Wildfire recovery, new lifts and more terrain — these are just some of the updates coming out of Tahoe-Truckee’s ski resorts this season. Keep your eyes on social media for the most up-to-date intel on opening days but in the meantime, find out what’s in store for your mountain experience this winter.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
A new high-speed quad lift, expanded terrain and more lakeviews are on deck this winter at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.
Installed in the off-season, the new Lakeview Express will cut the usual 10-minute ride to just four, and with two additional towers uphill, skiers have access to more terrain at the summit. A new Lakeside trail gives beginner riders lake views and connects to Around the World. It will also provide more bowl access to the Wild Card area.
Moving up the installation of the Lakeview Express, a decision made due to long lift lines during the pandemic, has pushed back the resort’s expansion across Mt. Rose Highway into the Atoma area. Once used as a Nordic ski area, Atoma will add 112 acres of terrain, 11 new runs, a new lift and a bridge over the highway. The resort hopes to complete that expansion in the next five years.
In August 2021, the Caldor Fire burned its way up the Western Slope into the Tahoe Basin, scorching 221,835 acres, including over 70% of the vegetation spanning the 2,000 acres at Sierra-at-Tahoe. Five ski lifts, a magic carpet and the maintenance facility were also damaged by the fire.
Though the resort could not open for its 75th season last winter, extensive work to clear scorched hazardous trees has since taken place, especially in the West Bowl — the area hardest hit by the fire.
On the upper east side of the mountain, the tree canopy and vegetation has “limited to no fire damage,” according to Sierra-at-Tahoe, including in favorite locales like Huckleberry Canyon. However, the fire did burn south across the lower east side damaging areas such as lower Jack’s Bowl and Preacher’s Passion.
The resort, which is working in conjunction with El Dorado Resource Conservation District, says they are trying to save as many trees as possible. All 46 trails are expected to be open for the 2022-23 season; however, certain gladed areas will likely be closed this season, including Avalanche Bowl and the tree between Lower Main and Chute, Tahoe King and Preacher’s Passion, and Castle and Preacher’s Passion. Work on these areas is slated for next spring.
In the future, Sierra-at-Tahoe hopes to use this tragedy to craft an even better mountain experience, with the potential for more trails, snowmaking, additional lifts and new buildings.
In the second season under its new name, Palisade Tahoe debuted the Base to Base Gondola to connect the two valleys of the resort, formerly known as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Riders can enjoy views of Lake Tahoe and the towering peaks as cabins traverse 2.4 miles and 3,105 vertical feet during the 16-minute trip. Between the base terminals, there will be a brief stop at the new KT-22 mid-station. The gondola has 96 cabins, which can each seat up to eight passengers.
In other news, the Red Dog Lift is now a high-speed, six-seater with a new base terminal that gives direct access from the parking lot. The Funitel Plaza was expanded and redesigned, the Alpine Lodge underwent a major renovation, and there’s a new automatic snowmaking system at Alpine.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Get skis on snow faster with Heavenly’s new North Bowl lift. Now a high-speed quad, the upgrade has reduced the ride time on the Boulder and North Bowl lifts and should alleviate wait times at the Stagecoach and Olympic lifts.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Kirkwood is celebrating half a century of skiing and riding this winter. With traditions like the 28th Annual Banked Slalom and New Year’s Eve torchlight run to look forward to, it’s sure to be an exciting season.
It’s also time to celebrate the big 5-0 at Northstar, and it couldn’t be a better time to bring back one of the resort’s most unique traditions. Ski up to the tōst bar for a complimentary glass of champagne (or apple cider) at 2 p.m daily. Purchase a charcuterie board to really savor the moment by one of the fire pits.
For the first time, passholders can get early access to the mountain every Monday at 8:30 a.m. starting in mid-December to get those coveted first runs, whether it’s carving on corduroy or swimming through waist-deep powder. And riders can get to the top faster thanks to the upgraded Comstock Express lift, which is now a high-speed six-pack.
Sugar Bowl Resort
Sugar Bowl Resort is now part of the Mountain Collective, which gives passholders two days at 25 ski resorts around the world, from Chamonix Mont-Blanc in France and Valle Nevado in Chile to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Aspen Snowmass.
Homewood Mountain Resort
Though Homewood announced this year that it will ultimately shift to a members-only model, there won’t be any changes to the resort this season. With a drastic drop in day sales and season passes over the last 10 years, the resort found that many passholders cited traffic from the surrounding larger resorts as the issue. Membership will allow the resort to have a steady stream of revenue, ensuring its longevity, and offer all-year recreation opportunities. The shift will occur gradually with a few changes to the passholder structure in 2023-24 and more drastic changes in the next season. Stay tuned.