Corin Anderson (magellanic) wrote,
Corin Anderson


Melinda and I ventured to Tahoe this past weekend as part of an annual ski trip her friend Leah arranges. Melinda and I don't ski, and we snowboard only once per year, but we do like visiting with friends so we said yes to the trip. Last week the weather was especially snowy, which provided for some very nice powder snow. Boarding in it was as nice as we've ever had, and falling in the snow, which we did less of than ever before, was like falling in a pile of packaging peanuts.

For the trip I rented a 4WD SUV because I didn't want to worry much about chaining up my 2WD car. It worked out very well: chain control waved us through without hesitation, I never got stuck in anything, and we never got cold and wet along the side of the road fussing with chains. Not that the trip through the pass was easy, though. On the way out, we waited in line for chain control for nearly three hours, because I-80 had been closed for nearly 24 hours by the time we'd arrived Friday afternoon. On the way back the weather was better but still merited some careful driving. The best thing about renting the car, though, was that I didn't need to worry about transportation. Maybe the car gets scratched -- no biggie because I paid for the damage waiver. Maybe the car slides on the road -- 4WD works pretty well, and the roads are lined with snow banks that are not going to tear up the car. Not out of chain control yet but the roads are bare and wet? Fine, I can drive without the heavy bumping that chains would have on the tires. Getting into the car while covered with snow? No worries, someone else will wash it. That's what renting is all about. 8)

So Saturday we boarded for about two hours, until the weather got a little more rough. We might have gone back in the afternoon had it been clear. We stayed on the bunny slope because that's all our passes were good for at Homewood -- it's a different, and more expensive, pass to get onto even the easiest non-trainer slope. The bunny slope had a surface Platter lift rather than a chairlift. The notion is that it's easier to use than a chairlift, but snowboards weren't around in the early 1900s when these things were invented. Having tried both, I can definitely say that chairlifts are much easier to use. I tried the surface lift three times, succeeded with it on only my second attempt, and gave up after that. The hill wasn't too steep so I just hiked up each time thereafter. I could walk at about the same speed the lift pulled people up so I wasn't any slower than the rest.

I was surprised how much boarding technique I quickly remembered. It was also that the snow was super nice and the rental equipment was better this year than two years ago. But even still, it was pretty neat to spend about two hours slide down the hill and fall down only maybe three or four times in total. We'd intended to take lessons, too, but we missed the start of them by a few minutes so we opted to just try things out ourselves.

Sunday, most of the group dropped in to Granlibakken for sledding. We'd intended to go tubing but (a) Alpine Meadow's tubing run was closed due to too much(!) snow, and (b) Granlibakken has only sledding, not tubing. So we spent about an hour sliding down a hill on plastic saucers, which proved to be much fun. We had six people with us and we tried going down in formation a few times -- well worth the coordination, too. The hill was pretty casual, with no lift up, so our fun was limited by how many times we all wanted to trudge up the hill. The weather was sunny so at least we didn't have much active snow falling around us to slow us down.

And that was about our trip. It was fun to drop in to Tahoe to see so much snow and ice -- I'd never been there during an active snow fall before. And it was much more fun to board than I'd expected it would be: renting was pretty easy and we both were up on our boards without much trouble. Going with many other people was great, including some group dinners Friday and Saturday, some social games Saturday, and just having more people doing the same things together. Much fun.
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