California had a banner snow year in 2016 and we are already having a very snowy 2017.
Northstar California Resort
Northstar is located at the northern part of Lake Tahoe about seven miles from Truckee and 45-miles from Reno Airport. Northstar is an upscale, family-friendly destination — often described as “California laid-back luxury.” The slopes offer a variety of terrain for teaching kids or developing skills on long runs. Right in the middle of Northstar resort sits the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. Onsite amenities include retail/rental shop True North where you can rent gear, purchase lift tickets or score the perfect pair of gloves. The Spa offers post-ski treatments to sooth achy muscles in a beautiful and restorative setting.
Mountaintop Culinary Experience
Enjoy freshly-sourced produce, meats and seasonal ingredients paired with regional artisan wines, craft beers, and distilled spirits at the Northstar’s iconic Zephyr Lodge. The lavish dinners are offered just four times this season so you must book in advance.
Where to Stay
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is the first AAA Five Diamond resort in the Lake Tahoe area. Nestled mid-mountain at Northstar California Resort, the resort is a contemporary mountain retreat featuring slope-side ski-in, ski-out access. Manzanita, the resort’s signature restaurant, features artfully crafted cuisine, combining classical techniques and a modern culinary philosophy. Located just six miles from both historic downtown Truckee and the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, the resort features a 17,000 square foot spa and fitness center and an inter-mountain gondola that connects the resort to the nearby Village at Northstar.
13031 Ritz Carlton Highlands Ct, Truckee, CA 96161
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
After great snowfall in 2016, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is gearing up for a big 2017. Alpine World Cup ski racing returns to Squaw Valley with the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in March. The world’s best skiers return to the legendary Red Dog run that hosted the 1969 World Cup and 1960 Olympics. The March 9-12 schedule of events features concerts, fireworks and parties.
The new Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows app offers real-time lift, trail and snow data along with unique new features. The first-of-its-kind ski resort app features one-touch easy “group” creation which allows users to stay connected with friends and family on the hill — sharing location and messaging throughout the day. Performance dashboard shows daily and season-long data including trails and lifts skied, vertical climb, miles covered, hours skied, average and maximum speeds, and the difficulty of trails skied. Chairlift wait times allow guests to plan runs and navigate the mountain efficiently. The app includes sale functionality to purchase lift tickets.
Eco Efforts at Squaw
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is composting all food scraps and organic waste generated at the resort. The program is in line with new law, AB 1826, and supports California’s statewide goal to recycle more and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each year, California disposes of approximately 30 million tons of waste in landfills, 30% of which could be used for compost or mulch. To help support this greenhouse gas emission reduction program, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has installed composting containers at all dining facilities for sorting food scraps and compostable paper products.
In the 2015-16 season, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows became the first domestic ski resort to discontinue the sale of disposable water bottles with the implementation of Drink Mtn Tap, a program focused on reducing single-use water bottle usage. The resort installed over 20 water refill stations across both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows during last year’s season and will continue to offer visitors reusable water bottles for purchase at the same price point as disposable bottles. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows plans to install an additional five water stations, with locations to be determined.
Another focus for the 2016-17 season is the removal of single-use serving items. Single-use items will be replaced with reusable cups, dishes and silverware to further reduce waste and involve guests in the resort’s commitment to sustainability and reducing waste resort-wide.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain is the party destination of Lake Tahoe and has the No. 1 après ski party in North America. The party, Unbuckle at Tamarack, features end of day action with go-go dancers, drinking, dancing and Heavenly Angels. Check the calendar because the 2017 season will have theme days for Spring Break and Mardi Gras.
During the day, Heavenly is known for the best views of Lake Tahoe and expansive terrain allowing for miles of skiing or boarding practice. Take in spectacular views as you ride the Gondola up from South Lake Tahoe.
If you’re skiing or boarding while you should be working, then you’ll be pleased to know that Heavenly Mountain Resort has partnered with Tahoe Mountain Lab (a South Shore based co-working business) to create an on-mountain work hub. The shared workspace located at Heavenly’s Lakeview Lodge is for professionals who dream of guilt free powder days and taking a few turns before hopping onto a conference call or responding to an urgent email.
At the base of Heavenly Mountain, you’ll find plenty of action including South Lake Tahoe casinos such as Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe. If you prefer to sleep in California then stay at Grand Residences by Marriott, Lake Tahoe. This family friendly resort has full kitchens, heated outdoor pool, hot tub and on-site exercise and activities centers.
Kirkwood is a serious ski and snowboard destination with the highest elevation and lowest population of all the Lake Tahoe ski destinations. Known for deep powder, steep runs and cornices, Kirkwork welcomes the season by expanding its flagship program Expedition: Kirkwood to include daily mountain guide service and private snowcat tours.
Kirkwood’s instructional program Discovery Series is for intermediate and expert skiers/riders ready to take it to the next level. The course boosts confidence and skills by exposing students to the unique and challenging terrain found only at Kirkwood. All sessions include lunch and use of Go Pro cameras for skier/rider analysis.
At the end of a tough day on the slopes, you’ll find a hot tub instead of an après ski party. The slopes are a terrific challenge for those looking to push down a double black.
Mammoth is ready for 2017 with exciting new culinary offerings including Eastern Sierra Brewery Tours and on-mountain improvements including new jumps and platforms at Hemlocks.
Hemlocks Ridge is the hike-accessed backcountry on Mammoth Mountain. This season, the Unbound Terrain Park offers new jumps and platforms throughout the bowl to provide a backcountry experience with more flow and airtime.
The Unbound Terrain Park is celebrating 20 years of leading the industry in on-mountain innovation and design with 13 unique parks, four halfpipes, 100+ jibs and over 50 jumps on any given day. To celebrate the impressive anniversary, events, parties, on-hill activations, and digital storytelling of #20yearsofUnbound are planned throughout the season.
Off Hill Culinary News
Eastern Sierra Brewery Tours
Sit back and relax as owner, driver, beer lover and tour guide, Mike King, takes you on a four-hour tour of the region’s micro and nano breweries. Stopping at Mammoth Brewing Company, June Lake Brewing and Black Doubt Brewing with lunch at Ohana’s 395 in between, King handles the driving and entertainment so you can devote your full attention to a careful study of the region’s rapidly expanding beer scene.
Black Velvet Wine Bar
When coffee industry veterans, Matt and Gracie Hammer, opened Black Velvet Coffee Shop five years ago, they took it one cup at time. Every order served in a 12 ounce cup, brewed pour-over, and with attention paid to the smallest details. They’ve taken the same approach with their latest venture, a wine bar in Black Velvet’s tastefully appointed space on Main Street. With a focus on boutique wines and a selection that changes weekly, the wine bar is a great après option and a frequent venue for unique tastings.
The new 5,000 square-foot learning center at Snow Summit will offer a one-stop-shop for rentals, tickets, and sports school registration. The increased efficiency means families can spend less time in line and more time enjoying the slopes.
Methods Sports Bar
Located in the main lodge at Bear Mountain, Methods has been renovated for the 2016/17 season to provide a more welcoming atmosphere to watch a game or catch up with friends for a drink after a day on the slopes. With an array of new big screen HDTVs, all major sports packages, and an updated menu, Methods is sure to be an après favorite on game day.
Base Area Activities
This year, BBMR installed a 30-foot rock climbing wall. Weather permitting, the climbing wall will remain open through the winter, giving guests another option for off-snow entertainment to go with the Grizzly Ridge Tubing Park, which debuted last winter.
Winter X Games 20th Anniversary
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Snow Summit hosting the inaugural Winter X Games. During that time the event has grown from a mix of “extreme sports” like super-modified shovel racing and ice climbing, to become the ultimate winter action sports competition. Both resorts have a number of exciting events planned throughout the year, both on and off the slopes, that pay homage to Snow Summit’s place in action sports history.
Revelstoke is located deep in Canada’s BC rockies. Although the town of Revelstoke has more than a century of skiing history, Revelstoke Mountain Resort is practically brand new. The area, located between the Selkirk and Monashee Mountain ranges, has long been a destination for backcountry and heli-skiing operations. However, this beautifully designed, easily accessible and modern resort with the luxurious ski-in, ski-out Sutton Place Hotel only opened in 2007 — and immediately grabbed the attention of serious powderhounds. The mountain features the most vertical in North America — 1,712 metres (5,620 feet) — as well as 1,263 hectares (3,121 acres) of varying terrain with two alpine bowls and 65 named runs. It’s also the only resort in the world to offer lift, backcountry, cat, and heli-skiing from one village base. Wake up early in the morning to experience a wide variety of terrain, with everything from steep, open runs to big cliff areas, tree skiing and long groomed runs, top to bottom.
Want to relive all the action from your ski vacation? The new Paparazzi Pass lets you do just that. HD video cameras have been spread across the mountain to capture your best looks. With an easy download of the Paparazzi app, the cameras are programmed to communicate with your smart phone, automatically filming your action from the day and recording it to your account for online viewing.
Moonlight Snowshoe Tour
Revelstoke Snowshoe Company offers guided tours in the subalpine forests of the Selkirk mountains. Suitable for most ages and fitness levels, knowledgeable guides teach about local plant and animal species, wildlife tracking, local history, and winter survival. Enjoy a moonlight tour amidst the stars. A guided Moonlight Snowshoe tour through the subalpine forests of the Selkirk Mountains promises a quiet sojourn to cap the night.
Great Canadian Snowmobile Tours
Great Canadian Snowmobile Tours is Canada’s premier backcountry snowmobile clinic & rental company with guides who are meticulously trained in avalanche safety and awareness and wilderness first aid. With over 20 years of snowmobile experience in the mountains surrounding Revelstoke, they have perfected the art of riding. “The Cabin Run” is designated for beginners looking to get an idea of what snowmobile in Revelstoke is all about. The 1-hour tour teaches basic skills and techniques for operating a snowmobile. Guests have fun riding trails up along Frisby Ridge to a lovely cabin overlooking the surrounding mountains. Ride as a single or double up!
Sun Peaks Ski Resort, in British Columbia’s Interior, is now the second largest ski area in all of Canada, with 1728 hectares (4,270 acres) of skiable area, two bowls, 133 runs and 11 lifts, including five quads, as well as the four-hectare (10-acre) Rockstar Energy Terrain Park. Even better, Sun Peaks, which is located 45 minutes north of Kamloops, is drenched in more than 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, making this a great place to escape from gloomier climes. The resort’s European-style alpine village is nestled at the base of three mountains, Tod, Sundance and Morissey, and offers award-winning downhill skiing and snowboarding. The area is also becoming known as a world-class Nordic destination, with 34.9 kilometres (21.7 miles) of groomed and track-set Nordic trails, plus 14.3 kilometres (nine miles) of backcountry trails and 16 kilometres (10 miles) of snowshoe trails.
Fondue Dinner and Evening Descent
Picture yourself gliding down the mountain under a dark starry sky. It’s a favorite memory of guests who visit Sun Peaks. The Fondue Dinner and Evening Descent starts with a peaceful ride on the Sunburst chairlift after everyone else is finished skiing for the day. The mid-mountain destination is Sunburst Lodge. A decadent selection of meat, cheese, and chocolate fondue awaits, accompanied by live music and a casual, friendly atmosphere. After eating your fill, you’ll have the mountain to yourself for a private ski down to the village. A tour guide and headlamp (and on a clear night, all you need is the moonlight!) leads you along freshly groomed corduroys of Sun Peaks’ signature run, 5 Mile. Enjoy the sound of carving fresh turns and the beauty of a snowy winter’s night as you descend towards the lights of the village nestled in the mountains.
Beaver Creek has long been the most upscale of the Colorado mountain resorts operated by Vail Resorts. The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch sits at the base of the mountain and often serves as an end-of-day meeting point for guest of the mountain. This year Beaver Creek is offering even more luxury packages for coddled adventurers.
For a mere $50,000, guests arrive in style with first class airfare direct into Vail/Beaver Creek’s Eagle Airport (EGE), then board a private helicopter for the 28 mile ride to the base of Beaver Creek Mountain upon which they are transferred into a private car and delivered to Trapper Cabin. Trapper Cabin is located on Beaver Creek Mountain at 9500 feet and the luxury property comes with a private gourmet-chef and private Ski School Ambassador, Epic Passes, Helly Hansen gear and other lux perks.
The White Glove Collection offers guest various levels of specialty services. Join the White Carpet Club for slope-side ski valet, preferred parking in Ford Hall, private lockers, boot dryers, concierge service and more. White Glove First Tracks offers guests sunrise access to flawless snow surface conditions and a gourmet breakfast at Allie’s Cabin — located on Beaver Creek Mountain. The Winter Wine Excursion begins at the Beaver Creek Nordic Center, situated steps from Beaver Creek Village. Guests travel up Strawberry Park Express Chairlift to McCoy Park to enjoy a guided snowshoe tour while taking in views of Beaver Creek. Following the tour, The Osprey Fireside Grill and Executive Chef Ryan Murray serve a delicious assortment of charcuterie carefully paired with select wines.