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Old 10-20-2013, 02:07 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'd just go to Northstar if I were you. I went to all the Tahoe resorts last year and had the most fun at Northstar. It also has the best village and your girl can just chill out there if she's not snowboarding. It's got a lot of good mid range terrain for a snowboarder which I personally think is more fun for a vacation.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:49 PM   #22 (permalink)
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If you stay at North Lake, Carnelian Bay is pretty far away from everything, but "Everything" is a relative term on the North Shore. There a few good restaurants, LOTS of good mountains...that said, one that everyone leaves out is Mt. Rose. It's on the mountain road from Reno. Highest base elevation of any mountain out there, so if you're not sure about altitude sickness, not the best place to start. Also, being on the middle of the mountain, there is absolutely nothing to do there if your girl isn't riding, but on Wednesdays they have 2-for-1 lift tickets, and the diamonds down the front are great for some serious charging. It has two main lodges on opposite sides of the mountain, one with a big-ass deck for enjoying a cocktail, especially on a warm Tahoe day. Great vibe, there will lots of people lounging around in tank tops on the deck. And while the views are great from up top, the peak is not only high, but tiny. It might kind of freak you out when you first get off the lift, because it drops right off. It can be a weird experience at first, but once you're used to it and know where you're going, I think Mt. Rose is a lot of fun and highly underrated. As is Homewood, also in North Lake. Homewood is super quite, only two green trails whose only real purpose is to return you to the two base lodges, otherwise it's all blues, blacks and glades -- and the most beautiful views you'll find on Tahoe. Some trails you can't even see the bottom, you just feel like you're going to ride right into that beautiful lake.

That said, the others' advice for your girl isn't bad. Personally, I can't stand Northstar, except for the long-long black trails running down the opposite side. Otherwise it is just a huge shopping mall with ski trails. Again, though, it will give your girl something to do while you ride. Mostly blues, mostly short, and the parking situation is terrible, even if you get there early.

Even if you stay at North Lake, the drive to South Lake is easy, beautiful, and scary as shit in places. The trip around Emerald Bay is not to be missed...just leave Heavenly or Kirkwood in time to kit the sunset and get home before dark. It is NOT a road you want to be driving after dark. If it's snowing at all, they'll close it in a heartbeat, too, but you can always drive up the other side of the lake, which is a much bigger road, still pretty, just longer.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by surfinsnow View Post
That said, the others' advice for your girl isn't bad. Personally, I can't stand Northstar, except for the long-long black trails running down the opposite side. Otherwise it is just a huge shopping mall with ski trails. Again, though, it will give your girl something to do while you ride. Mostly blues, mostly short, and the parking situation is terrible, even if you get there early.
LOL. This.

I rode all over Tahoe last season and Northstar was the only place where I wish I could get my money back. I mean it is just stupidly crowded, as it is insanely oversold. And its totally gnar free. I can usually have an awesome time inbounds just about anywhere, but Northstar is the one place where I come close to saying - ugh, no thanks. You have to stick to the backside to not be annoyed out of your mind. BUT is IS workable for a day of riding. AND your girl can hit up the spa or go tubing or do something while you are out riding at Northstar. It really caters to the stay behind SOs

Or go to Heavenly at south lake and take the gondola from downtown. There's a little downtown shuttle bus that she can hit up. Then she can have something to do that isn't waiting around for you. Seriously, I remember from the one time I was injured and hung out at the base while my friends and my brother were out riding. I was bored to death. If your lady has a penchant for the booze, she'll be damn trashed by 2 PM everyday because she'll have nothing better to do. Yes, south shore is total cheese. But there are other human beings there. And while Sierra is a great mountain on the south side, its still a good 30 minutes from anything.

If you are looking for a big terrain vacay where the boarding is the most important thing then look at staying at Squaw or def Kirkwood (which is hands down the best boarding you'll get in Tahoe.) But if you just want to have a decent time out there and spend time with your girl - then Northstar is a good option as is Heavenly.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Northstar is pretty damn flat. But great for hitting up the parks.

Put it this way. I had three guys with me, that was on their 2nd time boarding ever, and their first time was Bear Mountain. And basically took them all over the mountain with no issues whatsoever (they fell but weren't intimidated by any of the runs).

Fun mountain. But not if you are looking for challenging steeps.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:53 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Northstar is pretty damn flat. But great for hitting up the parks.

Put it this way. I had three guys with me, that was on their 2nd time boarding ever, and their first time was Bear Mountain. And basically took them all over the mountain with no issues whatsoever (they fell but weren't intimidated by any of the runs).

Fun mountain. But not if you are looking for challenging steeps.
It reminded me of a Vermont mountain. Like Mt. Snow or something. Where the rest of Tahoe has big-ass bowls and ridges and steeps, Northstar has basic narrow trails carved through the pine trees. Again, the "steeps" on the backside are fun and long, but there are only 4-5 of them. The rest of the mountain is just a playground for tourists.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:13 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jdang307 View Post
Northstar is pretty damn flat. But great for hitting up the parks.

Put it this way. I had three guys with me, that was on their 2nd time boarding ever, and their first time was Bear Mountain. And basically took them all over the mountain with no issues whatsoever (they fell but weren't intimidated by any of the runs).

Fun mountain. But not if you are looking for challenging steeps.
I'm looking for it all really. I'll probably bring two boards and one set of bindings since my gf isn't bringing a deck I'll use her free checked board. I just like fooling around. Some days I'm into terrain, some days its park. Where i live is mostly park riding, but I still love it.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:05 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I've noticed that most people recommend flying into Reno, but I've been checking flight prices to Sacramento and they are significantly cheaper. Sacramento is an extra hour drive from North Lake Tahoe, but you can save around 300 in plane tickets between 5 people.

Is there a reason that people don't like to fly into Sacramento to get to Tahoe?
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:17 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I'm looking for it all really. I'll probably bring two boards and one set of bindings since my gf isn't bringing a deck I'll use her free checked board. I just like fooling around. Some days I'm into terrain, some days its park. Where i live is mostly park riding, but I still love it.
Seriously, there are worse places than Northstar. You could be stuck at Mountain Creek. I had fun there riding with my wife during the morning. Easy, short blues through Vermonty-carved trails. I mean, seriously, it was fun. But it was no kind of challenge at all. If we hadn't got a free ticket for a gas fill-up at Shell we wouldn't have gone.

What made it FUN was a big storm that moved in mid-day, after the wives were off at the spa having a rub-down from Lars. Soon the wind kicked up and it started a classic Tahoe dumping...I've never seen snow fall that fast. 30 mph winds, white-out conditions. That's when we moved to the diamonds on the backside. Each run had a couple more inches of pow than the last. While I think Northstar sucks in general, it wound up being one of the best powder days ever. We rode those diamonds on the backside, all alone, for three hours, until they finally shut the lifts down because of wind hold.

All told...anywhere you go in Tahoe is awesome. Really. Just take your lady to the the lakefront park, or do the dinner cruise, whatever. You can't go wrong.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:32 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I've noticed that most people recommend flying into Reno, but I've been checking flight prices to Sacramento and they are significantly cheaper. Sacramento is an extra hour drive from North Lake Tahoe, but you can save around 300 in plane tickets between 5 people.

Is there a reason that people don't like to fly into Sacramento to get to Tahoe?
YES! Absolutely. There is a reason people don't like to fly into Sacramento.

Reno is small, and you can find a nice casino-hotel to spend the night in after your flight. And it will be a long flight, you DON'T want to drive for hours through 2,000 ft high mountain roads after you land and deal with you bags and transfers. Your lady will appreciate a short trip and a nice hotel with a fine dinner and a hot-tub room for CHEAP. Seriously cheap...check Kayak, Expedia, whatever. You wake up early (maybe another in-room hot tub and bloody mary), drive up the crazy mountain road past Mt. Rose...pull in for a bloody mary at one of the two lodges, piss your pants looking at the chutes, maybe take few runs, and be at your hotel while the sun's still up.

Sacramento? Fly into a massive city and drive drive drive, and if you are coming in to Tahoe on a Friday/weekend night, they literally -- not kidding -- have cops blocking off all the in-roads to the lake with traffic cones and special lanes for the tourists and weekenders.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:20 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I've flown into both. Actually just had two weddings in Sacramento in the past month. Just got back this morning from one. Pissed because they could have scheduled weddings when the resorts were open so I wasted flights to the area without any boarding

My wife went to school in Davis so we go up there a lot.

Reno is more convenient. Both are quite doable. I've flown into Sac and drove to Reno. Flown into Reno and drove to Tahoe City. Flown into Sac and drove to Sierra at Tahoe in the morning, etc. etc.

While not ideal you can stay in Reno and drive to the resorts. Northstar isn't too far away actually. Being from Southern California and hundreds of Vegas trips, Reno during prime time feels like Vegas at 6:30am on the weekend after an all night bender. Kind of dead and slow. A few stragglers around town.

My friends are absolute gamblers so they always, always stay at Grand Sierra resort. And just drive out to Squaw/Alpine/Northstar in the morning. They get comped rooms so that's how they roll. and I've stayed there twice on Tahoe trips. But we haven't hit a snowstorm yet so not sure how it would be if one hits while we're trying to drive to the resorts.
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