by Alex Hoeft and Becca Loux | Moonshine Ink

Where do you go when you just need to shred?

Depends on how and when you want to carve up the mountain with your board or skis. Here we provide tailored updates as the season kicks into full swing from your local Tahoe/Truckee downhill resorts to help you navigate not just that favored mountain’s natural obstacles and manmade features, but also the complex and interconnected world of downhill sport locations in the area. 


Ski California has collected extensive data about usage of that organization’s participating resorts for the 2018/19 ski season, designed by their stellar team and published in Tahoe Winter Times, p. 21. 

In addition to those listed with major announcements and updates, don’t forget that Donner Ski Ranch opens Dec. 14; Heavenly Ski Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows all opened back in November.

Enjoy the following new features of your favorite winter wonderland, and happy shredding, Tahoe!

Boreal Mountain Resort
Opens Saturday, Nov. 23

  • New restaurant and bar, The Hub & Spoke, inside the Boreal Base Lodge
  • New classes and clinics, which guests with a season pass, Bunker Pass, or any Bunker Access product can drop in on
  • RFID (radio frequency identification) access system and automated self-ticket kiosks
  • Mountain Adventure ticket option, allowing for simplified and faster access to the Tubing and Planet Kids venues (does not include skiing or snowboarding)
  • Updated look to The Grind Café, formerly Moondoe’s, plus expanded snack, beverage, and coffee options
  • Woodward Mountain Parks and Woodward Mountain Kids, focusing on progression in a year-one Woodward Start Park learning venue; year two of Woodward Peace Park, a facet of Woodward Mountain Parks, has a new park location in the Sierra zone
  • Multi-week instructional program for young skiers and riders of all ability levels in the 4-17 age range

Diamond Peak Ski Resort
Opens Thursday, Dec. 12

  • Village Terrain Park is back for year two with more innovative features
  • Four new TechnoAlpin TR8 high-efficiency snowmaking guns
  • A new 400 ParkPro 4F grooming machine becomes the third ParkPro groomer in Diamond Peak’s fleet of five snow cats
  • 58 complimentary lift tickets at 15 (or more) partner resorts across the country for season pass holders, who also receive four discounted Bring-A-Friend tickets
  • Moonlight snowshoe hikes, offering nonskiers the chance to enjoy the slopes of Diamond Peak in wintertime and encourage exercising in a social setting; dates for the 2019/20 ski season include Jan. 10, Feb. 7, and March 6, 2020

Homewood Mountain Resort
Opens Friday, Dec. 15

  • First-time backcountry and snow cat guide training in which participants will learn basic safety protocols, rescue techniques, avalanche hazard awareness and management, and more
  • AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Training: Jan. 7 to 9, 2020
  • Snowcat Guide Training: March 15 to 17, 2020
  • Homewood and NASTC Backcountry Basics: Jan. 18 to 19, 2020 and Feb. 8 to 9, 2020
  • A new PistenBully winch cat, allowing for high angle grooming and maintenance on the resort’s most well-trafficked trails with low emissions in compliance with Tier 4 standards
  • A water bottle refill station in the North Lodge
  • The Ultimate Pass, which includes complimentary ski days at over 20 partner resorts across the country
RFID (radio frequency identification) systems are a common update to this season’s resort experience; easy identification of pass holders as they pile onto lifts ensures shorter lines and swifter ascension to glory on the slopes at Mt. Rose. Photo courtesy Jessica Weaver

Mount Rose Ski Tahoe
Opens Friday, Oct. 25

  • New Axess RFID lift gates, allowing skiers and riders to enjoy a simplified process for lift access and easy season pass upgrades and daily lift ticket reloading
  • Friday daily ticket special “SKI-GIF,” featuring $49 tickets after 12 p.m. complemented by live entertainment and bar specials
  • Complimentary women’s clinic included with Ladies’ Day Thursdays
  • Improved general lodge and parking lot, plus all new furniture in the Timbers Bar
  • Additional new snowmaking machines, including two Pole Cats on Kit Carson Bowl, one Pole Cat on Ponderosa Trail and six portable snow guns

Northstar California Resort
Opens Friday, Nov. 29

  • Bourbon Pub, a new après spot that takes dining to a new level

Opens Saturday, Nov. 30

  • RFID, a hands-free access system to all entry lifts

Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Opens Friday, Nov. 15

  • New Treeline Cirque chairlift at Alpine Meadows is an $11 million detachable, high-speed quad chair that will transport skiers and riders from the base area to Sherwood ridge in a total of five minutes. The lift will feature a mid-station for quick access to some of Alpine’s best low-intermediate terrain.
  • The Tram Car Bar, a restored 70’s era Squaw Valley tram cabin, will make its home on the Olympic House deck.
  • The Leap of Love, a collective Leap Day mountaintop wedding, will take place on February 29, 2020 (Leap Day).
  • Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will host the U.S. Freestyle Moguls National Championships March 19-22, 2020.
  • Tremigo Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar, a new Mexican restaurant from the owners of the Auld Dubliner will be opening in The Village at Squaw Valley for the 2019-20 winter season.
  • Alpenglow Expeditions will introduce two new winter activities for the 2019-20 season: half-day guided snowshoe tours through Shirley Canyon and backcountry exploration in a single run, suing the Squaw Valley chairlifts
  • Expansion of The North Face Mountain Guides program with a new half-day offering to complement the existing full day option.
  • One dollar from every sale of the 2019-20 Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows signature beanie will benefit the Shane McConkey Foundation, a local non-profit organization that supports kids, wildlife and the environment.

Sugar Bowl Resort
Opens Friday, Nov. 29

  • A new, 240-foot covered surface lift designed to protect beginner skiers and riders from the elements that replaced the Flume Surface Lift on Judah
  • Drop posts for safety bars on the White Pine, Christmas Tree, and Nob Hill lifts in support of the nationwide Kids on Lifts safety initiative
  • A Zaugg pipe cutter and a new 13-foot mini-pipe. The resort will also build a top-to-bottom terrain park featuring extra small, small, medium and large features off of the Judah lift. The park will be punctuated with 21 new terrian park features including a 13-foot butter box, 20-foot chubbie box, 10-foot quarterpipe box, and 10-foot wallride
  • Renovation of 12 of the mountain-view rooms in the Sugar Bowl Hotel (the resort’s Mid-Mountain Lodge was also renovated in the serving and seating areas; resort guests can expect a new outdoor BBQ and fresh menu)
  • E-commerce platform
  • Two new shuttle buses
  • This year, when purchased online at least two days in advance, adult all-day lift tickets are $99 any day in December, including weekends and holidays. Also, when purchased online at least two days in advance, children ages 5 to 12 can ski or ride for just $49 all season long, including weekends and holidays

Tahoe Donner
Opens Friday, Dec. 13

  • Tahoe Donner 2019/20 Downhill Ski Resort and Cross-Country Ski Center season passholders receive four ski days at Diamond Peak Ski Resort and two ski days at Homewood Mountain Resort valid for the 2019/20 ski season 

Main Image Caption: OPEN SESAME: Shred’s up at Homewood. Photo by Sam Hamilton


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