Heavenly Resort goes big for tubing at Adventure Peak

Ever since Vail Resorts bought Heavenly, things have been looking up at the mountain resort. From the Gondola, a project often planned but never built until Vail came along, to better conditions for employees (all workers must wear a helmet when on the hill) to better food for guests, things have improved markedly (spoken by a former ski instructor there).

Back several years ago, the little Silver Springs resort off I-80 near Sugar Bowl introduced the idea of tubing - riding oversized inner tubes down a snowy course. It was a natural for Tahoe resorts, which often attracted visitors who didn't know how to ski or ride, so tubing blossomed around the Sierra. Now Heavenly, which has had a tubing run near the top of the Gondola, has raised the bar with its new tubing operation.

Heavenly's new, five-lane tubing hill is accessed by a state-of-the-art covered magic carpet lift. Stretching 450 feet up East Peak, with a 65-foot vertical drop, the new tubing hill is a fine addition to Heavenly's Adventure Peak family recreation area. The fully-enclosed, elevated magic carpet lift will be dual-purpose: Beginning snowboarders can use the surface lift to access new teaching terrain, while others access the multi-lane tubing hill. The tubing facility operates during the weekend and holiday periods from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and mid-week 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $30 per hour and users must purchase a Heavenly Gondola or lift ticket to access. Tubers must be at least 40 inches tall.

Can't wait to try it!

Gave Heavenly, Mt. Rose and Diamond Peak a ski this week and will wind up at Sierra-at-Tahoe today. All is well at all three, with nice little touches abounding. At Heavenly they've put a ski map on the safety bar on the Dipper Quad and Hershey Kisses are handed out at the Boulder Lodge, where I taught for years. The beginner training area is much better these days with a surface lift (if that's not an oxymoron) and runs nicely divided by steepness. Only minor glitch is getting those level 2s and 3s down the Boulder chair run, but that's what instructors are for.

At Mt. Rose on Thursday there was a media day to celebrate the opening of the snazzy new lodge on the Slide Mountain side. Well attended - I didn't know there were so many media types in our area - this was the first media day at Rose since 1996. Not many old faces from the last.


After a major fire that closed Kirkwood Jan. 1, the resort is open and running with bullwheels spinning. All lifts, all trails are open as are the cross country ski and snowshoe courses. Electricity was knocked out by the fire, which hit the generator building.

Northstar opens Superpipe

Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort continues to deliver progressive parks and freestyle terrain with the opening of its popular Superpipe, the first to open in Lake Tahoe this season. The resort is also gearing up to introduce a new DC Shoes sponsored terrain park this season.

"The DC Park is a great addition because it is also easily viewable for all park goers, located right under the Vista Express chair lift," said Chris Castaneda, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort terrain park manager.

Northstar's 420-foot Superpipe is now open for the season, offering guests smooth transitions to 18-foot walls. The Superpipe will be one of the main attractions included in the Ultimate Boarder Championship hosted by Northstar Resort March 12-14. Guests will have a front row seat to watch both professional and amateur athletes as they compete in Superpipe and slopestyle events during this three-board event.

The new DC park will be off the Vista Express lift on The Straits and will include large freestyle features. Jibs will include a DC stair set, a down-flat-down stair set, the DC gondola bonk, a lift tower pole jam, the DC shoe box and other large jib features. Snow features will also be included, with the park set-up concept showcasing a combination of large urban-style features and other unique innovative designs. The DC park is one Northstar's six terrain features.

This season, Northstar Resort will also serve as host to freestyle events including the Burton AM Series, Feb. 6-7, the Transworld TransAm, March 6, the Stash Gathering March 20, and the Butterbox High Ollie Contest, March 27.

1960 Olympic Legends Gala Jan. 16

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympic Winter Games, Squaw Valley and North Lake Tahoe are hosting a week-long celebration today through Jan. 17. Complete with fireworks, hockey, ski racing, a retro party and a grand gala, this week promises to bring back memories of the 1960 Winter Games.

The week kicks off with an Opening Celebration and fireworks display at the Village at Squaw Valley. The Village streets will come alive as 1960s Olympians return to the Valley, many for the first time since the 1960 Games. Local Olympians are set to run a torch relay from Sugar Pine Point State Park on the West Shore up to Squaw Valley where the resort will re-ignite the Olympic flame. Following speeches by Uncle E, Jonny Moseley and Squaw Valley CEO Nancy Cushing, the sky will erupt into a fireworks display visible from the Village and the KT Sundeck.

With the 10-day celebration culminating in the 1960 Olympic Legends Gala, revelers have the opportunity to mingle and dance with 1960 Olympic Legends and Olympians past and present in the Grand Ballroom at the Resort at Squaw Creek.

Expected to be in attendance are 1960 Olympic legends Penny Pitou, the 1960 Hockey Team Coach Jack Riley, Osvaldo Ancinas, Starr Walton, Babette Haueisen, and others. A multimedia presentation depicting mountain culture in 1960 kicks off the evening. The Gala comes alive with live music and dancing, and cuisine by Chef Jason Friendly, champagne and a silent auction bring in an element of winter sports nostalgia. Cocktail reception begins at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. Ticket proceeds benefit the Squaw Valley Olympic Museum and Winter Sports Heritage Center. Tickets are on sale now at www.squawvalleymuseum.org/store.html.

The Olympic Heritage Celebration welcomes a wide variety of events celebrating the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. Sugar Pine Point State Park is hosting a biathlon and Nordic racing, while Squaw Valley USA is recreating the original men's and women's downhill courses, open for guided tours by past Olympians. On Thursday, Jan.14, Squaw Valley commemorates the success of the 1960 Hockey Team, the first "miracle on ice," with a day of hockey exhibitions at High Camp and a 1960 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team tribute dinner at The Light Towers, a new spot in the Olympic House.

The 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics saw many firsts. It was the first time the Olympic Games were held in the Western United States, the first time the games were nationally televised and the first time computers were used to calculate scores. The 1960 Winter Games were also the first and only time that the Olympic athletes were housed under one roof. In a time before grooming machines, sponsorship contracts and HD television, the 1960 Olympics revolved around ideals of simplicity, athleticism and international camaraderie.

(Put this on web please)

Olympic Heritage Events

Friday, 8 January 2010

9 AM - 4:30 PM: Commemorative Relay from Sugar Pine Point State Park to Squaw Valley USA

2:30 PM: Torch Relay Torch Presentation by Bill Bowness and Penny Pitou at Tower of Nations, Entrance of Squaw Valley

4:30 PM: Opening Celebration and Fireworks - The Village at Squaw Valley USA

6:30 PM: 1960 Olympians' Reception - Squaw Valley Lodge

Saturday, 9 January 2010

10 AM - 4 PM: Biathlon Re-enactment - Sugar Pine Point State Park

10 AM: Shooting Stars Youth Slalom Race - Squaw Valley USA

8 PM: 1960 Retro Party - Olympic Village Lodge, Squaw Valley USA

Sunday, 10 January 2010

10 AM - 12 PM: 50th Anniversary Jazz Service - Squaw Valley Chapel

10 AM - 3 PM: Cross Country Expo and Demo - Sugar Pine Point State Park

10 AM: Historic Biathlon Video - Sierra Conference Room, Village at Northstar

1 - 3 PM: Biathlon Demonstration and Race - Northstar Cross-Country Ski Center

10 AM: Traditional Ski Jumping - Auburn Ski Club Training Center, Donner Summit

11 AM - 3 PM: Plumas Ski Club Longboarding - Resort Run, Squaw Valley USA

3 PM: Apres Ski Social - Sun Deck, Resort at Squaw Creek

5:30 PM: PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn Commemorative Wine Tasting with Jonny Moseley

Monday, 11 January 2010

10 AM & 2 PM: 1960 Men's Downhill Course- Olympian Guided Tours- Squaw Valley USA

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

8 AM - 4 PM: Freestyle Moguls Competition - Alpine Meadows

12 PM: Silver Belt Luncheon and Ski Tour - Sugar Bowl

7 PM: Olympic Themed Broomball - Resort at Squaw Creek

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

10 AM - 2 PM: Elementary School Cross Country Day - Sugar Pine Point State Park

10 AM & 2 PM: 1960 Women's Downhill Course - Olympian Guided Tour - Squaw Valley USA

Thursday, 14 January 2010

9 AM: Squaw Valley Institute 1960 Historic Walking Tour - Squaw Valley USA

3 PM: Youth Hockey - High Camp, El. 8200' Squaw Valley USA

4 PM: Hockey Expo - High Camp, El. 8200' Squaw Valley USA

7 PM: Hockey Dinner - A Tribute to 1960 US Olympic Team - Olympic Village Lodge, Squaw Valley USA

Friday, 15 January 2010

10 AM - 2 PM: Scholastic (CNISSF) Nordic Race - Sugar Pine Point State Park

3 PM: Figure Skating Exhibition - Resort at Squaw Creek

4 PM - 5:15 PM: "Skate & Taste", followed by Winemaker's Dinner - Resort at Squaw Creek

5 PM - 7 PM: Snowboard Rail Jam - Base of Big Springs Gondola, Village at Northstar

6 PM: 1960 Nordic Olympian Dinner - Granlibakken Resort

Saturday, 16 January 2010

10 AM & 2 PM: Biathlon "Citizens Against the Clock" - Sugar Pine Point State Park

10 AM - 12 PM: Olympic Legends GS Challenge - Exhibition Run at Squaw Valley USA

3 PM: Closing Celebration - The Village at Squaw Valley USA

6 PM: 1960 Olympic Legends Gala - The Resort at Squaw Creek

Sunday, 17 January 2010

3 PM: Youth Figure Skating Program - High Camp, El. 8200' Squaw Valley USA

Ongoing Events

Interpretive Programs on Mountain at Squaw Valley USA

1960 Men's/Women's Slalom and Giant Slalom - flagged/marked - Squaw Valley USA

Temporary Museum Exhibits at Squaw Valley USA and Sugar Pine Point State Park

Squaw Valley Institute Winter Film Festival - Bar One, Squaw Valley USA

1960 Mountain Venue Tours - Squaw Valley USA

1960 Cross Country Trails - Sugar Pine Point State Park

Curling - Resort at Squaw Creek

For a complete listing of all Olympic Heritage events visit www.squaw.com, www.squawvalley1960celebration.com, or call 530-583-6985. More information about the Squaw Valley Museum Foundation is available at www.squawvalleymuseum.org.

First-time snowsporters bargains

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort is offering first-time adult skiers and snowboarders, age 13-plus, a beginner package that includes a limited access lift ticket, rental equipment and a 2.5-hour lesson for just $35 if purchased online. It's available Sunday through Friday all season long.

Most other resorts are offering the same package, so check Web sites.

Previously, this promotional beginner package was offered for one week in January. Last season, it was offered for the month of December. Expanding the offer to make it available Sunday through Friday throughout the winter is a direct response to the current state of the economy.

The SAT $35 beginner package lift ticket allows chair lift access to Easy Rider Express and Rock Garden, two lifts that access the majority of Sierra Resort's beginner terrain. It is available to adult skiers and snowboarders age 13 and over and must be purchased on line, 24 hours in advance. Limited quantities of the $35 beginner package are available. The package is available Sunday through Friday throughout the 09-10 winter season, excluding restricted dates.

Beginners eager to continue their adventure on the slopes can upgrade to the Learn To Ski/Ride 3-Pak for $65, which includes a full access lift ticket on the third day in addition to rental equipment and lessons. With the 3-Pak, comes a "guarantee" which states that participants will be able to ski/snowboard Sugar N' Spice, a beginner run from the top of the mountain, by the end of the third day or a fourth lesson will be free.

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort is offering two mid-winter lodging packages that will save skiers and riders a bundle of money and include cool perks like carbon credits and maple syrup.

Stay, Ski & Save Green is perfect for skiers and riders who are trying to minimize their impact on the environment. The package includes lodging at 968 Park Hotel, a certified eco-friendly hotel, a bottle of Northern California wine at check-in, a lift ticket to Sierra Resort, enough carbon credits to offset a roundtrip from the Bay area, complimentary access to the Sierra Resort shuttle, and 15 per cent off merchandise at Sierra Mountain Sports. All this for just $99 per person mid-week, based on double occupancy. To book the Stay & Ski Green package, log on to www.968parkhotel.com/sierra or call 877-544-0968 and mention the "snow" promo.

Go for the Gold: Cool off your Olympic fever with this golden deal. Valid Feb. 12-28, the package includes lodging at Inn by the Lake, two adult lift tickets to Sierra Resort, and a welcome basket with an autographed photo of Sierra Resort and U.S. Snowboarding team member Hannah Teter, a bottle of Hannah's own maple syrup, and a bottle of champagne to celebrate the success of the U.S. Olympic athletes.

Watch the 2010 Winter Games action at Lane 17 Sports Bar inside the Inn by the Lake's Tahoe Bowl. Packages start at $155 per night. To book the Go for the Gold package, log onto www.innbythelake.com or call 530.542.0330.

• Contact Sam ate 841-7818 or sambauman@att.net.


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