Plenty of powder in the mountains |

Plenty of powder in the mountains

Sam Bauman
Staff Writer

Buying a new car last summer means buying a new ski rack. In the past buying and assembling a rack was done in minutes. But not this time.

The ever-helpful staff at Sporting Rage ordered a rack from Thule, a well-known maker of such gear. I took it home to assemble and attach to the Huyndai Tucson roof rack, in blissful ignorance. Three trips back to Sporting Rage resulted in plenty of serious, determined help but following the directions that came with the rack were a mistake. What the directions commanded simply didn’t work.

Plan D, which was ordered for my car maker, if not car model, asked that four plastic blocks be inserted in the rack’s roof-rack adapters. After struggling to insert the four, it quickly became clear that the adapters would never fit over the Hyundai’s rack (You have to buy a Thule adapter kit for an extra $40 since the original rack comes only with adapters for Thule car racks, and the Huyndai came with a perfectly good rack.).

At Sporting Rage the helpful staff said this was a common problem and perhaps just using two adapter blocks would be enough. Well, this worked after an hour of struggle, getting the four adapters to attach to the rack. Oh, for the good old days … Thule, never again.

Meanwhile, last Sunday was a powder day if ever there was one. By noon there were still great patches of powder, even on Dipper and Comet main runs. Still skiing the Atomic M2tron 9s, I cut and bounced happily. The skis were better than the skier. Final verdict on the M2rons: a great ski, just one more to try before decision time, the Rossignol Z9, recommended by ski pro Rusty Crook. Now if I could just find a pair of Z9s.


Heavenly opened its new night sporting park, High Roller Nightlife, last night. Lots of jibs, jumps, boxes and rails. The area is on the World Cup run, at the base of the California lodge. This is not a long run but has a nice steepness to it and was a longtime site of local racing.

Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and lift tickets are $24. This is a great opportunity for visiting snowsporters staying in the area to squeeze in a couple of extra hours of skiing.


Popular folk artist The White Buffalo will join Outside magazine’s second annual Powder Play Tour, performing at Kirkwood and Squaw Valley Sunday through Wednesday.

The Powder Play Tour set out in a BaseCamp Airstream trailers to tour towns in four Western states. Holding on-snow events, the tour will display the year’s new winter apparel.

The White Buffalo most recently returned from his tour in Australia, where he was promoting the release of his latest CD, “The White Buffalo.”

Shows at Kirkwood are Sunday and Monday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on The Plaza and 2 to 5 p.m. at The Wall Bar. At Squaw shows are Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the valet parking area and at 3 p.m. at The Plaza Bar in the Olympic House at the base of KT 22 mountain


Events coming up at Sierra:

Saturday, GNU presents the second annual Shut Up & Snowskate Series at Sierra. Participants can compete for prizes by showing their skills on a custom snowskate course on Broadway. Guests can demo new models of snowskates or try their luck in a Dash for Cash on the Boardercross course. The $20 entry fee includes a T-shirt. Visit

Saturday and Sunday: USASA Slalom and Giant Slalom. A USASA sanctioned event with a slalom competition on Saturday and a giant slalom competition on Sunday for amateurs of all ages. Registration is from 8-9:45 a.m. in the Aspen Cafe. Competition begins at 11 a.m. There is a one-time USASA membership fee of $50 required and a $25 fee per event.

Women’s Clinic Sunday. Women are invited to enjoy a day of fun, camaraderie and of course, improving their skills in Sierra’s monthly women’s clinics. Clinics last from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are open to intermediate and advanced skiers. The clinic is $145 and includes lift ticket, lesson, lunch, rentals and video analysis. Clinic is $115 without equipment or $79 for season passholders.


Learn to ski and ride for $20 – not a bad deal. First timers can get a lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment for $20 Monday through Friday.

Call 832-1177 or visit


Northstar-at-Tahoe offers the Sawmill 15K Cross-Country Race Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Race registration is from 8-9:30 a.m. in Timbercreek Restaurant & Bar in the Northstar Village.

Also at Northstar Saturday and Sunday is a USASA Superpipe and Giant Slalom event. Northstar will host USASA-sanctioned events with a Superpipe event on Saturday and a Giant Slalom competition on Sunday for amateurs of all ages. Registration is 8-9:45 a.m. in Timbercreek Restaurant & Bar with the competitions starting at 11 a.m. The fees are a two-time $30 National USASA Membership fee (if not currently a member) and a $20 USASA fee per event. Call (530) 577-4760.

Then on Jan. 29 is a Chinese New Year Party, celebrating the Year of the Dog in the new Village at Northstar with food and drink specials and activities for the family. Activities include lion dancers, martial arts demonstrations, fortune cookies and will run from 3 to 5 p.m. and is free.

Sick and Twisted

The Sick & Twisted Big Air Festival comes to Sugar Bowl Saturday. This season-long festival, created by the Tahoe-based, travels to Sierra resorts and provides local skiers and snowboarders a series of freestyle competitions at hometown mountains.

The Sugar Bowl slopestyle event is open to both amateur and professional skiers and snowboarders. Registration is from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on event day. Practice takes place from 9 to 11:15 a.m. with competition from noon to 3:30 p.m.. Awards follow immediately after the event. The registration fee is $25 and discount lift tickets are available to competitors at the registration table. All competitors under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a liability release form at registration. Helmets are required.

Upcoming Sick & Twisted events in the series include a slopestyle event at Homewood on Feb. 5, two amateur only slopestyle competitions at Diamond Peak on Feb. 11 and March 12, and a slopestyle at Kirkwood on March 25.

Call (530) 581-0553.

Contact Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.