California/Nevada 2021-2022 Tahoe Ski Resorts/Conditions/Meetups

SSSdave

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I'm from Europe and I'm looking to go skiing in the area around South Lake Tahoe. Hotels are looking very expensive in the winter there. Just wondering if people have any suggestions/tips where to stay? We (just the two of us) will be renting a car so happy to stay a bit away from the resorts.
Its a usual corporate money game with visitors like you the unwary prey. I input this thread last winter explaining the racket to help savvy visitors. Easy to lodge in South Lake Tahoe for under $60/night midweek, some of the lowest ski enthusiast lodging anywhere.

 
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Andy Mink

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I'm from Europe and I'm looking to go skiing in the area around South Lake Tahoe. Hotels are looking very expensive in the winter there. Just wondering if people have any suggestions/tips where to stay? We (just the two of us) will be renting a car so happy to stay a bit away from the resorts.
You could stay in the Minden/Gardnerville area. It's a relatively short drive to southshore/Heavenly. It also puts you within an easy drive to Mammoth and June Mountain, weather permitting.
 

skibob

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You could stay in the Minden/Gardnerville area. It's a relatively short drive to southshore/Heavenly. It also puts you within an easy drive to Mammoth and June Mountain, weather permitting.
But make sure you hire an AWD vehicle. Yes, you've driven in snow before. You have probably skied the Alps and/or Pyrenees. You've never seen the likes of what Tahoe can throw at you. No, it probably won't on the exact days you are here. But if it does, and you don't have an AWD, you might literally be going nowhere for several days.
 

Philpug

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I'm from Europe and I'm looking to go skiing in the area around South Lake Tahoe. Hotels are looking very expensive in the winter there. Just wondering if people have any suggestions/tips where to stay? We (just the two of us) will be renting a car so happy to stay a bit away from the resorts.
Carson City might be an option.
 

raytseng

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@alexthegorilla
I never found that Lodging in south lake tahoe was the expensive or critical part unless you are staying on peak blackout periods.

SSSDave above has definitely laid out before how to find lodging on the cheap before, and there are options at a lot of price points.

I don't think there is really a need to lock down SLT lodging until a few weeks out.

I can suggest your time and proximity is more valuable if you are visiting primarily to ski. You will not want to be so far away that you have to commute and be late to Opening bell and competing with the crowds for everything.
My tip though on what you do need to focus on is your lift ticket situation. Especially if you are planning to ski Heavenly/Kirkwood; you need to get lift tickets bought before Vail Resorts stops Epic Pass sales.
That can potentially be your biggest financial loss from not planning ahead. They've do have EpicDay pass product now tailored for very short term skiers.
 

alexthegorilla

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Thank you all - will check out the places you suggested. We are thinking of going the 1st week of January which I don't think is too busy (?) given I expect people are going back to work.

But make sure you hire an AWD vehicle. Yes, you've driven in snow before. You have probably skied the Alps and/or Pyrenees. You've never seen the likes of what Tahoe can throw at you. No, it probably won't on the exact days you are here. But if it does, and you don't have an AWD, you might literally be going nowhere for several days.
Thanks - do I need snowchains? My impression is that roads tend to be cleared quite quickly. If the condition necessitates the use of snow chains I'd probably wait it out.
@alexthegorilla
I never found that Lodging in south lake tahoe was the expensive or critical part unless you are staying on peak blackout periods.

SSSDave above has definitely laid out before how to find lodging on the cheap before, and there are options at a lot of price points.

I don't think there is really a need to lock down SLT lodging until a few weeks out.

I can suggest your time and proximity is more valuable if you are visiting primarily to ski. You will not want to be so far away that you have to commute and be late to Opening bell and competing with the crowds for everything.
My tip though on what you do need to focus on is your lift ticket situation. Especially if you are planning to ski Heavenly/Kirkwood; you need to get lift tickets bought before Vail Resorts stops Epic Pass sales.
That can potentially be your biggest financial loss from not planning ahead. They've do have EpicDay pass product now tailored for very short term skiers.
Planning to get the Tahoe Value pass. Figure if I ski for 4+ days it'll pay for itself.

I should add I've worked in the East Coast before for a few years. Been skiing round there, CO and UT though never been around the Tahoe area. Skiing in the US is quite different from the Alpes but I rather enjoyed it!
 
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Andy Mink

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do I need snowchains
It's usually 4 wheel drive with snow tires or chains. On the Nevada side on Mt. Rose Highway there are signs but I've rarely if ever seen anyone enforcing it. That said, should something bad happen they probably will pop you then just to add insult to injury. CA has actual chain checks, at least on the major highways. Depending on the duration of the storm road clearing can take quite some time.
 

skibob

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It's usually 4 wheel drive with snow tires or chains. On the Nevada side on Mt. Rose Highway there are signs but I've rarely if ever seen anyone enforcing it. That said, should something bad happen they probably will pop you then just to add insult to injury. CA has actual chain checks, at least on the major highways. Depending on the duration of the storm road clearing can take quite some time.
Andy is right. I've never put chains on an awd vehicle, but it is theoretically possible to be required and I do carry them. At the checkpoints they will just waive you through if you are obviously AWD. But if they check and you don't have them, you are turning around and heading back down.

A couple of money saving tips:

Reserve (w/o paying) two different vehicles. One AWD, one not. Forecasts are pretty reliable within a week or so. On the day you arrive, look at the forecast and decide which one to actually pick up. If in doubt, spring for the AWD.

Buy chains at a big box store (Costco, Walmart, Target, etc). Don't open them. Assuming you don't need them and don't open them, you should be able to return them for a full refund.

As for quickly clearing roads: Yes, they do. Until they don't. Several feet of snow in a day, for several days in a row are possible. What was 2017, 21 feet of snow in 9 days, or something like that. You almost certainly won't hit something like this. But it can happen!
 

Rod9301

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But make sure you hire an AWD vehicle. Yes, you've driven in snow before. You have probably skied the Alps and/or Pyrenees. You've never seen the likes of what Tahoe can throw at you. No, it probably won't on the exact days you are here. But if it does, and you don't have an AWD, you might literally be going nowhere for several days.
Btw the pyrenees get a lot of snow. Maritime climate, just like Sierra.
 

skibob

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I have been there and you are right. But not like Tahoe. Areas of the Tahoe basin have some of the highest snowfall totals, and the greatest potential for rapid accumulation in generally inhabited places. All of them can get swamped. But highest average snowfalls in Tahoe exceed those of the Pyrenees by 10-20 feet, and outlier events even more so. It is unique.
 

textrovert

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Andy is right. I've never put chains on an awd vehicle, but it is theoretically possible to be required and I do carry them. At the checkpoints they will just waive you through if you are obviously AWD. But if they check and you don't have them, you are turning around and heading back down.

Same. The unopened chains box in my AWD is from 2013 :roflmao: Bought it same time as the car.

The signs will all say "chains or AWD+snow tires". Usually, its only locals who have actual snow tires on. Rest are on M+S/all-weather tires.
Years ago I did check on this and at the time, the answer I got back was that as long as it is M+S, CHP chain control will not stop you. Of course, if your M+S tire is down to it's last threads, you're going to be slip sliding away :D

Also legally, you have to carry chains in the car, just in case.
 

textrovert

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Example-


"If your tire is marked on the sidewall with M+S — mud and snow — this indicates you have an all-season tire. Both California and Nevada consider this an acceptable tire for the snow. Deeper-treaded winter tires are labeled M+S, but also have an icon of a mountain with a snowflake. Summer tires lack the M+S designation."

And from Caltrans themselves-

Are “all-weather” or “all-terrain” tires the same as “snow” tires?​

They may be. Snow tires have the designation “Mud & Snow” or an abbreviation such as “M-S,” “M+S,” or “M/S” marked on the tire sidewall. Tires without this designation are not considered snow tires. Snow tires must also have at least 6/32-inch (3/16”) of tread depth (about 1/2 of the original tread depth).
 

skibob

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Example-


"If your tire is marked on the sidewall with M+S — mud and snow — this indicates you have an all-season tire. Both California and Nevada consider this an acceptable tire for the snow. Deeper-treaded winter tires are labeled M+S, but also have an icon of a mountain with a snowflake. Summer tires lack the M+S designation."

And from Caltrans themselves-

Are “all-weather” or “all-terrain” tires the same as “snow” tires?​

They may be. Snow tires have the designation “Mud & Snow” or an abbreviation such as “M-S,” “M+S,” or “M/S” marked on the tire sidewall. Tires without this designation are not considered snow tires. Snow tires must also have at least 6/32-inch (3/16”) of tread depth (about 1/2 of the original tread depth).
I have been using the new "Winter Hybrid" tires for several years now and they are really, really good. Better than all season, not quite as good as true snow tires (but ride much smoother). It sounds like a marketing gimmick, but it is the real deal. There is a long thread on here somewhere dedicated to the subject.
 

raytseng

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Pequenita

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CA has actual chain checks, at least on the major highways.
I’ve gone through chain control on 267 between Tahoe city and northstar. I think the rule of thumb is probably don’t assume that because it’s a 2-lane road there won’t be chain control. As long as it’s snowing/in the middle of a storm and the road is “well traveled” and goes over something named “summit,” there will likely be chain control.
 

fatbob

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Actually 267 from Kings Beach to NS is the only place I've ever been turned around for having fwd + chains. Always been ok up to Kirkwood.
 

raytseng

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Actually 267 from Kings Beach to NS is the only place I've ever been turned around for having fwd + chains. Always been ok up to Kirkwood.
yes, they sometimes have a no ladder cable chains policy on brockway summit, because those basic chains are not enough.
If you get cable chains, you need at least diamond/Zdiagonal, or any style of real link chains and maybe up to the judgement of the checker.

I would suggest that anyone on this board who maybe using their chains more than 1x, should at least get better than budget basic chains.
 

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