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Sorensen's Resort after snow

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Sorensen's Resort after snow

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:55 pm

I have an interest in doing some winter snow photography in Hope Valley (HV) after a snow storm has passed. To do so, staying at Sorensen's Resort would be a considerable advantage. Thus am interested in joining up with one or few others to share accommodations at that resort in order to reduce cost. Also it would be fun to share in snowshoeing and photographing in those areas with a small group of like others. Unfortunately the issue for most people would be the ability to do so after setting dates short notice due to limitations in weather forecasting. They have a good list of different types of cabins with the lowest $135 night for 1 or 2 with some very nice images and descriptions of each on this web site:


I often ski at Kirkwood a dozen miles east and then overnight down in the Minden/Gardnerville area about 24 miles east of HV that has inexpensive lodging. For instance this last MLK weekend spent $55 and $62 on Fri/Sat. Note it is 20 miles from HV to South Lake Tahoe however one has to drive over snowy Luther Pass and deal with all the SLT urban traffic while going to Nevada just follows the river downstream. So could easily just stay at a motel in Gardnerville and drive up to HV and park. However parking is an issue as there are only limited spots roadside along State Route 88, especially just after any snow storm while Caltrans is most concerned with just getting the highways open. Sorensen's is conveniently at the lower end of the valley near large aspen groves and the river and arguably the most aesthetic area. Thus staying at the resort one can easily snowshoe to areas without dealing with parking. Note one cannot park in the Sorensen's lot for but a short time unless one is a guest but can park a half mile east near the bridge and Hope Valley Resort.

Although our Sierra Nevada mountain highways each pass through dozens of miles of snow covered landscapes during winter, one is able to park at only a few spots along each highway because Caltrans only plows a width wide enough for vehicles to pass through plus a few pullouts most of which are not to be used for parking but rather for slow vehicles to allow other vehicles to pass. There are also California Snow Park lots where one can park if one has a permit. I have a seasonal permit and there are 4 such lots along SR88 including one at Carson Pass and one at the west end of HV.

My photography strategy is for a midweek visit because weekend accommodations are often reserved, plus it is less expensive. Snow landscapes are particularly aesthetic right after storms exit with trees still covered in snow and snow surfaces smooth with fresh flakes rolling over surfaces with breezes. To access such areas one needs to walk about with snowshoes. Ideally will choose a smaller storm which is most common of a few inches that will allow easier walking without sinking down deeply. Big storms like the one last week are difficult to walk through unless one has extra large snowshoes. Note Sorensen's also has snowshoes for guest use. To be outside in sub freezing temperatures does require special warm clothing that I won't go into herein beyond stating usual snow sports ski clothing works fine.

If up to 6 persons have interest, there is the Knotty Pine group cabin ($225) that has 4 bunk beds. The one and two person cabins have a single bed. With just one other person they may have the bed and I'll be fine sleeping in my winter goose down bag atop a NeoAir on the floor.

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