What's Your Snow I.Q.?
by Kimberly Pryor
Posted on October 12
Admit it: You have issues. Perhaps your parents never took you skiing when you were a child. Or perhaps you put your job on hold to satisfy your snow fix. Or maybe you’re afraid to commit to one ski area. Whatever your problem, we’re here to help with our brand-new Skier and Boarder Quiz. You’ll learn what’s new at Sierra resorts this winter as well as whether you’re overcommitted to the sport, fear commitment or simply should be committed.
1. Your friends mention you’re acting strange. You attribute this to the fact that:
a) Your skis or snowboard have been relegated to solitary confinement in your closet since last spring.
b) You roast s’mores over the office heating grate to practice for the time you’ll spend in front of the fire pits at the new Village at Northstar, recently opened at Northstar-at-Tahoe, with 100 luxury condominiums, shopping, restaurants and an ice-skating rink.
c) Your significant other frequently is awakened as you act out fantasies of trying Northstar’s new standard half pipe while asleep in bed. The half pipe offers a less-intimidating alternative to Northstar’s 17-foot superpipe.
“You have to work every weekend in December,” your boss declares. In response, you:
a) Wear your skis to work.
b) Ditch work early to try Heavenly’s new Night Life Terrain Park, open after dark.
c) Convince your boss and co-workers that holding the company retreat at Heavenly Mountain Resort’s 50th anniversary party Dec. 15–18 will build worker morale. Festivities include parties, concerts, fireworks, lift-ticket deals and an extreme-sports film festival.
d) Explain that Heavenly’s new electronic signs pointing the way to tree skiing, knowledge once available only to in-the-know locals, will sharpen your intellectual skills as you navigate through powder stashes.
e) Jump on the copy machine and make motor noises while pretending it’s one of Heavenly’s six new Bombardier 350 groomers.
While remodeling your home, you:
a) Build a courtside seat at Arco Arena with leftover wood.
b) Move into Sugar Bowl’s 14,000-square-foot addition to the Mount Judah Day Lodge and toss your sleeping bag next to the new granite fireplace or camp next to the new high-speed quad on Christmas Tree Run—why put anything between you and first tracks?
c) Visit Sugar Bowl’s improved White Pine beginner area with its extensive slope grading on the learn-to-ski area and the new Adventure Bowl for beginners.
d) Convince your architect you need a ski lift to carry beer from the kitchen to the living room during football season.
e) Enroll the kids in Sugar Bowl’s Sugar Bears program, now with its own magic carpet lift outside the back door. With the Sugar Bear Express and the newly developed Bears Den learning space, children have their own self-contained area.
To you, doing something different means:
a) Playing Nerf Ball with the driver of the car next to you during Highway 50 rush hour.
b) Enrolling yourself or your kids (or cheering on the racers) in the 50K Gold Rush, the 15K Bronze Rush or the 6K Junior Rush at Royal Gorge on March 19. The event is a benefit for the Far West Nordic Junior Programs, which help send junior skiers to the Olympics.
c) Using Homewood’s exchangeable parent lift ticket, your spouse skis with the kids in the morning; you ski with them in the afternoon.
Your idea of an exciting day is:
a) Driving down Sunrise Boulevard while shouting positive, Zenlike affirmations out your window.
b) Riding the high-speed quad, the TC Express, which replaced Kirkwood’s Hole ’n’ Wall.
c) Visiting Kirkwood’s three expanded terrain parks. AdventureLand, in Timber Creek off Bunny Chair, has gentle rollers and ski-through tunnels perfect for young children. The DC Shoes Playground has beginner and medium-sized features to practice jib skills before moving to the big park. DC Shoes Stomping Grounds, Kirkwood’s main park, has redesigned features including a better sound system and a longer Mountain Dew Superpipe.
d) Participating in Kirkwood’s New Expedition programs, including K2 women’s clinics and avalanche certification courses for experienced skiers and riders, which teach snow safety and snow science.
e) Contacting Kirkwood president Tim Cohee to help overcome lackasnowaphobia (fear of no snow). Cohee personally delivers an accurate recorded snow report. He’s so honest, he’ll admit when conditions are bad enough to warrant staying home. Call (877) KIRKWOOD (547-5966).
When you hear the word“adventure,” you imagine yourself:
a) Trying to pet the deer at Ancil Hoffman Park.
b) Taking the kids to Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Family Adventure Zone, with terrain features such as rollers, mini jumps and banked turns. Signage and animated figures educate children on local history and animal species, while treehouses, caves and secret hideaways—accompanied by sound effects and smoke—provide entertainment.
c) Eating at Sierra-at-Tahoe’s new eatery, The Happy Hippie, which serves salads, rice bowls, wraps, granola and yogurt, soups, salads—even organic juice.
On any given day, you would rather:
a) Watch the seagulls peck dead salmon at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.
b) Visit Boreal Mountain Resort, which recently underwent a transformation from a ski and snowboard resort to Northern California’s first and only all-mountain terrain park, accessible day and night. While most resorts offer a percentage of acreage for terrain parks, virtually all of Boreal’s mountain will include rails, boxes and jumps from all nine of its lifts.
c) Ride the new in-ground, 450-foot-long superpipe at Boreal. The permanent location will guarantee a competition-quality riding experience.
Your idea of fun is:
a) Watching Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Warren Beatty have a snowball fight on the I-80 summit while each proclaims, “If I had been governor back then, I could have saved the Donner Party.”
b) Taking advantage of Granlibakken’s three-day Learn to Ski or Board at Homewood package. The $297-per-person, midweek package includes lodging, a buffet breakfast at Granlibakken, six lessons at Homewood, lift ticket and equipment.
c) Participating in or watching the SnowBomb Sick & Twisted contest at Diamond Peak’s Snowbomb Terrain Park, Feb. 11 and March 12, for amateur snowboarders and skiers of all ages and abilities. The $25 contest entry fee includes discounted lift tickets. After the competition (from noon to 3 p.m.), enjoy live music on the deck.
d) Watching Grandpa chase Grandma down the slopes through the Tahoe Donner Ski Area Senior Program, providing weekly expert instruction to senior skiers (55 and older) who have surpassed beginner ability. For $25 per day (price subject to change), seniors receive a lift ticket, a morning or afternoon clinic, and lunch.
e) Visiting North Shore during the Learn to Ski and Board Weekend, Dec. 3–4, when $20 earns first-time skiers an all-day lift ticket, group lesson and gear rental. Newbies can learn at Alpine Meadows, Boreal Mountain Resort, Diamond Peak, Granlibakken, Homewood Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA and Sugar Bowl. Reservations aren’t required, but arrive early. Purchase lesson packages at each resort. Lodging/event packages available that weekend begin at $69 per person double occupancy. (800) 824-6348
The word “park” calls to mind:
a) Finding a metered space in downtown Sacramento.
b) Dodge Ridge’s new SuperFly Pro-Gression Parks, catering to progressive skiers and riders from beginners to experts. The entry-level park and pipe are ideal for kids and adults. Other Dodge Ridge parks include Local’s Rail Yard, featuring more than 15 rails for those who enjoy shredding the metal; a half pipe cut with the state-of-the-art Zaugg pipe cutter; Boneyard Skier and Boardercross Park; and Stagecoach Slopestyle Park with intermediate to advanced hits.
c) The extreme makeover of Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Paw Parks, now known as children’s Adventure Parks, each with a distinct theme reflected in the signage, new entrances and features.
d) Sierra-at-Tahoe’s terrain parks, now with the resort’s version of city bus stops. The Park Stops feature a covered bench with tools for adjusting bindings, mini trail maps highlighting Sierra-at-Tahoe’s park “circuit,” a sticker wall, and ski and snowboard magazines. Other new terrain park features include a fleet of seven rails and jibs.
e) Homewood’s new terrain park and the expansion of its existing terrain parks.
Martha Stewart passed stock secrets disguised as recipes stuffed inside home-baked cupcakes while riding Alpine Meadows Ski Resort’s new high-speed Sherwood Express detachable quad lift, which transports skiers and riders up the mountain two times faster than the old lift.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently used Soda Springs Winter Resort’s snow-tube carousel for children too small for the snow-tubing tow lifts. He also was spotted on the miniature 5-mph snowmobiles at Soda Springs’ Planet Kids while shouting, “I’ll be baaaack!”
Rather than watch football on TV, you throw passes on Mt. Rose’s new Flying Jenny surface lift, longer than a football field at 330 feet.
Now that President George W. Bush has skied the newly graded portions of Mt. Rose’s Chutes and the recontoured sections of select trails, he plans to deliver the State of the Union address while performing freestyle stunts at the resort.
When you hear “six pack,” what pops into your mind is Mt. Rose’s Northwest Magnum 6 and the Blazing Zephyr 6 lifts, beefed up this year with new chairs, increasing the uphill capacity by 25 percent per hour.
You use the California state Capitol’s dome as a makeshift ski jump, only to decide Squaw Valley USA’s new on-mountain Demo Center is a better option. Steps away from several lifts that give access to all-ability terrain, the center features the latest skis from K2, Atomic, Volkl, Rossignol and Salomon—perfect for anyone who wants to try gear without venturing to the mountain’s base or risk hitting a lobbyist while jumping off the Capitol.
Lately, you notice how white frosting looks like the groomed snow at Squaw, where three new fuel-efficient, low-emission PistenBully winch grooming machines were added to a fleet of more than 30.
You frequently play hooky from work to watch or participate in Dodge Ridge’s just-launched Freestyle SuperFly Teams, led by Aniah Kirk, a local freestyle champ. Open to any freestyle skier.
Your family brings your meals to the computer because you enjoy the new online Snowsports School reservation system at Dodge Ridge so much, you can’t stop enrolling everyone you know in lessons.
Chose mostly A) answers: You suf-
fer from Obsessive Compulsive Skiing Avoidance Disorder. You likely have trust issues, fearing what will happen if you put work on hold to hit the slopes. We suggest Sorensen’s Resort’s “Certified Note” to excuse you from work. Hand the signed certificate, which arrives via snail mail, to your boss, who then will excuse you for a midweek ski excursion. (800) 423-9949
Answered mostly B), C), D) and E): Congratulations! You have struck the perfect balance between less important things (work) and more important things (skiing and
If you answered mostly True, your
skier self-esteem is high. You turn even nonskier/boarder-related happenings into snow-related events. If you answered mostly False, introduce more skiing or boarding into your daily life. Sleep with your skis. Or take the kids to the slopes. For a one-time $21 fee, the California Snow Passport allows fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders to ski or ride free when accompanied by a full-paying adult at 30 California and Nevada resorts (90 free tickets total). Download an application and get directions for obtaining the passport at californiasnow.com or call (800) 627-5409.
Suffering from Can’t Get to the Slopes Syndrome? We make it easy to overcome your fears by offering suggestions on where to stay and dine. So head for these hilltop hotspots—they even like it when you have baggage.
Winter Package, Historic Zephyr Cove Resort ($389 double occupancy): Includes four days and three nights in a classic Tahoe cabin, a snowmobile tour, an Emerald Bay cruise, breakfast and lunch for two in the Zephyr Cove Restaurant. (775) 589-4908; Zephyr
Lakewide Ski Package, Embassy Suites ($1,799): Includes seven nights in a two-room suite, skiing for five days at your choice of seven resorts, a daily complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and evening manager’s reception. (877) 497-8483; embassytahoe.com
Midweek Ski Packages, Harrah’s and Harveys: The two- to four-night packages include lift tickets at Heavenly, Kirkwood, Sierra-at-Tahoe or Squaw Valley, dining credits, free ski shuttles between Heavenly and Sierra-at-Tahoe, free equipment storage, free daily hot wax at Sunrise Sport Shop in Harrah’s hotel lobby, and complimentary one-day cross-country or snowshoe rental per person at Sunrise Sport Shop. Prices vary by package. (800) HARRAHS (427-7247); harrahs.com
Ski or Spa Package, The Village at Squaw Valley USA ($188.50 per person per night midweek): Includes lodging in a one-bedroom condominium suite in The Village and either two lift tickets to Squaw Valley USA or two $65 credits for The Village’s new Trilogy Spa. (877) 297-2140; thevillageat
Sorensen’s Resort: A cluster of cabins under the aspens in Hope Valley. Guests save $5 on trail passes at Kirkwood Cross Country. (800) 423-9949; sorensenresort.com
Stay and Ski/Board Special, Granlibakken ($99 per person double occupancy midweek): Includes lodging in the North Shore resort, a buffet breakfast and an interchangeable lift ticket at one of six Tahoe resorts.(800) 543-3221; granlibakken.com
The Auld Dubliner, The Village at Squaw Valley USA: Authentic Irish fare (from potato leek soup to corned beef and cabbage) and décor handcrafted by Irish artisans. (530) 584-6041
Kalani’s, The Village at Heavenly: Pacific Rim fusion cuisine and a large sushi selection. (530) 544-6100
The Locals Cafe: Dodge Ridge’s newly remodeled midmountain bar and barbecue doubles as a coffee and wine bar. Music is featured most weekends.
19 Kitchen ~ Bar, Harveys: This contemporary restaurant on Harveys’ top floor replaced the old Llewellyn’s—but the breathtaking lake views haven’t changed. The fun menu features everything from steaks to Very Adult Fried Mac & Cheese. (775) 588-2411
Rock’s Mesquite Rotisserie, Tahoe City: The owner of the popular Graham’s at Squaw Valley recently opened this casual family restaurant serving burgers, tacos, whole chicken, burritos and more. (530) 581-1401
Blue Water Bistro, South Lake Tahoe, on the Timber Cove Lodge pier: Gourmet cuisine as organic and natural as the lake views out the window. (530) 541-0113
Sorensen’s Country Cafe, Hope Valley: Convenient for Kirkwood skiers. Specialties include beef burgundy and berry cobbler. (800) 423-9949
OTHER FUN STUFF
Beginning mid-January, Tahoe Queen Ski Shuttle transports South Shore skiers to and from Squaw Valley USA and Northstar-at-Tahoe. The $99 package includes transportation from lodging to lifts (and back again), a box breakfast,
a lift ticket and après-ski party.
(800) 23-TAHOE (238-2463); Lake
High Sierra Helicopters offers South Lake Tahoe tours ranging from 20 minutes to an hour-long sunset flight. Prices range from $99 to $289 per person. (866) 744-TAHOE (8246); high
Prices listed are for full-day lift tickets and are subject to change. Resorts listed without pricing didn’t have pricing available at press time.
1. Alpine Meadows: Adults (19–69) and
teens (13–18) $41; children (7–12) and seniors (70+) $15; children 6 and younger free.
(530) 583-4232; skialpine.com
2. Boreal Mountain Resort: Adults
(13+) $38; children (5–12) $10; seniors
(60–69) $25; seniors (70+) $5; children 4
and younger free. (530) 426-3666;
3. Diamond Peak: Adults (18+) $46;
youths (13–17) $36; children (6–12) and seniors (60–79) $17; children 5 and younger and seniors 80 and older free. Two-pack of adult lift tickets available at participating Costcos for $63.99. (775) 832-1177; diamondpeak.com
4. Dodge Ridge: Adults (20–61) $48;
teens (13–19) $36; youths (6–12) $15; seniors (62–81) $15; golden age (82+) and children 5 and younger free. (209) 965-3474; dodge
5. Donner Ski Ranch: (530) 426-3635;
6. Granlibakken: Adults (13+) $20; chil-
dren 12 and younger $12. (800) 543-3221; granlibakken.com
7. Heavenly Mountain Resort: (800)
HEAVENLY (432-8365); skiheavenly.com
8. Homewood Mountain Resort:
Weekends, holidays: Adults (19+) $44; juniors (11–18) $30; seniors (62–69) $22; seniors 70 and older $10; children 10 and younger free. Monday–Thursday nonholidays: Adults (19+) and juniors (11–18) $25; seniors (62–69) $15; seniors 70 and older $10; children 10 and younger free. (530) 525-2992; skihomewood.com
9. Kirkwood: Adults (19–64) $61; juniors
(13–18) $49; seniors (65–69) $33; children (6–12) and seniors 70 and older $13; children 5 and younger $6; rates increase $3 during holiday periods. (209) 258-6000; kirkwood.com
10. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: Adults (18+)
$54; teens (13–17) $38; children (6–12) $12; seniors (60–69) $34; seniors 75 and older free midweek, nonholidays; children 5 and younger free any time. (800) SKI-ROSE (754-7673); skirose.com
11. Northstar-at-Tahoe: (800) GO-NORTH (466-6784); NorthstaratTahoe.com
12. Royal Gorge Cross Country: Adults (14+) $28; children (13–16) $15; children 12 and younger and seniors 75 and older free.
(530) 426-3871; royalgorge.com
13. Sierra-at-Tahoe: (530) 659-7453; SierraAtTahoe.com
14. Soda Springs: (530) 426-3901;
15. Squaw Valley USA: (530) 583-6985; squaw.com
16. Sugar Bowl: Midweek and nonholiday weekends: adults (13–69) $46; seniors (70+) $5; children (6–12) $15 or $5 with a McDonald’s receipt (the resort donates $2 to Ronald McDonald House Charities). Holidays: adults (23–59) $59; youths (13–22) and seniors (60–69) $46. (530) 426-9000; sugarbowl.com
17. Tahoe Donner: Adults (13+) $34; children (7–12) and seniors (60+) $13.
(530) 587-9484; skitahoedonner.com