Outside with Charlie: Switch gear

By From page A8 | April 16, 2014


It’s time to put the skis and boards away.

Most of the Tahoe resorts will close April 20th, Squaw Valley on April 27. It’s doubtful a massive snow storm would change those plans.

We’re swinging into a different recreational season. Longer days means more time to stay outside.

The river sports crowd will have to get their gear out and head out to run the rivers early this year. There may not be a later on some. The snow pack feeds the rivers and right now the snow is melting pretty quickly.

The American River in the Highway 50 canyon east of Pollock Pines looks runnable now. Last week it wasn’t. The crews that runs the river in those small river kayaks have taken notice.

The lower South Fork of the American River should be OK for awhile. The rafting companies in Lotus and Coloma aren’t sending out distress signals yet. Still, if you want a rafting trip down the American, you might do well to book early.

Up in the high country, south facing slopes, especially at lower elevations, are showing rocks and dirt. Below about 7,500 feet you can probably hike around relatively easily but the north facing areas  are still packed with enough snow to stop you. Unless you have x-ray vision, it’s a bad idea to attempt to cross.

There is no snow at lake level in Tahoe. It’s a great time to ride up there as the weather is just about perfect. Anderson’s, Camp Richardson’s, and South Shore Bikes in South Lake Tahoe and Watta Bike in Meyers are all open for business.

The Crystal Basin is a great place to head for a day hike or just to wander around a bit. The roads are clear.

The kayaks, bikes, canoes, and hiking boots are moving to the front so take advantage of this early season as everything is relatively calm and uncrowded.

Remember to prepare for wherever you are headed. You still need water, food, a map, and a buddy, at the bare minimum. Get outside!

Charlie Ferris

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