10. GAMBLING, DRINKING AND GOOD TIMES!:After the lifts close, the party kicks off at 9,000ft at Heavenly's Tamarack lodge, where discount drinks and the one and only Heavenly dancers get the party going until after dark. When you've had your fill on top of the mountain, grab a gondola car back down to the base village where downtown Stateline Nevada is just a short stroll. With 3 of the 4 base areas in or immediately next to Stateline Nevada, casinos and gambling are plentiful and a hard day's skiing or riding can easily be followed up with some awesome apres activities. Stateline boasts 4 large world class casinos, and one medium sized (Lakeside) casino with a great bar and adequate table games. Nevada means drinking and gambling 24/7, so bring your A-game!
9. CLOSED TERRAIN: Most Sierra storms blow in from the Pacific Ocean which means they usually strike Tahoe from West to East, with winds of up to 80-100mph over the peaks. Most aspects at Heavenly are Northern facing, including the entire California side, and many chairs top out on exposed peaks or ridges, causing them to fall victim to the storm winds. These storm winds often cause closures of many major chairs and the gondola at Heavenly and closures can last for days at a time. Heavenly's Nevada side, although mostly sheltered from the storm winds, is prone to power outages and lift breakdowns which can also shut down lifts for long durations. Heavenly can experience large snow dumps during the Winter and storm recovery is often slow going. Discount tickets are not offered on days that terrain is limited, so be sure to check the weather before you head up for a days ride.
3. TOURISTS: Lots and lots and lots an lots of tourists... from all over the world. At almost 900,000 annual skier/boarder visits, Heavenly stands at number 8 in the nation for visitors and despite it's 97 runs spread over 4,800 acres, it can definitely get crowded and be reflected the lift lines. Lines can be avoided by seeking out the slower chair lifts and avoiding holidays and weekends.
6. STEEP, POWDER FILLED BACK BOWLS: Hunting some steeps? Most would head to nearby Kirkwood or Northstar for some challenging terrain, but Heavenly offers several areas that are steep and often deep also. The backside has Killabrew and Mott Canyons side by side with gated access that usually opens at 10-1030am each day and is served by a double chairlift. On a good year, a backcountry gate called Firebreak can be accessed from Heavenly's front side for the "burn" area run to downtown Stateline for return trips on the Gondola.
8. "SNOWSHINE": You know, that funky in between weather where Mother Nature can't make up her mind? The snow systems usually roll in hard and heavy, but on their way out, when the sun starts to reappear, they can elicit a neat spectacle where it is sunny and snowing at the same time that we like to call "snowshine."
5. GLADES O' PLENTY: Like tree runs? Of course you do! Heavenly offers numerous areas of gladed terrain in Blue, Black and Double Black varieties. The trees are well spaced in most areas to provide for easy turns, and the tree wells are not as large as in the Pacific Northwest, making for easier navigation and more safety.
1. LAKE VIEWS: We hate to use the word "unprecedented", other slopes around the world have lake views similar to this, so maybe "awe inspiring" is a better term. No matter the lingo, the views of Lake Tahoe from the top of resorts like Heavenly, Homewood, and Diamond Peak are really something to behold, and if you are lucky enough to be atop the mountain on a sunny day after a fresh dump, there is no doubt you will be in awe of what nature has laid out before you.
4. BEGINNER TERRAIN: Fear not beginners. Heavenly is big, with great views and tons of vert, but mellow sunny runs are abundant here as well. Most chairs have a green, or blue way out, and several magic carpets are prevalent around the resort. Beginner dedicated chairs can be found at the California base, in Powder bowl near the Umbrella Bar, Near Tamarack Lodge off the Gondola house, and at the Boulder base area on the Nevada side.
7. ON POINT GROOMERS: With 300+ days of sunshine each year, Heavenly offers plenty of time to enjoy the views and shred nice wide sun softened snow while you do. Heavenly's massive team of groomers combined with the most powerful snowmaking system on the West Coast keep the trails in great shape from November to April, and with 3,500ft (1,067m) to carve, you'll never get bored of the trails.
All photos copyright Snow Life LLC, Stateline, NV.
2. VALLEY VIEWS: The Lake is a stunner, no doubt, but if you find yourself shredding at Heavenly, don't let it take all of your time. Cross the border over to Heavenly's Nevada side on a clear day and take in some breathtaking views of the Carson Valley. Heavenly marks the beginning of what is called The Great Basin, a 209k square mile stretch of desert where any forms of water that enter the area drain internally and no forms of water flow out of. Cold storms that wash over the Sierra can blanket the nearby countryside with snow and make the state of Nevada (Spanish for Snow Covered) live up to it's name.
10 THINGS YOU'LL FIND
AT HEAVENLY VALLEY RESORT