The endless winter: How to ski year-round in South Lake Tahoe
- Anthony Frabbiele
As the weather warms and the days get longer and warmer, the ski resorts stop turning their lifts and visitors start moving their activities from the slopes to the beaches and lakes. The cool water and the warm sand are a pleasant calling for many. Those who enjoy lounging on the beaches notice the beautiful snowcapped mountains surrounding the lake. But what about those skiers and boarders that aren’t quite ready to give up making turns and letting the adrenaline pump through their veins? Here is a simple solution: throw those sticks on a backpack and create your endless winter!
Fall snowboarding in Tahoe.
At the end of last year as Heavenly stopped turning lifts, I wasn’t ready to stop. My body was used to snowboarding all day long and I had finally become good enough of a skier to handle the more fun terrain; I certainly wasn’t going to let that go to waste! When the lifts stopped I made a vow to myself. “I’m going to ski every month this year.”
South Lake Tahoe makes an excellent home base for an adventure like this. I never realized that this goal would lead me to places that I never knew existed. Hiking, four-wheeling, rock climbing and rappelling all were involved in this endeavor to keep winter going. Some of the very best snow late in the season was found along Highway 88 not to far from legendary Kirkwood.
So, how did I do it? When June rolled around, I turned to the webcams to spot patches of skiable snow.
Another easy option is to keep an eye out while driving around Lake Tahoe or while hiking and biking your favorite trails. Finding those north facing couloirs form the best odds for finding snow late in the season.
Finally, and oftentimes with the best results, ask around! There are plenty of people in South Lake Tahoe who try to get turns in during the “off season” and they certainly take note when they see snow.
As this season comes to a close I am proud to say that May will be my 19th consecutive month of skiing in the Sierras, with plans to make it 24 consecutive months.
I challenge you… Nay… I dare you to ski or snowboard at least once this summer and tell us a little about your adventure! Be sure to also enjoy that summer weather and lounge around on the beach, too!
Anthony Frabbiele is a frequent couch surfer in South Lake Tahoe since 2008. He participates in a range of extreme sports including everything from white water rafting to high altitude mountaineering. He is a Mechanical Engineer by day and an adventure photographer by weekend with the ultimate goal of achieving the seven summits. Two down, Five left!