On The Slopes: New extreme area at Sierra-at-Tahoe provides great run | NevadaAppeal.com

On The Slopes: New extreme area at Sierra-at-Tahoe provides great run

Sam Bauman
For the Nevada Appeal
David Rittenhouse/For the Nevada AppealSean Warman frolics in the deep snow on Feb. 12 at Sierra-at-Tahoe.

Paid a visit to Sierra-at-Tahoe off Highway 50 East (my favorite stopoff when going to the Bay area) Thursday, Feb. 12 to check out a new advanced ski area off the Grandview chairlift. Lots of fresh powder that day and I was invited to try this new area. Alas, the new knee suggested I give it a pass and ask my ski friend David Rittenhouse of South Lake Tahoe to give it a try and report:

“Excellent conditions (translation: lots of fresh, dry powder) at Sierra-at-Tahoe. The six back country gates were calling all of us off-piste addicts. Gates one and two, accessed to the left off the Grandview (aptly named) chair totally delivered: not too steep with ample spacing between the trees and boulders, ending in a cat track where you hang left to get back to the resort. …

“Gate Three, where I caught Sean Warman frolicking in the deep, is a whole step more extreme. Here it is essential to have a skiing partner. Accessed from the top right of Castle Run, the first section is seriously steep with some gigantic boulders and/or fallen logs just in case you’re the daring type. The powder, probably 30-inches deep, and lack of tracks made the somewhat longer cat track out at the bottom more than worth it.

“Not that you have to brave the back country to totally enjoy Sierra. For expert skiers I highly recommend many lines to the west of the Grandview Chair. No traversing required. For those not quite expert skiers/riders you will enjoy many options over toward West Bowl. Bon Appetit.”

While the new knee did everything Doc Edmunds said it would, I found that after a full day of skiing the gas tank was getting low. I took the long traverse from the East Bowl area back to the big hill right in front of the Sierra Lodge. I’ve taken that hill ” steep but not demanding with few moguls ” a hundred times without a pause, but this time it took me two stops to make it down. Age does matter, I fear.


Rusty Crook’s seniors clinic continues at Mt. Rose on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m. for two hours. This is a 50-and-older clinic and his proved quite popular. It includes breakfast at the Mt. Rose lodge, 8:30-9:30 a.m. for $10.

Heavenly also now offers senior’s lessons Thursdays at 10 a.m., booked through the Ski School. Fee is $80 and the Program is headed by PSI veteran Bob Hams. Age brackets are 50 to 84, “and we had a woman who hadn’t skied in 40-some years and she loved it,” says Hams. This is a six-hour clinic for seniors. Helping with the program is another long-timer at Heavenly, Steve Everson, along with Ted Pitcher. All senior instructors have passed the Professional Ski Instructors of America special clinic on teaching seniors. To book at lesson call Heavenly 775-586-6000 or see


Seniors re-entering the ski world should consider senior lessons as they probably haven’t kept up with the new techniques that go with the shaped skis; the old straight skis are passe these days, and the contemporary technique makes skiing much less work or effort. With the extreme sidecut on shaped skis, making a turn is little more than putting the ski on edge and letting the sidecut make the turn. That’s an oversimplification, of course, there’s a lot more to getting the most out of the shapers.



Heavenly Mountain Resort will hold the Jackpot Rail Jam Series Event at the base of World Cup run at Cal Base Saturday, Feb. 28, at 3:30 p.m.

Heavenly has opened on line registration for the popular Jackpot Rail Jam Series at www.

skiheavenly.com/parks. Select News & Events in the bottom bar and click on Jackpot Registration. Registration is open to the first 50 competitors for the kick-off event. Open registration will be held in the Heavenly Race Department the day of the event from 2:30 p.m to 3:30 p.m. if spots are still available. Registration is $10 and competitors will receive a Jackpot Rail Jam T-shirt while supplies last.

Participants are competing for a place in the March 28 Jackpot Rail Jam Finals, which boasts a $4,000 cash purse prize in addition to sponsor gear. The three qualifying events will be held Feb. 28, March 14 and March 21; the top five competitors in each category will qualify for the final event.

Awards will be given to top finishers in men’s skiing and snowboarding, women’s skiing and snowboarding and overall best trick. This judged event is designed for skiers and snowboarders who are comfortable on advanced rail features who want to battle the best for a spot in the finals and some sweet prizes.

Prizes for the qualifying events include: Automaton snowboards, Moment skis, Solstice clothing, Neff gear, Von Zipper goggles, Skullcandy headphones, Da Kine bags, Freeskier gear, Bern helmets and items from Ride, Flatline, Eesa, Smith, Landing, Girl Powder and BettyRides.com.

Jackpot Rail Jam Dates:

– Saturday, March 14: Base of World Cup; online registration begins March 1

– Saturday, March 21: base of World Cup; online registration begins March 15

– Saturday, March 28: Base of World Cup; invited athletes only.

All dates are subject to weather and conditions.

Call 775-586-4461 or visit http://www.skiheavenly.com/parks.


Northstar-at-Tahoe will host the final stop of the Winter DEW Tour crowning Tour Champions Friday through Sunday (it began Thursday). The world’s top men’s and women’s snowboarders and freeskiers are scheduled for this final stop with a special performance by rapper and actor “Common” in a complimentary outdoor concert for tour guests on Friday night.

The Winter DEW Tour consists of three major, multi-sport events, spanning across the country, with a cumulative point system and a $1.5 million competitive purse. Athletes scheduled for the championship event include Shaun White, Danny Davis, Kelly Clark, Hannah Teeter, J.F. Houle, Justin Dorey, Mikkel Bang, Jen Hudak, and Kaya Turski.


If you’re planning to repair a ski or board base with P-tex, here’s a word of caution from the Sporting Rage shop on South Carson Street. You drip the melted P-tex (I use a small propane torch rather than a candle) into the damaged area and smooth it with your finger tip. Then before it cools warm the area around the new P-tex with a low flame. This binds the new P-tex to the old. If you don’t do this, the P-tex repair may just pop out as it cools.

Incidentally, my Rossignol’s got a fix for the four bubbles I created in the P-tex when ironing the wax too hot. Peter (pronounced Pater) at Heavenly’s Calbase ski shop reduced the bubbles for me so I could do a P-tex repair. Thanks, Peter (or Pater).


Twenty active-duty U.S. soldiers and Marines will hit the slopes Wednesday March 11, Friday March 13, and Saturday March 14 for the Wounded Warrior Ability Camp at Disabled Sports USA, at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, for ski and snowboard lessons. Disabled in the Iraq War, service members will visit Disabled Sports from Brook Army Medical and Balboa Naval Hospital, two major rehabilitation centers for service who have been injured during service. Ski and snowboard instruction at Disabled Sports is part of their rehabilitation program.

“It’s important that we reach recently disabled service members early in the rehabilitation process,” said Haakon Lang-Ree, program director at Disabled Sports which specializes in ski/snowboard instruction for students with physical and mental disabilities; and the visiting military students have all incurred disabilities during combat in Iraq ranging from limb loss to brain trauma. “It’s important to expose them early to what they can do,” Lang-Ree added.

Disabled Sports and Wounded Warrior Project partner to support disabled service members

Disabled Sports works directly with the Wounded Warrior Project (or WWP), a nationwide foundation that offers assistance to severely injured and disabled service members. Some of the many WWP programs provide rehabilitation through outdoor adventure, including skiing and snowboarding.

Teaching disabled service members to ski in 2009 has brought the mission of Disabled Sports full-circle. The chapter was founded by the World War II 10th Mountain Division in 1967 in order to offer support and rehabilitation to service members disabled during the Vietnam Conflict. Today, Disabled Sports continues to offer ski instruction to disabled service members as well as any student living with paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation, autism, multiple sclerosis, visual impairment, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, head injuries, and muscular dystrophy.

To learn more about Disabled Sports USA at Alpine Meadows, visit DisabledSports.net or call (530) 581-4161. For the Wounded Warrior Project, visit WoundedWarriorProject.org.

– Contact Sam Bauman at 841-7818 or sambauman@att.net. For a longer version of On the Slopes go to nevadaappeal.com.