60" of snow fell in Tahoe the day before I arrived. While most of the runs were skied the day before I arrived, the trip highlight was skiing all 60" of untracked in Mott Canyon. Overall it was a great quick trip
Heavenly Feb 11
Great conditions everywhere. Mott opened about 11 and I got 3 mostly untracked runs before it got tracked out. I hadn't skied Heavenly since 1994 and my overall impression was positive. I like to ski everything:
- Groomers B+. Lots of good groomers including some steep ones. Sky and Dipper had the best long groomers.
- Bumps and advance terrain A- Gunbarrel bumps and glades had good pitch and big vert. Sky lift had several long bump runs too with a little more mellow pitch. Milky way was a big area to explore with low traffic. Many short steeps throughout the ski area too.
- Expert level steeps: C+: Mott is a fairly small area with 900' vert chair (additional 600' vert if you combine with Dipper lift) But that area has lots of good steep routes. There are 3 bowls, 2 of which require riding dipper to get to. Each was good.
- Crowds: C+ Most lift lines were about 5 minutes accept Mott when it opened which was about 25.
- Size B+: Heavenly markets 4800 acres but I measure only 2500 (details of measurement at https://www.pugski.com/threads/comparable-ski-area-size.6179/) Even at 2500 acres, that's top 25 big. The only downside to the size is that there is a lot of traversing and there are large flat areas.
- Other: Great views and cheap lodging.
- Overall: B
California/Nevada Rose and Heavenly Feb 11-12
Mt Rose Feb 12
No new snow, but 60" from 2 days earlier still skied great. It was windy and at hit 100 MPH which closed all lifts except Lake View by noon. Despite the short ski day, I still got to ski a ton in the morning. Overall, Rose exceeded my expectations. It's a little small but pound for pound, it's one of the best ski areas period. I like to ski everything:
- Groomers A. Lots of good groomers including many steep ones. With the low crowds, I enjoyed some high speed carving
- Bumps and advance terrain A-. Long bump runs off Northwest lift, a few gladed areas and a wide open bowl under Zephr.
- Expert level steeps: A: The chutes area is an expert playground. Very steep and that steepness is maintained for about 1000 vertical feet. Tons of good lines.
- Crowds A. No lines and maybe 25% of chairs were empty.
- Size C+. Rose is about 750 acres which is small but still about the 75th biggest ski area in N America (details of measurement at https://www.pugski.com/threads/comparable-ski-area-size.6179/) It's small but still almost all of those acres are great skiing.
- Other: 8200' base elevation means good snow conditions when other areas get rain
- Overall: A-
Since the wind was shutting down rose, I skied North star from 2:45 to close. I hadn't skied N star sine 1994 and remember it being fairly flat. That's still true but there is enough pitch for good groomers and few short advanced steeps. I have an Epic pass so it didn't cost my anything to ski it and I'm glad I did. i found some untracked powder in several glades. It was still windy and almost no one was on the mountain with me. N Star is still a good place on bad weather days.Mendieta likes this.
Great that you're sharing,
I think it's a bit rough that you are assigning a grade just based on 1 days' skiing.
Sure I understand it's your personal experience, and its great to write up your experience, but assigning a grade is a bit out there based on 1 day.
Like how can you compare crowds on a powder day vs the crowds on powder day+1 at the other mountain.
Similarly, groomers on a powder day, when groomers typically are best 2 or 3 days after. How can you fairly grade groomers when you're skiing on a powder day?
If you showed up on day where the mountain was close, would you just write off the whole resort an F grade because you personally couldn't ski that 1 day?
I also don't get if you're rating your rose day better than your heavenly day, even though you were able to bag a few untracked lines at heavenly but your rose day was powder+2 without any untracked runs?
I'm fine with grades, and go ahead and rate all the tahoe resorts C if you like; it's just that the methodology needs to be taken with a grain of salt here.Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
The most Heavenly reported for any day was 42 inches on 2/10. However many Sierra storm series occur over a few days and 2/9 recorded 1" and 2/11 was 17" so 60" total.
Of course your grading reflects your own interests to some extent and seems reasonable though other advanced skiers would differ.
At Heavenly you didn't mention bumps on Little Dipper, that has more bump skiers each week than any run in the region.
I'm sure others will disagree with my ratings and that's fine too. I've skied over 100 different ski areas over the last 30 years so I think I have good perspective but it's still just my opinion.
Thanks for the trip report and your perspective. It would be good to know your other ski area ratings as well so one can get the perspective.
I like opinionated info. One of the reasons I like the reviews on this site: