Moguls with Moseley to highlight Squaw birthday bash
Although there’s no telling who might be blowing out the candles, several big names in the ski world will be on the slopes Nov. 21 when Squaw Valley celebrates its 60th birthday.
Olympic hero Jonny Moseley, who serves as a mountain host throughout the year at Squaw, will be attacking the moguls and the public is welcome to try and follow him down those challenging runs on Saturday afternoon – weather or significant artificial snow permitting, of course.
In honor of Squaw Valley extreme skier Shane McConkey, who was tragically killed jumping off a cliff with a parachute while filming a movie this past March in Italy, his longtime friend JT Holmes will be a scene stealer at the birthday festivities, performing a huge base jump from the cable car.
This September, Squaw renamed Eagle’s Nest – the mountain’s most notable run, located at the top of the famed KT – to McConkey's.
The day’s festivities will also include a massive balloon drop from the Funitel, live music at Olympic House, and an outdoor screening of the anniversary movie, Squaw Valley USA: 60 Legendary Years.
This year is also the 50th year since Squaw hosted the1960 Winter Olympics.
Boreal the Early Bird Once Again
When the first chair lift makes its inaugural ascent up the mountainside in the Lake Tahoe region each fall, it’s almost a certainty that Boreal Mountain Resort is the one proudly lifting the curtain to unveil another season-opening moment.
Benefitting from unseasonably cold weather that led to freezing temperatures, Boreal opened this year on Oct. 9, its earliest opening on record.
Three weeks later with a solid two foot base, Boreal opened again on Oct. 30 and plans to keep running lifts as long as possible. An expanded snowmaking system and the desire to be first each year was a welcome site to anxious snowboarders and skiers.
“I’m very impressed with the park setup. It’s amazing that this is the first park of the season,” said Luke Mitrani who lives in Truckee and visited Boreal one day before Halloween.
Boreal has announced it will honor all night season passes daily until November 26, 2009.
Let’s Make A Deal
Understanding the poor economy has prevented many new skiers and boarders from starting the sport, many Tahoe resorts have enticing discount offers. Here’s a sampling of some deals:
Northstar: The “Learn to Ski” program costs $25 and includes a group lesson, beginner lift and rental gear. The North Tahoe resort has the midweek offer going from Nov. 30 thru Dec 18 for ages 13 and above.
Homewood: On selected days lift tickets are $39. The cozy resort is offering free passes to active military, while the general public receives a complimentary lift ticket on their birthday. Any age can learn to ski or ride for $25 on Dec. 12-13. The deal comes with a group lesson, beginner lift ticket and rentals.
Alpine: Lift tickets are $44 on selected days, while a $15 Alpine Club membership provides savings on lessons, food, drinks, lift tickets, and demo equipment. Learn to ski on Dec. 12-13 for $25.
Sugar Bowl: Free lessons and rentals available with lift ticket purchase for ages 13 to 69.
New and Improved
San Francisco architects designed the first-of-its kind lodge in the Tahoe region, building a lodge located on the southeastern edge of the Slide Bowl at Mt. Rose. The building is based on a style popular in Europe, which brings the valley architecture into the mountains and features a glass façade and is constructed mainly of glass and steel.
Heavenly will unveil its new state-of-the-art tubing lift, while Sugar Bowl will install a new chairlift at the top of Mt. Judah that adds more access to some challenging terrain.
Northstar will open the Ritz-Carlton Highlands on Dec. 9. The Ritz has ski-in, ski-out capability and features a huge spa, fitness center and upscale restaurant. The eight-passenger Highlands Gondola will provide a direct connection between the Northstar village and the Ritz.
Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his winter website at /www.examiner.com/x-26607-SF-Skiing-Examiner.