Tahoe XC Ski Day Trip Ideas

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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Tahoe XC Ski Day Trip Ideas

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:50 pm

My wife and I are getting into cross country skiing. We've done downhill skiing for years, and we've done a dash of alpine touring on Mt St Helens with friends of ours. But we don't have avy gear of our own, or the training to use it, so I'm sticking to the low angle stuff when we go out by ourselves.

We've been out at Grass Lake & Hope Valley, and gotten used to the lack of downhill control on XC skis. We covered about 6-7 miles in ~3 hours last couple times out, we're both distance runners so high mileage doesn't scare us much. And we're looking for something around South Lake Tahoe, where friends of ours have a house.

I'm eyeing skiing to Round Lake from Meiss/Carson Pass Sno-Park. I hear the Dardanelle rock formations look sweet in winter. The Martis & Angora fire lookouts interest me too. I'd really like to make a winter attempt at Round Top or Pyramid Peak, but again, the slopes 30-45 degrees give me pause. I'll likely save those for spring or when my ski mountaineer friends go. I enjoy orienteering with a topo/compass/altimeter, so I don't need to follow a road/track.

If you've got suggestions that you think I should try, that fit my skill level, let me know. And tomba, if you're out there, your trip reports are pretty nice :)

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Re: Tahoe XC Ski Day Trip Ideas

Post by bobby49 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:27 pm

I've skied on just about all of the places that you mention. My favorites would probably be around Carson Pass. My first time ever snowcamping was at Lake Winnemucca. I later led beginner snowcamping east of there around Forestdale Creek and Forestdale Divide. I've gone snowcamping several times north of the pass. Then (many years ago) I used to ski the Echo To Kirkwood Nordic Race. Yes, you can get into trouble with avalanches, but if you pay close enough attention to the weather forecasts and avalanche forecasts, you will stay mostly out of trouble. I've "lived through" a couple of avalanches before, one into Paradise Valley. One steep slope on the south side of Donner Lake surprised me, because I was skiing uphill in the trees. When the snow hit me, I was knocked over with only my head and one forearm exposed. For that matter, Donner State Park has always been a good place to go with beginners. Later, when skiing with friends in avalanche terrain, we all carried transceivers and shovels.

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Re: Tahoe XC Ski Day Trip Ideas

Post by Tom_H » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:45 pm

1. Hope Valley is nice.
2. There is a jeep road that's snow covered and usually has XC tracks from the state park at Spooner Lake to Marlette Lake. Telemarking on west slope of Snow Valley Peak.
3. West of Luther Pass on Hwy 89 at Grass Lake there is a large Meadow. Great for beginners.
4. Silver Lake, when frozen and snow covered is enjoyable. Nice island where you can have lunch.
5. Mt. Rose Summit has several trails
6. Royal Gorge is a world class nordic resort.

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