On any given Saturday in the Tahoe area, the roads are filled with cars on their way to the top of the mountains to ski or snowboard. This year especially the snow conditions have been excellent due to the El Nino. The snow pack hasn’t been this good in the Tahoe Basin in the past four years, I guess I picked the right time to move to Tahoe!
There are many different resorts and backcountry places to go ski. This weekend I hit up Northstar California ski resort on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Northstar is a 40 minute drive from Reno, Nevada and with good traffic, it is a three and a half hour drive up from San Francisco, California. Northstar gets a lot of its visitors from the bay area as well as locals.
The skies were clear and full of sunshine! The high temperature for Saturday was 42. I wore just a light t-shirt and sweatshirt with my ski pants, no heavy jacket needed.
Saturday was my second time in my life downhill skiing. My friend Hayden and I got up to Northstar around 12:30pm. The place was packed. It took us 15 minutes to find a parking spot. By the time we parked picked up my skis from the demo shop it was a little after 1pm.
The last time I had been skiing before Saturday was three weeks ago. I had surprised my friend Rachel on how fast I picked up on skiing. It’s all about balance and knowing how to use the edge of the skis. By the end of my first day skiing I had gone up on Vista lift and gone down some runs that were a small step above beginner.
Vista is where Haden and I started out our Saturday ski day! Once we got off the lift I questioned myself if we should have done a warm up lap before coming to the top of Vista.
When you got skis on sometimes you just have to send it! That’s what I did, I had Hayden lead the way. As soon as I was on my way down, I felt good. Even though I have only done a few days of cross country skiing and one day of downhill skiing, having skis on my feet feel natural. Don’t get me wrong I’m still nervous and scared when I get on a blue run.
We did a few runs off Vista and soon Hayden believed that I was ready to take Comstock up to the top of the mountain. I didn’t know when we were on Comstock, that it is the lift that takes you all the way to the top of the mountain. As the ride on the lift got longer I realized we were going to the top!
Hayden was more confident than me in my skiing capabilities. I was fallowing him down super impressed with myself. We took a rest right before we got to the Mid Mountain Lodge. To thank Hayden for being patient and coming skiing with me I would buy beers when we got to the lodge. I told him to send it and I would just meet him at the bottom. As soon as he was off I was getting confident, a little too confident. I got too much speed for me to handle at that point in the day for myself. I cut across the mountain to slow down and hit the ungroomed patch, fell and popped both of my skis. It didn’t hurt to fall, I didn’t have much speed but I just struggled getting my skis back on. The sun was hot, I was embarrassed because I was struggling so hard, and Hayden was waiting on me. Finally after a ski instructor told me to push down the backs of my bindings, I got my feet back in my skis.
While down at Mid Mountain Lodge, Hayden and I enjoyed a beer while we waited for our friends Brian and Taylor to meet us to ski the last hour of the day before they had to go to work and groom the mountain. When at the lodge be ready to drop money on food and beverage. A fresh cold beer is exactly what we needed to finish the day.
When Brian and Taylor joined us we hit the mountain hard. The lift up to the top gave us plenty of time to fill them in with what I had done all day. They were impressed to say the least as it was only my second day out.
Brian, Taylor, and Hayden are really good at skiing. I felt bad because I was slowing them down, but they didn’t care. Saturday was a day for them to get in just a couple extra runs down the mountain that they normally wouldn’t have had.