Time to start preparing for skiing

It's still hiking time, with the aspens soon turning yellow (and that makes the Spooner Lake trail a must), but skiing and snowboarding are looming.

Yes, traditionally Heavenly and such open around Thanksgiving, but depending on weather and snow, Boreal and some of the other resorts turn on the lifts in late October. So when you've got an odd Saturday with nothing to do for the house, you might want to consider getting the gear in shape. That may mean taking the boards into a ski shop for tuning, and ski techs start getting busy about now. Make an appointment and get the gear going.


Lake Tahoe locals Chris Smith and Travis Cabral, a 2003 World Champion and three- time National Champion mogul skier, will debut their feature length film, "Shadow in the Trees" Sunday at Caesars Tahoe.

"Shadow in the Trees" is the story of a young man, Joseph, trying to deal with the mysterious disappearance of his father.

Chris had made a film for his senior project in high school called "Déjà Vu." The 90-minute comedy premiered in June of 2003 as a charity fundraiser for a local boy with cancer. Then he got another inspiration that encouraged Smith to make another film.

Chris' father, Phil Smith, was out with Chris' younger brother on an eigth-grade basketball trip in Mendocino, and after the tournament a couple boys ventured to look at tide pools on the rocky coast and one fell in. Phil jumped in after him. He struggled against the water and rocks to get the boy to safety. The boy survived, but Phil did not. Phil was recently awarded the Gold Lifesaving medal and was honored by the National Coast Guard as a hero.

"If it weren't for this film, I can honestly say I would not be the same person," says Smith. "With this film, I hope to connect with people who have also lost someone they loved."

Cabral's passion for skiing and movies has made it tough for him to balance both. "I have sacrificed so much to make it where I am right now, and I will be satisfied if I can keep putting 100 percent into both," he commented. Cabral is also training for the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

The premiere at 5 p.m. will benefit the Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and can be purchased at the Lake Tahoe Gateway located inside Caesars Tahoe or by calling (800) 648-3353 or 588-3515.


Boreal Mountain Resort will open the first and only all-mountain terrain park in Northern California this winter. The Resort will boast terrain parks consisting of 100 rails, jumps and funboxes for every ability.

While Boreal will be offering terrain features from the resort's nine chairlifts, traditional downhill terrain will be available at the resort for guests looking to ski and snowboard on groomed trails. Boreal offers an extensive beginner program which will be outside of the terrain park flow. Boreal offers three sessions of beginner lessons a day, packages include a lift ticket, lesson and rental gear.

The capital investment to the all-mountain terrain park is scheduled at more than $700,000. With a new Zaugg pipe cutter, Boreal will feature a 450-foot long superpipe, off the Accelerator Express quad chair on the Race Course run. Boreal's superpipe will be in-ground, offering an earlier target opening and a permanent foundation. In addition, Boreal is adding two new grooming machines to the parks, 50 rails, 50 snow features and extensive staffing.

The all-mountain terrain park will offer features from every lift at the resort, day and night.


Diamond Peak Ski Resort is excited to offer discount lift tickets at Costco. The tickets will be available in two-packs for $63.99, that's less than $32 per day versus the regular rate of $46. That is more than 30 percent off. Diamond Peak two-packs will be available at participating Costco stores in the Bay Area, Sacramento, Reno and Carson City.


Alpine Meadows Ski Resort released season pass prices for the upcoming 2005/2006 winter season. Notably reduced from past years, the price structure will provide season pass purchasers with great options and up to a 20 percent discount off 2004/2005 rates. In addition to reduced season pass rates, Alpine Meadows is installing a new high speed quad chair in its popular Sherwood Bowl area for the upcoming season, further enhancing the great value of a season pass.

Alpine Meadows' 2005/2006 full adult pass offers unrestricted daily access for $759, compared to the same pass priced at $929 last season.

Othe prices: Young Adult (19-23) Midweek: $199; Child (7-12) Unlimited: $149; Adult Midweek: $399; Teen (13-18) Unlimited: $199; Adult Midweek Plus Sunday: $549; Young Adult Unlimited (19-23): $399; Adult (24-64) Unlimited: $759. Season passes are available at these rates until Sept 30. Visit www.skialpine.com to purchase via the Alpine E-Store, or to download a pass form or call (530) 583-4232 to purchase over the phone.


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