So after everyone got to the house (which included a steep, slick climb up the hilly road to the house while the snow was coming down), we all decided to go out for sushi at Off The Hook Sushi in South Lake Tahoe. The server was really nice, the sake selection was good for a mountain town, but the sushi was on the okay level. I know I get spoiled by living in a city that has more fish imports than other larger cities due to the casinos, but nothing we had was anything to write home about. The rolls were about equal to the nigiri but two people were a little concerned about the color and taste of the salmon in one roll. Either way, I just enjoyed drinking sake with friends and getting settled into town and out of the snow storm.
On the way back to the house and up the slip-n-slide of a hill to our private road, things got too hairy and had to stop to put on chains. No fun at night, on a hill, and missing our gloves. Snow plows had a hard time keeping up with the amount of snow falling and the ice had built up over the last few hours since we had left for dinner. Chains always work though, and after much cussing they were on… and we’re taken off immediately in the morning.
Next day…. absolutely beautiful blue skies and fresh snow. I only had wished there was some sort of ski-in ski-out property near Heavenly, but apparently it doesn’t exist in the resort (later we found out the Marriott is Gondola-in Gondola-out and is about as close as you can get without hauling to the base). Everyone unloaded, whoever needed rentals got their equipment, and went up Gunbarrel lift to mid-mountain, and kept heading up. The view can’t be beat from the top of Heavenly on the California side. I’m glad my skiing is to the intermediate level so I could have enjoyed that view and all of the awesome powder that had dumped the night before. Speaking of, Heavenly is a mostly intermediate to advanced mountain. We noticed when looking on the maps that the green runs were quite sparse, and were lucky to have everyone comfortable with blue runs and higher. After lunch we made it to the Nevada side of the mountain and learned that once you get over there, it’s semi difficult and a long winding way to get back to the California base (and most importantly our car). Christopher and I started heading back and it took us 1.5 hours to get all the way down. It was kinda insane and the switch back trail down is mostly so flat and some uphill it was extra draining after a long day in the powder. Unless you can maneuver your way down a mogul field black diamond at the end of a long day (my legs wouldn’t stand for it), the switch back trail we thought was all we could do. All the way down I started noticing the Gunbarrel lift is bi-directional and is barely shown on the map. Wish I would have known that and could have figured out how to get to that lift to bypass that horrible switchback trial, but either way we made it and had finished the same time as our friends on the Nevada side.
The evening after skiing was spent making a fire, cooking spaghetti, and drinking as many fluids as we could drink.. oh and some wine. The house came with a hot tub, but most of us were so exhausted after the day it never got used while we were there (though I’m sure someone in Julie’s crew did!) After a family dinner at the house we left to Mont Bleu Casino for some people to attend the Bass Nectar show later. Kind of funny to leave Vegas to visit another casino elsewhere, but we wanted to come check it out and maybe play poker. Alas, poker tables were full and we were spent for the day on energy. The piña coladas Nick made were tasty but were lacking some sort of energy supplement.
The next morning the three of us in the Vegas crew had to head back. Julie made some awesome stir-fried rice for breakfast just like we had in Maui a few years before. It was so good and hit the spot before we had to get on the road back home. Wish we could have stayed longer but glad we got a skiing trip in before the end of the season.