Local Pressure Convinces Homewood To Ditch Plan To Go Private

Homewood-Cover

A radical move to make Homewood Mountain Resort fully private has crumbled in the face of local opposition, and the plan now calls for access to all on the slopes of the Lake Tahoe resort.

Plans right now call for day and season tickets to be sold to anyone, and a lifetime membership program to begin in 2024-2025. In addition, the replacement of the 1982-era triple Madden chair with a gondola now appears possible. According to LiftBlog.com, some of the gondola has been delivered.

The endemic lack of skiers and riders on the hill remains, but owners say construction of base condos, a West Shore shuttle, a 270-vehicle parking garage and lifetime memberships should begin to ameliorate that issue.

In 2022, owners of the 1,260-acre ski and snowboard area that rises out of the west shore of Lake Tahoe said that the inability of non-locals to get to the slopes because of heavy weekend traffic off I-80 had resulted in a precipitous decline in day and season ticket sales. They put much of the blame on multi-mountain passes that drew more weekenders to Squaw Valley, now Palisades Tahoe, and Northstar clogged the shortest route from the Bay Area to Homewood.

The pivot to private was to happen this season, with tickets sold only to property owners at Homewood and area HOA members.

However, community members formed several groups in the past year that protested furiously against the plan. When the local planning commission turned down the design of condos to be built at Homewood, owners acquiesced to keep the mountain public.

Opponents remain skeptical that ownership JMA Ventures, a commercial real estate developer based in San Francisco, will follow through with the new plan.

Opened in 1962, Homewood offered a local alternative to the big mountains around Lake Tahoe. With 1,650 feet of vertical drop and the region's only snowcat tour service, Homewood has one of the oldest high-speed quads in the nation -- installed in 1982 -- three triple fixed-grips and a couple of platters.

Half of the trail map is rated blue, with dozens of hidden stashes to take advantage of 400-inch snowfalls in good years. Plus, the mountain is often sheltered from high-ridge winds because it crouches 1,000 feet below the 8,740-foot-high summit of Ellis Peak.

  192 Hits

The Snow Is Melting, Just In Time For Summer At North Lake Tahoe

Tahoe-Summer-Woodward-voer

After record-smashing winter snowfall, it's taken a moment for ski and snowboard resorts on the north end of Lake Tahoe to dig out and get summer activities rolling.

But now four of the resorts have shifted into warm-weather gears, and here is what they have to offer to the general public.

Palisades Tahoe will keep open for skiing and riding until July 4. At the base, a treetop ropes course swings into action. On the famed rock face above the base, the via ferrata is open to challenge participants who are clipped into anchors and cables up the granite wall.

The mountain's aerial tramway welcomes sightseers, thrill-seekers and hikers and bikers to ride up to 8,200 feet at High Camp. There, you'll find roller skating, disc golf (opening delayed by snow), and geocaching. As snow melts, naturalist and guided hikes begin, but there may still be some snowbanks to jump into. All activities, including tram ride, are free to Ikon Pass holders. Otherwise, a daily fee is charged.

At Diamond Peak in Incline Village on the lake, the resort opens up a moderate 1.2-mile hike to Snowflake Lodge. From there, the view of Lake Tahoe bursts out to the south. The lodge deck will be open for lunch and relaxing. And there's golf nearby, too.

Once again, Sugar Bowl will run Kids Camp on the mountain east of Truckee off I-80. Three four-day sessions in July breaks out children ages 4 to 15 onto age groups for a shot at outdoor activities and challenges -- from unstructured playtime for the youngest to mountain biking for young teens.

Home to the region's only Woodward adventure facility, Boreal offers a full menu of camps for skateboarding, mountain biking, BMX, scooter and parkour (indoor spring floors, trampolines and blocks to outdoor parks designed specifically for tricking). Camps run week-long, daily and micro camps.

On the shores of Lake Tahoe, Granlibakken transforms its winter ski and sled hill into a wider summertime experience. Prime is the treetop zipline, with 97 platforms, 27 ziplines and 60 bridges. Head to the water for swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Or hit the Rim Trail that runs right through Granlibakken's 74 acres.

  1694 Hits

California's Ski, Snowboard Season Just Keeps Going And Going And Going ...

Extend-Mammoth-Cover

Snowfall for the 2022-2023 ski and snowboard season has bordered on the absurd, but the 700-plus inches that fell on California resorts is enough of a reality for at least 10 to extend their seasons beyond scheduled closing.

Nowhere did snow seem to fall more often than the resorts in and around the Lake Tahoe area and Mammoth Mountain. Photos of chairs buried in snow up to the tower tops kept coming and coming this winter. As the end approached, the month of May became the "new April" with a number of mountains keeping lifts spinning into the seventh month of their season.

Here's a look at what SnoCountry has as of March 28, but be sure to check websites because this season has been anything but predictable.

Starting at the top, Mammoth Mountain has announced it will stay open until "at least the end of July" -- perhaps taking a shot at its latest ever on August 6, 2017. Touting the state's highest summit elevation (11,050 feet), the central Sierra resort recently reported more than 800 inches of snow had fallen since the season began in November.

Next would be Palisades Tahoe on the north end of Lake Tahoe. Touting nearly 700 inches of snowfall so far, the mountain formerly known as Squaw Valley will run daily until the end of May, and then fire up the lifts on weekends through July 4.

The list of California resorts extending into May begins with a surprise: Southern California's Mt. Baldy has gotten so much snow that mountain officials say they have enough to keep going through May 21. But they also said they'd like to break their all-time record of June 6, weather permitting. Mt. Rose will run to April 30.

Also pushing their season into May are Kirkwood (May 14, more than 675 inches), and Heavenly (May 7, nearly 600 inches). Diamond Peak will also sneak into May, planning close on May 1 -- the second longest season since 1966.

A bunch of California mountains will push their closure dates deep into April. SoCal's park-ers' haven Big Bear will run until the end of the month, and so will Tahoe's Northstar. April 23 is the extended finish for Sugar Bowl, which seemed to catch every flake of every storm this season to ring up a total of 732 inches -- and counting. Recovering from the Caldor Fire, Sierra-at-Tahoe will  nonetheless extend to April 16.

While Boreal and Soda Springs officially say they'll finish on April 16, stay tuned as they are unofficially considering another week of operations. Tahoe Donner Downhill looks to add another weekend on April 14-16.

  1446 Hits

Game-Changing Lifts Set To Go At Palisades Tahoe, Mt. Rose

New-Mt-Rose

A pair of high-speed chairlifts went in this summer at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and Palisades Tahoe, giving California skiers and snowboarders faster trips up the mountain and more terrain to explore.

At Palisades Tahoe, the much-anticipated base-to-base gondola will open this season. Long a dream of resort owners, the 2.4-mile-long eight-seat gondola will take skiers and riders from the former Squaw Valley base area to what was once Alpine Meadows base.

Alterra Mountain Co., the parent company for the resorts and Ikon Pass purveyor, says the new lift will cut down on traffic in the area by eliminating the need to drive or take a shuttle on the six miles of roadway between the resorts.

The gondola runs from the base of the newly upgraded Red Dog chair at the main Olympic Valley base area up and over the ridge to the backside base area. The ride takes about 16 minutes depending upon length of stops at the top of the KT-22 Express on the front side. Lift capacity would approximately be 1,400 people per hour in both directions.

Since taking over the two California ski and snowboard areas in 2018, Alterra has begun to spend the $17 million it pledged to upgrade and link the two distinctly different mountains -- the Olympic Valley front side with its cliffy steeps and glades, and the back side with expansive powder bowls.

The merging of the two areas will expand Palisades Tahoe's skiable terrain to about 6,000 acres, making it the second largest U.S. resort behind Park City Mountain (also a combination of two mountains).

At Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, the focus this summer has been on the Lakeview zone of the mountain (skier's left). Replacing the fixed-grip Lakeview chair, the replacement high-speed chairlift will deliver skiers and riders to the resort's high ground in less than half the time -- unloading higher up than the previous top terminal.

The new detachable quad will bring novice skiers and 'boarders to some of Mt. Rose's best blues and green runs, including its longest Around the World at 2.5 miles. Also, as the name suggests, the new chairlift will afford skiers and 'boarders a classic view of Lake Tahoe.

  807 Hits

Lake Tahoe Mountains Turn Up The Heat With Summer Activities

Summer-Palisades-Tahoe-Cover

Warm-weather brings Lake Tahoe into its off-season bloom, and the mountain resorts that ring the largest lake in the Sierra put on their summertime best for visitors near and far.

Gondolas and chairlifts run all summer to open up vistas from ridgelines surrounding the lake. The usual fare of ziplines, hiking and biking, coasters and alpine slides, and adventure park challenges await. Here's a look at some of the highlights:

There's a new via ferrata on the Tram Face of Palisades TahoeGuides take climbers up two routes of permanent iron anchors and cables. Group or individual tours go 2, 3 or 4 hours daily. A tram ride ends at the popular High Camp at 8,200-foot elevation, where you can roller-skate, hike, disc golf and geo-cache.

Anchoring the south end of the lake, Heavenly's main gondola takes folks up to mid-mountain for the resort's summertime fare. There, thrill-seekers will find the Ridge Rider Coaster with 90-second slide down 3,400 feet of loops, twists and turns; lift-served Hot Shot zipline; tubing; and, adventure park. Or jump on the Tamarack Express chair to get higher.

Few downhill MTB systems can match Northstar's network of black-expert trails. A gondola ride to mid-mountain gets biker to two high-speed chairs equipped to bring rider and bike to dozens of single-track, cross-country and downhill runs.

Down south, Kirkwood boasts one of the most challenging disc golf courses around -- and one that is in its 23rd year. The course climbs out of the Timber Creek base area and winds through forests up and down the front. And it's all free.

On the west side of the lake, Homewood takes advantage of its lakefront location to promote its marina and water activities. Home to the High Sierra Water Ski School, visitors can purchase lessons in waterskiing, wakeboarding, waterskating and wakesurfing. Rentals of all sorts of water craft available.

Just off Donner Pass, Boreal is home to California's only Woodward youth active sports campus. Woodward Tahoe has two skate parks, BMX park and MTB trails on the lower mountain, plus base-area Wrecktangle and Woodward headquarters.

 

 

 

  786 Hits

An Expansive Epic Pairing Awaits At Lake Tahoe

Epic-Tahoe-Covere

A half-dozen ski and snowboard resorts encircle Lake Tahoe, and two of the largest -- Heavenly Mountain and Northstar California -- belong to the Epic Pass network.

Continue reading
  1070 Hits

California Epic Pass Resorts Poised To Open

Kirkwood-Gully

A trio of Lake Tahoe-area resorts on the Epic Pass system have done all they can to get ready for the 2021-2022 season, and now it's up to Mother Nature.

Continue reading
  2033 Hits

Music Resounds Around Lake Tahoe This Summer

TRuckee-Cover

In the West, one of the most active summertime areas can be found around Lake Tahoe, where a dozen ski and snowboard resorts host warm-weather concerts and festivals for city-dwellers looking for a way to chill out.

Continue reading
  1510 Hits

Tahoe Resorts Ready To Open with Ticketing Restrictions

Sugar-Bowl-Covid

The baker's dozen of ski and snowboard resorts in the Lake Tahoe region will start opening for the season in late November, and all will have policies in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Continue reading
  1478 Hits

Reno-Tahoe Resorts Prepping for Unique Season Ahead in Age of COVID

Screen-Shot-2020-09-29-at-2.56.23-PM

Back on Aug. 24, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe posted to Instagram a photo of sunbeams breaking through the clouds and splashing its terrain that overlooks Lake Tahoe.

Continue reading
  1460 Hits

Insider’s Guide: Kirkwood Mountain

IG-Kirkwood-Selfie

Though less than an hour from the glitz and glamor of South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood Mountain Resort couldn’t be more different.

Continue reading
  3221 Hits

Lake Tahoe, SoCal Resorts Open With More Snow Forecasted

Heavenly-Chair-Scenic

After a landmark season last year, California's ski and snowboard resorts are pumped to do it again, with a half-dozen more opening around Thanksgiving and plenty of snow on the way.

Continue reading
  2637 Hits

Fun In The Sun: Tahoe Resorts In Summer Mode

Summer-Northstar

Once summer settles in, the winter resorts around Lake Tahoe become magnets for city-dwellers aiming to beat the heat – and to have a bunch of fun doing it.

Continue reading
  3453 Hits

April Snows Cap Snow Season; Rafting, Hiking, Wildflowers Await

Rafting-Truckee

For most Western resorts, the season is over, but lots of snow in the mountains -- even late into April -- means plenty of water in the rivers for rafting and blankets of colorful wild flowers covering the high alpine meadow for hikers and bikers.

Continue reading
  2961 Hits

Ski Shuttles: Hitchin' A Ride Up Onto The Slopes

Shuttle-Summit

Taking a flight to a major airport in the West is just the first step to getting onto the ski and snowboard mountain.

Continue reading
  3973 Hits

SnoCountry SnoShots: Pacific Northwest Getting The Goods

SnoShots-Mt-Hood-Meadows

Early on, above-freezing temps kept snowfall down in the Pacific Northwest. But lately, the temps have dropped and the depths have risen. Pacific storms have stayed north, pummeling the Cascades and intermountain region with snowfall measured in feet.

Continue reading
  3615 Hits

Finding Off-Beat Ways To Celebrate Holidays In The Hills

Santa-Rappel-JH

Christmas in the mountains runs deep with traditions. But a number of resorts try to work outside the box and be creative with their celebrations.

Continue reading
  2870 Hits

Mt. Rose Sets Soft Opening For Season Pass Holders

Mt-Rose-Open-Cheer

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is set to drop the ropes a week early to give season pass holders the privilege of putting down the first tracks of 2018-2019.

Continue reading
  3105 Hits

Point And Shoot: Five Photogenic Resorts In The West

Telluride-Town-View

With the proliferation of Smartphones and digital cameras, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to capture the beauty of the West – especially in the mountains.

Continue reading
  3007 Hits

One Final Drive, One Last Putt: Fall Golf In The High Country

Incline-Village-Golf

Just like for skiers and ‘boarders, golfers want to squeeze in that last day of the season. Even as most U.S. resorts are turning on their snow guns and warming up the snowcats, many still keep the golf course open for those late-season die-hards.

Continue reading
  3461 Hits