Best of the season is here and it's time to expand horizons. Mammoth Mountain beckons next weekend, but first it was time to try old skis.
In this case the old skis are Volant Machete 187 cms. Got the oldies (maybe 10 years) out and waxed and tuned them and headed for Northstar-at-Tahoe.
Awed by the fantastic building going on there - there are now two levels of traffic in the village as well as a fine ice skating rink - headed for the mid-mountain station and grabbed a lift. About five runs later thigh burn set in, something that hadn't happened using the 161 cm X9 Rossignols. So obviously, the longer skis required more effort and thus more fatigue.
But the Volants were stable and until hitting the bumps just fine. But getting those longer sticks around hard bumps was definitely more work. So back to the X9s next week at Mammoth.
LUMBERJACK LOG JAM
Heavenly will host the Lumberjack Log Jam competition Saturday from noon to 3:30 p.m. at the resort's High Roller Nightlife Terrain Park.
Sponsored by Sessions, the event will be open exclusively to "team amateurs" - the young rippers with product sponsorship but not being paid to ride for a particular team.
Kevin Stevenson, Sessions marketing and events manager said "The course will be a mini slopestyle consisting of rails and boxes constructed with a backwoods theme. The result will be a course and atmosphere that reminds competitors and spectators why they began snowboarding and skiing in the first place ... it's fun."
Winners will have their profiles published in either Freeskier Magazine or Snowboarder Magazine, receive a round-trip plane ticket to anywhere in the U.S. for competition purposes and a complimentary session at the 2007 South Shore Soldiers camp.
The field will be limited to 40 skiers and 40 snowboarders with no distinction between men and women or ages. Jibs, jumps and rails will be medium in size, including a log-themed feature centered on the course. Cost of entry is $25, plus $33 lift ticket for teens and $39 ticket for adults age 19 and over. Entry fee includes contest hoodie, food and refreshments in the Heavenly VIP tent, and goodie bag.
Call (800) HEAVENLY.
Next Year's season passes are on sale now at Diamond Peak. Purchase a pass for 2006/2007 and ski or snowboard free for the rest of this season. These special early bird rates are up to 20 percent off the regular rate. Season passes start as low as $348 and $144 for children.
Check out some of the fun events coming up at Diamond Peak. Saturday is the Diamond Cup and Diamond Peak Spring Carnival. Saturday, April 1 is Hawaiian Shirt Day, anyone in a Hawaiian shirt can get a lift ticket for only $20. On Sunday, April 2 Out of Bounds Board shop in Carson City will host a Rail Jam at Diamond Peak.
Call 832-1177 or visit diamondpeak.com.
DUTTON UPHILL RACE
It has been 16 years since Billy Dutton passed away at 39, but his spirit lives on. Dutton loved cross country skiing. His passion led him to a vast knowledge of the Tahoe Basin and the surrounding backcountry. Based on his passion, Bill helped establish the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue program in 1976.
The annual Billy Dutton Squaw Valley Uphill spring race, open to Nordic skiers, snowshoers, runners and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, travels 3.2 miles from the base of KT-22 and ascends 2,000 feet along the Mountain Run to High Camp. Signups for the April 9 race begin at 7 a.m. and the race will begin at 8. The $18 entry fee includes a tee shirt and goodie bag.
Prizes will be awarded for all age categories.
Call (530) 583-5170 or (530) 581-7188.
Lagoon and Spa Opening
After a delayed opening due to 16 straight days of snowfall, the pool is no longer on "snow hold." The official opening will be Saturday and it will mark the kick-off Spring Magic - ten weeks of fun and festivities at Squaw Valley continuing with days on end of spring skiing, and events. The high altitude pool and Jacuzzi offers skiers and snowboarders a one-of-a-kind mountain experience. '
Located at High Camp, the free-form swimming lagoon is heated to approximately 80 degrees. The 25-foot diameter spa is heated to a soothing 103 degrees. Squaw Valley's High Camp also offers an Olympic-size ice-skating pavilion, a 1960 Olympic Winter Games Museum and a variety of restaurants.
Spring Jam starts April with the Suzuki Pipe Challenge and a late night party with Shotgun Wedding playing at Zenbu. Crazy events and parties will take place through April 22 like the Mamasake Sushi Roll and Wasabi Eating contest, Bikini Slalom, the Undie 500, and SnowBomb's Slopestyle competition.
Call (530) 583-6985.
LIFT TICKET DEALS
Lake Tahoe's dual mountain season pass is back for 2006/07 and with prices beginning at $359. The Double Whammy is the passport to ski/ride terrain spread over 4,480 acres, 115 runs, 27 lifts (including 10 high-speed quads), 11 award-winning freestyle terrain parks, four halfpipes, snowshoeing trails at both resorts at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Northstar-at-Tahoe, plus 50 kilometers of cross-country trails at Northstar-at-Tahoe.
The $359 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.
Child season limited pass, priced at $89, allows children to ski/ride any day at Sierra and any day excluding blackout dates at Northstar. The unlimited child season pass valid any day of the season at both resorts is available for $119.
Sierra-at-Tahoe will offer its Sunday-Friday pass for just $199, which excludes blackout dates and a Sierra-only limited pass for $259 that is valid any day, excluding blackout dates.
This season, the resorts will introduce a new product - a Northstar Monday through Friday pass for just $259 that is valid any weekday, excluding blackout dates.
To purchase their 2006/07 Double Whammy Pass go to www.DoubleWhammyPass.com or call (530) 659-7453.
This Saturday Sierra-at-Tahoe Forum Snowboards will host World Finals of its fourth Annual Forum Youngblood Contest Series. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 70 of the world's best male and female amateur snowboarders will duke it out on a custom-built slopestyle course. Judging will be handled by Forum's team of pro riders, and the overall winner will walk away with the coveted title and earn a spot on Forum's Youngblood Amateur Team.