I can’t believe how many places there are to explore in the Bay Area and surrounding regions. For the past 5 months, we’ve had an endless supply of adventures; from the incredible coastline of Highway 1, to climbing through the natural caves of Pinnacles National Park. I couldn’t be more stoked about getting outdoors and seeing new things. As winter months approach, however, I have been dreading one thing about living here. The central coast of California is a really lousy location if you’re a skier.
I grew up anticipating winter more than my birthday, sleeping with my PJ’s inside out and praying to the Snow Gods. To this day I still cry with joy when I see the first snowfall each year. In high school, I skied almost every day until the mountain closed, and when I was 14, my first job was as a ski instructor at our local mountain. In college, I was spoiled with close proximity to the best skiing the East Coast has to offer. We skipped class for powder days, and the cold mountain air was the best hangover cure on weekends. When I worked night shifts in my first year as a nurse out of college, I would ignore sleep for a chance to ski midweek and have the mountain to myself. So, when we decided to leave Vermont for California, the biggest hesitation I had came from knowing my days of skiing several days a week would come to an end.
Highlights from last season:
After one of the best ski seasons of my life, I’m definitely bummed that we now live really far from skiing, and snow in general.
The good news: The 5+ hour drive to the ski resorts of Tahoe is worth it. REALLY WORTH IT
This weekend, we finally got a chance to head to the Sierras in search of snow. We used this trip as chance to check out the mountains and get to know the area. Essentially, we played The Tourist Game.
What we did: Lots of driving.
We got a late start Friday evening, and arrived at around 11 that night. We found a free campsite, and slept in the back of the truck with our skis (as much as I love them, they aren’t great at cuddling). The next morning, we woke to a snowy forest, and this peaceful lake.
We made a quick breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, and hit the road.
It’s still early season for the mountains out here, which means tickets are at a reduced price. I’ve never paid full price for a ski pass in my entire life (thank you, student discounts). We were bummed to find out that even with the pre-season deals, the cost of a pass was upwards of $90.
NO THANK YOU.
After checking the uphill policy at some of the major resorts, we decided to head to Sugar Bowl. For $25 we got an uphill pass, which allowed us to skin up to the top and enjoy the same runs that people were paying big bucks for. It’s always more rewarding to use your own strength to get up a mountain, and we love to earn our turns!
After skiing, we continued our drive into Truckee, and toured around the quaint downtown area. Then we met Dana’s uncle, who lives in Reno. We went to dinner, enjoyed a few beers, and learned the proper way to say Nevada.
Sunday, we went out for breakfast and then got on the road again. We decided to do a trip around the eastern edge of Lake Tahoe, and stop to see some of the other ski resorts in the area.
It’s hard not to fall in love with with this area:
We are so excited that we will have the opportunity to experience skiing in the Sierras this winter. They may not be right outside our door, and it may not be as easy to skip our real “adult jobs” on powder days, but we think it’s a pretty good substitute.