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Posts Tagged ‘Alpine Meadows’

Step outside Granlibakken and into adventure at nearby Alpine Meadows

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Alpine Meadows is a favorite ski resort to visit among Granlibakken guests and set to open on Dec. 13.

Located in Tahoe City, Alpine Meadows is an easy jaunt from the resort. Midweek stay and ski packages are available to Granlibakken guests.

Alpine Meadows has terrain for every type of skier.  Photo: Alpine Meadows.

Alpine Meadows has terrain for every type of skier.
Photo: Alpine Meadows.

Alpine Meadows was founded in 1961 by a group of avid skiers from San Francisco who discovered the potential at Alpine Meadows while skiing at neighboring Squaw Valley. A number of families pooled resources to develop the resort and John Reily originally founded Alpine Meadows as Ward Peak. Alpine Meadows opened for the 1961-1962 season with three lifts. JMA Ventures purchased Alpine Meadows from Powdr Corporation in July 2007 and operated the resort until the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows joined forces in November 2011.

Alpine Meadows offers 2,400 acres of breathtaking skiable terrain on more than 100 trails. It has a base elevation of 6,385 feet, a summit elevation of 8,637 feet at Wards Peak. Alpine Meadows has a vertical rise of 1,802 feet.

There are 13 lifts to take you where you want to go. If you like skiing bowls, Alpine has seven of them: Alpine, Estelle, Beaver, Wolverine, Sun Bowl, Big Bend Bowl and S.P Bowl. You can catch all the action on the live skicam here.

If you’re a boarder you’ll gush over Alpine’s terrain parks, featuring the mile-long Firing Line, the Sidewinder, The Bunker, Cannonball and the Barracks.

The resort offers a complimentary shuttle service so it is easy to get to Granlibakken and back. The shuttle provides enough room for equipment so that guests can travel comfortably to and from the mountain while enjoying the view.

Alpine’s main lodge amenities and facilities make it easy for guests to enjoy a day of mountain adventure. Skiers and boarders can relax on the expansive Sundeck and soak up the views facing the mountain and watch as skiers and riders ascend down the slopes.

Family friendly, Alpine offers the The Kid Zone which includes an indoor play area featuring games, indoor jungle gyms for small children, and a dining area for a relaxing lunch or après-ski spot.

Lessons are available for children learning to ski and board in either group or private settings.

Alpine Meadows ski and snowboard instruction for adults is one of Tahoe’s best combinations of instruction, adventure, and fun. Top instructors and coaches provide superior instruction for beginner and novice skiers and riders.

Hungry? Thirsty? Before, during or just finishing up on the slopes, check out any number of on-mountain dining options including the Meadows Cafe, Espresso and Gourmet Coffee Bar, Treats Cafe, Alpine Bar, Treats Bar, Spoon Cafe, Sundeck BBQ, Mid Mountain Chalet or the Ice Bar.

Will you visit Alpine Meadows during your next trip to Granlibakken?

Winter brings plenty of thrills and adventure

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Considering a winter vacation at Lake Tahoe? Granlibakken has 10 activities lined up for you when you arrive.

Enjoy all the winter fun Granlibakken has to offer during your stay.

Enjoy all the winter fun Granlibakken has to offer during your stay.

  1. Ski and stay packages: Not only does Granlibakken have a great ski and snow play area but it also offers access to your choice of seven world class ski mountains.  The resort’s popular and affordable stay and ski packages includes lodging and lift tickets at Squaw Valley USA, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, Alpine Meadows, Homewood Mountain Resort, Sugar Bowl, Mt. Rose, Heavenly Mountain Resort or Sierra-at-Tahoe with rates starting at $150 mid-week.
  2. Ski and snowplay: Granlibakken has its own intimate ski and snowboard hill and separate snowplay area, ideal for families with children, beginning and intermediate skiers. Affordable and packed with just as many thrills found at nearby ski mountains, guests can rent equipment (skis, snowboards, poles, boots, cross country skis, snowshoes and helmets) and then climb aboard a lift for a full or half-day worth of downhill adventure.
  3. Snowshoeing: Strap on a pair of snow shoes, and explore the action off the beaten path at the Tahoe Cross Country Center. The terrain is wide open with trails to stomp through with specially-fitted snowshoes.
  4. Cross country skiing: Tahoe Cross Country Center can also hook you up with a pair of cross country skis so you can explore acres of forest trails for a weekday or weekend worth of discovery and lose yourself with the high sierra backdrop and quiet serenity that only cross country trails can offer. Guests have easy access to popular trailheads that provide miles of ungroomed terrain.
  5. Swing through the snowy trees: Looking for a winter skiing alternative? Guests can choose the ultimate physical challenge at California’s first-of-its-kind Treetop Adventure Park, recently voted No. 1 as a Lake Tahoe activity by TripAdvisor.com. This action-packed playground is an obstacle course set along the tree tops, 30 feet off the ground. Fully harnessed guests can zip, climb, walk, and maneuver their way through a number of obstacles, each with varying degrees of skills and challenges.
  6. Go snowmobiling: Mount a sled and take a high octane snowmobile adventure in the Sierra’s winter backcountry. Among a handful of tour operators near Granlibakken, Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours offers all-ages tours of more than 100 miles into the back country.
  7. Ice skating: Grab a pair of blades and head for the ice. There are nearby skating facilities at Squaw Valley’s Olympic Ice Pavilion, Squaw Creek, and at the Village at Northstar.
  8. Mush with the dogs: Wilderness Adventures offers dog sled tours throughout the winter. Experience the thrill and excitement of touring in complete safety behind a team of eager huskies. Share the beautiful sights and open spaces as a dog sled team guides you on a great adventure. Bring your camera and enjoy a dog sledding adventure at Lake Tahoe under the reigns of experienced musher Brian Maas.
  9. Cruise the lake: You’ll never believe how majestic the snowcapped mountains look from the middle of Lake Tahoe. Take a ride on the Tahoe Gal any time of the year for the ultimate, 360-degree view of Lake Tahoe.
  10. Take in a spa: Relax the mind, kneed the body, tap into your spirit and find balance with a number of spa treatments offered at Granlibakken’s Day Spa. Whether you’re looking for deep tissue massage, reflexology treatments or a body wrap, the Day Spa offers two treatment rooms and a number of wellness packages each aimed at taking the edge off those things that stress the body and mind.

What are your favorite Lake Tahoe winter activities?

Granlibakken delivers 2013-14 ski and stay packages

Monday, October 28th, 2013

With winter and the holiday season around the corner, Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge again offers value-added ski and stay packages for the 2013-14 ski and board season.

Granlibakken offers options including lift tickets to ride at seven nearby Lake Tahoe ski areas, high-flying zip rides and ropes courses at the Treetop Adventure Park, a day of cross country skiing or snowshoeing at the Tahoe Cross Country Center or a trip to the onsite Day Spa.

Hit the slopes at nearby Homewood Mountain or one of the other local mountains with our Ski and Stay Package. Photo: Homewood Mountain Resort.

Hit the slopes at nearby Homewood Mountain or one of the other local mountains with our Ski and Stay Package.
Photo: Homewood Mountain Resort.

The resort’s popular and affordable stay and ski packages includes lodging and lift tickets to your choice of Squaw Valley USA, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, Alpine Meadows, Homewood Mountain Resort, Sugar Bowl, Mt. Rose, Heavenly Mountain Resort and Sierra-at-Tahoe with rates starting at $150 mid-week.

If you prefer to cross-country ski try the Tahoe Cross Country Center. Granlibakken offers plenty of Sierra terrain to explore. Guests have easy access to popular cross-country trailheads which provide miles of ungroomed Lake Tahoe skiing and snowshoeing terrain. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available, and our warming hut is open 7 days a week to help keep the chill off. We’re currently offering early season snowshoe rentals for $5.

Looking for a winter skiing alternative? Guests can choose the ultimate physical challenge at California’s first-of-its-kind Treetop Adventure Park, recently voted No. 1 as a Lake Tahoe activity by TripAdvisor.com. This action-packed playground is an obstacle course set along the tree tops, 30 feet off the ground. Fully harnessed guests can zip, climb, walk, and maneuver their way through a number of obstacles, each with varying degrees of skills and challenges.

Maybe you’re instead wanting some added relaxation during your stay. If so there’s the Granlibakken’s Day Spa option which offers a menu of wellness packages including therapeutic massage, skin care, holistic body treatments from a staff of professional therapists.

Accommodations range from cozy lodge rooms to studios with fireplaces and kitchens to one to eight bedroom townhomes. Packages include Granlibakken’s famous hot buffet breakfast – heavy carbs optional, and comfortable amenities such as a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna. There’s also an on-site ski and sledding hill, plus downhill and cross-country skis, snowboards and snowshoe rentals available. Community ski shuttles operate Saturday, Sundays and holidays. The Homewood shuttle operates daily to and from Granlibakken.

The lodging on the midweek ski package is valid Sunday through Thursday nights and skiing is Monday through Friday. Rates are per person, per night double occupancy, plus 10% room tax. There is a two night minimum stay on weekends.

Where do you plan to ski during your winter getaway?

Granlibakken puts spring in step with skiing and lodging deals

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Spring has arrived at Granlibakken and with it comes fresh weather systems, sunshine and a mountain of ski, board and relaxation opportunities.

Tucked away nicely on the west shore, Homewood and Granlibakken have teamed up to offer a ski package that promises great views of Tahoe, easy access to the mountain, un-crowded runs, lodging at Granlibakken, and a full hot buffet breakfast. The cost starts at $99 which is quite the deal!

Ski in a t-shirt this spring at Homewood. You won't be cold.  Photo Courtesy of Homewood Mountain Resort

Ski in a t-shirt this spring at Homewood. You won’t be cold.
Photo Courtesy of Homewood Mountain Resort

Looking to explore other mountains? Granlibakken offers its timely spring ski and board packages that include the Treetop Adventure Park option. Lake Tahoe’s premier ski resorts are just a short drive from Granlibakken. The $145 ski/board package is one of the best ways to experience Tahoe. The package provides lodging, a hot breakfast buffet and lift ticket access to the nearby world class ski mountains including Squaw Valley USA, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl, Mt. Rose, Heavenly Mountain Resort or Sierra-at-Tahoe.

With this deal, you can also choose the option of spending the day at the Tahoe Cross Country Center, get a $60 credit at the Granlibakken’s Lighthouse Spa, or if you’re up for another kind of physical challenge besides those found on the slopes, you can take your spring step to California’s first Treetop Adventure Park, “where ropes course meets zip line on steroids.” The high-tree intertia-bending course consists of platforms installed along tree tops that are connected by various configurations of cable, wood, rope and zip lines to form bridges. Fully harnessed guests can zip, climb, walk, and maneuver their way through various obstacle courses, each with varying degrees of skills and challenges that promotes teamwork at 30-feet above the ground.

How do you plan to spend your spring in Lake Tahoe?

Easter weekend at Granlibakken holds plenty of egg hunt opportunities

Monday, March 18th, 2013

With spring officially arriving this week, two things come to mind, spring skiing and Easter weekend.

Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge offers great lodging opportunities for a holiday weekend filled with dining, music and Easter egg hunts.

Where will you search for Easter eggs during your holiday stay at Granlibakken?

Where will you search for Easter eggs during your holiday stay at Granlibakken?

Here’s what’s going on for the weekend:

On Friday, March 29, the Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform selections from Part II of Bach’s masterpiece sung in English. Soloists include Daniel Paulson as the Evangelist and Stuart Duke as Jesus. This performance is at St. Patrick’s Church.

Get a head start on the Easter egg hunts with the Spring Eggstravaganza & Egg Hunt at Commons Beach in Tahoe City. The Egg hunt is free and features games, balloons animals and face painting.

Start your Easter off by enjoying Granlibakken’s infamous hearty, hot breakfast buffet featuring fresh fruit, homemade muffins, quiches, blintzes, eggs, the daily chef’s special, and all the accompaniments.

Sunday, March 31, is the All-Mountain Easter Egg Hunt & Kids’ Easter Egg Hunt at Alpine Meadows from 9 to 11 a.m. Adults can comb the mountain for a golden egg containing a Bronze Season Pass in the free Adult Easter Egg Hunt. Hundreds of eggs will be hidden, but only one will be gold. For Kids seven and under there will be an Easter egg hunt beginning at 10:15 a.m. at the Kids Camp Magic Carpet. For children 8-13 there is an Easter egg hunt at the Magic Carpet located off of Subway Chair also at 10:15 a.m.

The On-Mountain Easter Egg Hunt at Squaw Valley is also set for Sunday. The search begins the moment the lifts open. Get your Easter basket ready and hunt for colored eggs all over the mountain.

The Kids Ghirardelli Easter Chocolate Hunt at Homewood begins at 11 a.m. Kids 12 and under are invited to search for Ghirardelli Easter chocolate hidden throughout the Snow Rangers Kids’ slopes at Homewood’s South Lodge. The Easter Bunny will also be on hand.

There will be an Easter Egg Hunt and PEEPS Diorama Contest at Northstar. Other Easter activities will be available throughout the day in the Village and on the mountain for everyone to enjoy.

Tahoe Donner will hold its annual Easter egg hunt beginning at 1:30 p.m. Meet at the top of Eagle Rock and look for eggs, including special golden one.

Diamond Peak will hold its annual Easter egg hunt beginning at 9 a.m. at School House.

How are you spending your Easter weekend?

Get your Viking green on St. Patty’s weekend at Granlibakken

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Granlibakken may have its Norwegian roots, but once a year even the Vikings become green with envy and turn to the Irish for some “top of the morning” good cheer.

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday, a weekend of adventure awaits at Granlibakken. There will be plenty of onsite skiing, sledding and high-flying zipline action at the Treetop Adventure Park. Weekend lodging options and family getaway packages are both available. Start your day off right with a hearty breakfast at Granlibakken’s famous breakfast buffet that will fill the belly before venturing out for fun filled celebrations.

Will you see a leprechaun skiing?

Will you see a leprechaun skiing?

Nearby Tahoe City and ski mountains have plenty of festive weekend plans to add to the mix.

Even the Irish will indulge now and then with chili. Tahoe City Parks and Recreation will host its annual Soup and Chili Showdown at Rideout Community Center on Friday, March 15, 6-8 p.m. This event is where amateurs and professionals show off their culinary talent with delicious soups and chili. The event is open to the public and the costs $5 to sample all the entries. Beer and wine are also available.

Ever seen a Leprechaun on a pair of skis? You will at the St. Patrick’s Day Bash at Homewood Mountain Resort from noon to 3:30 p.m. Chase the Leprechaun around the mountain for a chance to win a pot ‘o gold (Homewood Season Pass 2013-14)! Get a picture with him and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to automatically be entered to win. Don’t forget to tag Homewood in your post! Additional festivities will include a DJ at the Big Blue View Bar, Jameson drink specials, and a raffle.

Alpine Meadows will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with live music, Irish food and drink specials and plenty of green costumes on and off the slopes.

Squaw Valley has two days of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations planned on Saturday and Sunday. Squaw’s St. Patty’s Spring Party weekend features plenty of cold beverages, hot tubbing, food and drink specials, and a live DJ.

Enjoy green food and drink specials at Northstar. TC’s Pub will be celebrating with house cured corn beef with a potato cabbage hash and Guinness stout mustard, $3 green beer and $5 shamrock milk shakes. Summit Deck and Grille will feature corned beef with cabbage, carrots, onions and red potatoes and $5 Guinness pint cans.

Looking for some more fun after hitting the slopes? River Ranch Lodge will be offering corned beef and cabbage, $4 Jameson, beer and Irish Coffees, and $10 Car Bomb specials. Don’t forget to wear your green!

How do you plan to spend your St. Patrick’s Day weekend at Granlibakken?

Spend your holidays at Granlibakken

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

With the holidays around the corner, Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge welcomes guests to celebrate the holidays indoors and out. Granlibakken’s new Treetop Adventure Park will be open throughout winter season on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

California’s first-of-its-kind Treetop Adventure Park has been described as “ropes course meets zipline on steroids.” It’s set along the tree tops, 30 feet off the ground where fully harnessed guests can zip, climb, walk and maneuver their way through a number of obstacles, each with varying degrees of skills and challenges.

For more adrenaline-packed action, Granlibakken has partnered with Squaw Valley USA, Northstar California, Alpine Meadows, Homewood Mountain Resort, Sugar Bowl, Mt. Rose, Heavenly and Sierra-at-Tahoe to offer ski and lodging packages starting at $145 mid-week. Lift tickets to ski or snowboard Granlibakken’s Ski and Sledding Hill are $24 for adults, $14 for kids or a saucer and all-day access is $12. Skis, snowboards, cross-country skis and snowshoes are available to rent.

Don’t want to ski? Exchange your lift ticket for a $65 credit for on-site amenities at the Lighthouse Spa or the Tahoe Cross Country Center to explore miles of historic cross-country ski trails. Lighthouse Spa has a menu of wellness packages including therapeutic massages, skin care, spa manicures, pedicures, holistic body treatments, body waxing and health consultations from a staff of professionals.

There are a plethora of holiday activities lined up now through Christmas around Tahoe City and nearby resorts. Here are a few worth noting:

Santa will be traveling around Tahoe City the month of December.

Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Rideout Community Center. Who doesn’t like a big plate of flap jacks with Santa on a Saturday morning? Activities and games for the kids, arts, crafts and local merchants will make this an ideal place for parents to get some of their holiday shopping done. Meanwhile, Santa will take his travels at various locations through Tahoe City Dec. 12-14.

Northstar California presents Noel Nights a holiday celebration the first three Thursdays of December from 5-8 p.m. The festive Village at Northstar holds a decorated 35-foot tree, ice skating until 9 p.m., fire pits to warm you, chocolatey s’mores, holiday carolers and shopping deals.

Learn to Ski and Board Weekend at various resorts Dec. 8-9. First timers can get a taste of the thrill of skiing or riding at Granlibakken or other participating resorts. This special program offers gear rental (skiing or boarding), a group lesson and beginner’s lift ticket all for $30 per day.

Like adventure films? Alpenglow Sports Winter Film Series continues, Thursday, Dec. 13 with speaker Greg Hill, who attempted to climb and ski more than two million vertical feet in 2010. The free event, titled “Greg Hill’s 2 Million Reasons & The Manaslu Disaster” takes place at Olympic Village Lodge in Squaw Valley at 7 p.m.

Northstar California’s 40th Anniversary with Shaun White is Dec. 22. Celebrate the resort’s 40th year with a party hosted by famed snowboarder and Northstar athlete Shaun White.

How will you celebrate the holidays during your stay at Granlibakken?

Granlibakken is your destination for 2012-2013 stay and ski packages

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge will add additional ways challenge yourself this 2012-2013 winter season by including access to eight world class ski mountains and their Treetop Adventure Park.

The resort’s popular and affordable stay and ski packages includes lodging and lift tickets at Squaw Valley USA, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, Alpine Meadows, Homewood Mountain Resort, Sugar Bowl, Mt. Rose, Heavenly Mountain Resort or Sierra-at-Tahoe with rates starting at $145 mid-week. Or guests can choose the ultimate physical challenge at California’s first-of-its-kind Treetop Adventure Park, where ropes course meets zip line on steroids. This action-packed playground is an obstacle course set in the trees, 30 feet off the ground. Fully harnessed guests can zip, climb, walk and maneuver their way through a number of obstacles, each with varying degrees of skills and challenges.

With lodging packages including lift tickets to eight different mountains why would you go anywhere else?

As part of the midweek package, which offers Sunday to Thursday night lodgings and Monday through Friday, all-day skiing and Adventure Park access through April 1, there’s also the resort’s famous hot buffet breakfast – heavy carbs optional and comfortable amenities such as a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna.

Accommodations range from cozy lodge rooms to studios with fireplaces and kitchens to one to eight bedroom townhomes. The lift ticket is exchangeable for a $65 credit for on-site amenities at the Lighthouse Spa or the Granlibakken Ski and Snowboard Hill.

Lighthouse Spa offers a menu of wellness packages including therapeutic massage, skin care, spa manicure-pedicures, holistic body treatments, body waxing and health consultations from a staff of professional therapists. Granlibakken, home to the 1932 Olympic ski jumping trials maintains its rustic charm while delivering a high-tech vacation headquarters for families, groups and travelers including free Wi-Fi throughout the resort and transportation from Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

North Shore: The Gentle Side of Tahoe’s Ski Scene

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

by Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski Editor

 

Photo courtesy Homewood Mountain Ski Resort.

 

Think Tahoe in winter and what comes to mind? Skiing at Heavenly? Casinos? Headliner shows?

Ah, but there is another Tahoe … less intense, gentler, slower and yes, more family friendly.

The thing about Tahoe is it’s never been 100 percent about skiing in winter (or hiking, kayaking, whatever in summer). In a way, Tahoe is a bit like Europe, where skiing is only a fraction of the experience with inns on the ski hills and long, leisurely lunches and so much more to do besides keep track of your vertical on your wrist GPS.

So … enter North Tahoe, which is oddly what folks call stuff along the west side of the lake. And Bleu Wave’s yacht ferry. And Homewood. And Granlibakken. And, well, yes, a very special kid-wow run at Alpine Meadows.


Ski Via Yacht

The start of all this was via a slick yacht-ski package started last season by Bleu Wave. We arrived at the dock in South Lake Tahoe to board the ferry, which is actually a rather upscale yacht, at 8 a.m. We were dressed for skiing. As we pulled away, we munched on breakfast, which was a decent continental affair … muffins, fruit, yogurt, hot chocolate, coffee. But the star of the morning was Lake Tahoe’s scenery. Jagged, snow capped mountains rose around us, reflected in the still dawn water of the deep blue lake.

An hour later, we pulled up at the foot … and I do mean very foot … of  Homewood Mountain Ski Resort. The runs seem to spill down onto the beachfront. And actually, they do end just a hundred or so yards away from where you dock.

What's better than a cruise across Lake Tahoe to terrific ski venues?


Though we were transferring to stay on this side of the lake, others were there for the day package, which for $99, gets you a shuttle from your hotel, round trip ferry, lift ticket, and discount on lunch. And though Homewood might seem smallish compared to say, Heavenly, its 1,260 skiable acres and 1,650 vertical, with everything from beginner runs to expert trees,  provides more than enough fun for a day.

Nearly every run offers a spectacular view of Lake Tahoe. Photo courtesy Homewood Mountain Resort.

The stunning lake views are what sets this place apart. You’re so busy gawking, it’s almost dangerous. The dropoff along Rainbow Ridge just after Mid Mountain Pavilion (it’s the white tube tent with the picnic chairs) will blow your mind. A friend once said the drop on some of Tahoe’s lake view runs make you think you need to wear a life jacket. This is one of those places.

There are hefty plans for expansion. Some half a billion dollars of condos, base lodges, restaurants and lifts are expected to stretch to 2020. But meanwhile, Homewood is nice and laid back for a day of something different.

Our lodging was at Granlibakken, a resort that meanders up a thickly wooded hill with 200 hotel and condo rooms and a main lodge that reminds you of those family-owned resorts of the Northeast where generations would spend their holidays. The name, by the way, is Norwegian for “a hillside sheltered by fir trees,” and ski history in this area goes back nearly 100 years.

This is about as family friendly as it comes. There’s a small ski hill (300 vertical with two poma lifts), swimming pool, trails through the woods and a treetop adventure with rope bridges and platforms.

From Granlibakken, we day skied at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. Squaw has the reputation, the Olympic history, and the crowds. Alpine Meadows has Hot Wheels Gully.

Don't get carried away by the incredible views while skiing the runs at Homewood Mountain Resort. Photo courtesy Homewood Mountain Resort.

If you are on the west side of the lake you, of course, have to ski Squaw. This is where the big guys go, along with enough waist high future racers to make your head swim. While the Lake Tahoe area has dreams of a new Olympic bid for 2022, it’s interesting to remember a bit about the original one in 1960.

The Olympic venue back then wasn’t supposed to be in Squaw Valley, but while the Olympic committee argued over which European ski hill should be the spot, Alex Cushing, owner of what there was of Squaw, pointed out that maybe, since the Olympics were supposed to be a ‘world’ activity, it was time to hold them in North America.
Those Olympics included an amazing list of firsts … first use of instant replay (courtesy of grainy videotape), first use of skis that weren’t all wood, first athlete’s village, first really blow-out opening ceremony. (Walt Disney, himself, designed it with Disneyland-style statues and fireworks much to the whining from Europeans). Oh yes, and first sale of exclusive broadcast rights … to CBS for $50,000m which led to a young, new hire Walter Cronkite at CBS hosting it.
For those with inquiring minds, London’s 2012 Olympic broadcast rights went to NBC for $1.1 billion … that’s with a B.

Alpine Meadows: Hot Wheels Gully

Okay, now on to Alpine Meadows. It’s smaller than Squaw, a bit more intimate, but definitely one of Lake Tahoe’s ‘big seven’ ski resorts, which include Heavenly, Northstar, Squaw, Alpine Meadows, Mt. Rose, Sierra at Tahoe, and Kirkwood Meadows.
You can get hairy chutes and mellow groomers just about anywhere in the Tahoe area. But only Alpine Meadows has Hot Wheels Gully.

No matter how old (or young) you are, you can learn to ski at Tahoe's GranlibakkenLodge. Photo courtesy Granlibakken Lodge.

I was leaving the base area at the end of the day when a 10-year-old bounced by me, calling to his father.

“We skied the funnest thing of my whole, entire life. The FUNNEST!” he yelled while literally jumping up and down (in skis).

It was called … Hot Wheels Gully!”

The run traces a narrow riverbed that twists and drops through the forest … not for anyone on long skis and, honestly, best enjoyed by someone about 4 1/2 feet tall. You slingshot from side to side like in a mini halfpipe and, at one point, actually hit a short drop. It is, honestly, a pre-teen’s dream run.

Dinner is a pleasure in the main lodge at Granlibakken. Photo by Granlibakken Lodge.

The week we were in Tahoe, it was hot and sunny. Perfect spring skiing. But snow was on the way and within a couple of days, four feet of fresh had fallen. Sigh. We figured we’ll just have to go back.

ALPINE/SQUAW APP
If you want a true giggle on the mountain at Alpine Meadows or Squaw Valley and you have either an iPhone or Android phone, go to your online market and download the free interactive apps for those two resorts. It’s more than just a map, it even shows you where you are on the mountain along with a real time list of what trails are open, where the restaurants are, weather, real-time webcams, some amazing thing that lets you find your friends on the hill and, best of all, a real time record of your own personal stats (speed, vertical, lifts and more). You need to activate your GPS and, as I found out the hard way, if you turn your GPS off at the end of the day to save battery, your personal stats will reset to zero. Just don’t try looking at it WHILE skiing.

– by Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski Editor

Check out Yvette’s favorite Tahoe after-ski snack, West Shore Café and Inn’s Mushrooms with Dipping Sauce.

Enjoy a Fun and Festive Easter Weekend at Granlibakken

Friday, April 6th, 2012

What is Easter without an egg hunt and brunch? Folks staying at Granlibakken this Easter weekend will definitely not have a shortage of Easter events to choose from. North Lake Tahoe celebrates the holiday with family-friendly events all weekend as well as scrumptious Easter Sunday brunches at our favorite lakefront restaurants.

Easter egg hunts start in Tahoe City with its annual Eggstravaganza Easter Egg Hunt on the Commons Beach at 10 AM on Saturday, April 7. Truckee will also host their Great Easter Egg hunt at 11:30 AM on Saturday, April 7, at Truckee Regional Park.

Northstar will be celebrating Easter in every way this Sunday, April 8. Start Easter off with a tasty Easter brunch from Petra in the Northstar Village 9 AM-1 PM. After brunch be on the lookout for those hidden eggs in the Northstar Village at 10:30 AM when the hunt begins. And don’t miss your chance for a photo with the Easter Bunny from 12:30-2:30 PM. If you’re skiing or riding on Easter you’ll have your chance to celebrate Easter on the mountain as well. The Easter Bunny will be taking ride breaks from 9 AM-4 PM so make sure you find him on the mountain for a fun photo. The Lodge at Big Springs will have Easter specials at the café and bar and you’ll want to search for the hidden Easter eggs that may contain drink coupons and $5 off coupons.

Try to find the Easter Bunny skiing at Northstar on Sunday for an unforgettable picture.

You won’t want to miss the annual On-Mountain Easter Egg Hunt at Squaw on Sunday, April 8. As soon as the lifts open you can start searching for the hidden eggs. One lucky winner will find the Golden Egg containing a 2012-13 Bronze season pass! Make sure to pay attention to Squaw’s Twitter feed, Facebook timeline and smartphone app throughout the day for clues as to where the Golden Egg lies. The Easter bunny will also be hopping around The Village Events Plaza from 10 AM-4 PM.

Alpine is joining in on the Easter fun with an all mountain Easter egg hunt starting as soon as the lifts open on Sunday, April 8. Hundreds of eggs will be hidden across all of Alpine’s 2400 acres, but only one will be gold. The gold Easter egg will contain a 2012-13 Bronze season pass. There will also be two separate Easter egg hunts for the kids. Kids 7 and under can participate in an Easter Egg Hunt taking place at 10:15am at the Kids Camp Magic Carpet. And children 8 – 13 are invited to join the Easter Egg Hunt taking place at 10:15am at the Magic Carpet located off of Subway Chair.

Homewood is tying in an Easter favorite Ghiradelli with their Easter hunt.  Kids 12 and younger can participate in the Little Bunny Ghiradelli Easter chocolate hunt next to the Snow Rangers Academy at the South Lodge starting at noon. Chocolate eggs, chocolate squares and Homewood gifts will be hidden for the kids to discover. But the fun doesn’t stop with the kids. Ghiradelli chocolate eggs and squares will be hidden all over the entire mountain for everyone to find as soon as the lifts start turning. Be on the lookout for the Golden Egg which will contain a 2012-13 season pass.

There will be no shortage of Easter eggs in North Lake Tahoe this weekend.

Easter egg hunts aren’t the only way to enjoy Easter on Sunday. For those not skiing Jake’s on the Lake will be serving an Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $24 per adult and $12 per child age 12 and under. Kids may even find a few Easter eggs. Reservations recommended.

Or relax at a table overlooking the river with brunch at the River Ranch on Sunday from 10 AM-2 PM including traditional brunch items and some lunch favorites from $12.95-$18.95. Reservations recommended.

What are your Easter plans?


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