Three times the size of the Sea of Galilee, Tahoe is
Although Erika and I hadn’t skied before, we had taken enough winter vacations to know that the geographical stereotype about snow -- that it tends to be icy in the East and powdery in the West -- is largely true. Armed with that knowledge, it made sense to go out West for our first ski trip because we were sure to spend a lot of time in the following position:
Once that decision was made, it was easy to choose Tahoe because every consideration put a check in its column instead of its competitors’. For starters, getting to it is easier than getting to any of the West’s other ski areas because there is an international airport only 45 minutes away and a regional one less than four miles away. And with so many resorts close together, you can visit a different one every day instead of anchoring your entire vacation to just one. Plus, competition among them means you are sure to find good beginners’ programs and better prices than you would at stand-alone destinations like
Another advantage of Tahoe’s clustering of towns and resorts is the variety and affordability of lodging you can find. Rather than stay on-property at one of the resorts, we stayed in the town of
Unfortunately, as focused as were on learning how to ski, we left our camera in the car and got no pictures that day. Two days later, we made sure to avoid that mistake when we went to Soda Springs. Whereas the “Big Seven” resorts I mentioned earlier feature self-sustaining villages filled with bars, restaurants, condos, and shops, Soda Springs is an old-fashioned ski lodge with nothing more than lockers and a cafeteria and, therefore, low prices. We purchased lift tickets for roughly half the price of Northstar’s and were able to ski a lot more because the lines were short.
In addition to skiing, Soda Springs has become well-known for excellent snow tubing, so we gave that a try between runs. Below is a picture of the “moving carpet” that takes you to the top of its tubing hill. The conifers towering above make it look so small that you barely notice it:
Although you will create memories to last a lifetime no matter where you go around this beautiful lake, there are some things worth knowing before you plan your trip. For one, the towns on the
When it comes to skiing, we learned that people are telling the truth when they say it’s harder to get on and off the ski lift than it is to ski. And we learned that after you fall, getting yourself back into a standing position while wearing skis is also harder than the actual skiing. But most of all we learned that this world-famous destination is just as ideal for novices as it is for experts.
1. Due to a contract dispute/airline bankruptcy,
2. Don't take my description of Soda Springs as having "nothing more than lockers and a cafeteria" to mean that it lacks a rental shop and gift shop. It does have those things and it also offers ski and snowboard lessons, including private lessons starting for as little as $45.
3. Here is a link to another one of the area's ski spots that is not one of the "Big Seven." FYI, the lake you see from it is Donner, not Tahoe.