Update on what ski resorts have to offer

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Now that the Tahoe snowsport is on its way to becoming a destination ski area with all the new lodgings at Heavenly, Squaw Valley and Kirkwood, it may be time to start reporting on what is new at the resorts, starting with Heavenly.

Of course, there's a new boss there, Blaise Carrig, former managing director of the Canyons Ski Area in Utah. Vail Resorts owns both Heavenly and Canyons. Blaise is a veteran of the ski industry and will be bringing something like $40 million in development funds for Heavenly with him.

But it hasn't been quiet around Heavenly this summer. A new trail has been cut from Dipper Knob on the Nevada side. The old Knob cut over from the Skyline trail to Big Dipper, but the exact route of the new cut hasn't been defined. Odds are it will cut through the the Knob trees area, which means more tree skiing. Great move.

The other change is installation of snow making guns on Cascade which will make skiing there more dependable.

The resort has also upgraded its East Peak, California and Stagecoach lodges with new decor and furniture. Boulder apparently will be left alone and possibly only opened for peak holiday crowds.

And the village area clustered around the gondola base and the two new time-share/hotels will be fully operational by Thanksgiving.

Also on the ski front, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Northstar-at-Tahoe are offering a "Double Whammy" season pass good for both resorts for access to 4,480 acres of terrain, 116 runs and 27 lifts plus terrain parks an 50K of cross country trails.

For $249 adults ages 23-69 can get a pass to both areas good Sunday-Friday at Northstar and non-holiday periods and daily, non-holiday periods at Sierra. An unrestricted pass for both areas is $599.

For youths 13-22 an unrestricted pass is $349. A super senior for those 70 and over with no restrictions is $99. Details, call (530) 659-7453, ext. 208, or visit www.sierratahoe.com or www.northstarattahoe.com.

Cutoff date for sales is Sept. 30 so act now if you want to ski these two resorts for a modest sum.

Sugar Bowl's Mt. Judah Lodge will be the site of the annual fund-raiser Sept. 28 for Far West Skiing Inc., a division of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. Members of past and present members of the U.S. Ski Team will be on hand including Super G champion Darren Ralves.

Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Food, music and beverages will be served along with some outstanding wines. Two auctions will offer ski and snowboard gear along with vacation packages. Manufacturers' representatives will be on hand to preview the upcoming season's gear.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for children under 12 and include all food from some of the top restaurants in the area as well as wine and beer tasting from California wineriers and breweries. Call (530) 878-0904 for tickets or check www.fwskiing.org.

Squaw Valley USA's Olympic terrain sees the return of world-class mountain bike competition with the Tahoe Hopper Mountain Bike Festival Saturday and Sunday.

Events are open to NORBA licensed competitors, however, those not registered with NORBA can purchase a temporary license on race day. Registration forms, event descriptions, schedules and pricing info is available online at www.thetahoehopper.com, http://www.thetahoehopper.com or by calling

(775) 685-2664. Plenty of free spectator seating and viewing area. And if you're energetic you could take the tram up to High Country and hike down along the Shirley Lake side of the mountain. Be warned, it's all downhill and the trail is murky at times. But it should be fun in these cooler days.

Sam Bauman is the Nevada Appeal Diversions Editor.


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