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winter 2016 -17

16 Chutes

in one day

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big, fast & steep

Making Snow

the business of winter

10/31/16 4:25 PM


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10/31/16 4:26 PM


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10/31/16 4:28 PM


TAHO

winter 2016-17 TahoePowder.ski @TheTahoeWeekly facebook.com/TheTahoeWeekly P.O. Box 87 | Tahoe City, CA 96145 (530) 546-5995

it’s all about the powder

Kings Beach | Mael Passanesi

fresh, untracked powder on your favorite run on a crisp Tahoe morning. Curling up with a hot toddy next to a crackling fire while the snow weighs heavy on the pine trees outside. Heading into the still and quiet forest for a Nordic sojourn. Bundling up the little ones giddy with anticipation for hours of sledding followed by hot chocolate with marshmallows. Heading out for a pre-dawn trek into the back country for a private adventure, breaking your own runs with nary a soul to be seen. We each have our fantasy about the perfect day in Tahoe, and they all involve a powdery white blanket enveloping this mountain paradise. As a local, I awake with excitement to discover the snowy white gift that Mother Nature delivers on storm day, whether it’s a dusting or a foot of fresh snow, we all have the same reaction of excitement. It’s that same Christmas morning feeling that emanates throughout your body that we all experienced as kids.

TAHOE POWDER

Go out and explore. Enjoy the many sides of Tahoe from the challenge of the Chutes to cross-country tours to downhill runs you have yet to explore. We invite you to explore all that this wintery paradise has to offer. - Katherine E. Hill

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Events | Entertainment

Tahoe at

your fingertips TP16 1-3_TOC.indd 2

Publisher & Editor In Chief Katherine E. Hill publisher@tahoethisweek.com ext. 102 Sales Manager Anne Artoux anne@tahoethisweek.com ext. 110 Account Executive Lynette Astors lynette@tahoethisweek.com ext. 108 Art Director | Production Alyssa Ganong production@tahoethisweek.com ext. 106

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big, fast & steep pushing the edge of women’s skiing & riding

8

call of the mountain building a career in the ski industry

14

16 chutes in one day do you have what it takes?

18

making snow changing the business of winter

22

science of snow forecasting avalanche conditions

24

nordic nirvana kirkwood cross-country

26

truckee ski legend frank titus

32

maddie bowman

BO

SUGA

DO SKI R SODA

ROYAL

AUB SKI CLAIR

O V

SQU

ALP

Graphic Designer Mael Passanesi graphics@tahoethisweek.com ext. 101 Contributing Writers Tim Hauserman Kayla Anderson Priya Hutner Casey Glaubman Michael O’Connor Lou Phillips Mark McLaugling Nicole Cheslock Tahoe Powder is a publication of Range of Light Media Group, which also publishes The Tahoe Weekly magazine and Tahoe Music & Festivals. 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 On the cover Amie Engerbretson and Errol Kerr enjoy a freshly groomed run on a bluebird Tahoe day on Siberia at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Photography by Jeff Engerbretson. skicamguy.com |@skicamguy

Outdoors & Recreation | Food & Wine | Arts & Culture | Powder Alerts

TahoePowder.ski | @TheTahoeWeekly | facebook.com/TheTahoeWeekly Digital download issuu.com or get the app | iTunes & GooglePlay

10/31/16 5:31 PM

D

The in th is


Reno & Sparks TAHOE DONNER

DID YOU KNOW?

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

Truckee DONNER MEMORIAL STATE PARK

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MT. ROSE

SODA SPRINGS

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SQUAW VALLEY SQUAW CREEK

PEAK to PEAK Connecting Squaw & Alpine

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The deepest point in Lake Tahoe is 1,645’

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

Zephyr Cove South Lake Tahoe

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FREEL PEAK

DID YOU KNOW?

Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long & 12 miles wide

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When Wayne Poulsen first envisioned Squaw Valley back in 1932, he dreamed of a gondola connecting the now-famous mountain peaks of Squaw to its neighboring peaks that would one day become Alpine Meadows. Five years ago when Squaw Valley Ski Holdings acquired the properties, chief executive officer Andy Wirth began trying to make that dream come true. Today, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows sells a one-day lift ticket good for both mountains, but it’s not that easy to go back and forth between the two. There is a piece of property between the two resorts called White Wolf owned by Troy Caldwell. In April 2015, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and Caldwell reached an agreement and a plan is underway to build a base-to-base gondola. The proposed people-mover will run at a capacity of 1,400 passengers per hour in each direction. Although a 13- to 15-minute trip between the two mountains is a little slow, it will allow faster travel between the two resort areas. The project is still in the environmental review phase, which is expected to be completed in early 2017.

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- Kayla Anderson

KIRKWOOD

KIRKWOOD

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10/31/16 4:34 PM


“Never before have there been so many BIG, FAST & STEEP · TAHOE POWDER

product line and

4

education.”

opportunities for women. We’ve seen a surge of women ski films, innovation in

pushing the edge of women’s skiing & riding by priya hutner

- Heidi Ettlinger

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10/31/16 4:35 PM


LEFT Courtesy Squaw Valley

there is no question that women in tahoe can shred. The female ski icons of the past like Starr Walton-Hurley, recent Olympians like Julia Mancuso and Jamie Anderson, and freeskiers were all spoon-fed on Sierra snow. Whether professional or recreational, skiers or boarders, women continue to push the edge of snowsports.

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TAHOE POWDER · BIG, FAST & STEEP

Tahoe winters foster a deep love of skiing and snowboarding, and women want to improve their skills on the snow. In-demand clinics, workshops and camps are more readily available than ever before. While most women instructors agree there is camaraderie and connection created through workshops and clinics geared toward women, there is also a push for better equipment and positions in the industry. There are women who want to ride big, fast and steep, and women who want to learn

to improve their skills in an environment that connects them with nature and other like-minded women. “Women think differently than men. Women tend to read situations from a different perspective and receive information differently,” says Julie Matises, supervisor and co-founder of the Women of Winter program at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Women these days are more educated, physically in shape and know what they need. Women want to ski well. We don’t coddle them.” Matises has been a ski instructor for more than 25 years. She, along with program coordinator Lynn Douglas, say they are passionate about clinics geared to help women improve their ski skills, build confidence and foster learning. Jenny Fellows, co-founder of the North American Ski Training Center (NASTC), offers both co-ed and women-specific ski clinics. Fellows explains that their male instructors are highly skilled communicators and her

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10/31/16 4:37 PM


GEAR

NO SOGGY SOCKS

There are many options for women-specific gear these days, including socks. This past winter I had the opportunity to test two of Bridgedale’s lightweight ski socks for women: the Vertige Light and the Control Fit II.

BIG, FAST & STEEP · TAHOE POWDER

Both have low to moderate cushioning, which lets you really feel your boot while adding comfort, and both are rated a 3 out of 5 for warmth, which make these a great choice almost any day of the year, except for maybe those really cold storm days. Aside from the slightly snugger fit of the Control Fit II, the socks feel similar when in a boot. The socks slide right into the boot with their “low friction boot entry” and at first felt as though they were sliding around in my boot, as well, perhaps because they are such a low volume sock. I cranked down my boots a bit and then they skied great.

6

On warmer days these socks have good temperature control and never feel soggy or sweaty. I think they would make an excellent sock for ski touring. Overall very comfortable and I give them a thumb’s up. - Alyssa Ganong

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husband, Chris, has been teaching for more than 25 years to both sexes. Yet, she understands why women clinics have grown in popularity over the last few decades. “Women know how to maximize their time to learn. Clinics for women were initially created for beginners and intermediate skiers. These clinics now cater to expert and advanced skiers. We are seeing more and more women taking time for themselves,” she says. Both Fellows and Matises mention communication as an important factor when it comes to instruction and that often women relate and learn well from other women. “Women-specific courses are successful because there is an element of trust and not feeling judged. We can celebrate our femininity and not feel the need to keep up with the guys,” says Kim Mann, who leads ski clinics for NASTC. Backcountry Babes co-owners Emily Hargraves and Michelle Trame have been guiding back-country excursions for women since 2014. “There is a spirit of community, supportiveness and friendship that occurs, which is fun and inspiring in a learning environment,” says Trame. Matises, Fellows and Mann all pay homage to Elissa Slanger, a pioneer in the ski industry. She is credited with creating the first women’s ski program at Squaw Valley back in the 1970s. Slanger saw the importance and need

for women to learn from other women. “There were very few women ski instructors when I started teaching in the 60s. Back then, women only taught children,” says Slanger. She was one of the first women to teach all levels of skiing to both men and women and helped shape the culture of women’s ski education. She was inspired to offer a weeklong women’s ski course at Squaw Valley. It was so successful she eventually taught women-specific courses throughout the country. Slanger says it’s hard to believe how far we’ve come because she has witnessed the evolution of women and education in the world of skiing. Heidi Ettlinger is the program coordinator of the Women’s Summit, an annual winter conference that provides women instructors, coaches and ski patrollers an opportunity to share best practices, network with like-minded leaders and learn new skills. “Women are physiologically different. We look at alignment and equipment to remove barriers so women can get better faster. We teach how to approach the mountain from a tactical perspective,” says Ettlinger. “Women appreciate a tool box. We help them to understand when to use those tools, why to use them and what to do with them. Never before have there been so many opportunities for women. We’ve seen a surge of women ski films, innovation in product line and education.”

10/31/16 4:37 PM


shaping the industry Then there are women like Jennifer Gurecki and Danielle Rees of Coalition Snow, which makes skis and snowboards specifically for women. “We are not making equipment designed around women’s weaknesses or what they cannot do. We design equipment around what women can do,” says Gurecki. “Women want to ski fast, big and steep. They want to manage terrain on high-performance equipment that is meant to do the things we can do. Coalition’s skis cater to all shapes and sizes with a stiffer flex than you’d find in a much more traditional women’s ski. Women deserve the best choices.

We are often perceived as a small market.” And, Gurecki wants to change that mindset. In addition to running Coalition Snow, Gurecki tours the country speaking about issues that affect women, cultivating female leadership and denouncing the inequality of women and female athletes in the ski industry, whether in product design or the job market. Now more than ever, there is a sea of change in the snowsports industry when it comes to women and what is available for them to attain goals and become better athletes. e

ABOVE Women of Winter, Squaw Valley OPPOSITE PAGE Courtesy Coalition Snow LEFT Jennifer Gurecki of Coalition Snow and her fleet of womenspecific skis and snowboards

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10/31/16 4:38 PM


building a career in the ski industry

ABOVE Mike Pierce’s inaugural year in the ski industry OPPOSITE PAGE Mike Pierce at Mt. Rose Ski Area in 2014

by kayla anderson CALL OF THE MOUNTAIN · TAHOE POWDER

“Being a liftie

there are people who come to lake tahoe to become ski bums

that side of the business, but the bigger picture is

for the winter and end up staying for

to get into those

years. The resort area offers plenty of

management

seasonal hospitality jobs, but it’s a bit 8

harder to turn that winter job into a year-round career. A lot of it is being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. Several Tahoe locals share their stories on how they built a career working in the ski industry.

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exposes you to

positions by getting into a related industry and getting connected.” - Mike Pierce

10/31/16 4:39 PM


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TAHOE POWDER · CALL OF THE MOUNTAIN

Mt. Rose marketing director Mike Pierce moved to South Lake Tahoe more than 20 years ago after graduating from Texas Tech University. “I knew if I didn’t take a year off to play and work at a ski resort then I would regret it later in life,” Pierce says. After graduating, he considered going to Colorado, but since Texans were inundating the area he decided to go farther west. Posting up in South Lake Tahoe in summer 1991, Pierce started working at The Horizon Lake Tahoe (now Hard Rock Hotel and Casino) and got a job as a lift operator at Heavenly Ski Resort that winter. “I wanted to be a ski instructor, but they charged you to try out and I didn’t have the money,” he says. But working in rentals is the best ski resort job because you work in the morning and ski all afternoon, he says. “A lot of it is about getting on the mountain.” He worked with international workers who always knew where the party was and he would ski down Gunbarrel six times a day. But after a season of juggling skiing, working and being a casino dealer at night, he decided that he needed to get a real job. He moved up the ranks within The Horizon, becoming its sales manager and selling adventure tours and ski packages. He did that for more than two years until he received a call from Mt. Rose about an open marketing director position. He drove over and had an on-the-spot interview. He was hired in April 1994 and has been at Mt. Rose since. “Being a liftie exposes you to that side of the business, but the bigger picture is to get into those management positions by getting into a related industry and getting connected. A degree can qualify you for a certain role because it shows that you can start and finish something, but it’s really all about networking,” says Pierce. When asked whether he’s going to be in the ski industry forever, Pierce replies, “A lifer? I chose to get into this for the lifestyle and will continue to roll with it. Every year is a little bit different; Mt. Rose has always shown potential and keeps growing. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in some big projects like putting in high-speed chair lifts, opening The Chutes — it keeps it intriguing. But I owe a lot to that marketing director at The Horizon. I was going to leave the area and he convinced me to stay.”

9

building on bumping chairs

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10/31/16 4:39 PM


Courtesy Bill Briner

2026

WINTER OLYMPICS BID EYED

If you’ve ever driven along State Route 89, chances are you’ve noticed the rings adorning the sign at the entrance to Olympic Valley. Though the Tahoe area hasn’t played host to the Olympic Games since 1960, a group is trying to bring back that Olympic magic for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

CALL OF THE MOUNTAIN · TAHOE POWDER

The movement to bring the Games back to this region is being spearheaded by a group based out of Reno called the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition. Initially, members had hoped to bring the 2022 Games here. The group’s CEO, Jon Killoran, says they have dropped that plan and are now pushing for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. “One of the things you’re taught when you go after an Olympic bid in this process is the word patience,” says Killoran.

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Economic factors weigh heavily on any decision regarding the process; the Sochi Olympics reportedly cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $51 billion. Add to this the fact that the Reno-Tahoe area is up against potential bids from Denver, Anchorage and Lake Placid in this country alone, as well as a host of international competition. The International Olympic Committee is set to choose a bid in 2019. Until then, perhaps the most important thing is to simply pray for snow.

- Casey Glaubman

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andrew gauthier

ABOVE Andrew Gauthier and his dog Fiji enjoying an evening back-country tour | Jenn Sheridan BELOW Gauthier at the X Games

taking the college route

Many people may think that Andrew Gauthier has a dream job, but he worked hard to get it. He attended Sierra Nevada College majoring in international business and Ski Business and Resort Management. After graduating summa cum laude, he moved to Switzerland to pursue a master’s in hospitality and marketing. When he received his master’s in business administration and came back to Tahoe, Gauthier was soon recruited by the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP). As marketing and world tour manager for AFP, Gauthier was tasked with overseeing sponsorships, social media, event promotion, managing AFP-sanctioned judges and interns and event inventory logistics, among other tasks.

Gauthier’s position gave him exposure to events such as the X Games, Dew Tour and Nitro Circus, which led to becoming marketing and film tour manager for Teton Gravity Research. “Going to SNC you have all of the resources available to dive fully into the ski resort business, if you choose to take advantage of them. Many students work at a ski resort and go to school; it’s the triple threat between networking, classes and experience. [SNC’s Ski Business and Resort Management program] is helpful for people who didn’t grow up in ski racing,” he says.

“Going to SNC you have all of the resources available to dive fully into the ski resort business.” - Andrew Gauthier

10/31/16 4:39 PM


LEFT IVGID Trustee Jim Hammerel, Sharon Heider and Mike Bandelin, right

mike bandelin path from the parking lot

Mike Bandelin grew up hiking and camping in Arizona, but when he heard about Lake Tahoe in 1984, he drove north and never looked back. On his first day in Incline Village, Ski Incline (now Diamond Peak Ski Resort) hired him as a parking lot attendant. Throughout the years, Bandelin moved up the ladder. “I always wanted to learn how to powder ski,” Bandelin says, adding that it’s why he wanted to work at a ski resort in those early years. Today, his focus as Diamond Peak’s general manager is upgrading the resort’s master plan and turning those ideas into reality. In 1986, former Ski Incline general manager Jürgen Wetzstein involved Bandelin in the design workshops to expand and enhance the upper mountain. Bandelin spent a full

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“The population involved in the sport is dwindling, so it’s all about how to get more summer climbing the mountain and marking potential trails that are now considered iconic for their incredible views of Lake Tahoe. In the late 1980s, Bandelin helped put in a snowmaking system on the upper mountain and became assistant lift manager. In 1998, he was promoted to mountain manager and Ed Youmans served as general manager. Youmans left Diamond Peak in 2011 and through a couple more transitions, Bandelin was named interim general manager in November 2015 and the post became permanent in October 2016. cont. on pg. 12

skiers, but also offering activities for non-skiers to be able to come up here and enjoy themselves.” - Mike Bandelin

10/31/16 4:40 PM


Preserving Tahoe’s Olympic legacy A major fundraising effort is currently underway to build the 1960 Winter Olympics Ski Museum: A Winter Sports Legacy Center. The plan is to build a 13,000-sq.-ft., two-story museum on the grounds of Placer County’s park at the entrance to Olympic Valley. The museum is the brainchild of the Squaw Valley Ski Museum Foundation, which has been working on the project since 2008. Now the organization has hired an executive director, Sandy Chio, who along with a passionate group of longtime Tahoe locals and Olympic history buffs, is spearheading the effort.

CALL OF THE MOUNTAIN · TAHOE POWDER 12

The museum is set to hold the world’s largest collection of 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics artifacts and memorabilia and will also display the impressive collection held by the Auburn Ski Club’s Western Ski Sport Museum next to Boreal Mountain Resort. In addition, information on modern ski history and current athletes in the Tahoe region will be depicted. A Tahoe region Hall of Fame will include prominent winter sports athletes who have had a lasting impact on the ski and winter sports industry. The project needs funding assistance from the public to come to fruition. | olympicskimuseum.com - Tim Hauserman

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ABOVE Kyle Smaine, selfie

bandelin cont. from pg. 11

“The population involved in the sport is dwindling, so it’s all about how to get more skiers, but also offering activities for non-skiers to be able to come up here and enjoy themselves,” Bandelin says. Being involved in capital improvements over the years and figuring out ways to improve the resort’s sustainability has kept him interested in Diamond Peak. “I just like to see everyone smiling and recreating,” Bandelin says.

RIGHT Kyle Smaine competing in half pipe. | Matt Berkowitz LEFT Milena Regos and Mike Bandelin at a summer barbecue

kyle smaine

building a brand

Even though he has been a sponsored professional skier since the age of 14, Kyle Smaine never worked directly within the ski industry. He has been close to it his entire life because his father worked for several ski resorts including Bear Mountain, Heavenly and Sierra-at-Tahoe. Smaine simultaneously went to school at Sierra Nevada College while skiing professionally, graduating in May 2014. “The wonderful teachers and staff at the school worked with me to allow me to keep up with my course work while traveling to major events, including the qualifying events for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia,” says Smaine.

10/31/16 4:40 PM


“The change I notice the most since starting at SNC is acknowledging that being an athlete is like running a business.” - Kyle Smaine

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TAHOE POWDER · CALL OF THE MOUNTAIN

He added that being a professional athlete is like running a small business where the product is yourself. “Success depends on much more than just performance. An athlete has to market himself; communicate with sponsors, coaches and event organizers; negotiate contracts with major corporations and plan trips to foreign countries. My education at SNC helped me improve or develop the skills I needed to be a more successful skier,” he says.

“The change I notice the most since starting at SNC is acknowledging that being an athlete is like running a business. By knowing that fact it makes it easier to separate myself and my skills from the act of building a brand and communicating that brand to businesses and audiences. That separation is hard, but it is easier as you grow up and become more educated.” Now Smaine says that he can’t imagine doing anything else when he has the chance to ski every day for his career, but realizes that at some point the risk of injury will outweigh the reward. “It is better to end a career on your own terms than to be forced into stopping because you physically aren’t capable of skiing anymore. I want to be able to enjoy it at least as much as I can in the first 25 years,” he says. e

TAHOE UNIVERSITY 39˚20’32”N 120˚12’13”W

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10/31/16 4:41 PM


16 CHUTES IN ONE DAY ¡ TAHOE POWDER

the

chutes

challenge >

14 >

TP16 14-16_Mt. Rose Chutes.indd 14

Make your own Chutes challenge in one day or explore the Chutes throughout the season Look for sponsored events this winter and go head to head with other skiers & riders in The Chutes

10/31/16 4:41 PM


LEFT Courtesy Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

16 chutes do YOU have what it takes? by kayla anderson

it’s 8:30 a.m. on a crisp, spring morning in march single day. If I get there when the gates open at 9 a.m., I’ll have the best chance of riding all of The Chutes by 3:30 p.m. I park against the snow bank on the Slide Mountain side right under the Chuter chair (the old Zephyr chair), so that I can ride straight to my car at the end of the day.

In the 2004-05 winter season, advanced skiers and snowboarders were treated to 200plus acres of new terrain at some of the steepest vertical in North America. Comparable to Squaw Valley’s KT-22 runs, The Chutes are accessible via designated gates dotted along the ridgeline between Slide Mountain and the Rose side.

is Nightmare, a double-black diamond that is more ominous sounding and a bit steeper. The top of this run offers a gorgeous, panoramic view of Reno before it dips into a heart-pumping, 5-minute ride.

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TAHOE POWDER · 16 CHUTES IN ONE DAY

down all 16 Chutes at Mt. Rose in a

I grab a coffee and get on the Blazing Zephyr chair on the Slide side. After a warm-up run, I head over to my favorite chute – Miller Time. I love this one because it holds its untracked snow for a while and it’s a good single-diamond, warm-up run. First thing on this morning, Miller Time is in prime conditions. The lift ride is about 5 minutes or so. It drops me off on a small trail that leads back to the Blazing Zephyr six-pack, high-speed lift. The Blazing Zephyr carries skiers and riders up to the top in about 3.5 minutes. Chutes’ lovers can then head down over toward Silver Dollar, where chute gates are accessible all along the crest. I think it takes me 15 minutes or so to complete a full loop. Next to Miller Time is Nightmare, a double-black diamond that is more ominous sounding and a bit steeper. The top of this run offers a gorgeous, panoramic view of Reno before it dips into a heart-pumping, 5-minute ride.

15

and I have set a goal to snowboard

Next to Miller Time

David Wright (former General Contractor)

Experienced guide to Tahoe and Truckee markets since 1990. desk (800) 873-1858 cell (530) 412-1241 BRE#01068250 | td@tahoedavid.com www.TruckeeandTahoeProperties.com

TP16 14-16_Mt. Rose Chutes.indd 15

10/31/16 4:42 PM


the

chutes > >

>

>

200+ acres

1,000+ feet of north-facing slopes 40- to 50-degree pitches advanced to expert runs

16 CHUTES IN ONE DAY · TAHOE POWDER

TOP The Chutes. | Courtesy Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe INSET Steep and deep. | Courtesy Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

16 TP16 14-16_Mt. Rose Chutes.indd 16

Looping back around, I find myself on Chaos, another expert run, which still has fresh pockets of snow despite this spring day. This is also one of Mt. Rose marketing director Mike Pierce’s favorite chutes: “Chaos is somewhat off the beaten path, so to speak, so it tends to get tracked up later than the mainstream chutes. The bottom right trees are nicely spaced, as well.” I’ve worked up a little bit of a sweat, but manage to knock out Hornet’s Nest, Beehive and Yellow Jacket. Longtime Mt. Rose ski patroller Carl Williams once told me he thinks The Chutes’ names should be “Rainbow” and “Sunshine,” but I think it’s good to know what you’re getting into. The next few chutes are all expert runs, becoming progressively steeper. Charge, Detonator and Fuse are all a blur — a sharp pitch at the top but offering more time to relax while gliding through the Tailings bowl. What I enjoy about this group of chutes is the hidden reserves of snow in the trees and secret mini-chutes that aren’t on the trail map. It’s now lunchtime and I’m starting to get tired, so I dip into Winters Creek Lodge for a snack. I down a coffee and grab an apple for the chairlift ride. I have 3 hours to finish my Chutes Challenge and six runs left to go. With a bit more energy, I head into Saddle. I’m glad I got reenergized for this one because it seems more challenging. I remember the first time I went into Saddle with Pierce. I thought that I was a good snowboarder until I looked over the edge. My adrenaline was racing as I dropped into it, as if I was going off a cliff.

Next on the list is El Cap, a local’s favorite due to its straight shot from the top and accessibility from the Northwest Magnum chair. Like Saddle, this is one of the more daunting chutes, but I have seen pros easily land back flips off of rocks in chutes’ competitions. It’s crucial to pay attention in Jackpot because one tired, careless turn could result in an uncontrolled tumble. Even though I’m not as spritely as I was at 8:30 a.m., I manage to make it down Jackpot in one piece. Getting to Cardiac Ridge, I take a moment to observe all of The Chutes I’ve completed. Miller Time feels so long ago. After riding down Cardiac Ridge and heading toward Cutthroat, I’m under the Northwest Magnum chairlift when a guy drops his glove. “Can you get that for me?” he calls out. Completely exhausted, I unstrap my binding and hike up to grab the glove. I take it with me into the chute and sprawl out on the ground next to the Chuter chair glove in hand. “I’m so close to finishing this self-imposed Chutes Challenge and now I have to take this stupid glove to Guest Services on the Rose side,” I tell the lift operator. Luckily, he offers to return it for me. By the time I get to Lowball, it feels like I’ve been on the mountain for a month. Knowing that I made it to my last chute gate, I take my time on this one. I ride down to my car totally beat, drive home and sit in my hot tub for the next three hours. ❅

10/31/16 4:43 PM


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EXHIBITIONS ON VIEW

Dec. 29-31 | South Lake Tahoe

SnowGlobe brings four days of electronic beats to the South Shore culminating in a New Year’s Eve celebration to beat all others. The multi-day festival is a must for any holiday celebration, featuring The Chainsmokers, Flume, Major Lazer and Odesza.

A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America NOVEMBER 19, 2016 – JANUARY 22, 2017

alpenglow mountain festival Human-powered sports take centerstage in this multi-day, multi-discipline celebration of the outdoors. Back-country ski trips and Nordic treks, gear demos, films, presentations and clinics for all levels highlight this annual festival. Look for the summer version of the festival each June.

world cup March 9-12 | Olympic Valley

The Audi FIS Ski World Cup returns to the slopes of Squaw Valley for the first time in nearly 50 years. Grab your tickets and don’t miss any of the action on and off the mountain.

Maynard Dixon: The Paltenghi Collections JANUARY 21, 2017 – JULY 23, 2017

Miradas: Ancient Roots in Modern and Contemporary Mexican Art, works from the Bank of America FEBRUARY 18, 2017 – JULY 16, 2017

tom sims retro world championships March 25-26 | Boreal

Relive the best of the 80s with snowboarding action to thrill and excite. Pull out your onesies, those old boots gathering dust in the closet, your retro boards and head to Donner Summit for some serious old-school action.

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winterwondergrass

TAHOE POWDER · WINTER EVENTS

Feb. 18-26 | Area venues

March 30-April 2 | Olympic Valley

Enjoy the ultimate ski-in, ski-out extravaganza at the base of the world-famous Squaw Valley, as the sounds of WinterWonderGrass fill the valley with music. For more information on these events and other winter events, visit TahoePowder.ski.

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Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts E. L. Wiegand Gallery 160 West Liberty Street in downtown Reno, Nevada 775.329.3333 | nevadaart.org

10/31/16 4:44 PM


changing the business of winter by kayla anderson

lake tahoe is famous for giving skiers and riders

ABOVE A snow gun pumps out freezing water at Diamond Peak. | Kayla Anderson RIGHT Snowmaking at Squaw Valley | Matt Palmer

more than 300 days of sunshine and more than 400 inches of snowfall, but sometimes there have been winters when all skiers and riders want is more snow. Luckily the 2015-16 winter season dumped enough MAKING SNOW · TAHOE POWDER

snow in the region, but the four years before that were some rough seasons.

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The evolution of snowmaking has been a game changer for Tahoe resorts by giving them more control, better on-snow experiences for their guests and a full winter season of snow without being solely dependent on Mother Nature. If relying on Mother Nature alone, Tahoe resorts may not be able to open until early to mid-December and it’s all up to the weather on how long they can stay open. As snowmaking systems become more efficient, Tahoe resorts open earlier each year (depending on the cold temperatures), which translates to more skier days for snow enthusiasts. In the past, an average ski resort season was mid-December through mid-April but now some resorts can be open from mid-November through mid-May. This is a full two-month extension largely due to snowmaking.

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making snow since the 1930s The first snowmaking system in North America came in 1934 from an idea to use shaved ice to create competition ski jumps, according to the the New England Ski Museum. In 1949, a company called Tey took a snowmaking prototype to Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut to try to create a ski slope for the masses. Soon after, Larchmont Farms Company adapted irrigation nozzles that released live steam and water to protect crops from frost to use in snowmaking. Larchmont has largely been credited with discovering how to manufacture snow. Throughout the 1950s, Larchmont snowmaking systems were integrated into mountain operations of ski resorts on the East Coast and soon made its way west. In 1963, Killington Ski Resort in Colorado installed a Larchmont system but then soon upgraded to Ratnik Industries freeze-proof snowmaking system in 1964. As snowmaking systems continued to improve and evolve, SMI and Hedco came on the market with its airless snowmakers. In 1966, Diamond Peak was the first ski resort in Lake Tahoe to install snowmaking on its mountain and then in the late 1970s other Tahoe resorts followed. By the early 1980s, ski resorts across the country started investing in snowmaking in an effort to provide a consistent winter recreational product.

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Leading the way in Tahoe Fifty years ago, Diamond Peak founder Art Wood committed $2 million to build a ski area with equipment to make snow as an insurance policy against Mother Nature (or to enhance what she already provided). Bringing on Ratniks and then expanding its fleet to include HKD Snowmakers, SMI Pumas and SMI Super Wizards, Diamond Peak is able to cover 75 percent of developed terrain in manmade snow. Their innovation in those early years has helped drive revenue in low-snow seasons. “Ski resorts would not be able to exist the way they did back then without the snowmaking capabilities we have now,” says Diamond Peak general manager Mike Bandelin. He remembers 1977 as being a particularly bad snow season in Lake Tahoe and that’s when other ski areas started looking at snowmaking more seriously.

Bragging rights With the highest base altitude in Lake Tahoe at 8,260 feet and its north-facing runs, Mt. Rose has been able to get away with an abundance of natural snow for most of its history (no

doubt saving money on not needing artificial snow). But in one mid-1990s season when the snow came rather late, Mt. Rose took the weather into its own hands by tapping into the water line to install a snowmaker on the beginner Ponderosa run. “We had one snowmaker hooked up to the fire hydrant,” recalls Mt. Rose general manager Paul Senft. The mountain later expanded its snowmaking on the Kit Carson Trail. Then, in the summer of 2011, Mt. Rose laid snowmaking pipe on Silver Dollar trail to allow skiers access to the Slide Bowl and Winters Creek Lodge. “The second we can get a run open, we do,” says Mt. Rose marketing director Mike Pierce. “Our goal is to get the whole mountain open as quickly as possible.” Pierce says that being one of the first resorts open for the winter season inspires confidence that Mt. Rose can deliver a great product throughout the rest of the season. “Getting open by Thanksgiving used to be a bonus, but now it’s a priority,” he says. Adding that there’s heavy competition with other Lake Tahoe ski resorts to open first.

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10/31/16 4:48 PM


TOP LEFT Courtesy Mt. Rose

Investing in the future

MAKING SNOW · TAHOE POWDER

At the tailend of its multi-year $70 million in capital improvements ($9 million in snowmaking over a span of six years), the commitment to its snowmaking capabilities gave Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows the confidence to market a Nov. 11 opening for the 2016-17 season. For this season, Alpine Meadows added five HKD SV10 snowmaking guns to be able to cover the lower portion of Summit run and Squaw Valley added high-capacity snowmaking guns to be able to build better snow surfaces for Big Blue, Siberia and Headwall loading areas. With 350 snowmaking guns across both mountains, Squaw Alpine can turn on snow guns anywhere in a matter of seconds. “We can turn on the whole system at the same time, bumping up our opening day because we have that confidence to make snow whenever and wherever we want,” says Squaw Alpine public relations manager Liesl Kenney.

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RIGHT Courtesy Northstar California

Adding snowmaking guns to the Kangaroo area at Alpine Meadows ensures that one of their most popular beginner areas opens with plenty of snow coverage over the Thanksgiving holiday. “Our investment in grooming and snowmaking is our commitment to our guests. We depend heavily on natural snow, but we are even less dependent on it now. Snowmaking is a guarantee to our guests that we will have snow,” says Kenney. The 2015-16 season was one of the resort’s earliest openings (Alpine Meadows opened Nov. 12 and Squaw Valley opened Nov. 14) largely due to snowmaking. “We got a lot of snow, but snowmaking helped,” Kenney says. “We are able to manipulate the actual quality of the snow, making that wet, dense snow that’s so good to ski on,” Kenney says. “Before, you would have to know the exact temperature and wet bulb of every snow gun on the mountain, but now it’s all automated. You can get the whole mountain online within seconds and when you’re trying to get open, every second counts.”

Advantages of technology

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BOTTOM LEFT/ABOVE Matt Palmer, Squaw Valley

SQUAW VALLEY KINGS BEACH 530 583-5665 530 546-5800

Northstar California director of mountain operations Jim Larmore has worked in the ski industry his whole life and is passionate about snowmaking. Spending 23 years at Heavenly as its snow surfaces director and the past five years at Northstar running its mountain operations, Larmore has seen improvements in snowmaking efficiencies. Gone are the

10/31/16 4:50 PM


TAHOE POWDER · MAKING SNOW

ARE YOUR FEET WINTER READY?

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days when he walked around the mountain at night with a thermometer. Now Larmore can turn on a snow gun with the push a button from the comfort of his own home. “In the old days everything was manual with snow pumps, compressors, laying pipe and communicating with telephones and radios compared to what it is now,” Larmore says. He says that new technology and software systems have advanced snowmaking to create a more efficient and safer operation. Although some technical expertise is still needed (a push of a button can turn on a 750 horsepower gun), quick communication is key when you are trying to make quality snow. “Efficiency [in snowmaking] is way up from the old days. It’s like comparing a wagon train to a car,” says Larmore. “If you have to do it manually, it takes so long. From 20 years ago to today it’s not even the same industry.” Northstar now has the ability to make snow accessible from every chairlift and can cover up to 70 percent of its 3,910 acres of skiable terrain. “Snowmaking helps to get open by the Christmas holiday and sustain yourself through March. Even if it doesn’t snow, we will have a great product for our guests – guaranteed,” he says. Larmore adds that when Vail Resorts purchased Heavenly, it already had a large snowmaking system and the corporation continued to invest in upgrading snow guns and technology. Northstar sends out a snowmaking crew of 10 to 12 people per night shift and as the temperatures drop, the water consumption and workload increases. “Heavenly and Northstar have the biggest snowmaking systems around, but at the end of the day it’s all about how many trails you have open and the quality of the snow,” he says. Northstar communications specialist Cassandra Walker adds, “Jim will not allow opening day to happen without the experience that our skiers expect.” All three Vail resorts in the Tahoe Sierra – Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar – opened for the 2016-17 season on Nov. 18. Nothing beats being able to go outside and build a snowman, go sledding or shred in fresh powder after a snowstorm. But, unfortunately, with the unpredictability of the weather, the storms just don’t roll in when ski resorts or skiers would like them to. If a ski resort doesn’t have snowmaking, it can hurt business and tourism for the entire region. The millions invested in snowmaking through the years allows skiers and snowboarders to enjoy perfect on-mountain conditions at the touch of a button. ❅

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10/31/16 4:51 PM


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Breaking into the back country for beginners

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Back to School: Avalanche safety will save your life

of forecasting avalanche conditions by priya hutner

“Know before you go” is the mantra of the Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC), an important resource for the back-country community. The organization, started in 2005, monitors the region’s back SCIENCE OF SNOW · TAHOE POWDER

country providing invaluable daily reports on avalanche safety and conditions.

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“The goal of our organization is to bring awareness of avalanche conditions to the community, create more community interaction and offer more education. Avalanche centers are a relatively new phenomenon,” says Holly Yocum, SAC board president. The nonprofit works in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service forecasters and it relies on donations to provide forecasts every day of the season. “If we didn’t do this, there’d only be three reports a week. With the additional support we can have forecasts seven days a week,” Yocum says. There are three Forest Service full-time forecasters and two part-time Sierra Avalanche Center observers that operate in five national forests: Mt. Rose Wilderness, HumboldtToiyabe National Forest, Tahoe National Forest and Eldorado National Forest, covering an immense amount of terrain in California and Nevada. Forecasters need to be fit and strong to cover this amount of territory. Each day they must deter-

TP16 22-23_Sierra Avalanche Center.indd 22

“Tracks in the snow are not mine what areas to go to that will be represennecessarily a sign tative of snowpack. of intelligent life.” Brandon Schwartz is one of three local - Brandon Schwartz, forecasters who starts forecaster the day at 4:30 a.m. He and his colleagues spend 1½ to 2 hours each morning building the avalanche advisory that is published by 7 a.m. The forecasters take time each day to do office work and then go back out into the field to validate their advisory for that day and gather data to build the next day’s advisory. “This information is a starting point for decision making for people,” says Schwartz. Forecasters monitor the snowpack on a daily basis, follow weather reports and evaluate wind slabs and conditions, as well as gauge nine potential avalanche problems. When heading out into the back country there are many things to consider. “Tracks in the snow are not necessarily a sign of intelligent life,” says Schwartz. “You don’t know what went into the thought process of that person. Was it the first snowfall? What was their mental decision making? Tracks are not an indictor of traveling well.”

10/31/16 4:52 PM


LEFT Photos courtesy Sierra Avalanche Center

Be prepared

Yocum agrees, “Following a ski track that has already been tracked out might be easier to follow but does not mean it is safe for you. You don’t know what that person’s skill level was or how the snow was set up when he or she skied the area. It is important to step back and look at different terrain that might be more difficult, but is important to consider.” Schwartz explains that although people say they’ve never seen a slide in a certain area, it doesn’t mean that aspect will never slide. There are many factors that go into a determination. This kind of thinking is more about luck and less about understanding terrain and conditions. It only takes one time for an avalanche to occur and one can end up in harm’s way. The Sierra Avalanche Center Web site provides daily forecasts, avalanche advisories and observations. There is also a resource and education section for training and events. A compelling 15-minute video on the site is designed for people new to the back country, which offers information about what you need to do before going into the back country and highlights the hazards and dangers of avalanches.

There is also a place on the site for the public to comment on what they encountered while in the back country. “We appreciate when people submit information that not only helps the forecasters but also helps people heading out into the back country, informing them of where a slide or incident might have occurred,” says Yocum. Don Triplat, executive director of SAC, has been skiing in the back country for the last 24 years. “When I started out back-country skiing, I went out with people who had a lot of experience. They had the gear and could shepherd you through the terrain. It’s important to go with safe, responsible friends until you start to learn your way. There are lots of people recreating in the back country and more considerable danger. We need to be aware of what’s going on.” He also explains that the target population with the biggest issue are males, ages 18 to 24. “They are the No. 1 accident victims and often have poor decision-making skills,” says Triplat. ❅ For more information, visit sierraavalanchecenter.org.

Get the gear | Take a beacon, shovel, probe, avalanche bag and backpack. “You only have 10 minutes for survival if you are buried and you must rely on your partners,” says Schwartz. Get training | Take courses and become educated. There are four levels of training and many courses to help you learn and read back-country terrain. Get the forecast | Read the daily avalanche advisory and forecast. “This is a starting point to make your plans,” says Schwartz. Get the picture | Look for recent avalanche activity, instability, shooting cracks or collapsing snow pack. It is imperative to take into consideration new snow, wind slab, rain and rapid warming. Get out of harm’s way | Avoid steep slopes. Don’t congregate under a steep slope. Travel down the hill one at a time.

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10/31/16 4:52 PM


Courtesy Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

TECH

THE APPS

Technology is a part of mountain life these days. Whether it be cell phone reception on every part of the mountain or goggles that tell you your speed and location, technology is changing the way we ski. With that in mind, I wanted to look at a few apps for Tahoe.

NORDIC NIRVANA · TAHOE POWDER

I figured I’d start with the newly updated app for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. When you open the app, the first thing you notice is the great layout. It’s aesthetically appealing and the home screen is easy to navigate. It’s got what you’d expect from a resort app, such as trail maps and lift and run closures.

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Though basic in design, the Tahoe Snow Map app is perfect for maximizing your days on mountain during a snowy winter. The home screen is a simple map of Lake Tahoe with resorts marked. Clicking on each resort shows recent snow totals, current totals all sortable by time period. For those looking to get the most out of a storm day, this app should prove invaluable. | iTunes or GooglePlay

- Casey Glaubman

TP16 24-25_Kirkwood XC.indd 24

by tim hauserman

heading toward kirkwood, you reach a land with nary a sign of civilization. It’s the best of the Sierra — snow-capped peaks rising high above wide mountain valleys. The road leads through Hope Valley and over Carson Pass, before skirting the shore of Caples Lake, all places that are certain to elicit a series of oohs and aahs from those lucky enough to gaze upon them. And that is just the drive to get there; it gets even better when you put on your skis.

I headed to Kirkwood Cross Country early on a late March morning, stoked to ski on a day when the sky was a deep, dark blue and the snow was a blinding white. I made it to the Schneider trailhead, one of three trail systems that make up Kirkwood’s cross-country facilities, at just a bit after 9. I was the first person in the parking lot. My skiing goal for the day was simple: do the long climb, which is what skiing at Schneider is all about, on the

firm spring crust, stopping frequently to take pictures while gasping for breath. Then, by the time I was headed back on the descent, the trails would soften up just enough to reach the Goldilocks state — not too firm, but not too soft, not too fast, but not too sticky — just right. From the trailhead, the Juniper Trail starts uphill right away, quickly bringing you to the Outpost Trail, your route for most of the rest of the climb. Taking a gander at the high lava formations and open slopes above you to the north is certainly worthwhile, but once you get above the trees, you can’t resist stopping and looking to the south, to find what is perhaps the most jaw-dropping, spectacular view you will see on a cross-country ski trail around Tahoe. It’s a panoramic view including Elephant’s Back, Round Top, the Kirkwood downhill runs and resort, Carson Pass and Spur and the frozen and snowedover Caples Lake. Eventually, you pass a warming hut and ski by the Schneider Cow Camp barn where you meet the Sierra Vista Trail. It’s a lovely loop that leads to Last Round Up, a mostly treeless

10/31/16 4:53 PM


RIGHT A little piece of heaven all to yourself. | Tim Hauserman

You reach a land with nary a sign of civilization. It’s the best of the Sierra — snow-capped peaks rising high above wide mountain valleys.

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bowl that feels so remote and pristine that you just want to hang out and take pictures instead of ski. All told, I skied for about 2 hours on freshgroomed trails and never saw another person until just before arriving back at the trailhead. These trails bring skiers to a true piece of heaven and were an amazing highlight of my winter. And, yes, the trails did soften up just in time for the rapid descent. Kirkwood Cross Country Ski Area has about 70 kilometers of trails in three separate trail systems. The main lodge is located on the Tahoe side of the entrance to the Kirkwood Resort. From here you can take The

High Trail to the High Trail Extension, which brings you to 360-degree views amongst the ancient junipers. Or take the Caples Trail to the Beaver Pond Trail, which winds along a creek. The Agony and Ecstasy Trails provide a challenging connection between the Lodge Trails and the Schneider Trails. Guess which one goes up and which one goes down? Beginners or those who want to warm up their skills might enjoy the Dog and Pony and Meadow Trails, which are mostly level loops through the middle of the Kirkwood Valley. The cross-country ski area has a mellow, laid back atmosphere, next door to the classic rustic Kirkwood Inn, a restaurant and bar that is a favorite hangout for locals and tourists alike. e

TAHOE POWDER · NORDIC NIRVANA

LEFT Greg Von Doersten, Kirkwood Mountain Resort

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10/31/16 4:54 PM


frank titus

ABOVE Frank Titus, far left, was always the youngest guy on the team, circa 1930. | Courtesy Truckee Donner Historical Society

by mark mcLaughlin

OPPOSITE PAGE Frank Titus in 2015 at age 93. | Mark McLaughlin

frank l. titus is as truckee local as one gets. Born in Truckee’s Brickelltown neighborTRUCKEE SKI LEGEND · TAHOE POWDER

hood during a driving snowstorm on Jan. 8, 1922, he lived there until 1951. Then he moved to Portola and later to Reno, Nev., where he resides today. An early member of the Truckee Ski Club, Titus earned his skiing chops the hard way — by leaping off the town’s towering ski jump across the river at Hilltop, Truckee’s winter sports park.

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Titus was there in 1932 when Tahoe City hosted the National Championship Tournament at its local winter sports grounds at Olympic Hill, the current location of Granlibakken Resort. Titus graduated high school at age 16 and enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno. He joined the ski team, coached by Wayne

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Poulsen, an expert skier and future founder of the Squaw Valley Ski Area. At that time, intercollegiate rules required well-rounded skiers who could uncork a dynamic launch off a scaffold-built ski jump, schuss downhill at top speed and handle the kick and glide endurance of a fast-paced cross-country race. Most ski and boarding competitors today tend to specialize in one discipline, but in the 1930s college ski teams required that athletes compete in at least three of the four skill sets: jumping, crosscountry, downhill and slalom. Regarding the versatility each skier needed, Coach Poulsen said, “We could not afford any prima donnas.” The downhill and slalom races were no piece of cake with minimal course grooming and stiff wooden skis. There were no chairlifts to whisk skiers up for their training runs. They climbed for each run by attaching sealskins to the bottom of their stout wooden skis to keep them from slipping backward during their ascents. Bindings were adjustable jumping-style

Frank Titus earned his skiing chops the hard way — by leaping off the town’s towering ski jump across the river at Hilltop, Truckee’s winter sports park.

10/31/16 4:56 PM


Tahoe historian Mark McLaughlin is a nationally published author

In the 1960s, entrepreneur Art Wood envisioned a vacation community on Tahoe’s North Shore he dubbed the Pebble Beach of the Sierra, which included Diamond Peak Ski Resort, then called Ski Incline. Designed by the renowned Luggi Foeger in 1966, the resort was built to offer a variety of terrain, easy access from Incline Village, breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and north-facing slopes. Diamond Peak will open its golden anniversary season on Dec. 15, with celebrations featuring an Opening Weekend Film Premiere and Season Passholder Party on Dec. 16. Special events will be held throughout the season, including the 50th Anniversary Retro Ski Day on March 18, 2017. The resort is asking passholders from 1966 to the present, guests, former and current staff and others to share stories, photos or videos on Diamond Peak’s history. To contribute a story, historic photos, videos, a historic outfit or other items to the 50th anniversary celebration, e-mail 50th@ diamondpeak.com or call (775) 832-1120.

TAHOE POWDER · TRUCKEE SKI LEGEND

Golden

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cable bindings from Norway that were adapted for downhill and slalom skiing. Titus competed in all four events for the UNR ski team and despite being the youngest guy on the squad, he contributed significantly to their success. His strongest disciplines were jumping and downhill, but he could hold his own in the other two, as well. Titus’ home in Truckee was the headquarters for the team and many members would stay there while practicing at the popular Hilltop ski jump. In the early years, players received no funding from the college and usually had to find their own transportation to meets as far away as Washington and Utah. Poulsen was undeterred, saying, “We’ll compete against the nation’s best, even if we have to travel to Salt Lake and Yosemite on our skis.” By 1938, Frank Titus and his teammates were considered the third best college ski team in the country, trailing only the University of Washington and Dartmouth College. The following year the Nevada Wolf Pack toppled UW to clinch an undefeated season and win the Pacific Coast Championships. In 1940, Titus left for San Francisco to attend pharmacy school. When World War II broke out, he signed up for a Navy program that delayed induction and allowed students within a certain time period of graduating to complete their academic studies. In 1942, he graduated and within one month was called to duty. He received his wings in Pensacola, Fla., in 1944 and later, while stationed at the San Diego Naval Air Station, he was assigned to the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Hancock. Titus spent his time patrolling the Pacific Coast in a Hellcat Fighter and training for bad weather take-offs and landings in Oregon in preparation for a U.S. invasion of Japan. Fortunately, that invasion never took place and in 1946 Titus discharged out of the Navy as a lieutenant. He returned to Truckee where he became the pharmacist at Loynd’s Drug. During the slow winter months, Titus got back into skiing, becoming the first ski instructor at Hilltop Lodge in Truckee. On weekends he was an instructor at the Soda Springs Ski Area and for many years taught classes in ski jumping to aspiring leapers. Today Titus lives along the Truckee River. He doesn’t ski anymore, but he recalls his glory days of skiing with pleasure. ❅

ABOVE Photos courtesy Diamond Peak Ski Area

and professional speaker. His award-winning books are available at thestormking.com. Check out his blog at tahoenuggets.com or read his regular column at TahoePowder.ski.

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to break the bank for these as often. It’s the mid-priced Pinots that show a little more gusto, partially because they are far more likely to be bolstered with Syrah, Petit Sirah or even Merlot. Rhône Ranger | Other great fireside sippers come from wines that are built on the Rhône grapes such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Petite Sirah, that up the intensity especially on the body and spice meters. Black and white pepper, stout tannins and ripe black berries and plums ooze from the glass with these elixirs. Again, California versions are more likely to bring the big, bold, sexy goodness from these grapes. Red blends usually contain these grapes along with a dollop or two of Zinfandel. Look for Paso Robles and Lodi on the label because they are good sources for Rhône Ranger-style wines.

a

winter wonderland by lou phillips

of wines

Zins with Spice | Speaking of our allAmerican wine Zinfandel, these are models of all that is good in winter wines with the biggest doses of body and fruits and the warmest of spices. Search out dry versions as the sweeter Zins tend to tire the palate and give a sugar hangover that we definitely don’t want to carry onto the slopes the next day. The Sierra Foothills and Mendocino Zins not only fit this profile, but are usually bargains, as well.

A WINTER WONDERLAND OF WINES · TAHOE POWDER

and sets the tone

Such a wine warms the soul, relaxes ach-

for sweet dreams

ing muscles and sets the tone for sweet

Voluptuous Whites | For die-hard white wine drinkers, I suggest you step out of the box and seek out dry Gewürztraminers and Viogniers that are voluptuous of body and feature stone fruits, flowers and cookie spices on the palate. Sierra Foothills favorite Sobon Estate makes a wonderful and affordable Viognier and Mendocino’s Navarro Vineyard & Winery offers a world-class dry Gewürz for around $20. One of the beauties of being in Tahoe is that our local wine purveyors combine passions for the snow and the vino and are happy to help you find wines that match your palate and your pocketbook. Remember, that popping a bottle of wine is part and parcel of any pray-for-snow ceremony. ❅

dreams of another day on the snow.

Lou Phillips is a Level 3 Advanced Sommelier and his

it’s winter, it’s tahoe and in a perfect world the slopes are full of pow. Whether

Wine warms the soul, relaxes aching muscles

of another day

28

on the snow.

you are shredding off-piste or diggin’ the big arcs on long groomers under sun-filled skies, après-ski afternoons or evenings call for wines with pow, as well.

consulting business wineprowest.com assists in the sell-

That being the case, spicy full-bodied wines are the order of the evening, so let’s look at some that are sure to fit the bill.

ing, buying and managing of wine collections. He may be reached at (775) 544-3435 or lou@wineprowest.com. Visit TahoePowder.ski to read his regular wine column.

Pinots with Punch | For Pinot-lovers, I suggest imbibing in some classic Cali-style juice. California Pinot Noirs tend to be on the dark and robust side with black cherry and warm spice-box profiles. You don’t have

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10/31/16 5:01 PM


a tahoe

skier’s horoscope by michael o’connor

taurus

(Apr 20-May 21)

There’s something special in your glide — something new, a smoother slide. Stage 2 of deep changes are now complete, inches have added amounting to feet. Call it crafty and creative, too. Others see this change clearly in you. Even though it is just the start, it will serve you well to dress for the part.

gemini

(May 21-Jun 21)

cancer

(Jun 21-Jul 22)

Commitment has always been the key; nothing everlasting is given for free. Whatever it takes to reach the peak, learn and teach is the language you speak. As fun as it is, it is not about the show. The deeper question is: How well do you know the ever-changing snow? Confidence creates better turns that inspire greater confidence. This spiritual spiral can include carving a curve versus cranking a turn. Neither casual perception nor mere common sense, there is no deception or sitting on the fence. No excuses can silence the science of this execution.

leo

(Jul 22-Aug 23)

Although it is not all downhill, it is often best not to look back. Take stock of your skills and gifts and the gear in your pack. Patient persistence with now and next will keep you in the flow. You can’t control the weather, but you can keep the faith. It will certainly snow.

virgo

(Aug 23-Sep 22)

The challenge to face your fears may well summarize the past few years. Although this task is not over yet, that you are stronger is a really good bet. Now the slopes you seek require you to climb, so rise to the occasion; it is your time.

libra

(Sep 22-Oct 22)

Stepping away and walking on, a summons has sounded to reach beyond. You can no longer rely on what once was, your mission has changed. You have a fresh cause. Something has changed, the mountains are new. Different terrain destiny has in store for you.

scorpio

(Oct 22-Nov 21)

Some describe it as death defying. Some say you do it without even trying. But, like late winter’s layers of snow, beneath mere glitter and outer show, you truly are very complex, about as simple as the art of sex: probing depths, reaching highs, controlling breaths, arching sighs.

sagittarius

(Nov 21-Dec 21)

Setting your sights on some serious heights is strongly on your mind. Make plans, make calls, make waves, don’t stall. Now is the occasion to do what you mean. More friends, more runs, more trails, more fun; that is the equation of your dreams.

capricorn

(Dec 21-Jan 19)

As yesteryear’s resolve steadily dissolves, this year’s resolve gradually evolves. With each new day as fresh layers accumulate, your plans to expand increase at a steady rate. Yet, it might prove wise to patiently ride this season out, to wait for autumn skies to reveal what it’s all about.

aquarius

(Jan 19-Feb 19)

Openings between gray snow clouds that seem to go on forever and ever. Glimpses of blue that reveal what’s true are helping you to keep it together. Decoding their message shows you a way to do what you must and still take time to play every day.

pisces

(Feb 19-Mar 20)

Over the past couple of years, you have confronted your fears and scaled some lofty peaks. That was your warmup and now comes the real stuff that will require some mighty feats. You will be challenged to focus, so no excuses or hocus-pocus: just get going on the goals you seek.

TAHOE POWDER · A TAHOE SKIER’S HOROSCOPE

(Mar 21-Apr 20)

Snow spirits are calling, white magic is falling. Fat flakes against leaden skies; dreams of adventure dance in your eyes. Whispers on white-powdered winds are saying, “Go big with your plans and don’t forget praying.” Whether it’s a phantom or a fantasy dancer, just say yes. Make it your answer.

29

aries

Michael O’Connor is an astrologer, counselor and life coach. His horoscopes also appear in each edition of our sister publication, Tahoe Weekly magazine. | sunstarastrology.com

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10/31/16 5:02 PM


fly the coop

By Nicole Cheslock

ABOVE Kids playing at KidZone

tahoe boasts welcoming venues beyond the obvious ski lessons and strolls through resort villages for parents and babes. From the KidZone Museum in Truckee to The Discovery Museum in Reno, little ones have ample TOP Ice Skating | Courtesy Northstar California ABOVE Jake Cheslock’s first sled ride | Nicole Cheslock

space to explore, discover and play in safe places made for their sizes, hands and inquisitive minds.

FLY THE COOP · TAHOE POWDER

The KidZone, a winter sanctuary for many new parents, has a padded Baby Zone for rolling, crawling and climbing, while onthe-move toddlers can play on a ship or in a pretend kitchen, climb ladders and explore art in a self-service room complete with aprons, washable paints and a variety of paper.

30

Story time | Libraries throughout the region offer fun and free child-friendly reading spaces and lively story times packed with songs and crafts. Pool time | Enjoy year-round swim time at indoor pool facilities from Truckee’s newly opened aquatic center featuring an incredible shallow area with a slide exclusively for 2 to 4 year olds and another dedicated to adventurous toddlers, teens and adults. Insider’s tip: The first 10 minutes of each hour is adults only, so take the opportunity to arrive and

TP16 30_Little Ones.indd 30

change into your bathing suits, hit the potty or hydrate. Look for indoor pools and swim times in South Lake Tahoe and Incline Village, as well. Outdoor fun | Let’s face it, you don’t want to spend the whole time indoors. The Legacy Trail, plowed through the winter, is great for stroller rides in Truckee and so is Tahoe City’s Lakeside Trail. Commons Beach, with awesome lake views and play structures, is another safe bet in Tahoe City along with the Winter Sports Park, featuring an ice rink for the first time this winter. Ice skating is a fun, family-friendly activity with rinks offered at several local resorts along with skating at the Truckee River Regional Park and the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena. On the snow | Snow time is a great way to entertain little ones from easy-to-master snowshoeing to sledding at local spots around the region. For a list of guided snowshoe tours this winter, visit the Events calendar at TahoePowder.ski. Look for our picks for local snowshoe trails and sledding hills at TahoePowder.ski, as well. ❅ Since becoming a mother, Nicole Cheslock has been exploring her surroundings with a fresh perspective.

10/31/16 5:03 PM


winter reads epic powder The best of the biggest winter storms Relive the Tahoe Sierra’s more epic winters in Mark McLaughlin’s newest book, “Snowbound! Legendary Winters of the Tahoe Sierra.” This is a must for any Tahoe enthusiasts, chronicling the Top 10 biggest winters in the Tahoe Sierra based on snowfall measured at Donner Pass since 1879. Its 160 glossy pages contain weather facts and stories of men and women struggling to cope against powerful storms. More than 250 large-format photographs bring the drama to life.

life behind the lens Warren Miller pens autobiography The godfather of action-sports filmmaking shares his life story from behind the camera in his new book, “Freedom Found: My Life Story.” From his childhood in Hollywood during the Depression era to nearly losing his life on a sinking ship during World War II, rejecting a 9 to 5 job and creating a new business venture from scratch, Miller’s life takes him across the globe to some of the world’s tallest peaks. Miller also makes an appearance in the new ski film, “Here, There & Everywhere,” from Warren Miller Entertainment this season.

Read Mark McLaughlin’s regular columns on Tahoe weather & history at TahoePowder.ski.

Read Warren Miller’s recollections of the life of ski bum turned ski filmmaker at TahoePowder.ski.

Luxury Vacation Cottages

31

TAHOE POWDER · WINTER READS

Overlooking Tahoe's West Shore

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maddie

bowman

ABOVE courtesy Sierra-at-Tahoe

as told to priya hutner

maddie bowman is a professional freestyle skier from South Lake Tahoe. Bowman won the gold medal in the inaugural Women’s Halfpipe event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Along with Olympic gold, Bowman has three X Games medals, two of those gold. Bowman also has received honors as the

Her technical tricks and ability to spin both ways MADDIE BOWMAN · TAHOE POWDER

have propelled her to the top of women’s freeskiing.

top halfpipe skier by the Association of Freeskiing Professionals. Her technical tricks and ability to spin both ways have propelled her to the top of women’s freeskiing. Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, she is currently a college student in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sierra-at-Tahoe is her home mountain.

Who is Maddie Bowman? I’m really enjoy

pushing myself and scaring myself in many aspects of my life. And, I’m kind of dorky.

What was the best thing about growing up in Tahoe? The best thing about Tahoe was

32

the access to activities. It made me love the outdoors. The people there are also super amazing. What is your greatest accomplishment to date? I think my greatest was my Olympic

gold medal in Russia, but I’m also super proud of my X Games finishes.

TP16 32_Skier Profile.indd 32

What was the scariest moment in your career? The scariest moments in my career

was watching my friends get hurt skiing. We are doing dangerous things and you just want to protect them.

How do you prepare for an event? I just

try to make sure I’m having fun and enjoy my skiing. That is when I ski my best.

Who are some of the women athletes/skiers that you look up to or have influenced you? I really look up to Sarah Burke for her

skiing but also for her personality and view she had on skiing. I also look up to Brita Sigourney, who pushes me every time we ski together.

As a female athlete how would you like to influence younger women? What is your message to them? I would love to

encourage young women and girls to participate and try action sports. I think it helps you grow and gives you many life experiences and good times. And to make sure you have fun in whatever you’re doing and try to scare yourself a little bit every day. What are you up to for the 2016-17 ski season? I am going to be doing the competi-

tion circuit again and hosting my event Recess at Sierra-at-Tahoe.

Aside from skiing, what are some other things you are passionate about? I really

love mountain biking and other outdoor activities. I also am really enjoying going to college. ❅

10/31/16 5:50 PM


Let the good times snow!

Nightly 5-6 p.m. Family fun is right outside your door at Granlibakken. Accommodations up to 3 bedroom townhouses, and ski and sled hill day tickets are half-priced for lodging guests.

granlibakken.com 800.543.3221

Why Choose Tahoe Real Estate Group? For more than thirty years, Tahoe Real Estate Group has maintained a dominant position in the marketplace through its long-standing tradition of excellence, integrity, leadership and innovation. Our specialized team of agents is here to help buyers and sellers navigate the many challenges of Lake Tahoe area real estate.

You deserve the special attention and personal service before, during and after the sale!

530 583 1566

TP16 A-D_Cover.indd 3

TAHOE CITY

WEST SHORE

845 North Lake Blvd 530 583 1566

1785 West Lake Blvd 530 525 5244

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WINTER ADVENTURE

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10/31/16 5:13 PM


Tahoe Powder 2016-17