27 Nov, 2010
Before I moved to California, I had never heard of Sugarbowl but all of a sudden everyone I was talking to near Tahoe were passholders to this resort including my family. Luckily for me, I got to find out first hand why this mountain offers it all and enjoy a great day on the slopes after Thanksgiving.
Sugarbowl is located in Norden, CA just off of I-80 in Tahoe atop Donner Summit. It has 1,500 acres of riding, 1,500 vertical feet and averages 500 inches annually. Tahoe received a couple feet of snow which meant instead of a December 10th opening, Sugarbowl was able to open right before Thanksgiving with a good amount of terrain and lifts in operation. In fact it didn’t look like they had only been open 3 days by the time I arrived because everything seemed dialed with staff and the operations.
Friday at Sugarbowl was perfect weather with visibility for miles and despite a packed parking lot, barely any crowds on the mountain. It spread out better than I imagined and especially the upper mountain you had runs to yourself.
I headed up with family for the day, it’s been probably 8 years since I have been on the slopes with my brother. We had a fun crew with my my brother Brett and his wife, Michelle and her sister, Jennifer and Jack. Jennifer and I were on snowboards and the rest were skiing.
Jennifer, Brett and myself
When I first arrived at Sugarbowl, I wasn’t sure what to expect but when we ventured out to the upper mountain on the Disney and Lincoln chairs, I definitely found the terrain I loved. Everything from trees with new snow to steeps with rocks and natural features. It was a quiet mountain with everything for a freerider.
Some leftover pow in the trees
At lunch we sat down on the deck outside the Village Lodge for some fries, burgers and beers. The weather was so nice and warm out taking us all by surprise since we layed up for a colder day. Luckily when the sun started going down in the afternoon, it meant staying warm on the slopes.
Finally mounted up the Capita BSOD for a day on the slopes. I stickered it up with shayboarder stickers
After lunch we headed back to some black diamond runs. So far this season I haven’t really ventured to the steeper terrain yet but Sugarbowl was a great warm up with some really wide open runs. I can only imagine what the mountain is like on a true powder day.
Brett captured this photo of me on top of the run with the views on my goggles
Sugarbowl was probably my favorite run of the day with Silver Belt as runner up. Sugarbowl had the fun lines, steeps and trees at the bottom plus the snow wasn’t as bumped out as some other spots on the mountain.
Brett with Jack skiing behind him on Sugarbowl
Michelle charging down the run
When I was heading into the lodge at the end of the day, I heard someone call out Shayboarder and ended up meeting Andrew who reads the blog as he was getting in lift line for a lap. Definitely rad to meet the people who follow the blog in CA!
Definitely a great day on the slopes with family and I can’t wait to go back to Sugarbowl. It was refreshing to be at a mountain that reminded me of Washington: where the terrain speaks for itself, the atmosphere is mellow and everyone is just enjoying their day.