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Lake Tahoe, March 1989

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S: Lake Tahoe, March 1989

BC: Our trip to ski at resorts around Lake Tahoe in early March, 1989, with Curt and Lana Zarger was tremendous fun. It was also our first major ski trip, for that matter it was one of our first major trips. I am thankful that Curt provided the nudge to get us going. This book was assembled from scanned negatives, postcards, and a few other widgets combined with the best of my recollections and Linda’s notes. I’m hoping it is even more fun to look at than it was to create, and that it is largely factually accurate.

FC: Lake Tahoe, March 1989

1: Tahoe Ski Vacation

2: Friday morning, 3/12/89, we were anxious to hit the slopes, so naturally, we selected the ski area that we could literally see from the front of our hotel. Heavenly, to our eyes, was simply HUGE! It is so big it is located in both California and Nevada, with lifts, gondolas even, in both states. We hit the California slopes first, eventually going over the top and skiing down into Nevada. We were in such a hurry to get started skiing we left our camera in our room. Rather than omit the largest of the resorts from our visual record, some images have been “borrowed” from the Internet, please, don’t tell my mom. From Wikipedia: Heavenly Mountain Resort is a ski resort located on the California-Nevada border in South Lake Tahoe. It has 97 runs and 30 lifts that are spread between California and Nevada and four base facilities. The resort has 4,800 acres (7 square miles) within its permit area, with approximately 33% currently developed for skiing, boasting the highest elevation of the Lake Tahoe area resorts with a peak elevation of 10,067ft (1.9 miles), and a peak lift-service elevation of 10,040ft (3,060m). With an average of 360in (910cm) of snow annually, and one of America's largest snowmaking systems, their ski season usually runs from mid November to mid April. Lake Tahoe sits at approximately, 6,225 feet, so the vertical drop from the top of Heavenly approaches 3,800 feet, more than seven tenths of a mile. | Heavenly, First Day Skiing

4: The powder wasn’t quite as deep as in this image, but it was close. far, far more than eastern ice skiers are used to.

5: VACATION | South Lake Tahoe sits between the lake, which is amazingly blue and beautiful and the mountains that rise up on all sides. Heavenly ski resort sits just outside the town with slopes clearly visible from most areas of the city. | Ride a gondola from the parking lot, virtually in the city to well up on the slopes.

6: 1989 | After a wonderful day at Heavenly, we set out for ski areas slightly further a field. On the way, we just couldn't help but to gaze in awe at the beautiful views all around us as we drove around Lake Tahoe. Emerald bay, a California state park provided perhaps the best views, so we stopped and snapped a few. One of them has a place on my all time favorite photos list and a large spot on the wall in our house. With the blue, blue lake, green pine trees, brilliant white snow capped majestic mountains, it is hard to find an angle in Tahoe that isn't breath taking. | The view from the highway, just looking straight ahead. | Lake Tahoe and Vistas

7: First trip to the snow | Emerald Bay

9: First trip to the snow

12: After our day one need to hit the closest resort, we selected Squaw Valley for our second day on the slopes. Squaw featured even more cable car transport, including one intended to be ridden by skiers in full ski gear right to the top of the slopes. The trail map, shown on the next page just begins to suggest the vast size of Squaw. Oh yes, we remembered our camera, so most of the shots of Squaw Valley are our own. From Wikipedia: “Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, California, is one of the largest ski areas in the United States, and was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. It is the second-largest ski area in Lake Tahoe after Heavenly, with 30 chairlifts, 3,600 acres (more than 5 square miles) and the only Funitel the U.S. The resort attracts approximately 600,000 skiers a year. Located in the Sierra Nevada, with a base of 6,200ft (1,900 m) and 3,600 skiable acres across six peaks, the resort tops out at 9,050ft (2,760 m) above sea level at Granite Chief. The area receives heavy maritime snowfall, frequently receiving 40ft (12 m) or more in a winter.” | Squaw Valley, Olympic Class Resort

14: A view up the mountain and down the mountain, suggests the vast size of the slopes. The fence, nearly buried in snow illustrates the depth of snow.

15: SKIING | Why so many pictures of the Cable car lifts? Partially because they were so novel to us, but mostly because of the great views and their predictability!

16: After two days skiing on some of the most amazing runs we had ever seen, what could be better than a third day of skiing? So that is exactly what we did, head back to North Tahoe and spent a day at Alpine Meadow. By this point we knew to bring our camera and I was getting better at pulling it out of my pocket as the following shots attest. From Wikipedia: “Alpine Meadows is a ski resort located in Alpine Meadows, California near North Lake Tahoe. Alpine Meadows offers 2,400 acres of skiable terrain, 13 different lifts and a vertical drop of 1,800 ft. Alpine Meadows is well known for the quality and variety of its terrain, ranging from beginner to advanced trails with convenient access to seven open bowls, chutes, steeps, groomed runs and six terrain parks. With 402 inches of annual snowfall, Alpine Meadows often has the longest snow season among the Lake Tahoe ski resorts.” | Alpine Meadows, Day 3 more Skiing

18: Joe and Linda modeling in front of trail map sign. | Curt and Lana Zarger in front of very same map

21: Lana and Joe pausing for a photo, Linda behind the camera.

22: Our final day skiing, we stayed closer to “home” heading just a bit south to the Sierra Ski ranch which eventual became Sierra-at-Tahoe. Sierra’s longer distance from Lake Tahoe proved to be a boon, as views that included the lake also included beautifull mountains between us and the water. It was an amazing place, and a good choice for our final day of western skiing. Wikipedia: “Sierra-at-Tahoe is a ski and snowboard resort in Twin Bridges, California south of Lake Tahoe. Sierra-at-Tahoe is approximately 16 miles (26 km) south of Stateline, Nevada and 12 miles south of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50 and is contained within the Eldorado National Forest. Sierra-at-Tahoe (often shortened to "Sierra") is a medium sized ski area in the Lake Tahoe region, and is well known for being a more family oriented resort and also having a high annual snowfall. Sierra-at-Tahoe's terrain is 25 percent beginner, 50 percent Intermediate, and 25 percent advanced. The majority of the ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe region are on the northern end of the lake, near Truckee, California and Reno, Nevada. Sierra-at-Tahoe, Kirkwood and Heavenly are located on the southern side of the lake, approximately 75 miles (120 km) from Reno. It is common for visitors to ski amongst these three resorts when staying in southern Lake Tahoe area and not venture to the northern lake resorts such as Squaw Valley, Northstar at Tahoe, Sugar Bowl. Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort was started in 1946 by Vern Sprock as Sierra Ski Ranch, further down Highway 50. In 1968, the "Ranch" was moved to its present location when the California Department of Transportation began widening Highway 50. The Sprock family operated the resort until 1993 when the resort was sold to Fibreboard Corporation. Fibreboard updated many areas of the resort, including changing the name to Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort. Booth Creek Ski Resorts purchased Sierra-at-Tahoe in 1996.” | Sierra Ski Ranch, Day 4

24: OUTDOORS | Our forth and last day, the weather was once again beautiful with only the occasional puffy white cloud to break up the sparkling blue of the sky. Above and opposite, some of the vistas and vantage points that we had an opportunity to enjoy. To the right, Joe and Curt stop to pose in front of a trail map sign. Above them you can see one of the many chair lifts that with this one exception eluded our camera.

30: must come to an end. Our ski trip to Tahoe, a short 4 days on the slopes ended on Tuesday, 3/16/89, when we had to head back toward Reno for our flight to Washington via Denver. | We had one more adventure, as a good old fashioned snow storm let loose upon us, closing the mountain roads to all but adventurous four wheel drive or chain equipped vehicles. Our rental car lacked both, so we did some last minute shopping and soon enough we owned a set of chains that fit our rental car and we figured out how to use them. (We also got to store those chains for years in a box in the basement.) The trip from Tahoe to Reno was completed safely, though not without a few of white knuckles to match the newly decorated scenery. The flights were uneventful. | All Good Things...

32: Reno Airport thoughtfully arranged for some one-armed bandits to make a little quick gambling easy to arrange while waiting for a flight | Its hard to see in the dim lighting of the Reno airport, but among the decorations, a Curtiss biplane was hung from the ceiling. Hey, did you actually expect me to write something interesting about an airport?

33: The Boeing 727 that took us from Reno to Denver. This model was one of the few to mount three engines on the tail.

34: Flying out of Reno, Nevada

35: Somewhere between Reno and Denver

37: One more beautiful view. Opposite: Approaching Denver from the air.

40: While I can claim to be neither the photographer nor the skier, I can claim to have skied these slopes and seen these views.

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  • Title: Lake Tahoe, March 1989
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