This March has been fantastic for snowfall. I take that back… it’s been a Miracle! But, as the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end” and our string of cold temps ran out BIG TIME. A Pineapple Express was headed to Lake Tahoe which meant high snow-levels. Translation – most ski resorts in the Tahoe Basin would either be inundated with the “R” word or at least the classic sloppy Sierra cement. Since we had a friend in town, we couldn’t just wait for the warm part of the storm to pass. The question was now, “Where do we ski in Lake Tahoe during a Pineapple Express?”
Weather Forecasts & Real-Time Webcams
As the storm started, large, wet, heavy snowflakes descended from the sky. Our hopes were that the warm forecasts were wrong. Unfortunately, the meteorologists were right. The snowflakes quickly transitioned to torrential rain hitting the roof. So, our options for tomorrow were limited: Kirkwood, Heavenly or Mt. Rose is where we’d be headed. We would make the call the next morning by checking out the webcams.
Rain At The Lake
As the alarm went off, I quickly pulled back the window shades to reveal a messy landscape. The large mounds of snow were quickly disappearing from our yard and warm foggy weather gloomily sat in town. We checked out the webcams and the only one that seemed to have decent snow was Mt. Rose. Decision made… we grabbed a quick breakfast from our favorite local coffee shop, Freebird Café and ventured towards the north shore.
Our windshield wipers swept away the droplets as we surveyed the lake to our West. It looked less like its normal cheerful self and more like a Loch in Scotland – deep, dark and brooding. Making our way through Incline Village, we turned right onto NV-431 and quickly rose out of the Basin. The next question was, “Is it still snowing at Rose?” The answer was not just a yes but a resounding HECK YES!
Mt. Rose – Where The Snow Is
Just like their motto states, instead of it raining, beautiful white flakes fell from the heavens as we made it to the Mt. Rose Summit. Stopped near the highest pass in the Sierra Nevada, we patiently wait for Avalanche Control to finish. Better to be late than sorry we always say. After about 45 minutes, we finally made it through and got to Mt. Rose.
Private Ski Resort For The Day
Arriving in the parking lot, we only see about a dozen or so cars parked. WOW! Talk about my type of storm skiing. No one around and the snow is stacking up just the way I like it. Quickly throwing on our jackets and lacing up our boots, we head towards the lifts. Ratcheting into our boards, we scoot right onto the chair and enjoy the view. Rising above the base, the snow is coming down ferociously making visibility a little difficult. Tree skiing it is! About half-way up we pass over the chutes and could tell the gates were closed. We figured as much since the storm had come in with heavy snowfall.
Untracked Powder? Yes, Please
Exiting the lift station, we make a left and drop into the first set of trees off Kit Carson Traverse. We’re greeted to an entire blank canvas of untracked powder. Creamy and velvety smooth, the boards float right to the top. Leaning into a turn it feels like we’re surfing bottom-less powder due to its density. Unable to contain my excitement, I yell out “YYYYEEEEWWWW.”
If You Ride Powder & No One Else Is Around Did It Happen?
With no one around, we take lap after lap after lap without stopping. Suddenly we look up to see the sun peeping through the clouds, slightly improving the visibility for a moment. This is our chance to hit the Slide Bowl side of the mountain. Immediately, we’re blown away to find Pioneer Glades without ANY tracks. It’s a HUGE bowl with only a few trees dotting the slope… so we let ‘er rip! Taking massive carves down the face, we make it to the bottom with gigantic smiles. Unbelievable.
Celebrating The Right Way – With A Local Brew
As quickly as the sun peeped its head out, it disappeared again. After four hours of non-stop shredding, our legs told us it was time to celebrate. And what better way to do that than by having a local micro-brew at the Timbers Bar in the main lodge. From Reno to the North Shore, they have a selection of beers you don’t typically see at any of the other major resorts in the Tahoe Basin. While sipping an 8260’ Golden Ale from Under the Rose, we stared outside with satisfied grins. Today was a good day.