Record Snowfall in Tahoe
Wow, late December to mid January was crazy! As of January 19th Tahoe had received more than the average snowfall for a whole season. We experienced power failures, 8″ of RAIN in one day, resort closures, massive traffic jams, and unplowed roads for days in South Lake Tahoe. That much snow is actually not great for skiing since it impacts resort operations negatively. Yes, there is such a thing as too much snow! One day we went up to Sierra and just sat in the lodge for 1 1/2 hours waiting for them to open a lift — any lift. Later, both Sierra and Kirkwood had lifts taken down by wind on January 23rd. Sierra’s West Bowl and Puma chairs are still down as of this writing 9 days later. It’s also been the coldest winter in Tahoe since 1973 according to the NWS.
The Red and White trip
If you are reading this in 2023 you probably remember the meltdown of Southwest Airlines over Christmas. We had plans to fly to Spokane to ski Red Mountain and Whitewater in British Columbia but luckily canceled them in mid December due to lack of snow. Turns out our flight to Spokane would have been canceled anyway. Whew!
Well, the snow finally came and we made the trip in mid January after Southwest got things straightened out. Those were 2 of the easiest and emptiest flights we ever had. Our flight back had 33 people on a 170 person plane! Timing is everything…
Trip reports are coming later, but we had a really good time and got a good feel for both resorts. The first day at Red was challenging with thick fog and even some rain at the bottom (again!). The snow was good starting 1/3 of the way up though, and coverage was great. Whitewater was fun on day 2 and is clearly loved by the local Nelson community.
There was some drama on the drive back from Nelson to Trail when a rock slide closed the road we were on. It was dark, there was no cell service / internet for GPS, and we had no idea where we were as we followed vague instructions from the police for a LONG detour to Castlegar. We made it though, and day 3 back at Red was clear-ish and allowed us to have a complete picture of the resort for a review.
Housing changes mean new options
We are now back to living part time in the SF Bay Area in Newark and part time in Tahoe. Because of that we have actually skied Dodge Ridge twice this year using our Sierra-at-Tahoe pass Powder Alliance benefits. We love it enough to make 2 day trips this year which means getting up at 5:30AM and not getting back until 6:30PM. The 2nd trip last weekend was our best day of the season with 6″ of snow falling during the day and a great time following AiRung’s friend Nicole and her family who are lifelong Dodge Ridge skiers. We got to see how the local community up there gathers for skiing and laughs.
With 90 resorts complete, we need to get to work on the Northeastern resorts since 8 of the 10 remaining are there. We have a tentative plan to go back around March 1st. If that doesn’t work due to continuing lack of snow we will redirect to Alberta, Canada and re-ski Lake Louise and hit up Marmot Basin near Jasper for the first time. Until then we will be up in Tahoe enjoying the bountiful snow!