The shoulder season has got to be right up there with winter and summer as one of my favorite seasons. Yes, I know it’s not a real season, but it’s a fantastic time of year to be in and around Tahoe. Just when you think you can’t handle another day of the madness and are questioning why you even work in the ski industry in the first place, it’s all over - the resorts are closed, the tourists gone - and there’s calm again.
Here are some of my favorite things to do to unwind during the shoulder season:
The weather is perfect for hiking. Choose from any of the countless High Sierra trails, just a short day hike will reward you with pristine alpine lakes, waterfalls, amazing views, and the first of the summer’s wildflowers peeking through.
Nothing’s more relaxing than an afternoon on the beach with the dog, soaking up some rays and taking in the view (it never seems to get old). Pack a picnic and some beverages and you’re good for the day! At this time of year that it’s not uncommon to wander down to Kiva Beach for a quiet afternoon with your dog only to find a crowd of locals gathered and an impromptu dance party going on – bonus!
Climbing and Bouldering
The crags are un-crowded, the weather is perfect and the dogs can come too – winner on all counts! There’s tons of climbing in and around Tahoe, pick up a guidebook or chat to the locals at the climbing gym or one of the sports stores in town and you’ll be on your way.
Every other day seems to bring a breathtaking sunset, add that big blue lake in the background and you’ve got yourself a postcard worthy picture. I like to enjoy mine with good friends and a nice bottle of wine :)
Well, that’s pretty much what you can find me doing for the next month… what are your favorite shoulder season activities??
You’ll find all kinds of critters on and around the XC trails in the spring time!
Not all animals hibernate throughout the winter months. Smaller animals have too high of a heart rate to slow down for winter sleep and most tiny creatures don’t have much fat.
Among the more common sighting is the Snowshoe Hare, named for its large “snowshoe like” paws. Its tracks are often seen and are easy to recognize because of its bunny hop (two paws together in the front and spread apart in the back).
The pocket gopher remains active furrowing tunnels throughout the winter. The gopher forces its way up making snow tunnels paralleling the ground surface, into which the excavated soil can be packed. In the spring these “gopher covers” are seen on the ground. The movement attracts the hungry coyote. The coyote, true opportunists when it comes to food, is very visible all year long.
On the Caples Creek loop, near the Granite Loop there is an impressive large beaver pond. If you approach ponds quietly you might be lucky enough to sneak up and watch a beaver happily swimming about. Sometimes a beaver will surprise you by breaking the silence when it slaps is trail in the water.
Along the waterways, waterfowl such the great blue heron or Canadian geese can be seem. We have been watching a great blue heron in the Kirkwood Meadow all winter. It comes and goes, it’s a beautiful site to see it fly out of the creek as you ski by. Above the lakes or rivers bald eagles are often spotted roosting, spending their whole winter in one place. Look out for the pair roosting near Red Lake on your way to Kirkwood!
See you on the trails
How would I spend my winter if I had an Epic Pass???
December Powder Days At Kirkwood
The journey would begin at my home mountain with some early season pow days … December usually delivers – 4 out of the last 5 seasons, we’ve received over 100” in December – and nothing gets you back in winter shape better than back-to-back powder days!
Whirlwind Tour of Colorado!
I’ve never been to Colorado so next on the agenda would be a road trip to go and check out all the Colorado resorts – of course my epic imaginary boss is more than happy to approve all this time off!
Of course I would have to spend a day at Vail – arguably the most famous of our resorts. Next stop would be Breckenridge, sounds a lot more laid back, I think I would like it there and maybe spend another day. Onwards to Keystone next to check out Colorado’s largest night skiing operation and finally Beaver Creek for a touch of luxury (I’ve heard that you don’t even have to buckle your own ski boots there!).
Best of Tahoe
Ahhh, home sweet home! The best thing about Tahoe is having three world class resorts within such close proximity – each different and special in their own way, and each that I can ride limitlessly on my Epic Pass! While waiting for the next storm, I might cruise over to Northstar and spend a day riding the superpipe in the sunshine and then mix things up with a day of skiing at Heavenly, but as soon as that next storm hits I’m back on my snowboard and waiting for Chair 10 to open at Kirkwood!
Ha, just when you thought I was done … remember those 5 days at Verbier that came with the pass, and just in time to go and support my friends on the Freeride World Tour and get in a few more powder days for the season!
8 resorts down and I think I’ve more than paid off my pass! And that is how my season would look with an Epic Pass!
Well, enough day dreaming, better get back to work!
See you on the hill
Find out about all of the 13/14 Passes, including the Tahoe Local and Kirkwood Only at epicpass.com
Stoke factor so high out here with 17” of fresh, light, dry snow!! Don’t put away your winter gear just yet because winter’s far from over … The next few days are going to be EPIC at Kirkwood!
Check out the conditions - this footage shot Wednesday March 6th - or better yet, come on out and experience the conditions for yourself!
See you on the hill!
Hey! How’s Everyone been doing? It’s Been a crazy January and Febuary, but thank You Mother Nature for Starting March off with some fresh SNOW! Finally got to do a sunrise hike up Carson Pass this week. Super Stoked to be hiking with the sunrising. Nothing better than that and a few inches on the ground. Started off at 5:50am and by 6:28am we were watching the sunrise from the east! Made it to the top just in time . Beating the heat luckly. We skied down to crater lake saw a friend and his dog. Zack almost got bit by the dog haha. Apparently the dog doesn’t like snowboarders. And we skied through the aspens trees right to the car. All with enough time to make it to Kirkwood by 9:30am for some hot laps! Now it’s Puking Up HERE! Miracle March is HERE! HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL OUT THERE!!!! ENJOY!
With snow in the forecast and the E:K Women’s Weekend just around the corner (March 8th – 10th) I caught up with some of our coaches and past guests to find out what makes this camp so unique!
“As I looked back at the box, I felt something shatter. It wasn’t a bone, as I had feared at the start of the excursion. It was myself doubt. I left it and my fear of boxes in the snow below the bent box for all the women to stomp over on.” Julie Jag, past participant.
“The Women’s Weekend is a great opportunity for ladies to take their riding to the next level in an environment created just for them! They get to ride with Kirkwood’s top women’s coaches for 3 days, being immersed into our lifestyle of snowboarding (or skiing). This supportive program cultivates the bonding and empowerment of women shredding the mountain!” Teri Jones, Expedition: Kirkwood Guide, Women’s Camp Coach , K2 Women’s Alliance Team Member.
“You’re going to come away with some new tools under your belt, ways to ski different snow conditions, better skiing skills, a great day overall, and new friends that you can hook up with next time you come out to Kirkwood.”
Debs Herne, Expedition: Kirkwood Guide, Women’s Camp Coach.
“I think that when women get together they do bond, we really have a good time, there’s very little competitiveness, it’s all about getting together and improving.” Barbara Barsetti, past participant.
The E:K Women’s Weekend This one is just for the ladies! Open to intermediate thru expert skiers and riders, this three day escape is about fun, friendship, adventure and doing something just for you.
What you get:
- Three days of dedicated coaching with our top E:K guides.
- Three days of breakfast & lunch.
- Friday night sit down dinner at the Wall Bar with wine and of course desert!
- Saturday night private shopping party with wine and appetizers.
- Swag bag full of goodies to take home with you!
Total value: over $700!
COST: $450 (discount lift tickets & lodging available to participants).
Find out more about the E:K Women’s Camp at expedition.kirkwood.com.
Video: Teri Jones talks Women’s Camp and Trick Tips
Book online or call 209.258.7360.
See you on the hill!
Got to Catch up with Fellow Team Memeber and Childhood friend JJ Schiller! Here is a little POV from the other day! Bring back the Worm Turns! Hope you guys ENJOY! THANKS
The second stop of the U14 race series was in Mt. Shasta last weekend for the Giant Slalom on the steep, firm surface of Black Fox.
Haley Louis from the Kirkwood Ski Team won the girls race on Saturday by a margin of 3.36 seconds combined. She took the silver on Sunday and had the fastest second run time. Team mate Danial Drapeau finished tenth on Sunday with the second fastest first run time.
“Haley put two(runs)together both days. Now its Danny’s turn and he’s close” says KST alumni turned coach Holden S.
Tule Horton was also in the medals Sunday. Jamie Holmstrom, Ben Weisel, Anna Weisel, Haily Weisel and Grace Holmstrom all competed in the weekend event.
” We took our training to the steeps(Conestoga) and it payed off. Thanks KMR! ” Veteran KST coach Mark P.
The Kirkwood Ski Team is very proud of all their athletes!