BY SAM BAUMAN
No matter how many time you've skied or boarded some resort, there are always little corners tucked away that can surprise and be enjoyed. I taught skiing at Heavenly for 10 or more years but somehow never made it to Galaxy or Perimeter trails on the east side of the Nevada side of the resort. Last Sunday as I was running Big Dipper I noticed the trail to the right tagged Perimeter, I shot past it as I was letting the skis roll but decided to try it next rundown Dipper.
I did and it was a surprisingly pleasant change - no crowds, lots of untouched corduroy. Admittedly, it isn't the most challenging run at Heavenly, most just a middle blue. But the snow was so good, much of it untouched, and there were shots where you could go into the trees (carefully, as the snow was crusty and cruddy) on deeper snow.
You pay a penalty for everything, of course, and the downside at Perimeter and Galaxy is the Galaxy chair - an old fixed two-seater that takes 17 minutes from bottom to top. That's OK if you have all day, but for many locals skiing is a two- or three-hour affair. So I won't rush back to Galaxy but it's nice to know that when the mob hits the hill it's a place to hide out.
Meanwhile, at Squaw Valley it's Demo Day Friday and Saturday, a chance to try different skis and boards. If you're still on straight skis from the old days, you can check out shaped skis and see if they make life easier. Also, Saturday is he annual Log Jam, and Saturday and Sunday it's a tent sale. There's live music on the deck at Alpine Meadows Saturday afternoon. At Sugar Bowl the new lodge is perfect for snacking after running the old Silver Cup race course and at Homewood the snack place on the hill is the place for fine views. And this is the weekend to hit Kirkwood, the old locals resort turned posh. It's a long but beautiful drive through Hope Valley and on the way home it's fun to sip a brew at the very old Kirkwood Inn.
SICK & TWISTED AT DIAMOND PEAK
Toyota's St. Patty's Sick & Twisted Peak Slopestyle is at Diamond Peak March 16, presented by Under Armour Performance. The Peak Slopestyle offers more than $1,000 in prizes and gear.
The is open to men and women of all skills and ages. Registration will be at 8:30 a.m. in the base lodge deck and practice takes place at 10. The competition starts at 11:30. Watch skiers and snowboarders get sick and twisted in the new Snowbomb.com terrain park located on the Spillway run at Diamond Peak. An awards ceremony will follow the competition on the Diamond Peak base lodge deck.
At SAT, spring 3-paks are on sale. Adults can ski/ride for $45 a day while young adults (13 to 22) can sport for $37 a day.
BLOCK Party Rail Jam comes March 29. Professional snowboarders will throw down on custom-built features in Sierra Resort's terrain parks. Sponsored by pro-rider Mark Frank Montoya, this competition is a who's who of snowboarding's top freestyle riders.
Dog Days of Spring on March 30. Hosted by the Sierra Resort Ski Patrol, this first annual event includes a rescue dog demonstration, an avalanche beacon hunt and a visit by CalStar's rescue helicopter as well as the Ski Patrol Olympics.
Queen of the Park on April 12. Girls rule at this slopestyle event complete with female DJs spinning tunes. Competitors can nominate a "token male" to compete in a separate rail and box competition.
Squaw Valley hosts the ASC 3-Day Clinic Friday through Sunday. This clinic emphasizes technical skiing at its highest level, taught by Squaw's top instructors. ... Boreal holds the Academy Snowboard Camp Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6 for a camp coached by professional riders Jonas Milchilot, Mike Casanova, Melissa Evans and more. ... Sugar Bowl offers free lessons and rentals Monday through Friday with the purchase of an all-day lift ticket (ages 13 to 69 years). ... Homewood's last Senior Moment Monday is March 17 when mature skiers get insights on new technology and trends and ski for just $35 (includes lift ticket, lesson and lunch). ... Mt. Rose will stay open until 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in March. Saturday is the 14th annual Bud Light Ladies Day. Men wearing a dress get $10 lift tickets and the chance to win more than $1,000 in cash and prizes noon at the main lodge deck. The Mt. Rose Easter Egg Hunt (on snow) is Sunday March 23rd at the main lodge at 12:15 p.m. near the Show-Off Run. Kids ages 3 through 11 are encouraged to join in. Then on April 5, Dummy Downhill Returns. Public Dummy entries receive four free Lift Tickets with a legitimate entry, but there are rough guidelines:
• 150 pound weight limit
• PG-13 rating (keep it fairly clean)
• No garbage (engine blocks, transmissions, appliances will be denied)
• Must be towable (dummy has to survive being dragged up the hill)
So come up an enjoy some fantastic TRUE Lake Tahoe spring skiing as well as great March fun at Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe.
From the Tamarack Express lift to near valley level, the Heavenly Flyer offers a new dimension to snowsporting around Tahoe. There's a 550-foot vertical drop over the 3,300-foot zip line and speeds are up to 50 mph. Rides are $30 ($20 for pass holders) and you need a lift or sightseer ticket to reach the Tamarack start. If I survive to ride the weekend I'll report on it next week.
• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.