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Old 10-05-2011, 10:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ice Coaster going to Tahoe!

Hi guys,

I'm planning my first trip to Lake Tahoe and appreciate your advice.

I started snowboarding last winter and am comfortable with the east coast blue slopes. This season I aim to tackle some black diamonds before going to Tahoe over February 17-21. I'm looking for a challenge, but am not an expert and am looking to have fun and avoid getting in over my head.

In search of:
Fun, challenging intermediate trails
Nightlife (snow bunnies & bars. Casinos: fun but not a priority)
Cheap(ish) room with shuttle to the resorts and close to nightlife


What would be your advice on which resort(s) to visit, where to stay, and where to party?
Tell me your ideal trip:

North or South Tahoe?
Favorite resorts/trails? How many days per resort?
Good/cheap place to stay?
Favorite bars, nightlife, etc?

Tips for getting around without a car?



My current thinking is Heavenly to start, then Kirkwood for a challenge. South Lake Tahoe sounds like it has a good shuttle in the powder express and better nightlife than the North.

Homewood's Trail Map looks great for me - is there a shuttle from SLT to there? Thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd suggest South Lake if you are looking for the full-on experience as a newbie. Heavenly has pros and cons, thus I've never ridden the place. However, having never gone, I bought a Season Pass there because many people told me it is a good place to check-out when it does snow. (I may be living in Tahoe this season.)

Blah Blah Blah. Heavenly has some flats that can reek havoc on new boarders, but it is huge, a full-on resort experience, and has beautiful views. Staying in South Lake will provide you with access to the Casinos in Stateline (South Lake Tahoe's Siamese twin on the Nevada Side.) The Ladies are fun and there is always something to get into trouble with in SLT. There is the Powder express that'll shuttle you to Kirkwood and you MUST take a trip there. Kirkwood is awesome (and the reason why I've never been to Heavenly, though vacationed in SLT 4 different times.) Anytime I've gone, I've booked things through Orbitz or Sidestep/Kayak, getting me lodging and a flight. You'll have to shop-around, but I think you'll find yourself having a good time.

May I ask, why Tahoe? SLC, UT is also a great spot. Shorter flight, less distance between the airport and town, and the resorts aren't too far away. Surely more of a Party in Tahoe, if that's part of your thinking.....which I totally Understand!

As a noob, get some practice in before you go, but you'll be in for a totally different experience out west, for sure! You're going to be hooked.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ohh, and Homewood is on the complete other side of the Lake. Actually, think of the lake as a clock....south lake is located at 5:30 and Homewood is at about 9:30, but the road at 8:00 is closed in the winter so you have to go all the way back around.
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I guess it really depends on your priorities.

South Lake Tahoe has bars, casinos, and so forth, but a lot of the casinos are kind of old. SLT has basically three resorts: Kirkwood, Heavenly, and Sierra. I don't think Sierra is worth your time unless you're trying to save money on lift tickets. Kirkwood is a *great* mountain for all levels of snowboarding. You could totally make that your main mountain. Heavenly is mostly for the convenience and the spectacular view of Lake Tahoe.

North Lake Tahoe is a lot more quiet, mostly small towns (Incline Village, Tahoe Vista, etc.). Further north off the lake, Truckee is a slightly bigger town, but it has basic lodging, and some pretty good (but quiet) bars. If you want to party on North Lake, really you're only choice is Reno, which is around 30 min NE of the Lake. There, they have a TON of casinos. I think they're better than South Lake, but still nowhere near Vegas level.

However, on North Lake there are tons of resorts worth your time, Squaw, Alpine Meadows, Sugarbowl, Mt. Rose (closest to Reno, though medium-sized), Northstar (if you like park). They have shuttles (I think?) but they're more spread out.

If you're on North Lake, def. go to Homewood 1 day. If you're on South Lake, do Heavenly 1 day.... this is mostly for the awesome view.

Hope that helps!
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