drsmooth HalfDork
Jan. 7, 2018 2:21 a.m.

Two questions here.

Where should I ski while in Lake Tahoe. I enjoy skiing the twisty New England style trails, try to avoid the bumps (although trees, and steeps don't intimidate me in the least).   

The biggest terrain I have been on up until now was 1200ft vertical. So i have never dealt with high altitude.

I consider myself a Western New York Advanced Skier if that helps with suggestions (almost always beat the NASTAR Pace setter).

Also, I am looking for recommendations for trails at areas around Tahoe perhaps if I get enough recommendations it may help me figure out what places to ski while I am there.

Second question; my skis are ancient. They were top of the line Giant Slalom skis in 1992. Because of my size I can muscle them anywhere I want them to go (other than moguls) .

They are rockets. If I want to pass someone, I can.

That being said, the cost to bring them with me on a flight will be far more than renting a set of skis while i am there. So I will be renting, I would imagine that renting a Straight ski nowadays is pretty much impossible.

What can I expect, having never used a shaped ski before. Many years ago when they became the rage, i remember most of my friends having a hard time adapting..       

Apexcarver PowerDork
Jan. 7, 2018 3:17 a.m.

Q1 I got nothing on, I only skied around western MD.

 

Cant say I am the most experienced skier, had the beginner lessons in middle school and just hit the slopes as much as possible with cheap equipment (I had $30 in boots, 2 sets of skis, and a set of poles and used my college lab goggles half the time).  Had a season pass while in college (buy in july and got a 50% discount!) and a place to live over a extended winter break (2 months off) that was 15 minutes from the slope, so I went at least every other day.  I had a set of straights and a set of curved (would they be called parabolics?)   Never involved with anything organized, but got to the point where if it wasnt black diamond it bored me. 

 

The shaped ones dug in for turns better and did just seem to handle better. More bite out of the edges with less chop out of them on icier conditions.  I think the straights were slightly faster and had to be thrown around a bit more.  I think that was the gist of what I felt, the curved ones didnt have to be manhandled quite as much and the edges just bit more naturally. 

Also, the curve allowed the ski to spring more to react as more interface was further out from the boot. I think thats why they felt less choppy.  Lets the ski soak up more of the variance in the snow you are skidding the edge on. 

 

Dont have the skis anymore and this was 5 years ago (and I havent been on the slopes since), but I could and did take both with me regularly and use them back to back on the same days.  

 

 

Could be like equating bias ply tires to radials...   if you are used to more slip angle and suddenly dont need it, it might throw you off a little. But as a beginner-ish I had little trouble going back and forth. That said, my amateur status might have let me be more adaptive. 

 

I ended up preferring the curved skis as I skied more and more on courses where I wasnt interested in finding out just what my top speed was.

wvumtnbkr UltraDork
Jan. 7, 2018 8:17 a.m.

I like Homewood and heavenly.  Homewood has lots of sweet cruisers and awesome woods to ski.

 

Heavenly just has everything.  It's huge....

 

The shaped skis are gonna turn quicker.  You also turn differently.  You basically put the ski on edge and you turn.  No dragging the tails or anything like that.

 

Once you get it, you almost accelerate through turns and it is kinda magical.

alfadriver MegaDork
Jan. 7, 2018 8:33 a.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

I like Homewood and heavenly.  Homewood has lots of sweet cruisers and awesome woods to ski.

 

Heavenly just has everything.  It's huge....

 

The shaped skis are gonna turn quicker.  You also turn differently.  You basically put the ski on edge and you turn.  No dragging the tails or anything like that.

 

Once you get it, you almost accelerate through turns and it is kinda magical.

I'd also say that they feel more controlled in turns, too.  My actual skis are of the same vintage as smooth's, and are very straight.  But we got tired of lugging our skis out west, so started renting.  

Another perception- they *seem* better in deep powder.  I recall struggling a little on my old skis when on a powdery slope in the Tetons, but a recent trip where we had deep powder on curved skis seemed much more enjoyable.

I've never skied Tahoe, but I can say that you will love skiing the west.  Not quite the same delta enjoyment that we have from Michigan- where the hills are shorter.  At least once, find a path from the absolute top to the absolute bottom of the mountain.  There should be one long trail that does that.

RealMiniParker UberDork
Jan. 7, 2018 8:53 a.m.

Straight skis are to NASCAR like shaped skis are to F1.

i.e. The old straight skis are "looser" in the turns whereas shaped skis just HOOK to turn.

I haven't skied in ~15 years, but when I did, I had two pairs of skis: shaped GS skis for hauling in the bacon, and spoons for digging trenches and dragging my hip in the snow.

I had been skiing since I was 5, so I had plenty of experience for making the switch at 29. It took me about two runs, to figure them out. But, those two runs were full of face plants. After that, it was a hoot.

Keith Tanner MegaDork
Jan. 7, 2018 9:54 a.m.

All skis are shaped. It’s just that the newer stuff has a more exaggerated waist.  Kinda like the difference between slalom and GS skis, but more so. 

If you can ski a “straight” ski well, you’ll have no problem with new ones. It doesn’t necessarily go the other way, because you don’t need as good a technique with the new stuff.  If you can carve a turn on your current stuff, you’ll be fine. That’s the trick, they’re designed to make it easy to carve. If you rely more on strength, you might have to back off a little bit.  You’ll probably find them slower and livelier, especially compared to old skis that are probably tired and have lost camber. 

Honestly, I don’t find them spectacularly different. It’s mostly marketing of gradual evolution. If you were skiing in the 70s, you might remember them as “hot dog” skis. 

BoxheadCougarTim MegaDork
Jan. 7, 2018 11:24 a.m.

Disclaimer - last time I've been on skies was 30 years ago, so I don't have any first hand experience skiing around here.

Amongst my friends who ski, everybody seems to have their own preference. A lot of them seem to like Squaw, and at least one of my friends would drive to Kirkwood despite living five minutes from Heavenly. Doesn't mean that Heavenly wasn't popular with people either, several of them would take advantage of my then-employer's flexible hours to ski for a couple of hours at Heavenly, then come in late and work late.

The big one right now is that you have to ski at really high elevations - it's been unseasonably warm out here and there has been pretty much no snow at elevations below 8000'. It's too warm for that and pretty much all the precipitation below 8000' has been rain, not snow.

Jan. 7, 2018 9:10 p.m.

Look into having your skis sent via fedex or ups to the hotel you'll be staying at and carry on your boots.  Quite a few friends do this ever year with great success (or just ask what the cost is for checking in skis, some airlines do not charge).

Robbie PowerDork
Jan. 7, 2018 9:25 p.m.

You'll love the newer skis. And boots. It will feel different, but my bet is you will be searching for new gear upon your return.

Hope your quads are ready for some long runs!

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte UltraDork
Jan. 7, 2018 10:38 p.m.

Last time in Tahoe I think it was heavenly, Squaw Valley was on the other side of the lake if you have time ski them both. You can rent better equipment than you can own nowadays

docwyte SuperDork
Jan. 9, 2018 12:26 p.m.

definitely get a set of the camber/rocker skis.  They'll blow your mind!  You'll love them.

Squaw valley has some pretty extreme stuff, Heavenly is more open....

crankwalk Dork
Jan. 9, 2018 1:16 p.m.
TRoglodyte said:

Last time in Tahoe I think it was heavenly, Squaw Valley was on the other side of the lake if you have time ski them both. You can rent better equipment than you can own nowadays

 

 

I would bring my skis and then rent a couple different pairs and see what you like better. I get up to 3 checked bags free with Club 49 for Alaska Air and skis have always just counted as a "bag".

Toebra HalfDork
Jan. 10, 2018 3:41 p.m.

New tech, rented skis will turn a LOT better.

 

Where and when exactly are you going to go, where will you be staying?  Are you flying into Reno and renting a car?  There is not a lot of snow up there now.

Furious_E SuperDork
Jan. 10, 2018 4:03 p.m.

I was first learning to ski right around the time shaped skis were becoming the norm (mid-late 90s) and I remember being really frustrated going back and forth between the two from one trip to the next. I'm sure at my skill level today it wouldn't be a problem, but they definitely require a different technique. Let the edges do the work and carve on them, you don't need to 'yaw' the skis to turn. 

Really a lot more has changed since the inception of shaped skis as well. Different combinations of camber and rocker through the front, mid section, and rear of the skis can have a massive effect on stability, agility, flotation in deep stuff, ect. They've also gotten a lot fatter on average, especially out west, and if you've never skied deep powder on a set of fat boards you're in for a real treat. 

drsmooth HalfDork
Jan. 11, 2018 1:43 a.m.
Toebra said:

New tech, rented skis will turn a LOT better.

 

Where and when exactly are you going to go, where will you be staying?  Are you flying into Reno and renting a car?  There is not a lot of snow up there now.

I learned a lot from this thread. I was dreading shaped skis, not so much now. 

Toebra Not sure where I will be skiing as of yet I will be staying at the Hard Rock Hotel. I heard Squaw mentioned earlier; while there, how do I enter one of these  ?

 

Toebra HalfDork
Jan. 11, 2018 12:33 p.m.

Heavenly Valley is right near where you will be staying, massive resort, varied terrain.  If you go up the East side of the lake, Diamond Peak is the closest place that is not Heavenly, sort of a small place, great views of the lake, which you also can get at Heavenly. Mt Rose is not far from Diamond Peak, also a smaller resort on the Northeast corner of Tahoe.   Squaw Valley is sort of on the opposite side of the lake from where you will be, North by Northwest diagonally across Tahoe..  Alpine Meadows is on the way, almost as far as Squaw, and just as good IMHO, though they never had the Olympics there.  Homewood is also on the West side of Tahoe, on the way to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, but I never cared much for Homewood.  Kirkwood is South of where you will be, I always liked that place a lot.  

 

Where ever you go, it will be a pretty drive.  I highly recommend checking out Emerald Bay.  Also, if you were to have dinner at the top of Harrah's at sunset, you would spend a good chunk of dough, but you will remember it the rest of your life.

madpanda Reader
Jan. 13, 2018 3:24 a.m.

I snowboarded in Tahoe last week. Snow conditions are the worst I’ve ever seen them for this time of the year. Very little coverage and tons of rocks. Most resorts only have a few greens and a few blues open, not enough snow for blacks. If you are vacationing primarily for the skiing, I would recommend going somewhere else until we get at least another foot or two...

Toebra HalfDork
Jan. 13, 2018 12:21 p.m.

supposed to be snow this week, not sure how much or what the snow level is supposed to be though

BoxheadCougarTim MegaDork
Jan. 13, 2018 2:02 p.m.

In reply to Toebra :

And it's not like the forecasts have been a joke recently. Pretty much every forecast was off with less snow fall and higher snow levels.

I drove home from Silicon Valley via 88 (Carson Pass/Kirkwood) last night - parts of that road are well over 8000' and it looks grim up there snow wise. Going to be an interesting summer if that doesn't change.

Keith Tanner MegaDork
Jan. 13, 2018 4:14 p.m.

We're in the same boat. Snowpack levels at 23% of normal over most of the state. That's our water. Luckily, the reservoirs are all topped up. 

BoxheadCougarTim MegaDork
Jan. 13, 2018 5:38 p.m.

IIRC the last published measurements out here were something like 70-80% of normal snowpack above 8000', but approximately 3% of normal below that altitude.

drsmooth HalfDork
Jan. 18, 2018 1:14 a.m.

Question. I am going regardless of snow conditions; the flight was a steal so might as well go. If snow conditions are not so favorable, If I get bored of skiing, what is there to see and do within a 2 hour drive. Cool roads to drive? State parks to check out? Trails to hike? Great scenery that only the locals know about? Suggestions would be appreciated.

 

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Classic Motorsports

Tech Tips: Datsun 510

1 week ago in Articles

The Datsun 510 showed the world that Japan could build a sports sedan. Fifty years later, it remains a solid ...

Come Have Dinner With Us at the Rolex 24

1 week ago in News

We'll be at Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday night.

Sting Like A Bee

1 week ago in Articles

Before Building His Famous COPO Camaros and Chevelles, Don Yenko Turned the Corvair Into a Track Star

Depreciation Station: Maserati GranTurismo

2 weeks ago in Articles

This Maserati GT car looks like a million bucks, but can be found for less than half its original price.

Archival Ink: Souped-Up Skyline

2 weeks ago in Articles

Never underestimate a Japanese sedan.

DeTomaso Pantera

2 weeks ago in Articles

Everything you need to know about these Italian-American beauties

Our Preferred Partners

Mlassic Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Classic Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More
4NK9Me8jzno6SQA5bgRTJw7LEbbobebo