Snow is better, so don't gripe

It was still snowing as this is written, so things are looking up.

Last Friday at Mt. Rose, the sun was out, the snow was very hard packed with a fine layer of sugar, and howling winds. Still, any day on the mountain is better than swinging a golf club. I lasted for about a dozen runs before the nose felt like it was going to drop off. Slide Mountain side was closed so the runs were a bit busy. Sunday at Heavenly was better, with the snow pretty decent for a no-snow winter.

But if you think we've got it bad here, Europe is reeling in the warmth. Many World Cup races have either been canceled or scheduled for later in the season. No snow at all at the lower resort locations, many of which are at 5,000 feet. Happily, there's now lots of snow in Colorado and New Mexico, where I'll be skiing for a week in early February. Finally, a chance to try Taos, that near-legendary resort which does not welcome snowboarders. Personally, I'm fine with riders, except for the ones that come up behind me and yell for me to "Get out of the way!" That happened to me once at Heavenly, and I caught the guy and dared him to race. He lost.

SNOWSHOES, ANYONE?

Go on a guided snowshoe hike with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association on Jan. 20. Qualified leaders will guide a snowshoe hike on the Tahoe Rim Trail at Tahoe Meadows. The hike will be approximately four miles long, with beautiful views of Lake Tahoe. Reservations are required for the Snowshoe hike. Call to reserve your spot, and get hike location and event details. See www.tahoerimtrail.org and go to the calendar of events. Space is limited, so reserve your spot now for friends, family, and the dogs. Contact Alexis at (775) 298-0231 or alexiso@tahoerimtrail.org for reservations.

EVERYONE LOVES A BAND

Wear your gold and blue on Friday because Cal Marching Band will be marching on their skis on the slopes of Kirkwood. Skiers and riders can even take a few runs with the University of California at Berkeley marching band members. The Cal Band kicks off the festivities with a morning concert in the Kirkwood Mountain Village at 9 a.m. At noon, the band will perform a roving concert near Chair No. 11, with the finale near Chairs No. 10 and 11.

• Co-ed Burton Snowboard Clinic specializes in helping riders (intermediate through expert) at Kirkwood develop the skills and techniques needed to tackle any mountain and all terrain aspects. Date is Sunday. Contact Expedition HQ (209) 258-7360.

• Also Sunday: Hockey Skills & Drills for kids of all ages at the ice rink from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Call (209) 258-7386.

DIAMOND PEAK FOR KIDS

DP introduces a new kids' ski program, Snowfall Cinema. Ages 7 through 12 can enjoy an afternoon ski or snowboard lesson, then have a pizza party and entertainment in the Base Lodge. The package is $55. Parents can drop the kids off prior to the 2 p.m. lesson, then pick them up at 6:30. The program is planned for Jan. 20, Feb. 3 and March 31. Call 775-832-1177 or visit diamondpeak.com.

JUNE MOUNTAIN OPENS

June Mountain Ski Area opened the slopes for the first time this season Jan. 5. June has received 48 inches of snow this season. This is a nice backup for Mammoth.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com

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