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Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

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Singapore, Singapore
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Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

My family of 4 are planning a trip to Lake Tahoe as my husband and two sons (15 and 20) would like to learn skiing. We're not familiar with the area and would like advice on the following:

1. We arrive San Francisco on 15th Dec and would be renting a car as we intend to drive south to LA besides going to Tahoe. We've allocated 3 days for Lake Tahoe. I've seen some posts regarding road conditions and am worried because we are not familiar with snow storms and such. Is it safe to drive? Is there an alternative transport option if we just need transport up to either North or South Tahoe and transport back to San Francisco 3 days later? We intend to get accommodation near whichever ski resort we are going to.

2.For beginners, which ski resort is more suitable? I read that the North Tahoe resorts are prettier?

3.Would my family members have enough time to learn to ski within the three days?

4. Any recommendations for accommodation in both North and South Tahoe (we haven't decided where we will be going) Do we need to reserve accommodation in advance?

Thanks!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

What is the urgency ? You are about a month away

In any case , if you have a ski ready SUV, you should be ok

Here are 3 areas rant you can read up on and yes you do need to make a reservation and not just show up looking for a place to stay

http://www.rideboreal.com/winter/index.html

Also look at Northstar at Tahoe our fav place to stay and ski

And also Heavenly

If you want you can fly to Reno from SFl and rent a car there or take a train which is slow but a lot of fun to truckee

Santa Clara...
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2. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

1. Car - 4 wheel drive SUV as not all rental SUVs are such. No chains needed unless big storm at which point you shouln't be driving

2. Resort - Mid December is still very early in the season and we have not had a big storm. Most of the snow will be machine made unless a big one blows through before then. (I am hoping so!) Northstar is a good all around resort and has plenty apre ski. But Boreal is good for beginners. I also like Donner Ski Ranch for beginners as it is easy on the wallet. But not sure if conditions will be good yet. Heavenely is ok but on the south side which I don't like as much for skiing.

3. Is 3 days enough to learn? 3 full days? Depends on the person. I have taken many newbies over the years. Some people give up after less than an hour. Others do great and join me on the blues by the 2nd day. Do buy the beginner package that includes rental equipment, lessons, limited access lift tix ( for the beginner lifts only with some resort with access to some blues).

3. Accomadtions -yes reserve ahead unless coming midweek. Pick resort first then go from there.

Edited: 6:33 am, November 18, 2013
3. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

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San Jose, California
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4. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

2.For beginners, which ski resort is more suitable? I read that the North Tahoe resorts are prettier?

Most of the ski resorts have good programs for beginners. I have experience with Diamond Peak, Alpine Meadows, Sugar bowl, Squaw Valley, Heavenly and Northstar, all had good instructors, and facilities. All the resorts have pretty views, North and South are no different in that regard.

3.Would my family members have enough time to learn to ski within the three days?

Depends in their skill level. Athletic people with experience in other sports will learn faster. People who are not athletic, not coordinated or become easily frustrated, will have a harder time. Also depends what your success criteria is. If you consider being able to stand up, slide on skiis for 20 feet before falling over successful, then most people should be able to do that in the first hour. Some people can do intermediate runs on their first day, others take 10 lessons over two years before they feel confident enough.

4. Any recommendations for accommodation in both North and South Tahoe (we haven't decided where we will be going) Do we need to reserve accommodation in advance?

Decide which resort, and make reservations now. I'd go with a bigger resort, there are other things to do besides skiing, in case it turns out you don't like skiing. Northstar, Squaw Valley for example

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

I am not sure about the "urgency" of this message... perhaps you meant to use another word.

1. Make sure you rent a 4 wheel drive otherwise you may not be able to get to Tahoe at all.

2. Northstar is good for beginners

3. If you like Northstar then you can just stay there and minimize the driving in the snow (assuming we will have some...)

Santa Clara...
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6. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

Urgent probably since OP is half way around the world and this trip is coming up relatively soon. I can understand the anxiety related to unfinished planning. Excellent advice all.

Let's hope this next little storm will kick start the ski season. Edges are tuned, skis and boards waxed... waiting for a good reason to head up.

Long Barn...
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7. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

CAnative - your link to the Lake Tahoe webcamera led me to a scrabble game?

Here is a collection of webcameras ( if it works ok): http://rntl.net/tahoecam.htm

Santa Clara...
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8. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

CaSwede - that is an EXCELLENT link. Saving it for my own use. Is the air blowing a little pre snow wind yet?

If any Tahoe DEs are around, may I suggest that be in the TQ?

Manhattan Beach...
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9. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

Thanks CA Swede, I'll try again.

Our family loves Northstar, but we also ski Diamond Peak on the north shore. Easy to get to both from Incline Village where we stay. A free shuttle leaves from several places in town to go the mile up hill to DP. Diamond Peak is smaller, easier to rent gear, and where our grandchild went to ski school. There is a view of the lake from DP, which other ski resorts do not have a view of the lake while skiing. For those who don't ski in your group, it's fun to meet up at lunch..

Check out the web camera on the DP site, you can see not much snow yet, keep and eye on the conditions.

http://diamondpeak.com/

Singapore, Singapore
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10. Re: Help Needed Urgently - Skiing in Lake Tahoe

Hi all - thanks for info. Very useful.

Yep urgent cos this trip is quite last-minute and the skiing will be one of the highlights of the trip.

By the way, if we decide not to drive and take the shuttle up to Tahoe either from San Francisco or Reno, are the accommodations at the ski resorts within walking distance to the ski areas?

Are there other activities besides skiing at the resorts?

Edited: 8:39 pm, November 18, 2013