Skiing North Lake Tahoe

By Mr. TWS

Sweeney loves to ski… and I do, too. So we decided that a North Lake Tahoe ski trip was overdue.

"An awesome day for skiing at North Lake Tahoe, California"

Cathy at the Summit, North Lake Tahoe

I’m writing this post after our 2nd day of the trip, the first time ever we’ve been able to ski here mid-week. Usually, it’s Saturday, Sunday and Monday and much busier.

I had a really tough work schedule during key ski months the last 2 years and I’m ashamed to admit we didn’t get in any downhill skiing. So Sweeney was jumping for joy to be in North Lake Tahoe on a beautiful day.

In our best years of skiing we would take three 3-day weekends, but it’s been about 5 years since one of those. I was a little apprehensive because the busy schedule has also caused me to slip on my fitness regimen. Sweeney was also a bit anxious because it had been 3 years since we’d been on the slopes. The perfect day (clear blue sky, bright sun, 40°F, but with good snow because of the cold nights) let us quickly put any ambivalence aside.

"View of Lake Tahoe from Ski Run at North Lake Tahoe"

Beautiful and Blue — Lake Tahoe

Any concerns both of us had were also removed during the first run. “It is just like riding a bicycle,” I thought. Of course, this sentiment was dramatically aided by the fact that we’d both gotten new skis during the 2 years before our hiatus from skiing and the significant change in technology had prompted me to say then, after my first run on my new skis: “I feel like I’m cheating.” My previous pair was over 15 years old and my new skis do a lot of the work: they’re considerably shorter, wider, and most importantly, they are parabolic.

Most of our skiing has been in Tahoe. It’s a 3.5 hour drive door-to-door each way. And it is beautiful, as are many ski areas, but the big lake really adds to the beauty.

I often kid Sweeney that although she enjoys skiing, she enjoys the lunches more. We have been fortunate to catch many days like this, and lunch outdoors at 40°F degrees may seem silly but with the sun at that elevation and the ski clothing of today, it’s just right. After all that fresh air and exercise, the food is awesome (the wine too).

"Cheers! Refreshment at ski resort at North Lake Tahoe"

Sweeney Enjoying Lunch at Tahoe Ski Resort

Two years away had changed this ski resort and our favorite lunch dishes at this top-of-the-mountain restaurant (for Sweeney, chicken quesadilla — for me, fish tacos) were no longer part of a significantly changed menu. So instead, we had homemade chili and it really hit the spot, so much so that the better photo of Sweeney wasn’t used here because she had a big spot of chili on her chin. That aside, the Chardonnay was still her favorite part of the meal.

Although even a short lunch can make it seem harder to get started skiing, Sweeney was just as excited to jump back on the slopes.

"A good day skiing at North Lake Tahoe, California"

Happy Skier at North Lake Tahoe Ski Resort

We enjoyed the rest of a beautiful day of skiing and were quite pleased at how we’d done and held up.

But oh what a difference a day makes, especially in the mountains. On our second day, the weather changed to snow showers and about 12°F colder. On top of that, though we did significant stretching, we were sore and our muscles were tired. That second day is always the hardest for any exercise. The picture below was taken lower down the mountain and doesn’t show the severity of the weather at the top.

"Skiing on a blustery day at North Lake Tahoe"

Conditions Change at North Lake Tahoe

Nonetheless, we braved the more challenging weather, driving winds (gusts 30 mph), horizontal snow, poorer visibility and reveled in the day. It was fun to see and experience … and we felt proud to have persevered, skiing the full day as we had the previous day which had ideal weather.

With Mardi Gras next week we found this tree below festooned with beads (and a few other items) to be timely. This resort has a Mardi Gras event so I believe these remained from previous years. Beads decorating trees is not uncommon in New Orleans (though they’re much more common there for another reason) and I assume this tree received the attention because it was the closest tree to any lift.

"Festive beads adorn the trees next to ski lift at North Lake Tahoe ski resort"

Festive Beads Adorn the Trees Next to Ski Lift

Now it’s time for après-ski!

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20 thoughts on “Skiing North Lake Tahoe

  1. Kate @Wild Tal es of...

    Nice! Glad you got some skiing in this winter! We were just in Truckee (where my brother & his family live) over the Christmas holiday, and had similar weather though it was the other way around, snow, snow, snow, then a beautiful blue sky day–just gorgeous.

    1. Mr. TWS Post author

      That must have been some day of skiing on the clear day after all that snow. The snow had been a bit low over the last month so not quite as pretty as times when there had been lots of snow.

    1. Mr. TWS Post author

      Friday was the same as Thursday for weather (actually another 8°F colder). It was still beautiful and lots of fun. The trees were especially pretty in the morning when we got some sun light. There were many that were lightly snowed giving them a misty green look that was unusual.

  2. Leigh

    I do think skiing is like riding a bike. You might be rusty on the first run but that’s it. Tahoe looks beautiful and would love to ski there – on a weekday. And taking the time for a civilized lunch is a brilluant thing to do too.

    1. Mr. TWS Post author

      We enjoyed lunch indoors the last 2 days and enjoyed almost as much. There are a number of resorts that have runs that look at certain points like you’re going to ski right into the lake. It’s really pretty and we also enjoy visiting during non-skiing times.

    1. Mr. TWS Post author

      We are always amazed when we go to Tahoe. It was so pretty and the skiing was great. Hope you enjoy your trip there. You can still ski there in May usually. Nice and warm but the snow is tough for skiing (Sierra Cement).

  3. Sophie

    Never thought of Lake Tahoe as a wintery kind of place. I suppose I’ve seen too many episodes of that old series, Bonanza (that was Lake Tahoe, wasn’t it?) with forever summers.

    Looks very pretty. I have an aunt who lives in the area; time for a visit, I think 🙂

  4. jill

    I’ve always enjoyed skiing in North Tahoe (cheaper :)), but lately we’ve been going to Kirkwood and we love it! Either way, we’re so lucky to live so close to Tahoe, right?

    1. Mr. TWS Post author

      Absolutely. We’ve been there almost every season though mostly in winter for skiing. Summer can get a bit crowded, especially around the holidays. It’s beautiful and lots to do at any time, even if it’s just a ride around the lake, sight seeing and picture taking.

    1. Mr. TWS Post author

      You are definitely not too old to start skiing. But it would be good to read the post: “5 Lessons I Learned Skiing at Breckenridge (Know Before You Go!)” on Almost all of the time we feel that way about not seeing enough local things often enough.

  5. Mike

    Mr TWS and and Catherine, I keep winding up a blogs where you have visited and wind up catching up with yet another of your awesome blogs. Only this one really made me smile because I moved to Reno after I graduated and have lived her for 32 years now! It’s so beautiful up at the Lake. I’m glad you had a great time! 🙂

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