Good skiing conditions in local area

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Thursday was the real kickoff for spring skiing in the Tahoe area: warm weather, good snow, balmy breezes and plenty of sun.

At Heavenly the parking lots were fairly full but the slopes were wide open. Snowboarders and skiers shared the runs in comparative peace. On the upper elevations in Nevada the snow was still firm at noon, lumpy in places but begging for carving turns. Lift lines were short to nonexistent. A quick check with other resorts reported much of the same.

One thing I noticed was that a light application of all conditions wax really helped move the boards. And of course, help make the turns easier. From now on wax is going to become increasingly important on the slopes. Remember, it isn't just to make you go faster; by filling in the tiny pores in the Ptex the skis and boards go smoother, make for easier turns and generally improve snowsporting.

Remember that when the snow gets soft and mushy getting air in turns becomes increasingly critical, just as in powders skiing. A clinic with Rusty Crook at Mt. Rose a few weeks ago really drove home how important the up and down movement is in powder and in slush. We played midgets and giants, admittedly a kids' game. But the act of crying out "Midget!" before starting the turn and then "Giant!" as we started the turn really helped cut through chopped powder two feet thick.


Cross country and telemark center is open, 50k of groomed trails. Like all resorts, tubing hill is in full operation. Big fund-raiser dinner Saturday, the Ferrari Carano Winemakers dinner. Call (530) 562-2460 for details. We have yet to enjoy those new advanced back bowl runs off the Lookout Express lift. We'll give 'em a go this weekend.


The Little Resort That Could continues to offer bargain lift tickets, $25 Monday through Thursday. Kids 10 and under ski free when with an adult.


A snowskate competition here Saturday. Could be a lot of fun. Racers will tackle a variety of rails and jumps on the course and be judged by someone. Snowskate park will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with racing from 1 to 2 p.m. This is a free event, idea is to have fun. Everything open here including the Saturday night fun and games from the lodge up on the hill. Snack and enjoy wines and then ski down through the twilight. And a Dummy Downhill on tap for March 30. Get out the old bedsprings and some rock skis and enter.


Season pass blowout sale scheduled here Saturday and Sunday. Season ducats will be $50 for kids and $199 for adults.


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