Holiday Skiing is a love-hate time for most people. Dealing with crowds, family, icy roads and high prices is usually offset by the breathtaking views from the top of the hill. This season, California got one of its best holiday snow dumps in years. For everyone wishing for a white Christmas in the Sierra Nevada, you got it.
On Christmas day, as usual the slopes were empty with a fantastic base of packed powder topped by more than a foot of fresh powder. Today more snow is expected in the Tahoe-Truckee area.
An insiders tip, New Years Day is one of the slowest days of the year according to the lift operators I talked with yesterday. It should be a great day for some skiing.
At two in the afternoon Christmas Day, the summit of Alpine Meadows was blowing snow and about 200 feet visibility. Some of the best skiing I have seen in the last 15 or 20 years. Many people didn’t like that half of the mountain was closed, a few didn’t like the wind, some didn’t like the cold.
The lift operators were insanely jealous of the diehard skiers who were out carving fresh trails on every run. My first time down the “Face” run at Alpine were like being in a perfect bubble of ski-dom.
I couldn’t see far enough to be distracted by the beauty of Lake Tahoe or the Alpine Meadows Valley. It was too cold to stop and do anything else. All I could do is ski in the little area that I could see. I could only see about three or four hundred feet at any given time. A little surreal like a video game where you always know there is more, but you just can’t see it.
Each run was something new because I couldn’t even find my own tracks. The rest of the season is looking like it is going to be a great. If the beach fog gets a little too much to handle, watch the weather and enjoy some great skiing.