Volunteers honored by barbecue | NevadaAppeal.com

Volunteers honored by barbecue

Tahoe Rim Trail volunteers are invited to join the TRTA staff Saturday for the fourth annual Volunteer barbecue.

We’re all invited (me included) to the fun as Chef Kimbrough flips the finest burgers this side of deep blue. It’s at the Aspen Grove, Lakeshore Drive, Incline Village, the west side of the Hyatt, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

It’s the volunteers who have made the beautiful Rim Trail possible, and all of us who hike it owe that hardy bunch our appreciation. The Rim Trail just gets better and better, and the new 3.5-mile loop trail TRTA folks built at the Mt. Rose highway visitor center is just one more example of how such workers make the Sierra Nevada more fun for all of us.

The views along that trail are easily among the best around Lake Tahoe, and that new facility – billboards, rest rooms and all – is a half-million dollars well spent.

• Kirkwood is holding job fairs Saturday Oct. 23 and Thursday Oct. 28 in the Red Cliffs Lodge at the resort. The usual line of jobs are available, including Ski Patrol, ski and snowboard instructors, lifities and snowmaking aces. It’s a bit far for a daily commute, but snowsporters know that Kirkwood offers some excellent hills and lots of open space on slow weekdays. Call (209) 258-6000 for details.

The 2004/2005 Ski Lake Tahoe “Ultimate Ski Pass” is still available – but not for long. The pass, also known as the High Sierra Pass, is the only pass which gives the holder unlimited skiing and snowboarding, holidays and weekends included, with one convenient pass at six resorts, including Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley.

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Don’t know the price of the pass as the report didn’t offer it, but if you’re the kind who gets out and hits the slopes a couple of times a week, this is a good deal. I try to ski all 15 Tahoe resorts every season (one year we did them all in a day) and each has something special and unique about it.

To get a 2004/2005 Ultimate Ski Pass, visit http://www.skilaketahoe.com. For information, call (530) 541-2462, ext. 201.

After years of working with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest to complete a new master development plan, Mt. Rose is planning to unveil a host of improvements for the 2004-05 winter, including a new, six-passenger chair lift in the East Bowl and the long-awaited opening of The Chutes that will rank among some of the steepest in-bounds skiing in the US.

The new six-passenger, detachable chairlift for the East Bowl (formerly Slide Mountain) will result in high-speed, base-to-summit access to the East Bowl’s 550 acres of blue and black runs, Double Down and Badlands terrain parks, some of the best glades in Tahoe, and wide open bowl skiing.

Manufactured and installed by Doppelmayr, the new $4 million lift will reduce ride time and increase the uphill capacity by 33 percent, a third more than the Zephyr fixed grip quad chair it will replace. Following the same alignment as its predecessor, the tentatively named Blazing Zephyr chair will whisk up to 3,600 skiers and snowboarders per hour from the base (8,240 feet) to the summit (9,700 feet) in an average ride time of only 3 1/2 minutes. And with an approximate six-second interval time between chairs, riders will have plenty of time to load and exit the lift.

The chairs weigh nearly 1,000 pounds and are heavy enough to operate in high winds, reducing wind holds.

The Chutes have long been outlaw skiing and boarding, avalanche-prone as they are. While most of the runs will be expert only, there will also be an escape route for those not up to the double blacks. The Chutes include 200 skiable acres and plunge nearly 1,500 vertical feet. The Chutes will be easily accessed via eight entry gates from both six-pack summit lifts, and offer 16 named trails (nine double black diamond and seven black diamond.) Exiting The Chutes will be via the new “Chuter” chair (the former Zephyr quad chairlift that will be re-installed in the Chutes) returning to the East Bowl.

Call (800) SKI-ROSE.

• The Sierra-at-Tahoe Education Foundation hosts the inaugural Harvest Jamm event Sunday to raise money for its competition teams and celebrate the fall season.

Harvest Jamm will feature carnival games, the family Olympics, mountain bike races, a climbing wall, skateboard demonstration, pumpkin decorating, drawing prizes and entertainment provided by CeCe the Clown, Tahoe Gymnastics and Marcia Sarosik’s Dancers. The mountain bike race will take place at 11 a.m. for children seven and under and 1 p.m. for children eight and above.

Harvest Jamm will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sierra-at-Tahoe, admission is $5 per person or $18 for a family of four. All for a good cause – the Sierra-at-Tahoe’s alpine race team, snowboard team, freeride/freestyle team and the rippers.

Sam Bauman is a Nevada Appeal Staff Writer. Contact him at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.