Outside with Charlie: Turkey day skiing

By From page A8 | November 21, 2012


Look east. The mountains are white. Ski season is here and it looks more and more like skiing on Thanksgiving will be more than a token run here and there this year.

The early storms put down a good blanket of base and everyone who could blow snow, blew it, big time. The result is good news for anyone who loves to ski or board. The resorts up in the Tahoe Basin have mostly all opened on a full-time basis. While all of their runs and trails may not be open just yet, there is still more than enough for a robust day on the slippery slopes.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is gearing up tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Day launch, conditions permitting. Our local ski and board spot has ramped up quite a few really good deals for this season. Steve Hemphill, PR Director at Sierra, says that they continually look for ways to make a day at Sierra very memorable.

They recently teamed up with Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, adding more skiable days and territory to the mix. Sierra-at-Tahoe season pass holders can take advantage of reduced ticket prices at Squaw and Alpine for early and late season skiing. The Squaw and Alpine season pass folks now have the opportunity to ski at Sierra too.

Sierra-at-Tahoe also put together an amazing package for this season that’s a one-of-a-kind among the Tahoe ski resorts. Here it is: ski all day at Sierra, and then stay the night at one of two very nice Tahoe resorts: the Inn by the Lake or the Forest Suites Resort.

The kicker in the package is you also get to take a 20 minute helicopter flight over Sierra for a bird’s eye view of where you’ve been skiing. Ski, stay, fly. It’ll cost you $265 for the package, but it’s a great addition to making a day at Sierra more special.

The early season on the slopes is tune up time for most skiers. Unless you’ve spent the off-season working out on a regular basis, your thighs will feel like wood by noon on your first day of carving turns. It’s best to pay attention to that. Take a break, slow down, give your legs a little time to recoup.

Unless there’s been a big snowfall, rocks and shrubberies will stick up through the snow. Your legs have to be fresh enough to instantly dodge these obstacles. Hooking a ski due to leaden legs is face plant material. Take it easy on that first day.

Getting to your favorite resort takes a refresher course too. Though the commercials that precede the snow season indicate you can blast through the snow and ice, reality is far different.

Slow down on wet, snowy, or icy roads. Regardless of how snow worthy your car is, it won’t stop any better than any other car when conditions are bad.

Every time you head for the mountains, especially during snow season, take extra water, some emergency food, and enough blankets or jackets to stay warm if you’re stuck on the highway. Always fill your gas tank before heading out. You never know what will happen on snowy roads and highways.

So far, the season is starting out well. The storm door seems to be open and more snow is always good. Gear up, get ready, and get outside on your skis, boards and snowshoes.

Charlie Ferris

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