Alpine Meadows Ski Resort in Tahoe City, California is now owned by the same company as the neighboring Squaw Valley USA, in Olympic Valley, California, which means that skiers and riders have the opportunity to experience two fabulous mountains for the price of one lift ticket or season pass valid at both mountains. The Adventure Kids aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta did exactly that, taking advantage of skiing at both mountains.
Staying at the Resort at Squaw Creek, we took the complimentary Squaw/Alpine Express Shuttle from the resort to Alpine Meadows Ski Resort on a cloudy, overcast day, with the snow steadily falling. After a slow snow start for the 2011-2012 season, the snow started falling on the day that we arrived in late February 2012 and kept on falling steadily throughout our trip, ultimately depositing over 5 feet of snow during our stay, making for optimal deep powder skiing.
Alpine Meadows Trail Map
As our skiing abilities differ, we opted to go our separate ways for the morning, and take lessons from the Alpine Meadows Ski and Snowboard School with Instructor Tanya Aghazarian (for Edward) and Instructor William Mauney (for Debra).
Debra's Ski Day: The weather forecast for the day was 14° F/-10° C, with a possible high of 32° F/0° C, with 35 mph southwest winds, and 18 inches/46 cm of snow deposited compliments of Mother Nature over the last 24 hours, and more snow on the way.
Debra Argen and William Mauney
With limited visibility, and steadily falling, and oftentimes pelting snow that felt like having dermabrasion, William and I began our morning taking the Hot Wheels chair lift and came down Weasel Run to test our skis for the first run of the day. By now the snow was falling so heavily, that at times I felt like I was skiing inside of a snow globe; foggy and overcast, with powder so deep and fluffy that I could not even feel the solid surface of the mountain beneath my skis.
Although it would have been wonderful to have had "blue bird days" of skiing with the California sun shining brightly, true skiers will ski in any weather, and as Edward and I are The Adventure Kids, we went skiing anyway.
William and I next moved on to the Roundhouse Express chair lift and while waiting in line, saw a hearty skier with a full beard laden with icicles, that is the type of extreme weather of which we were skiing.
Hubie with a Beard of Ice
We skied the run Rock Garden, and then shot down the run Charity, experienced a little bump action on Banana Chute where the moguls would normally be more defined, and we had to navigate by tapping our poles to test the ground as if in a game to find stealthily half hidden moguls in the deep snow, as a little miscalculation going over the bumps would land you on your back or on your face in the deep snow.
Roundhouse Express Chair Lift
Next we played around on Dance Floor, one of Alpine Meadows terrain parks with interesting "features" and jumps. With limited visibility there was no way that William or I were going to be making any jumps or doing any aerials at the terrain park, although it was very interesting to see it.
William Mauney, Alpine Meadows Instructor/Guide
When the Kangaroo chair lift started running William and I made haste to experience its yet un-groomed beauty and the extremely deep powder on its runs. I lost my balance trying to turn in the deep snow on Nick's Run and falling felt like I had landed on a very cushiony featherbed, not at all painful as on packed powder. However, with the white-on-white action of the falling snow combined with the altitude, I experienced a bit of vertigo as I tried using my poles to stand up, and found that the poles were rather useless as they were half submerged in the snow. Shifting the position of my poles and rocking back and forth with my skis parallel to the mountain, I felt like the "little train that could," muttering to myself, "I think I can, I think I can," as I kept on trying to stand up, and then "I can!" when I was finally upright again on my skis.
A Bit of Fog Hits the Mountain
After a morning of exhilarating and oftentimes strenuous skiing, it was time to take a break and meet Edward in the main lodge to warm up and have an enjoyable lunch.
Edward's Ski Day: I met with my Instructor and Guide Tanya Aghazarian and we walked a short distance to the chair lift. During the chair ride we spoke about where I was with my skiing ability as well as what I wanted to accomplish during my time on the mountain. I was ready to move beyond the wedge and strengthen my balance for parallel skiing.
Edward Nesta and Tanya Aghazarian, Alpine Instructor/Guide
With the excitement of my skiing adventure at Squaw Valley still dancing in my head, as well as the continual reminder from my pulled left calf muscle, I was ready to tackle Alpine Meadows and the newly fallen snow. It was a true winter wonderland as we approached the mountain and especially as we rode the chair lift. The new blanket of snow was mesmerizing and with limited visibility, it put a premium on control and focus.
I learned that Tanya is about strength, agility, focus, and having fun. So, with a list like that, I went for having fun and I did. Tanya is an amazing person whose love for the outdoors is year-round as she teaches skiing, snowboarding, white water rafting, and more, as well as being a personal trainer in the Napa area. Listening to her adventures was inspiring enough for me and as we slid off the chair lift, I was ready for the first run of the day on the pristine snow, and what a run it was.
She had me take it slow as I got my ski legs on the newly fallen power. While I was skiing, I could feel that I was going a bit slower due to the depth of the powder, but it was exhilarating to be the first down the trail and blaze new tracks in the snow.
During our second ride up the chair lift, I noticed that the wind was blowing so strong that all of our ski tracks were already wiped out. There was no complaining from me about blazing a new set of tracks through the wind swept snow. Each run down the trail, my times were decreasing and my balance and technique was coming together. It was time to move on to Hot Wheels and to show the trail what I had.
Alpine Meadows Chair Lift
The chair lift ride for Hot Wheels is much long than our previous run, but it also provided views of the mountain that stole my breath. I was enjoying the view between covering up my face to protect it from the strong winds and pelting snow. Mother Nature was getting her canvas ready for us to paint our way through with skis and poles.
We skied off the chair lift at Hot Wheels and I was ready to test my skills on a new challenge. I had the most fun of my skiing adventure as I traversed, fell a few times, but came down the trail with passion, and I was having fun. One of my tumbles was due to not knowing how to traverse through deep snow as my ski got bound up in the snow while the top half of me kept going. I popped up and kept going now a bit more familiar with keeping my balance towards the middle of my skis while going through the deep snow.
After a morning of fun and frolicking through the snow, Tanya and I rendezvoused with Debra and William at the main lodge for a relaxing lunch.
Lunch at Alpine Meadows - Santa Fe Salad
We discussed our skiing adventures at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort over a Philly Cheese Steak and a bowl of Clam and Corn Chowder for Edward, and a Santa Fe Salad made with lettuce, corn, diced tomatoes, black beans, avocado, and tortilla chips with a chipotle dressing, and crispy "tater tots" for me, as I wanted some "carbs" after my morning workout.
Lunch at Alpine Meadows - Philly Cheese Steak
Despite the weather, or perhaps even because of it, we had a most memorable day of skiing at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, and made a few friends along the way as well.
Alpine Meadows, Tahoe City, California - Get Ready For FUN!
The Alpine Meadows Ski Resort Facts:
||Base:6.935 ft/ 2,083m
||Scott Peak:8,289 ft/2,526 m
||Ward Peak: 8,637 ft/ 2,633 m
Lift System - Total Number of Lifts: 14
||High-speed detachable six-passenger chair: 1
||High-speed express quads: 2
||Triple Chairs: 3
||Double Chairs: 5
||Surface lifts: 3 (one of two surface lifts is for the Kid's
Camp participants only)
Trail Classification (total mountain acreage):
||2,400 patrolled acres
||100 designated runs
||40% more difficult
||35% most difficult/expert
The Alpine Meadows Ski Resort lifts are open from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm during days of operation. The Special Tickets office is open to the public 7 days a week from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm.
Ski Both on One Lift Ticket
New for 2011-2012, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resort are now owned by the same company to maximize your ski and ride experience with one season pass, lift ticket, or The Tahoe Super Pass valid at both facilities, providing access to over 6,000 skiable acres, 43 lifts, and over 270 trails spread across eight Sierra Nevada mountain peaks.
To maximize ease at skiing or riding at both facilities, the Squaw Alpine Express is conveniently offered on a regular basis between Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. Off-site shuttles to and from North Lake Tahoe, Reno, and South Shore are also offered.
For additional information on Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, please visit the website: www.SkiAlpine.com.
For additional information on skiing Squaw Valley, please visit the website: www.Squaw.com.
For information on the Resort at Squaw Peak, please visit the website: www.SquawCreek.com.
Read about skiing at Squaw Valley in the Adventures section.
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort
PO Box 5279
2600 Alpine Meadows Road
Tahoe City, CA 96145
Snow Report: +1-530-581-8374
Disabled Sports USA: +1-530-581-4161
Kid's Camp: +1-530-581-8200
Read more about Squaw Valley and the Resort at Squaw Creek in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants (Rocker at Squaw and Six Peaks Grille), Chefs' Recipes, Spas, and Adventures sections.
© March 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.