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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all. I've been googling my fingers off, but can't really figure Tahoe out.

I'm in the South Bay...and when I'm lucky I get a day off (typically Sunday) to drive up to Tahioe. My strategy so far has been to leave work Saturday at 5:30, land in Reno at 9:30, drive to Northstar at 6 AM and then drive back to South Bay at night. It just doesnt seem like there's any easier accommodation in North Tahoe. I think ny other option would be to stay in Roseville, get there at like 8 after work and then head to the mountains like 5 ish. I just cant seem to find anything affordable or not sold out in Truckee itself.
The Roseville option may be easier if I didnt go to Northstar. I'm not in love with that mountain and its pricey for what you get. I've been thinking SugarBowl because its $20 cheaper, but then I read crappy reviews of the place. I dont need resorty stuff. i just need lifts and snow (I wont lie though....a latte at 7 AM is nice.) Is SugarBowl totally fine for just boarding blues and easier blacks? Or is it really dumpy? If I go I'm getting the CORE card ($19 and $15 off lift tickets) so I'm locking myself in to going twice.

I've been thinking of trying South Tahoe but I dont even know where to start. It looks like a faster drive on the map but less highway...so it may be longer in actuality. Kirkwood and Heavenly are there. And I do have points on my PEAKS card already. So if I go south I can add to those. I'm just worried about drive time and traffic getting back.

In a perfect world I can find a cheaper Marriott brand. I do 200 nights in a hotel for work a year. I LOVE point bagging!

Anyone else doing Tahoe by the day? Whats your strategy?
 

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I do mostly day trips when conditions are good...2:45 from Pleasanton to Kirkwood...shred all day and drive back. Home by 7 usually.
 

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Hey y'all. I've been googling my fingers off, but can't really figure Tahoe out.

I'm in the South Bay...and when I'm lucky I get a day off (typically Sunday) to drive up to Tahioe. My strategy so far has been to leave work Saturday at 5:30, land in Reno at 9:30, drive to Northstar at 6 AM and then drive back to South Bay at night. It just doesnt seem like there's any easier accommodation in North Tahoe. I think ny other option would be to stay in Roseville, get there at like 8 after work and then head to the mountains like 5 ish. I just cant seem to find anything affordable or not sold out in Truckee itself.
The Roseville option may be easier if I didnt go to Northstar. I'm not in love with that mountain and its pricey for what you get. I've been thinking SugarBowl because its $20 cheaper, but then I read crappy reviews of the place. I dont need resorty stuff. i just need lifts and snow (I wont lie though....a latte at 7 AM is nice.) Is SugarBowl totally fine for just boarding blues and easier blacks? Or is it really dumpy? If I go I'm getting the CORE card ($19 and $15 off lift tickets) so I'm locking myself in to going twice.

I've been thinking of trying South Tahoe but I dont even know where to start. It looks like a faster drive on the map but less highway...so it may be longer in actuality. Kirkwood and Heavenly are there. And I do have points on my PEAKS card already. So if I go south I can add to those. I'm just worried about drive time and traffic getting back.

In a perfect world I can find a cheaper Marriott brand. I do 200 nights in a hotel for work a year. I LOVE point bagging!

Anyone else doing Tahoe by the day? Whats your strategy?
Hi Chris, You can stay at Hostel Tahoe at Kings Beach. You can take Northstar shuttle from there if you want.

There is another hostel named Tinker Station near SugarBowl.

You need to book early. I like both places. The owners are very nice.

SugarBowl is fine. Jeremy Jones rides there sometimes.

Kirkwood is quicker to get to than north shore. It is not freeway but much less traffic. Carson City will be your best option if you want to stay overnight.
 

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Just wondering, where did you read crappy reviews of Sugar Bowl? It sounds like it would suit you just fine. Much better for the frequent day-tripper than Northstar (which imo, is like Disneyland for tourists). Sugar Bowl's a medium-sized mountain, not a dump at all, affordable, good trails, nice staff, super easy drive on the I-80 from the Bay Area/Sacramento/foothills area. More of a locals and Bay Area day-tripper vibe than Northstar. Sugar Bowl also has the best women's restroom I've seen among NLT resorts :thumbsup: The only drawback to SB is that because it's the closest "big" resort to the Bay Area, it does get crowded on weekends, especially with ski/snowboard team kids and their families.

I don't know much about staying in Roseville, but you could also stay in the Sacramento area; more business hotels to choose from, not too far a drive to Tahoe.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A guy I work with hates the place...but I hate that guy I work with. He's totally a Northstar type. And I'm really not. But there's another travel forum I looked at...Cali not Tahoe specific. People we're busting on the place for being run down. I dont care about asthetics...but since its closest to the Bay it seems like if chairs start shutting down or if "high speed" quads and 6s arent really high speed...the day can get crowded and miserable. A hostel right there sounds good though. Or a 2 hour drive from SacMo/Roseville etc will work too.

SugarBowl seems to have a lot of local devotees on On the Snow. Which is cool. But it kinda makes me think of this place back home called Saddleback. Locals defend it like crazy because its got great snow (sometimes) but its all Tbars and broke down doubles. Its not too too bad if you are skiing but its hell on a board. Not a way I wanna spend 50 bucks. But I'm getting the sense that SugarBowl isnt gonna be duct tape and tar paper shacks. Hey I'm from Maine..we're a grubby people. And yes we use duct tape to fix tbars. So I just gotta ask. :)

The Kirkwood, Carson City option sounds promising too. I could do that..get to Kirkwood Sunday AM and be home by 10 PM sunday. That would work (adding to the Peaks card!) I'm not really married to corporate hotel chains. Its just if I do one more night in a Marriot by April 15th I get 2 free (its Mega Bonus time of year!) And they give me the room/suite upgrade because I did 77 nights of 175 road nights last year at Marriott. Omg I love comps and upgrades. I really am a point bagging junkie.

I guess my original idea was pick a mountain and learn while I'm out in Cali. But I'm ready to ditch Northstar. I'm just afraid of the logistics. But there's only one way to find ouy and thats to give it a go. Makes me feel waaaay better to hear people day tripping south.
 

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Try the bay area ski bus -- will pick you up in sunnyvale at 5am and have you back home by 9pm. They also feed you breakfast and snacks and you watch movies on the ride back. You don't have to drive, you can sleep in the morning, and you're back for dinner.

Just google it. :)
 

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I'm getting the sense that SugarBowl isnt gonna be duct tape and tar paper shacks. Hey I'm from Maine..we're a grubby people. And yes we use duct tape to fix tbars. So I just gotta ask. :)
Don't worry, you won't experience duct tape and tar paper shacks unless you overshoot the entrance to the Judah-side parking lot of Sugar Bowl on the right, and accidentally turn into the parking lot to Donner Ski Ranch on the left (across the street from SB, where enthusiastic parking lot attendants eagerly wave you in). But then again, Donner Ski Ranch has its fans, too :laugh:
 

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I do mostly day trips when conditions are good...2:45 from Pleasanton to Kirkwood...shred all day and drive back. Home by 7 usually.
2 hrs and 45 min from pleasanton to kirkwood even on a powder day? (sketch roads and chains)...sounds more like a 4 hr drive

anyway, I don't know how you guys do it. My local is 2 hrs on a hardpack day and about 3 hrs on a heavy powder day. I tried the one day thing a few times but it was killer on the back with all the driving and shredding first to last chair. I do whatever it takes to be able to spend the night after the first day riding...then I can ride the next day and drive home with infinitely less fatigue.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I googled the ski bus and I dont think I can do it. If anything went wrong like I got lost and missed it.. omg I would be screwed.
My boss out here is clinically insane. You should have seen what happened to me a few weeks ago when my flight from JFK back to Cali was canceled (been flying home every other weekend.) I get stuck in Tahoe and I am scrubbing her toilets with a toothbrush for real.
I need like...nothing...to go wrong. But otherwise...awesome tip. I'll spread the word.

In case it helps anyone out...
I ended up going with SugarBowl. I just booked a Marriott room in Rocklin just off 80 (that earns me 2 free nights next season! BOOM!) Google tells me its an hour and 17 minutes from the mountain. Previously I had been driving to Reno after work and driving back to Truckee (about 50 mins) so it doesnt add THAT much in the AM. But if I get out at 5:30 I should be in bed by 8 instead of 10 which will make getti v up at 5 easier. End of my day I am heading straight back to South Bay with the rest of the Tahoe traffic! I find though that if I am on first chair I feel ok leaving at 3:30.
So I'll give this line of attack a go. See what happens. I'll post a trip report.
Maybe Easter weekend I'll try Kirkwood.
Not too many more weekends after that. But I'll keep going long as the snow holds up.
 

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2 hrs and 45 min from pleasanton to kirkwood even on a powder day? (sketch roads and chains)...sounds more like a 4 hr drive

anyway, I don't know how you guys do it. My local is 2 hrs on a hardpack day and about 3 hrs on a heavy powder day. I tried the one day thing a few times but it was killer on the back with all the driving and shredding first to last chair. I do whatever it takes to be able to spend the night after the first day riding...then I can ride the next day and drive home with infinitely less fatigue.

I WISH! I had so much snow on 88 to make it in more than 3 hours. No way this season.....:icon_scratch:
2:45 both ways...I have AWD. maybe longer driving back since I'm tired and not motivated by timing. Now if you plan to use chains...yes 4 hours is realistic.
 

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I WISH! I had so much snow on 88 to make it in more than 3 hours. No way this season.....:icon_scratch:
2:45 both ways...I have AWD. maybe longer driving back since I'm tired and not motivated by timing. Now if you plan to use chains...yes 4 hours is realistic.
still sounds like a bit of an exaggeration. If it isn't, you are hauling ass...dangerously. Just FYI, I saw 3 accidents when I went up last thurs. One was an AWD teetering/stuck on top of a snow bank (tow truck was pulling it off), the second on was an AWD on it's side at the bottom of a ditch and third was a front wheel drive upside down with the entire windshield and roof caved in flat (had to be some injuries on that one)

I googled the ski bus and I dont think I can do it. If anything went wrong like I got lost and missed it.. omg I would be screwed...
the bus is a compromise. I tried that once and, yeah, it's totally sweet not to have to deal with chains and to be able to sleep all the way home...but making it to the bus on time in the morning is stressful and, worse, getting back on the bus within 30 min after last chair is even scarier (they will leave you at the resort). The good thing about trying the bus at least once is it makes you not take your car and it's freedom for granted.
 

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still sounds like a bit of an exaggeration. If it isn't, you are hauling ass...dangerously. Just FYI, I saw 3 accidents when I went up last thurs. One was an AWD teetering/stuck on top of a snow bank (tow truck was pulling it off), the second on was an AWD on it's side at the bottom of a ditch and third was a front wheel drive upside down with the entire windshield and roof caved in flat (had to be some injuries on that one)

the bus is a compromise. I tried that once and, yeah, it's totally sweet not to have to deal with chains and to be able to sleep all the way home...but making it to the bus on time in the morning is stressful and, worse, getting back on the bus within 30 min after last chair is even scarier (they will leave you at the resort). The good thing about trying the bus at least once is it makes you not take your car and it's freedom for granted.
2:45 is about right from Pleasanton.
 

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still sounds like a bit of an exaggeration. If it isn't, you are hauling ass...dangerously. Just FYI, I saw 3 accidents when I went up last thurs. One was an AWD teetering/stuck on top of a snow bank (tow truck was pulling it off), the second on was an AWD on it's side at the bottom of a ditch and third was a front wheel drive upside down with the entire windshield and roof caved in flat (had to be some injuries on that one)
I'm not. I have been driving on 88 for the past 5 years in all conditions. And I saw many accidents as well. Never had one myself.

I drive a Subaru WRX I do 75/80 on the freeway (580>4>99) and at the speed limit after that...that is 55 (actual 65) until Jackson, and then HW88 that is 55 (60) (clean road) or 45 uphill 35 downhill on snow. Consider that I get to Kirkwood by 8 in general, that early the traffic is almost non existent even on weekends.
2:45 to 3 hours every time.
 

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I googled the ski bus and I dont think I can do it. If anything went wrong like I got lost and missed it.. omg I would be screwed.
My boss out here is clinically insane. You should have seen what happened to me a few weeks ago when my flight from JFK back to Cali was canceled (been flying home every other weekend.) I get stuck in Tahoe and I am scrubbing her toilets with a toothbrush for real.
I need like...nothing...to go wrong. But otherwise...awesome tip. I'll spread the word.

In case it helps anyone out...
I ended up going with SugarBowl. I just booked a Marriott room in Rocklin just off 80 (that earns me 2 free nights next season! BOOM!) Google tells me its an hour and 17 minutes from the mountain. Previously I had been driving to Reno after work and driving back to Truckee (about 50 mins) so it doesnt add THAT much in the AM. But if I get out at 5:30 I should be in bed by 8 instead of 10 which will make getti v up at 5 easier. End of my day I am heading straight back to South Bay with the rest of the Tahoe traffic! I find though that if I am on first chair I feel ok leaving at 3:30.
So I'll give this line of attack a go. See what happens. I'll post a trip report.
Maybe Easter weekend I'll try Kirkwood.
Not too many more weekends after that. But I'll keep going long as the snow holds up.
Be forewarned about Kirkwood, especially considered Psycho Boss; if it starts snowing heavily, you're spending the night. There are no options, no alternate ways out. You're there until CalTrans gets the pass cleared (which they're usually are pretty good at. That said, it is an awesome mountain!

Sugarbowl is just fine. Some good chutes and steeps if you want 'em, some wide open stuff if you want that, and I don't know what anyone is talking about about it being "run down." I thought it was pretty nice. But then, I'm used to riding places in Vermont like the Mansfield lodge at Stowe, or Burke, etc. We Easties know run-down! Sugarbowl doesn't compare.

Oh, and I also agree that Northstar sucks. Except for the black trails on the backside when it's a powder day. Otherwise, it's just a big shopping mall with a ski slope attached.
 

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Be forewarned about Kirkwood, especially considered Psycho Boss; if it starts snowing heavily, you're spending the night. There are no options, no alternate ways out. You're there until CalTrans gets the pass cleared (which they're usually are pretty good at. That said, it is an awesome mountain!
Yeah sadly not this season... Another pretty pathetic one snow-wise. Last good one was 10/11
 

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Yeah sadly not this season... Another pretty pathetic one snow-wise. Last good one was 10/11
Sad to hear. I thought they were doing okay. Good for me, though, as 10/11 was the last time I was there, and it was awesome. I missed most of 11/12 because of foot surgery.
 

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Sad to hear. I thought they were doing okay. Good for me, though, as 10/11 was the last time I was there, and it was awesome. I missed most of 11/12 because of foot surgery.
We are doing "okay" Saturday was good but still pretty shallow compared to real good seasons. It keeps snowing inches instead of feet. We haven't had a multiple day storm yet this season...it does a foot and then sunny mid 50's for 2 weeks. The sides of the road are clean almost all the way up. Sad.
 

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We are doing "okay" Saturday was good but still pretty shallow compared to real good seasons. It keeps snowing inches instead of feet. We haven't had a multiple day storm yet this season...it does a foot and then sunny mid 50's for 2 weeks. The sides of the road are clean almost all the way up. Sad.
That's funny...I always find half the rush of riding Tahoe is driving through Emerald Bay or the Carson Pass to Kirkwood. The year we had about 10 feet of snow in the Donner Pass was a trip, too. "Don't honk the car horn!" :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ohhh damn really? Thats just the pass on 50 going to south Tahoe you need chains on right? Yeah I cant take the risk. She really is craaaaaa-zeee.
I saw all the signs on 80, chain installation area etc. But I just assumed it was toi late in the season for blizzard. It was a little hairy in places but didnt seem like I'd get stuck up there.

I'm looking forward to SugarBowl now! Yeah EastCoast run down is totally different than the Cali version. Cali is all about style I'm finding out. I need to get a sexier car! Lol

Thanks y'all for the help!
 
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