Updates on ski resort plans for season

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Newest ski brand in recent years is the Roxy Ski, a collection of skis and bindings that combines high quality in technology with the Roxy attitude: fun, lively, daring and confident.

That's what the maker says, anyhow. Roxy's been in the world of surf and snowboarding and is expanding into the women's ski market. Roxy and leading designer and manufacturer Dynastar (a Rossignol brand) offer skis and bindings for all skill levels.


Heavenly Mountain Resort (OK, that's the official name now, ski resort is out) pumped another $6 million into the resort, bringing the total to $36 million since Vail took over in 2002. It is opening up tree areas and adding five electronic trail signs. There's a new night terrain park as well as a 22-foot Zaugg pipe cutter that will give Heavenly apparently the largest superpipe in Tahoe.

SKI Magazine gave Heavenly the No. 1 spot for Scenery and No. 4 for both apr├Ęs ski and off-mountain activities, based on reader response.

Dec. 15-18, Heavenly will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a block party, promotions, film festival, live music and fireworks.

Sierra-at-Tahoe features rollers, mini-jumps and banked turns in addition to sound effects and smoke machines in its terrain areas. These zones will have signage and animated figures to educate children on local history and animal species. The resort is adding its version of city bus stops called "Park Stops." The resting areas will feature a covered bench with tools for adjusting bindings, mini-trail maps, a sticker wall, ski and snowboard magazines and the sounds of XM radio.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is adding a fleet of seven innovative rails and jibs to its parks. The new features include two 15-foot straight rails, two 15-foot straight boxes, one signature C-box and two large custom-designed boxes.

At Kirkwood Mountain Resort a new high-speed lift and Burton Learn to Ride Center will cater to novice skiers and riders. Ranked by SKI Magazine in the top 10 across the nation in three categories: Snow, Terrain Variety and Challenge. The resort ranked No. 13 in value.

The new high-speed quad, TC Express, provides a speedy ride to the top of Timber Creek, Kirkwood's beginner area. The TC Express is good news for the expert as it provides a fast return from The Palisades, some of Kirkwood's most coveted advanced terrain.

A Salomon Test Center will demo the latest top-of-the-line skis and snowboards for enthusiasts.


The Double Whammy pass starts at $299. The Double Whammy is good for 115 runs, 27 lifts (including 10 high-speed quads), 11 award-winning freestyle terrain parks, four halfpipes, snowshoeing trails at both resorts, plus 50 kilometers of cross-country trails at Northstar-at-Tahoe.

The $299 Value Season Pass allows adults to ski/ride any day excluding blackout dates at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sunday through Friday excluding blackout dates at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Lots of other options on sale as well.

Other nice touches: Free skiing at other resorts such as Copper Mountain and Winter Park, Colo., and Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole, Wyo., when passholders book a lodging package; afternoon rates on all-day lift ticket purchases during blackout dates; 10 percent off heliskiing in Canada with TLH or Last Frontier Heliskiing.

Double Whammy Phase II prices are subject to increase after the Sept. 30 deadline. Those seeking to purchase their 2005/06 Double Whammy Pass should go to www.DoubleWhammyPass.com or call (530) 659-7453, extension 208 or (800) GO-NORTH.


Debuting the Tahoe area's first and only all-mountain terrain park for winter 2005/2006, Boreal Mountain Resort has launched a separate, dedicated terrain park-only Website (www.jibassicpark.com).

The youth oriented Website is intended to serve as a hub for terrain park ski and snowboard event listings, image galleries, video clips, athlete profiles, terrain park feature announcements and descriptions, park safety, and Boreal's youth season pass products.

New for winter 2005/2006, Boreal Mountain Resort offers Tahoe's first and only all-mountain terrain park with 100-plus new ski and snowboard features. Call (530) 426-3666, extension18.


The Diamond Peak Season pass sale is on now, but after Sept. 30 prices go up. Skiers and snowboarders can save up to $107 on their season pass by taking advantage of these preseason rates. Residents of incline Village can buy a pass for as little as $278 midweek. An entire family of four can purchase Diamond Peak season passes for just more than $900. Buy at diamondpeak.com or download the form and fax it in.


Kirkwood and Share Our Strength have teamed up to donate $20 to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund for every adult value and adult full pass sold before Nov. 1.

Kirkwood's culinary team will participate in SOS's Taste of the Nation by organizing a special fund-raising dinner in mid-November, proceeds from which will be donated to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.


Kirkwood Mountain Resort received more than 65 feet of snow during the 2004-2005 season - more than any other Tahoe resort. Reminds one of the days back when folks were thinking of creating a ski resort there and had to take a Snowcat to get into the area. With all that snow one would hope that someday the resort would open on more of the Thimble Mountain area so that one could ski or board the old Mormon Trail, in the back woods.


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