Next week I'll be e-mailng my column from Colorado, where I plan to spend a week on the slopes.
Years ago when I was in the Air Force I learned to ski in Colorado, chiefly at Arapahoe Basin. Those were the days of trail skiing, long abandoned by resorts because of the difficulty in grooming those narrow runs. I want to see if Arapahoe has any of those trails left and perhaps relive some happy times.
A-Basin is up there, with a base of about 10,000 feet, topping out at 13,000-plus. It's about the last of the resorts in Colorado not part of a big corporation. It was a fun place back then and it has to be still fun as it sits right on the Continental Divide.
I'll also be testing some new skis as my 5-year-old Machetes are on their last edges, one down to paper thin. I'll try a pair of K2s from the Sporting Rage today and the Rossignol B1 and B2 in Colorado. Then I'll make my choice, checking account permitting.
- In an effort to protect the environment, Heavenly, in conjunction with the National Ski Areas Association, will host "Sustainable Slopes Day - Keep Winter Cool" on Saturday. Most other Sierra resorts are also taking part in the program.
The earth-friendly day features educational displays by Heavenly and local partners, mountain tours, snow depth demonstrations, as well as a visit from Smokey the Bear along with the Heavenly Snow Monsters - all designed to inform skiers and riders about the importance of conserving and protecting our planet.
Examples of eco-friendly alternatives include riding the gondola, carpooling or taking a shuttle as transportation to the resort rather than driving individual cars.
Guests will have the opportunity to browse informational booths set up by Heavenly, the USDA Forest Service, League to Save Lake Tahoe, South Tahoe Refuse, TRPA, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Kids for Tahoe and the California Department of Environmental Management and BlueGO. Booths will be located at the plaza in Heavenly Village from 12-4 p.m. Saturday.
Additionally, Heavenly will be hosting activities highlighting the resort's environmental protection efforts. Guests may partake in a complimentary Ski with a Ranger tour, hosted by the USDA Forest Service. The tours will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the base of Patsy's run.
Snow depth demonstrations will be performed at the top of the gondola at 2 p.m., along with a reenactment of Nevada's first snow surveyor, Frank Church. Family photo opportunities will be available with Smokey the Bear at the base of the gondola, along with the Snow Monsters who will be touring the mountain throughout the day. Children enrolled in our Kid's Ski School on Saturday will receive snow monster bags, comic books on recycling and other educational material.
- Alpine Meadows will offer free eco ski/snowboard tours on Sustainable Slopes Day Saturday. The environmental educational tour/program will be led by Alpine Meadows staff biologists Sarah Trebilcock and Jeff Zotz, and will focus on basic geology of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, winter flora and fauna unique to this region, and animal life found at Alpine Meadows. Offered from10 -11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3 p.m., the eco tours are open to all ages of at least intermediate ability level and will meet at the large Alpine Meadows sign near Roundhouse Quad chairlift.
Alpine will also focus on local environmental issues and projects, presenting speakers, information, and display booths from the following local environmentally proactive organizations:
Toyota Hybrid Vehicle - Toyota offers different hybrid vehicles, including the Prius and Highlander 4-wheel drive. Information about those vehicles will be available.
Clif Bar - A popular energy bar company, Clif Bar is a socially and environmentally conscious business from Berkeley, Calif. The latest winner of the Environmental Protection Agency's "Green Power Award," a Clif Bar representative will give talks about social and environmental programs, and give out free Clif Bar samples.
Presenters will be in Alpine's main lodge cafeteria all day Saturday.
- Northstar-at-Tahoe offers an all-inclusive women's clinic taught by top-certified female instructors for intermediate through expert skiers.
Clinics include five hours of instruction each day, a three-day lift ticket, video analysis, lunch, one breakfast, one-day unlimited demo rental, a Margarita and Mexican munchies evening, a nutrition and women's health discussion with a top professional athlete, goodie bag and equipment and boot fitting seminar. Clinics are taught with a 5-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and personalized videos are available.
The dates of the clinics are Feb. 27-29 and March 24-26. The cost for the clinics is $450 for non-passholders; $350 for passholders. Call (530) 562-2470.
- At Squaw Valley, to mark Sustainable Slopes Day, the first 500 guests arriving in a vehicle with three or more passengers (including the driver) will receive one coupon each for $5 off their adult all day ticket for that day, plus an additional coupon for $10 off towards the purchase of an adult lift ticket on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for the rest of the season. To receive the coupons, carpoolers must arrive between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. and park in the designated Olympic Village Parking Lot (follow the signs to the area behind the Clocktower building).
- Alpine Meadows wil be the site of a bordercorss, mogul event and telemark demo this Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday riders will be able to run across a 20-foot-straight rail on top of a stretch limo. There will be a big air at Alpine's terrain park with $1,000 in prize money. Then those wanting to try bent-knee skiing can do so at the Demo and Clinic all wekend. Call (530) 581-8321.
- Show up with 4 people in a car or take the shuttle and Sugar Bowl will give you a raffle ticket to win a season pass, lift tickets or swag Saturday, Sustainable Slopes Day. We'll also tag you with a ticket if we catch you recycling.
Sam Bauman is the Nevada Appeal Diversions Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1236.