activities for kids in Tahoe.

isit for


learning skills at woodward tahoe


a place to play

tahoe winter bliss photography by keoki flagg TAHOE WINTER BLISS · TAHOE POWDER

lake tahoe is defined by incredible beauty and seasonal change. Winter storms bundle Tahoe blue in fresh, white blankets, unifying and purifying everything with magic, sparkling light.


The sun illuminates snow crystals dancing in the air, beckoning everyone to come explore outside. There are so many different ways to play in the snow; timeless, ageless and bringing out the kid in us all. No matter how tranquil or aggressive your winter pastime or sport, you only fully realize your joy by immersing yourself truly to feel it, to live it … Mountain. Lake Tahoe winter is a gift. - Keoki Flagg |


Jonny Moseley, Errol Kerr and Jamie Burge off Summit Chair at Alpine Meadows. BOTTOM

Taking a break from the runs at Heavenly to enjoy the brilliant blues of Lake Tahoe. OPPOSITE TOP

T olmes takes flight above Lake Tahoe skiing out of bounds off Heavenly Valley. BOTTOM

Spring skiing fun with Mighty Mites at Squaw Valley.

Roscoe runs down the Mount Run at Squaw Valley. Roscoe was the lead dog for the Squaw Valley Avalanche Dogs until he passed three years ago. His human is avalanche forecaster Will Paden. LEFT INSET

Julie Anderson enjoys back-country powder off Jake’s Peak over Emerald Bay. TAHOE POWDER · TAHOE WINTER BLISS




Michelle Parker enjoys the deep powder in Poulsen’s Gully at Squaw Valley.

refl ecting on the changing ski industry by priya hutner

rob kautz has spent nearly 40 years at Sugar Bowl, with the last 27 years as its C O. ollowing his recent retirement, autz sat down with Tahoe Powder to discuss the future of skiing in Tahoe and particularly at Sugar Bowl, one of the region’s iconic ski areas that opened in 1939. Rob autz was at Sugar Bowl for nearly 40 years, with 27 years as its C O, before retiring recently. Courtesy Sugar Bowl


“Can a medium-sized, independently owned ski resort survive in the corporate ski world?” - Rob Kautz

18 TOP Skiers en oy a powder day at Sugar Bowl on terrain on Crow’s Peak. The resort opened the Crow’s Peak lift in 2014, adding an additional 1,000 feet of top-to-bottom skiing giving access to more back country that the resort is renowned for. rant Barta, Sugar Bowl

a a a in i decade o e e ience he has seen the ski industry change from what a i o nia ea i ionee fi envi ioned evo vin in o e ode n i e o e a oe i a ea ave eco e o e co o a e con o ida ion and econo ie o ca e ave eco e o e i o an e aid a a o ed e e ion ove and ove a ain an a edi i ed inde enden o ned i e o vive in e co o a e i o d e a e “Sugar Bowl owners are all about skiing; e a e a iona e and oo in o a i e e ience e a e i oo in o a e one and a a o ein a ve ood ine o e a ion aid a n o de o co e e in e ind e need o o e a e ic a iance i e e o cce a e ained a o a no on a ne ed i a a e oo e va e added enefi o a o de a a o oined i n a e and and a ee and an o con in e o e a ne i e a e in a ne o d in e ind a o e ed e e i a ea c an e in e i ine i ed i i o i ca aci i ic a e ee i e a e en conven iona c ai increased and better snow surface has changed d a a ica i od o e o i e o o i ica ed oo in ac ine a can oo ee e e ain and e c an e in ec no o i i oved i e i en eo e a e iin e in o ei and e e da iin o i e ed o e i o i e and no i ca e i i o i e o

in e

edia e ie o e o i e a a i e c o a o c ce and e o oade a ea and on evi o ie and oa de e e ind a ea a o e e co d o didn e i e io o a a o on no da en o eo e a e oo in o o de i a e don oo a o ei n on o da e ovide oo ed n o eve one on o da e a e o e n avai a e o o de da e a Meeting the needs of the future en a o o ened e da od e and e anded i e vice o da ie i o e ed o e in e edia e e ain and o ened e o n ain o a eve o ie e i inve en ave aid o ince a o a inve ed o e an i ion in ade and a eni ie e eo c en in even c ai i and o ened o ea in addin an addi iona ee o o o o o iin ivin access to more back country that the resort is eno ned o a a o aeo ea a eo e i in a a e e eco e ao e o co in o e e i five e cen of Sugar Bowl skiers are from the Sacramento and a ea eed e o a e ecen d o a i ac ed and e ed an a oe e o a e ieve i i c an e e died e eco d e e en a acific ai oad ince and a a ove ea ee ave een o e e iod o d o e in o i e a a a a ind o e ea e in a oe i c c ica e e ave een n e o e iod ee droughts lasted four to six years and that is not nco on o a i o nia e ve een o na e in e a ea no o ave ad o e do aid a in

Back-country skiers growing market

ed ca ion and viva i on on a For Sugar Bowl, Kautz says that the future of skiing lies in its continued focus on the a ine e e ience e oc on iin ed ca ion c o co n iin and ac co n iin o ae a serious outdoor enthusiast, we have what you a e oo in o e a e no a o o in e ave a id ic o n ain vi a e and oo o en ance a e e ience a aid

Sugar Bowl is one of the region’s iconic ski resorts, opening in 1939. Pictured here is the resort’s first chairlift, isney, so named for Walt isney, one of the resort’s original investors. Courtesy Sugar Bowl

THE MOST SNOW IN TAHOE, WITH THE SHORTEST LIFT LINES & LEAST CROWDED SLOPES. Explore Sugar Bowl Resort and North America’s largest XC across 7,500 acres of terrain atop scenic Donner Summit, all conveniently closest to Sacramento and the Bay Area. Save time and money, buy tickets at CALIFORNIA OWNED & OPERATED





Sugar Bowl is one of the only ski resorts in the Tahoe area with an open boundary policy o e in o e o e e ac co n acce “Alpine Skills International is an incredible a ne and o e a eno ena ac co n i e e ience e a e a a o iin and oa d in a a o e ac co n ain in c inic and ided o o o e i e o ne o e e e e en o e eo i in i ac co n iin a o n on on di ec o o a e in a a o e ae o ac co n i e i en a inc ea ed ove e a e ea i no o nd ie e ica e o in a e cen o in e a e o ac co n iin acce o ie in e a ea a one e o a ae o ac co n ea ave een eadi inc ea in ove e a five ea eco ni in e o in e e en a o o e ed ca ion a o a o e aci i a e e ac co n i e e ience ac co n ea e e en e o growth category in retail sales, and Sugar Bowl ovide e idea e o o i a o e ave an a ic in o nd iin and idin co ed with an open boundary policy for unrivaled ac co n acce a oe on in o nd i innin o a and a dedica ed Backcountry Adventure Center focused on

taking it

Skiers Breakfast Smoothie El Niño is knocking at the door and you’ll want a breakfast that’s quick, easy to make, and will power you through to a late lunch. This is the perfect type of breakfast, so you don’t miss a single turn. Ski on.

Energy Smoothie T fla or chia seeds TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL · TAHOE POWDER

(soaked for 15 minutes)

2 C water 1 kale leaf lack erries

to the

next level

by priya hutner

winter is upon us

and for those of us who love mountain life, it’s time to prepare for the slopes. Getting ready for ski season is exciting and with El Niño predictions, the promise of powder calls us to Tahoe. There are numerous ways to get ski bodies in shape for the season. Activities and workouts that focus on a combination of cardio, strength, flexibility and balance will help support skiers and boarders. There are also plenty of yoga studios in Tahoe and yoga improves flexibility and helps increase strength and endurance, which are excellent to prepare the body for skiing.

and tactics. Courses help skiers improve their nc iona ove en fi ne ec ni e and ac ic on e i o e eo e e a e o e co in in e i ea on e in o o i ea e nde e a c ea eo o i ca i e a ea on in e ea on en e o e ea o e o o o o iin i ea aid co o nde and di ec o enn e o o a in e ic a i c inic a e skiers back on the hill and ready to ski the rest o e ea on |

s all handful lue erries straw erries slices pineapple


After soaking the flax or chia seed for 15 minutes, blend the kale and seeds in the water. Add the fruit and blend smooth. It is about 50-50 kale to fruit. Freezing the fruit helps it from going bad and also will help make the drink cool, as well as help it blend smoother. - Chef David “Smitty” Smith

It never hurts to sharpen one’s ski skills and there are numerous ski clinics and courses available in Tahoe. An early season workshop can e eneficia o a a o in e o iin and idin n addi ion o i e on o e ed a o i eo o o a oe e e a e o co anie a o e o a d in e winter months to help improve downhill and back-country skills. The North American Ski Training Center i a e o ance i c oo o e in i da i e ion and adven e i ainin c inic o in e edia e o e e ie a ed in a oe o e a o n ain ee iin c inic a ove e o d e odo o o a d i i provement is based on a holistic approach that add e e fi ne e i en iin ec ni e

Alpine Skills nternational (ASI) at a o i e o o e one o e eadin ed ca iona ainin o a in a oe eno ned o i ac co n ed ca iona co e and ava anc e a e o a end e e ed ca iona va e i o e ive ec ni e in iin a a e ac iced e

TOP LEFT Alpine Skills International offers courses for downhill and back-country skiing and snowboarding, avalanche safety, ice climbing and more. | Courtesy ASI BOTTOM LEFT Using an avalanche beacon; practice makes perfect. | Courtesy ASI

o acco i ed a ini o o e o d a ici an ea n o e i o ie and ide o ena e e o a e e i e e ience o e ne eve ac co n Chris Fellows, pictured here, is a co e eac i o an co-founder and instructor at North i do n i ec ni e American Ski Training Center, offering skill improvement courses around o en o a ine e ain Tahoe and Truckee. | Courtesy NASTC e o e en e in i ea on i i i o an o oc on ca dio and en fi ne a o an a o ead ide eo e an o e e io and e e o o ei in e ea on o ave o e oac ive i o od o aven een “An early season i in c i in o idin a e a workshop can i e i e o deve o e eneficia e i i i and o e in o e a o for a fabulous also recommends in e o iin ac ivi ie i e o a a en ance a ance and idin e ea ea oa n e o i eo o o a oe a o e c inic de i ned o o en an in o i ove ei iin e e c inic o o en in an envi on en o ain confidence and ea n ac ica i o a i i e ei i e e ience n e e c inic o en deve o i and ec ni e o en ance ei iin a an eve ec oca e o o a c ed e o in e c inic n e a a ion o e i ea on don o e o c ec o e ea a e e o e i o no oa d ned and c ec a oo SUMMER SKIING and indin a e in ood IN CHILE a e o c ec o e NASTC offers two, weeklong and o e acce o ie For information on the latest ski and snowboard clinics all season, visit

courses each August in Chile at Corralco Ski Resort and Portillo Ski Resort. The ski camps address techni ue, fitness and equipment in a multi-day, skitraining program. NASTC also offers back-country tour options and heli-skiing in Portillo.




news from the lift line

Relive your day on the slopes with a drone that will follow you all day and record your next adventure. | Courtesy Homewood Mountain Resort

by jenn sheridan

tahoe and truckee ski resorts worked hard all summer to improve and expand the already great experiences each mountain offers. From improved snowmaking technology to expanded terrain parks, stronger Wi-Fi and on-mountain apps, a day on the hill has never been easier. Here are a few of the headlines that caught our eyes.

Connecting the dots at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows //


Skiers and riders in the Tahoe Basin have long wondered whether Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows could be combined into one mega-resort. This past spring, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings announced plans for a gondola connecting the two resorts.

The current plan is for a gondola that will connect the two resort base areas via the KT-22 ridgeline. A decision has not been made regarding whether skiing will be allowed in the White Wolf terrain. The proposal has been met with some backlash from community members who are concerned about the impact the gondola will have on the Granite Chief Wilderness area and the Five Lakes hiking trail, while Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and Caldwell say that they are working with a resort planning group to create a design that minimizes e i ac on e o ndin e ain fina an i e released in summer 2016. Speaking of new lifts, Squaw Valley will debut its new Siberia Express this season with a high-speed, six-passenger chairi o ovide o e e cien acce o i e ia o ain ine and the Mainline Terrain Park. |

Developing White Wolf // In related news, Caldwell has announced plans to build a 38-lot mountain community on the White Wolf property between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. His vision includes concrete-constructed homes that are capable of withstanding potential avalanche activity, hydroelectric and wind power generators and a private chair lift that will provide access to Estelle Bowl at Alpine Meadows. |


Get the shot at Homewood Mountain Resort //

The proposal follows a successful partnership between Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and Troy Caldwell, the owner of a strip of private lane called White Wolf, which separates Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The partnership is just efi e in e annin e o ec i need a ova from Placer County and the U.S. Forest Service.

If you went on a ski vacation and didn’t post about it on Instagram, did it really happen? Homewood Mountain Resort wants to help you capture those memories with more than a e ie o e fie e ve a ne ed i a e od c ion o o e a d one video e vice o ie and ide e d one are equipped with tracking equipment so all resort guests have to do is strap on an arm band and let the drone follow and do the work. Don’t settle for the same old Instagram shots this winter. |

Broke ski bums rejoice // o e eo e o ee i e a e o a o d a e e a ac o a en i in e an o eve a oca e o anno ncin ai e in ini a e o e co in ea on o n o e i a oe i a en eve ea ona e o ee a ini o an o ean i e ai e o ic inc de o a ai o nia eaven o n ain e o and i ood o n ain eo a anno nced a co an ide ini a e o a a e and ine eado o o ed i ai in ei en eve a o an o e ne o nd on o i ea on


o en on a i vaca ion and didn o a o i on n a a did i ea a en

LEFT Sugar Bowl is unveiling a new terrain park in 2015-16.

Cath oward,

Sugar Bowl BOTTOM LEFT Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is eyeing a gondola to connect the two



c ai


“Line up at 8:40 a.m. at Disney for first chair (at Sugar Bowl). This lift usually opens a little before official opening at 9 a.m. t’s got awesome natural terrain and buffed groomers. With four peaks around Sugar Bowl, there is a lot of terrain with less pressure in lift lines and on the mountain. f you find me out there, ’ll take you to a few favorite spots, but one that ’ll reveal here is the powder-filled tree run called Tunnel on skiers’ right of Summit Chair. That always holds good snow. “

ski areas. | Courtesy Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

- Daron Rahlves Olympian, World Champion, - ames old medalist, Rahlves’ Banzai Tour

Flexible pass options // ia ond ea o e o e o e o e i e a o ion in e a oe a in e e a o e e e o ion o c a in o o even da o e an i e d in e ea on and e a i an e a e e een eo e ea on a o de a ia ond ea eceive o i ic e o o ea o e ood ne o n ain ed od e o n ain i efi and a e a i no oa d e o a in i a ea o ion o o e oo in o ave e ea ed e a an ee a e nd on an n ed | ea on a e e o e an

Downhill Ski Area The lodge restaurant & pub Fireside dining plus spectacular views of the High Sierra. Full menus are posted online.

Wide-open, gentle slopes perfect for beginners and families, plus a brand new snowmaking system.

Cross country Ski AreA

Pizza on the hill

State-of-the-art new facility opening for 2015-2016, and over 100km of groomed terrain.

A casual atmosphere, full salad bar, and family-friendly menu.


The most affordable sledding and tubing options in the area.

Keep up with the latest happenings at Tahoe’s ski resorts all season in the latest edition of Tahoe Weekly available for free on stands or download it at | 530-587-9400


a o a a ne ed i no a ec no o ie o c ea e a ne e ain a oca ed e o e inco n e ai i e a i inc de ne ea e a in a e id e a a and o in do n a e id e o e oca ion o e o d a i e e o e con in in o e i and ide o e o i n o on ec ni e e o e a in i o e no a ood a d a oe an o e ne a o ood a d a oe co o a |


Stomp the Landing on Donner Summit //

Yoga for

ski season oga enhances flexibility and helps increase strength and endurance. Yoga is great both before and after skiing. Sun Salutations are great before hitting the slopes as the poses help warm up and open the body.

royal gorge

breathtaking views await on cross-country tour by katherine e. hill

TOP Royal Gorge offers more than 200km of groomed trails across 6,000 acres of terrain making it North

the royal gorge is one of the Sierra’s natural wonders – a 4,417-foot deep gorge that is the namesake for Royal Gorge, one of the largest cross-country ski areas in North America. mael passanesi


Try Chair Pose to strengthen knees and quadriceps, and Warrior III and Dancer Pose for balance and strengthening core muscles.

chair pose


Stand with feet together, raise arms overhead, bend the knees and squat down as if to sit on a chair. Do not bring the hips lower than the level of the knees and keep knees pointing forward. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths. - Priya Hutner

Royal Gorge’s deep, but narrow, canyon walls emerge from the mountain peaks of Donner Summit beyond Palisade and Devil’s Peaks. A winter trek to Point Mariah, overlooking the precipitous gorge, takes cross-country skiers and snowshoers to the wondrous views of deep mountains gorged by the snow-fed waters of the North Fork of the American River. It was this spectacular site that was my goal on an overcast, spring day with my sister, Michelle Allen, and friends Sara Carbonari and Alanna Misico. My sister and I were high-beginner cross-country skiers at the time of the trip, while Alanna and Sara, both skate skiers, are more advanced.

America’s largest cross-country ski area. | Courtesy Royal Gorge BOTTOM The author, from left, with friends Alanna Misico, Sara Carbonari and Michelle Allen on the tour to Point Mariah overlooking The Gorge.

The tour to Point Mariah is for intermediate o advanced ie e e e confiden a we were ready to tackle the challenging terrain. a a and anna e e ic o in ei graceful, skate-skiing style. Michelle and I followed on our classic skis, gliding into the groomed tracks on Reindeer. We crossed over a creek and headed uphill. Around a few turns uphill, we reached the junction for Sterling’s Canyon, but passed it by. This advanced route is a vertical, downhill drop truly for the more experienced skier. We continue to follow Reindeer down a few downhill descents to the junction for Halfhitch. This was, of course, after I made a few falls. It seems to be my pattern – I make a couple of a o ei e andin i on a e ain e o e e oove find a ance adjust my position and remember I’m on skis. There isn’t a bad section on any part of this trip as the trails move through dense forests to small meadows with glimpses of the high mountain peaks in the distance along the Castle Pass trail. Hellman Way is the next segment with a series of up and down hills that never seem to end. Just as I reach the top of one hill, it’s time to go down. I do well through most of them, except one hill where a sharp, right corner emerges out of nowhere. I’m going too fast and my snowplow is failing me. I have a choice – hit the tree I can’t miss in the turn or take a nose

orge is a 4,417-foot deep gorge that

is the namesake for the cross-country ski area on onner Summit.

atherine . ill

i e o evi ea and no o n ain can e een in e di ance and e o e in a eci o e a ea o oin a ia e e e e in o e o en e an e o e oin o an a a in vie o e o a o e nd i i a a in e ind i a o nd o eve di ec ion a e in e a eo a o e ed e o e o e e o o o e e ican ive eande o e can on ee e o a e no icea e o o van a e oin a ed o no e e c o on e a ed oc a e i id ind o o e a a on a e can n i e co d ai o ce ac o e ed e e na oc ace o evi ea i o e no i e no o n ain o e a ove e can on o e e o e oin i a e in i in ec ac a ea i

Visit and plan your own trip to Point Mariah or explore the more than 200km of


a e o nin i “Whenever I’m home and skiing at Squaw, I make it a daily ritual to grab food or coffee and always a cookie at Wildflour Caf . The cookies are the best in the world. “… Side note, if you hope to get in a “Pro” sighting while you’re visiting S uaw, Wildflour is the place where everyone takes their ski break from Cody Townsend to Michelle Parker to Travis anong to T olmes. The cookies are addictive and we’re all hooked. “I love starting off the day waking up my muscles, getting my body aligned and ready for skiing by taking the 7:30 a.m. yoga class at the Wanderlust studio in the Village at Squaw Valley. If you need a kick-inthe-butt yoga class and not glorified stretching, take one of Sherry McConkey’s classes. She really knows how to gear her classes for athletes.”

- Elyse Saugstad reeride World Tour Champion, Professional Big Mountain Skier, co-founder S.A. . .A.S Clinics

trails for all levels of skiers.

“ A winter trek to Point Mariah, overlooking the precipitous gorge, takes crosscountry skiers and snowshoers to the wondrous views of deep mountains gorged by the snow-fed waters of the North Fork of the American River.”

After your adventures on the slopes... rest and renew with organic sleep from


The Royal

e decide o a e a di e en o e ac on an in e edia e ai o e can en o o e o e e ain e oo i didn con ec en a e o e eadin o o e o d ave no n a e in e edia e ai a c o ed ac in o i e ead do n i ne o o a nice de cen o e in an on e a e a o e in an on e e en a o o o en e ain oo in o ac o e o n ain i ed d in o i o e ove ca ie and no a no i ead o a a ood in e didn no in advance a e e e oin o ave o a e an a cen a o e en a ee nea ve ica o e o o ad no n i ave o ice a o ac ac in in ead e eac e nc ion o e no c o ed ai and nned e ve ica i a i o on o ion e ae a and o e ead o e e i even i ave o c a a e a ed en econd a e i e av in a o ad e a e eac ion o o i a ion o do n e o e in di and a c in da n e a e i in e a in e e o o e i a e ea and a e in e ee i oo ee don ee ad no a eo i and a c i in i e en i o ee can a e c i i fina a ei e ee e a o e i o can c ic ac in o i ee e e o e i a e o and oc ai on o a i c a ea e i o ae e o e i ed ea ea and n ove i a a an a ic da en o ed eve a o en


dive c o e e a e and a e a a on ide ide a o nd e co ne on and ind on e ed e o e ai i i in e ai a a in in in o e ec ac e ade o e oo a o nd and e e a no one o i ne i e a ade i a o nd e co ne oo ed no one ca i i a a ea c a e c o d ave e in ic a ove and e a ned a e no i co in e ve ade ea i e and a e an io o e a e o e o

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cal neva to reopen by katherine e. hill

locals and visitors “ The grand dame of Tahoe resorts is expected to open in winter 2016 after a more than twoyear closure.”

FAMED CAL NEVA TO OPEN · TAHOE POWDER 26 TOP LEFT Cal Neva renditions | Courtesy Criswell Radovan BOTTOM Homewood Mountain Resort rendition | Courtesy JMA Ventures, LLC

have seen many projects along Lake Tahoe’s famed waters come to a virtual standstill in recent years as redevelopment projects have been plagued by an economy still recovering from the recession, legal and financial challenges and the agonizing challenges of bureaucratic red tape that is a fact of life in the Tahoe Basin.

However, the past year has seen movement on many of these long-anticipated projects. Perhaps no project completion has been more anxiously anticipated than the long-awaited reopening of the Cal Neva. The grand dame of Tahoe resorts is expected to open in winter 2016 after a more than two-year closure, according to Glodow Nead Communications. The famed resort was built in 1926 and remained a iconic location for infamous mobsters, politicians and celebrities to enjoy the resort’s popular gaming throughout the decades until falling into disrepair in the early part of the 21st Century. Napa Valley-based real estate development company Criswell Radovan has undertaken a full interior and exterior renovation of the Cal Neva, which straddles the California-Nevada line. The 10-story, 191-unit resort, which will include a non-smoking casino, will feature accommodations with panoramic vistas of Lake Tahoe and three restaurants. The Circle Bar will return as a focal point of the property and The Showroom is being restored to its former glory. Reimagining Tahoe Biltmore The Tahoe Biltmore has been a North Shore mainstay for gambling and entertainment since it opened in 1946. The aging property has gone through a series of stops and starts in ecen ea d e o e o o de a to reinvigorate the casino with new energy.

The reimagined Tahoe Biltmore will downa i a in c in e ca ino oo ace by one-third), while focusing on a new image as a health and wellness retreat with an expansive fi ne cen e a ede ian vi a e i e ai shops and high-end boutique lodging. HMR to break ground on base village Homewood Mountain Resort plans to break ground on renovations to its North Base area in spring 2016. A base hotel lodge at the North Base is the centerpiece of the project, which will feature a small village with amenities for visitors and locals, underground parking and a boutique hotel. The project also will feature workforce housing, condos, retail space, an ice skating pond and expanded skier services with work slated for completion in 2021. A mix of residential units is eyed for the South Base with condos, townhomes and ski-in, ski-out chalets. The South Base phase of construction is expected to start in 2021. Moving ahead in South Lake South Lake Tahoe has seen a resurgence in its economy, thanks in large part to the movement of large-scale projects, which peaked with the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in January 2015. Neighboring casino resorts have stepped up their games, with investments in room upgrades at Harrah’s Tahoe and Harveys, and an overhaul of the convention center at Harrah’s. MontBleu has upgraded its lodging, convention center and casino. Meanwhile, long-stalled work on the Chateau project is moving forward with a 32-unit condo, as well as more than 19,000-square-feet of retail space. The lakeside Edgewood Tahoe golf course is renovating three of its holes to construct a new, 154-room lodge with meeting facilities, a spa and adding a third restaurant to the property, expected to be completed in 2017.

snowmobile tours



if you believe that nothing washes down a day on the slopes like a frosty, cold beer, but you’re not about to settle for a watered down glass of swill, you’re in luck. The craft beer movement has hit ski nation with the fury of a blizzard in January and, unlike the winter of 2014-15, it hasn’t skipped over Tahoe. With new brew pubs popping up across the lake, we put in long hours exploring the evolving microbrew offerings around Big Blue.

3⅟2 hrs mid-week 4 or more people Non-Holiday

2015-16 Season Pass $2195

midweek excluding blackout dates (check dates on the website)


Stout aged in oak barrels and released only once a year in December. Likewise, Tahoe Mountain Brewery in Tahoe City began introducing beers that border on culinary creations including a rotation of seasonal ai on a inco o a e e i avo and a farmhouse ale that uses Szechuan peppercorns. i i e o i efi e e in e Tahoe Basin to turn its focus away from the restaurant angle all together. “Tahoe has had a long history of brewe e a an e e efi e e focused on large-scale production and distribution in the Basin,” said Drake. The crew an o o e i ee “The craft beer in cans soon, but they won’t be the only ones ove en a to do so. Lake Tahoe hit ski nation Brewing Company, which currently with the fury operates in Carson of a blizzard City and Fernley, ev o e i ee in January.” in a 32-oz. can called the Crowler, as well as the familiar 12-oz. can. They also plan to open two new locations in Truckee and Reno this winter. o ne i e o find o e eac in o a cold beer after a long day on the hill, don’t grab the usual domestic. In the words of The Brewery at Lake Tahoe, “Drink Tahoe Brew.”

“The craft beer scene in Reno-Tahoe has ea co e o i e in e a five o o ea Reno is frankly exploding with new breweries right now, and I think that has helped spur some new start-up breweries in the Tahoe a ea aid evin a e o nde o one o e newest breweries on the scene, Alibi Ale Works in Incline Village. Après-microbrews aren’t new to the Lake Tahoe scene. The Brewery at Lake Tahoe has been pouring pints in South Lake Tahoe since 1992. While the original focus was on handcrafted ales, the Brewery at Lake Tahoe quickly became known for its pizzas made with dough featuring its signature Bad Ass Ale, and they continued to expand their menu. As the area’s thirst for craft beer strengthened, Alibi Ale Works is focusing on large-scale breweries such as FiftyFifty production. | Ryan Salm, Alibi Ale Works Brewing in Truckee came TOP on o e cene o e in e Brewer Carl Spackler checks on a fresh cial releases including the batch of beer at Tahoe Mountain Brewery’s Eclipse Series, which begins brewery and taproom in Truckee. | Courtesy Tahoe Mountain Brewery with the Totality Imperial

ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE EATING THEM Now available at Safeway and Raley’s

SKIS • BOARDS • X/C • SNOWSHOES Skier: Lynn Kennen Photo: Hank DeVre

RENT ONE ski/board pkg. GET ONE 1/2 OFF! Excludes demos and holidays. Must have coupon to redeem.


by jenn sheridan

$150 single/2hrs $175 double/2hrs

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big blue brews

tours start at

Fat Bike Rentals Tuning, Repairs, Race Prep Junior & Adult Ski Lease Pkgs.

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off-thegrid amps Sometimes a little background music is necessary for setting the mood, but it’s not always possible to connect to the grid. TyDe Music Beat Blocks are handcrafted amplifiers that are made to enrich and deepen the sound from an iPhone speaker without a battery or electric plug.

dance the winter nights away by priya hutner

winter in tahoe


Festival. The festival returns to Squaw Valley in April 2015. | Dylan Langille

is all about snow, being outdoors, music and fun. And, two of the year’s biggest music festivals in Tahoe take place in beautiful, outdoor settings in the midst of winter’s snowfall.

SnowGlobe Music Festival

Beat Blocks are made from various types of salvaged wood that have been sanded and oiled by the expert craftsmen at TyDe Music based on Tahoe’s North Shore. These guys are also known for creating hand-crafted ukuleles and guitars and they have a unique talent for creating instruments that are not only functional and sound fantastic but are also visual works of art.

TOP Nicki Bluhm plays at the Winter Wondergrass

The annual SnowGlobe Music Festival returns to South Lake Tahoe from Dec. 29 to 31 combining some of the world’s best musicians with the world’s best snow conditions including Chet Faker, Dillon Francis, Kaskade and Jack U. This one-of-a-kind festival features some of the best electronic music while skiers and snowoa de o o ei e i and di

Winter WonderGrass

Squaw Valley hosts the return of the Wine onde a e iva o i o with one of the hottest tickets in Tahoe. The festival venue hosts an outdoor main stage surrounded by two, heated beer halls and side stages with the best in bluegrass and Americana music featuring headliners Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon and e an eviva

plan your visit to tahoe Visit for the latest events, entertainment, live music & nightlife.

BOTTOM The SnowGlobe Music Festival features three days of live music. | Courtesy


SnowGlobe Music Festival

While you’re visiting Tahoe you’ll want to hit e o o o ive ic o e do n and a i in e ea i cene a e i e o ic o e ni i e i ee end ic ive o e od e o e o e i on o n ain a

Casinos South Lake Tahoe hits the live music hard o a i a ie o a e ni c o oc the night away at Hard Rock, MontBleu, Harrah’s and Harvey’s. And, the North Shore’s Crystal a a ino e ain one o e o e o in a oe e a oca e e o i o e eve in o n oc oc e a and e ec onica i ee ic and a e o a ie

Reno The Biggest Little City beckons with some of the best musical entertainment at Cargo at Whitney Peak Hotel in downtown Reno. Whether it’s DJ dancing or live music boogieing that calls you, check out Cargo this winter.

a tahoe

skier’s horoscope


by michael o’connor


(Apr 20-May 21)

A short while ago an ascent to high peaks i no a do n and ee nee dee e a ic in i ide i eave o an o ed a ead o o i e o eo nnin a ine o o o c a doe no co e i an c i o d a a ei ni o a ei i o



(Oct 22-Nov 21)


an o a o ave o a o a e ee in e e e a din o d e Sourcing the people who can help you out is a o o a ea a o o o can oin i iend o n e a din eac turn, only you can get it done.


(Nov 21 -Dec 21)

o a e e a e io a o o a e an no Aligning with the cosmic weather patterns reie a o ade o ea e and ne are important themes now and it’s not just the no o ea o ac iva e a ea o ace and convince the world you can win this race.


ainin acce o e i ei i on your mind. What is it really like up there? io i can i en a i fied i can c e e e no i o co i ead o are seeing the world as with new eyes. Dreams are raising your gaze to silver cloud skies.



(Jun 21-Jul 22)

o e i in o on a d o yearn to learn and to explore where you have no een e o e ic oad o d o a e which slope should you try? It’s early in the game and they seem all the same. Yet early in e o vio i e o de


(Jul 22-Aug 23)

e o e o an o c a en e i ea i e i e inc ea e o co a e and dec ea e o ea e i c ve i i e and ca e calculation will show you are wise. Patient perseverance is also implied and especially pertains to mountains not yet tried.


(Aug 23-Sep 22)

o a e o in o e o nded o ove co e ea o i a e e o e i ai i ea e e and inc inc ee o in and i i e a cinc o a a fi en o i e and i e oc on o a nc and learn to pull the trigger.


(Sep 22-Oct 22)

e i io o no e e a e o en en eve one a a i a in o o e o ac tivating your inner dream weaver. Cancel that El Niño and let it snow, let it snow. You have a i da e i de in and o d i e ea e permitting” just won’t do.

- Michelle Parker Professional Big Mountain Skier, X-Games competitor

(Jan 19 -Feb 19)

n o n ie e a d i e n o e i e i ee iea o e e ee ned e en e n e n o eac e ce en turn the results are right and our tracks are i o e o en o eceive a e ood o ave ea ned and e e e e e a d a e n o n


“There are countless amazing views of Tahoe. One of my favorite things to do is catch a sunrise or sunset from said view. In Squaw, the top of McConkey’s is a great place to hike. Bring some picnic essentials and rally some friends. I’ve never regretted getting up for sunrise.”

(Dec 21 -Jan 19)

a in o a e o e o ie ee no ca ed ea ed i e e inde o o n ain o c i e o e o de i e e ie e e ance o e o no in i e a e one a e o d ee in and names now remain. Let it go like last year’s no c ea e a and ei e e da

(May 21-Jun 21)

Don’t miss the view

(Feb 19 -Mar 20)

Sometimes your line will take more spine especia en o ai i o o e e co e e e i na ion i no a a i e eno o o a e di ci ined and ave e i i i e i e o id c e and ood a i and o nd do n e ai i e a ea oned no a i

Michael O’Connor is a Life Coach Astrologer and his columns appear in each issue of Tahoe Weekly magazine. Read the latest edition at issuu. com/TheTahoeWeekly. Sign up for his newsletter at


(Mar 21-Apr 20)

You have entered a steep learning curve this season. Après-ski delights, or at least desires, i a ive i efi i d i o i i e ie o e a n onfi dence in o i i e e ed o on and o e o e o o o



kevin joell

ridingfat by tim hauserman

“ It’s like backcountry skiing, you need to learn about snow conditions to understand the best places to ride.” RIDING FAT · TAHOE POWDER

- Mike Miller The Gravity Shop

perhaps you’ve seen a fat bike roll through Tahoe City or South Lake Tahoe and marveled at those humongous tires, or been startled by the loud noise created when all that rubber meets the pavement, and you are curious: What are those things and why are people riding them?


Fat bikes or snow bikes, were designed to ride everything from the snows of Alaska to the desert sands. They were built by people who wanted to have a bike that would allow them to pedal anywhere, anytime and in any conditions. Fat bikes are mountain bikes with a tire tread that is three times the size of a normal mountain bike, and with lower tire pressure. This helps them get better traction on snow than a mountain bike. Therefore, for those who love to ride, fat bikes provide the opportunity to get out there and ride in the snow

when regular mountain bikes are sitting in the garage gathering dust. If you are a bike lover, however, don’t sell your skis yet. Fat bike or snow bike riding is ea e and no de enden o need fi no ic no condi ion i i oo fi it will turn icy and treacherous. If the snow is too soft, it will get sloppy, and you won’t be able to get traction, and you will end up pushing your bike instead of riding it. Mike Miller at The Gravity Shop in Tahoe City specializes in fat bikes and spends a lot o i e in e co d on in o fi e o the best place for folks to ride. “It is hard to tell you where to go unless I know the snow conditions on an exact day,” he says. “It’s like back-country skiing, you need to learn about snow conditions to understand the best places to ride.” Miller says that fat biking in deep powder doesn’t work. You need snow that has been packed down by snowmobiles or a steady stream of cross-country skiers or snowshoers. You also need weather that is not exceptionally warm, because after a few days of above freezing temperatures; the snow will refreeze at night and become icy and dangerous. WHERE TO RIDE

Coldstream Canyon | Coldstream near Donner Memorial State Park outside Truckee o e di oad a a e o en ed no mobiles and may be good to ride. Jackson Meadows Reservoir | Take Forest Service Road 7, located 17 miles north of Truckee on Highway 89. The road, which is heavily used by snowmobiles, leads past Webber Lake to Jackson Meadows. Tahoe Meadows | The south side of Highway 431 above Incline Village is a popular spot for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. If it has been used for an extended period of time since the last snowfall, the snow will pack down to the point where a ride on the Tahoe Rim Trail to Chickadee Ridge is a possibility. Blackwood Canyon | Take Barker Pass Road, which begins 4.4 miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89, and travels seven miles to Barker Pass. The road is a popular snowmobile route. Fiberboard Freeway | At the top of oc a i on i a find e Fiberboard Freeway, a major Forest Service road to Tahoe City. Snowmobiles often use this road.

“You can run the numbers any way you want, but a season pass to a Tahoe ski resort is still the best way to spend your money.”

tips for tahoe

ski trips by katherine e. hill

plan early

| The best time to book your ski vacation is in the summer. Many resorts and od in o e ie o e dee di co n o oo ing your winter trip in the summer. The same is e o o e vaca ion oo no

Skip the holidays

| Yes, the kids are on

ea and o o ce i c o ed o e o ida but it’s also the most expensive time to visit Tahoe. Enjoy great winter deals by booking on non ea i e in e ee a e an major holiday.

| o e d ea in o i in i o lodging, time indulging at the spa, amazing ea i o die o ine e ec ion ac ivi ie o e id and io a eni ie en you’ll want to look at luxury resorts on Tahoe’s o and o o e o can i find dea oo in d in non ea i e

book a package

| From slopeside

od in o a e ide di a a e oca o e ie a e e o o o vaca ion oo in a i a ac a e oo o o e ie e a a o e e o o e e dea even in eno a and a on i on o e to ask about local shuttle services, too.

ski lease | o a e o e an a couple ski trips to Tahoe each winter, then a ski ea e i e e ec o o an n o ove e o i and o can co e en eve o can e ca e e o ce o a i i on ide a in e ea e i ano e a i o a o o iend

buy a pass

| You can run the numbers any way you want, but a season pass to a Tahoe i e o i i e e a o end o on e a e i a o e e ve in a e i and i o an o e o e o e i a ea o passes come with days at other resorts.

ski on the cheap | Nearly every local do n i and c o co n i a ea o e di counted ski days throughout the season. Most enefi oca non ofi and a e o e ed a dee di co n ed a e ec o iin o c oo with Excellence in Education Foundation, as well as the Sierra Avalanche Center and Tahoe SAFE Alliance. Check out deals throughout the season at pitch a tent | Yes, you can camp in Tahoe in the winter at Sugar Pine Point State Park on the West Shore and save big. Book your o ea and en o c o co n ai o ide o en i e o e o a e a oe a o a o e ca o nd


a weekend getaway to Tahoe or looking to get in as many days on the mountain as you can, you’ll want to maximize your ski vacation to make the most of your trip. Here are some tips from a long-time local.

go big


whether you’re planning




kyle smaine: made in tahoe as told to jenn sheridan

born and raised


in South Lake Tahoe, Kyle Smaine has been ripping around Sierra-at-Tahoe since he was old enough to stand on his own two legs. A consistent player on the freestyle ski circuit, Smaine skied his way to the top of the podium in halfpipe during the 2015 FIS World Championships. We sat down to catch up with Smaine as he prepares for the upcoming season.


On growing up in a skiing family: “Both my





parents were ski and snowboard instructors when I was born so I guess it was pretty natural. They put me on skis when I was 2 years old and Dad was working at Sierra. My mom would bring my brother and I up and we’d just ski around.”

On breaking into freestyle: “I learned to ski at Sierra and then I raced with Heavenly Foundation for a long time. I was good at racing for a long time, but later I wasn’t that into it. I always loved catching air and even while I was racing I was always going through the park. For a long time, I competed in both through high school. a n n i fini ed i c oo a i racing and focused on freeride. Every year I’ve improved and managed to stay healthy.” On being a world champion: “Last season


was killer. It started really well. I did well at e o and did e a e fi and i didn e an invi e o a e o eaded over to Austria. I made it over and landed the runs I wanted to and I was fortunate enough to come home a world champion.” On skiing in Europe: “I love going to Europe.

It’s so cool to roll into these tiny ski villages that are so much smaller than say, Tahoe City, but they’re older than the United States and it’s all about skiing. The mountains are so massive e a e e e e oo i e e i o inne o a and no in i o i i

On preparing for a competition: “I don’t

think I have that much of a routine. I realized when I put too much pressure on myself I don’t do well, so now I focus on having as much fun as I can. Whether it’s a training day or a contest day I’m trying to have as much fun as I can.”

On not skiing: “I wish I was a pro surfer. Every

skier wants to be a pro surfer. It’s a fact. You travel the world all year round to chase waves, which is like chasing snow but it’s warm and all the girls are in bikinis and it just seems cooler.”

On the work/play balance: “I ski because

it’s what I love to do. So far, it’s not a lucrative career, but if I wasn’t skiing I’d basically be doing the same thing. Working hard so I can play outside whether that meant buying a van or a nice tent to travel with. I’m not ready to settle down and get a real job.”

photos courtesy kyle smaine

Smaine’s resume ON THE PODIUM > 1st place FIS World Championships 2015 1st place Overall NorAm Cup 2015 (3 events) 1st place North Face Virtual Contest 1st place North Face Open Northstar 2012 2nd place SFR Freestyle Tignes, France 2013 2nd place Overall Daron Rahlves Banzai Tour 2012 ON FILM > Warren Miller Entertainment’s “Like There’s No Tomorrow” Warren Miller Entertainment “Flow State” Tall Treez “The Lion’s Den” Tall Treez “Paint it Gold”





Tahoe Powder  
Tahoe Powder  

Winter 2015-16