Season lift tickets are the locals' way to ski and board on the cheap. Usually, half a dozen outings and you've made up the cost of the season pass.
And season passes are just right for those days when there's new snow and you can only space a couple of hours on the hill.
Of course, most of the basic passes have blackout days, but when you live in the Sierra Nevada, not a lot of sense skiing or riding those days, what with all the crowds. Of course, get on the hill early and most of the visitors aren't up there yet.
Incidentally, in case you haven't noticed, most one-time ski resorts are now billing themselves as "mountain" resorts. Makes sense when you realize a large part of the business is snowboarders, something I hope to pick up on again this season. Let's see, toe turn, heel turn ...
Today's the last day for the Mt. Rose Value Pass Sale, which comes in at $299 for ages 16 and over, $149 for ages 15 and under. Opening day is tentatively set for Nov. 10.
Bonus $20 Lift tickets will be available when your pass is void on blackout days.
After today, the Value Pass will only be available at the retail price of $800 ($400 Junior Passes.) Visit skirose.com.
Lake Tahoe's original dual mountain at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Northstar-at-Tahoe last day is also today. Prices begin at $299, and has blackout dates at both resorts.
A limited season pass, valid any day at Sierra and any day excluding
blackout dates at Northstar, is priced at $469 for adults and $269 for young
adults (ages 13-22). An unlimited season pass, valid at both resorts with no
restrictions, is available for $689 for adults and $389 for young adults.
Child season limited pass, priced at $89, allows children to
ski/ride any day at Sierra and any day excluding blackout dates at
Northstar. The unlimited season pass valid any day of the season at both
resorts is available for $119.
Double Whammy and Sierra passholders receive a number of perks including:
• Bring one guest per day on any day the pass is valid and receive $10 off an adult all-day lift ticket (ages 23-69) or $5 off a young adult all day ticket (ages 13-22), excluding blackout dates (Dec. 26-31, 2005). Passholder must present pass with guest at ticket window.
• Free skiing at other resorts such as Copper Mountain and Winter Park, Colo., and Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole, Wyo., when passholders book a lodging package at one of these resorts (some holiday restrictions apply).
• The opportunity to ski other Booth Creek resorts all day at the half-day rate.
Those seeking to purchase their 2005/06 Double Whammy Pass should log onto
www.DoubleWhammyPass.com or call (530) 659-7453, extension 208, or (800) GO-NORTH.
HIKING- LAST CHANCE?
With the cold already in the air and snow on the top of Freel Peak it is not a great mystery that winter is on the way. You can join the Tahoe Rim Trail people for the last of two guided hikes. On Oct.. 15, you can go with Daniella Hirschfeld on a 10-mile out and back hike to the loop hike to the top of Freel Peak, the tallest peak in the Tahoe Basin. Then on Oct. 23, John Lusk leads a relaxed nine-mile hike that will be exploring the aspens of Marlette Lake.
Hikes will be led by trained and knowledgeable guides. This program offers people a chance to meet and find other hikers in the area.
For the Oct. 15, hike contact Daniella Hirschfeld at the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, firstname.lastname@example.org or (775) 298-0231. For the Oct. 23 hike, contact John Lusk at email@example.com.