A Heavenly Day of Skiing

I’d been looking forward to skiing at Heavenly ever since my friends Kelley and Irving kindly invited me to tag along on this trip. My last visit to Lake Tahoe was during the summer months and skiing wasn’t an option, but this time I got to pull out my ski duds from 2001 (hello, high school!). I know I live in a city with perpetually 80+ degree weather, but maybe it’s time to invest in some new winter clothing, or at the very least an updated parka – preferably something NOT neon and NOT baggy.

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We held off skiing at Heavenly all weekend to avoid the holiday prices. But on Monday (President’s Day) we were able to buy “buddy” passes at a more affordable rate. So up the gondola we went!

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Isn’t it cool that you can ski between California and Nevada? This was my first dual-state ski experience.

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Confession: the last time I hit the slopes was probably four years ago at Mountain High just outside of Los Angeles. But during my high school years I logged some ski school time in Aspen, so the foundations of skiing are buried somewhere (deep) in my muscle memory.

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I spent most of the previous night tossing and turning, concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with our group of more advanced skiers the next day. Turns out my qualms were all for naught, as this sport is kind of like riding a bike, and within the first two or three runs my ski legs warmed up.

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It was remarkably uncrowded for a holiday weekend.

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Snow and desert AT THE SAME TIME. Such is the magic of Lake Tahoe.

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Then my worst nightmare came true. It turns out I did have a reason to toss and turn the night before…

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…when we found ourselves unexpectedly facing a slope of moguls. The only way out was down.

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(I took these photos after from the chair lift, but you get the idea.)

From my limited mountain time, I’ve drawn these conclusions: Green ski trails are relaxing, comfortable runs. Blues are a little scary but manageable. Blacks are a no-go, and moguls are what-the-hell-were-you-thinking, don’t-pull-a-Natasha-Richardson-Sonny Bono.

But I managed it. I hugged the side of the mountain while “plowing” the whole way down. I lost control once (and nearly ran over Irving in the process), but was able to avoid falling, which left my fragile ego intact.

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We stopped for a rest at this lodge. Check out the snow tube lift on the right:

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And finally, here are two “official” photos from Epic Mix, including the most awkward ski photo ever:

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The slopeside photog kept inching us closer together until we were hip-to-hip. He had a sense of humor.

I love this one:

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After a great day on the mountain, we had a 7.5-hour drive back to LA. Thankfully my co-travellers are the best, and the time flew by. Major thanks to Irving for driving the entire distance in both directions.

That’s it from Tahoe! Check out my posts of Heavenly Village and Emerald Bay and Beyond.

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