Snowsports season keeps on right on coming

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I keep trying to switch over to hiking but snowsports keep right on coming along, most recently with several inches of snow around Lake Tahoe and more than a foot down at Mammoth Mountain.

So, what's going on? More than you might think. At Alpine Meadows, this is the weekend for the Mad Cow Downhill. Mad Cow Downhill? This used to be called a kind of fire drill but the politically correct people stepped in. What it is is a line of skiers and boarders lining up at the top of a run and then all taking off at once in a free-for-all for the finish line. First skier and boarder to cross the finish line will get a midweek pass for the next season.

Entry is free and the race starts after regular operations close at 2 p.m. to protect the innocent. Register with a season pass or lift ticket on the Sun Deck at 1 p.m. Call Andy at (530) 581-8328. Have fun.

Heavenly reopens this Friday for the weekend through Sunday with the Gondola doing the lifting. That means the Tamarack six-seater will be running and the Dipper high-speed detachable. If enough people show up the Sky Chair may run as well, but don't count on it. Tubing will be running at the base of the Tamarack lift so if you've got visitors they might enjoy it. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for skiing and snowboarding, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for tubing and 9 to 4 for sightseeing.

And there will be free sledding. A limited number of sleds will be at the top of the Gondola, but you have to do the lifting.

At Squaw Valley the top of the mountain will be open (and I never did enjoy the long Mountain Trail except at night) with six lifts in operation, including one begginer chair, the Shirley Lake chair and Granite Chief for the more violent sporters.

On Saturday will be a pond-skimming event with prizes, the Lake Cushing Classic. Sunday will be the Spring Schwing or golfing in the snow. $38 lift tickets are in play and they include free use of the spa and swimming pool. Hours are 8:30 to 3 p.m. with the pool facility closing at 4 p.m. Squaw is looking at a May 27 closing.

And down the pike at Mammoth, they have fresh snow and next season lift tickets for $399, $299 for teens and $199 for kids and seniors. Next season passes are good for the rest of this season.

I'm off to Heavenly for a run or two before heading for the Bay area for hiking in the redwoods and enjoying my favorite noodle house in Mountain View. Dinner comes with a lesson in Chinese.

Sam Bauman is the Nevada Appeal Diversions Editor.


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