Paid: $93 (bought at Sports Authority in Reno the night before)
Quality of Random Lift Strangers: 5/10
Weather: Absolute Bluebird (my bro’s thermometer read 42 degrees on our way up Sky Express the one time)
Would Return?: Definitely
Given the advice I’d read on EpicSki, we chose a side and ended up spending almost the entire day skiing Dipper Express (we took a couple of runs on the California side since it seemed obligatory). No complaints about traverses. I think they’d had some snow the day before, so things weren’t too scraped and, in the trees at least, conditions could be described as soft. Our favorite run was in the trees alongside Big Dipper and Meteor – left us with a long, blue run-out, but I like hard-packed bombing runs, so all was good by me.
- The pulled pork sandwich at East Peak Lodge was huge, but otherwise merely okay. Barbecue baked beans were generous, but I would have preferred a sweeter sauce with a little more vinegar and somewhat less chili powder. #yelp
- To me, the oddest thing about the layout was that we were kind of “trapped” on the upper mountain. If any of us had left anything down at the car (we parked at Stagecoach), it would have been a blue square-and-slush hassle trying to retrieve it.
- Stopped at the Red Hut (Kingsbury Grade) on the way up the hill. The bacon there is something to write home about.
- Plenty of people there, but the Nevada side was pretty roomy and lift lines were close to non-existent (things were decidedly more crowded California-side).
- People here had a somewhat disturbing penchant for making high-speed, lane-shifting entries into the lift lines. I imagine they learned that on the 880 somewhere around Hayward.
- The ski patrol dude who rode up the lift with us should probably be friendlier toward people who paid $93 just to be there for the day.
In the net, I loved Heavenly. The price is silly, but the views were awesome, the tree-skiing was fun, and there were plenty of places to roam even without entering California. Just for the price, I can’t imagine going there more than once a year, but next time I’m in Tahoe to ski, it will be on the itinerary.