After watching the weather, it was clear that today was the day to be in Tahoe: turned out to be another bluebird (although that part was just last minute luck), and while the brave people went the day before to wait for roads and lifts to open and get even fresher powder as it felt, today everything was open and weather was great, with gobs of powder to spare.
I found a couple of other coworkers to agree with me on that point :) and we went to Heavenly. Unfortunately, IMO, we didn't do the lifts quite right: I think we should have started with Sky Express and camped at Mott (lifties didn't know when it was going to open, and I missed that by 30-45mn, which was way too much for nice fresh runs) instead of starting at Stagecoach. Yet, we all got great runs and a great day nonetheless (while I missed most of Mott, the tree runs off Sky and California trail were pretty grand).|
Then, I tried my luck and went to Killebrew when it opened. It was indeed a great run down, but the 30-45mn getting back in snow that I could not walk on, and could only hop on my snowboard on, on a long flat or sometimes uphill trail, just didn't make it worth the price of admission IMO.
And now that I'm in ranting mode, while the views are really nice, and some of the slopes and tree runs are great when they do get enough snow (which this time they had), Heavenly has so many flat spots, it's not even funny.
I won't mention Killebrew canyon because I'm willing to consider it as a separate portion of the mountain, but the numerous flat or uphill spots, the number of times you have to unbind off a lift just to get to a trail (like Dipper Express to Mott), or runs that just end up nowhere close to a lift are hard to bear for a snowboarder who hates to walk or push. However, the possibly worst part was getting back to Stagecoach at the end of the day: it required taking Crossover (flat/uphill) which was badly labelled and then dumped me into Olympic, with more bad markings to get to Stagecoach. I eventually got there thanks to taking out my map 3 times in freezing cold (my fingers were dying) and my GPS with lift names vs where I actually was (sure, it's better if you know the mountain inside and out, but I get to say it sucks :) )
nice run, but not steep enough for that amount of powder
The tree runs from California Trail or off sky were great
and heavenly wins again for its view
sign that says 'if you have not used a chair lift before', at the bottom of Mott Canyon, hahaha
more great tree runs
and here's the track & stats of the day at Heavenly
The lovely sometimes uphill path off Killebrew