Last glorious days of spring here | NevadaAppeal.com

Last glorious days of spring here

Last glorious days of spring skiing here

by Sam Bauman

With just a few more weeks of skiing and snowboarding around the Sierra Nevada, the Christmas-time crowds have disappeared and the spring skiing is the best of the year. The plan last weekend was to do Northstar on Friday, Alpine Meadows on Saturday and close Diamond Peak on Sunday.

“Gang aft aley,” as poet Robert Burns sang about plans going amiss, Friday skiing was fine except for the knee brace which dug into the shin painfully. Snow fine until noon and not a lift line in sight. Saturday, however, the knee said, “Enough, already,” after only six runs at Alpine. So Sunday it was the opera instead of the hills, sadly.

While in theory skiing is not supposed to be hard on bad knees as the movement is lateral largely, Saturday was a real bummer. Now this weekend will tell the tale: Can we continue to ski up until the snow’s gone or do we have to start planning for a new knee? We’ll try Stagecoach at Heavenly Friday, Squaw Valley on Saturday. If there’s any knee left, we’ll hit Sugar Bowl Sunday. See you there.

BIKINI SPRING RIDING

What began almost a decade ago as an impromptu, half-naked jaunt through the snow has grown into a full-fledged and scantily-clad reminder that spring is here at Mammoth Mountain. Last Saturday, more than 40 bikini and boardshort-wearing college students slid and slashed their way through Mammoth’s spring corn snow as part of the spontaneous annual “Bikini Run.”

Bikini Run is a critical mass of college students, wearing next to nothing, taking a run from Mammoth’s 11,053-foot summit to Main Lodge. Weaving between traditionally clad guests, bikini runners come to Mammoth for a good time.

Upcoming spring events at Mammoth include: The Pond Skim Sunday with a 100-foot pool of icy water taunting skiers and snowboarders (Saturday), Spring Fest’s month-long party celebrating epic spring conditions that kicks off Monday, and the infamous West Coast Invitational (WCI) with a huge on-snow party, Nighttime Rail Jam in The Village and Fiesta de la Pipa from May 2 to 4.

Mammoth Mountain plans to remain open through Memorial Day, May 26, weather permitting. Check MammothMountain.com.

SQUAW SEASON PASS

Squaw Valley is offering it’s first-ever College Season Pass for the 2008/09 season. The cost of the pass is $299 and it comes with an array of perks including skiing and riding through the remainder of the 2007/08 season, night skiing, and the Pool & Spa at High Camp. The 2008/09 Squaw College Pass is valid Sunday through Friday, with regular holiday blackout dates, and is on sale at Squaw’s Special Tickets office.

Squaw’s terrain park builders have transformed previously un-utilized terrain to expand the Riviera terrain park into a natural and unnatural jib paradise. Tree-jibs, log-rides, stump-bonks, a medium triple jump-line and large triple jump-line are among the features that make up the Riviera Terrain Park, be open next season for night riding until 9 p.m.

To purchase the $299 College Pass, full-time students must bring current school photo ID, a copy of course registration, and an official signed letter from school registrar stating full-time student status to the Tickets office.

VAIL PASS UPGRADE

Your 2008-2009 Vail Resorts season pass is getting a high-tech makeover. Vail has announced that all of the company’s season passes for next season – The Epic, Colorado, Summit and Heavenly season passes – will utilize a new state-of-the-art radio frequency technology that’ll offer an “easy scan” process giving skiers and snowboarders the option to keep their pass zipped inside their jacket in the lift lines.

Vail Resorts’ new, Epic Season Pass features unlimited, unrestricted skiing with access to more than 18,000 acres of skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly and Arapahoe Basin for the 2008-2009 season for $579.

The 2008-09 Heavenly Pass is available to new pass purchasers for $369 who will receive the instant benefit of skiing the rest of the season for free. The Heavenly Pass is valid all season long, seven days per week, with only nine Holiday blackout dates. The Heavenly Pass also includes unlimited and unrestricted half-price lift tickets to the Vail Resorts’ four Colorado resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge or Keystone. The Heavenly Pass is available in adult, teen, child and senior prices.

Visit http://www.heavenlypass.com or call (800) HEAVENLY.

SIERRA OFFERS $20 TICKETS ON CLOSING DAY

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort will uphold its 14-year tradition by hosting “Customer Appreciation Day” on the final day of winter operations for the season Monday. Skiers and riders of all ages can purchase a lift ticket for $20 and bid farewell to Sierra until the snow flies next season. Guests are encouraged to dress as pirates on the final day.

Sierra Resort will operate a limited number of lifts from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last call at the Sierra Pub will be at 2:45 p.m., in time for the cessation of all winter operations at 3 p.m. All guests will be parking in the Coyote and Deer lots.

ACTION CONTINUES

• Northstar-at-Tahoe – Celebrate 35 years of Northstar with $35 lift tickets now through closing day. Children (ages 5 through 12) and super seniors (70 plus) pay only $15. On Earth Day Sunday, guests driving hybrids get to park in the preferred parking for free. Projected closing date is Saturday April 27.

Mt. Rose – Projected closing date is Sunday.

Alpine Meadows Ð Alpine’s’ Spring Concert Series celebrates live musical talent and style, Saturday, with Monophonics (soul and funk) and Saturday, April 26 with Absynth, a San Francisco band known for their hypnotic beats. Projected closing date is May 4.

In celebration of spring, the Village at Northstar hosts Spring It On Saturday with mountain activities, such as pond skimming, and village festivities to include live music, BBQ on Overlook Deck, drink specials and roller skating.

TAHOE RIM TRAIL

Join the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and other trails organizations and agencies in the for the Third Annual Trail Building and Crew Leadership Training Friday May 16 to Sunday May 18 at Galena Creek Park. The cost for training is $65 and includes instruction, lodging, food, training materials and transportation to work sites. Learn how to design, build and maintain trails while making friends, with instructors from agencies and non-profit trails organizations in and around the Lake Tahoe area. Call 298-0239.

DIAMOND PEAK BUILDS

The IVGID Board of Trustees approved the Diamond Peak base lodge renovation at $4,031,031. The appraised Diamond Peak base lodge renovation is set to start on May 1.

Diamond Peak’s estimated revenue through June 30 will be approximately $6 million dollars with an estimated operating profit of $800,000.

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