“Hey! You know what’d be fun!? Strapping sticks to our feet and plunging several thousand feet down this mountain!”
Whichever intrepid adventurers first decided to try downhill skiing must have been both stupid and awesome. The first time I ever tried skiing was last year, when my friends decided that my crash course in skiing needed to escalate from bunny slopes to black diamonds all in one day. I slipped, I tripped, I fell, I flopped, I floundered, and I tumbled my way down the mountain, but I couldn’t have been happier! Today, I’ll gladly fling myself down a mountainside in a controlled fall as long as I have those two sticks and some snow beneath me.
This past weekend some friends and I decided to test the slopes and drink in the views along with a few good beers at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Hosting seven ski resorts, Lake Tahoe is considered to be one of the premiere skiing destinations in the world.
One of the things that makes Heavenly so unique is that is straddles the California/Nevada border, which gives patrons some of the most extreme views of the surrounding landscape. There are incredible vistas that encompass all of Lake Tahoe:
And there is amazing scenery where the eastern side of the Sierras plummet 5,500 feet into Carson Valley. Unfortunately, we were so high that the views were mostly socked in, but we happened to find a quick break in the cloud cover to snap this shot:
And after carrying a delicious Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers around with me all day, we finally got to enjoy it during our 1,600 foot descent down Gunbarrel Express overlooking Lake Tahoe. Crisp, clean, hoppy and refreshing, it was a great way to end a great day of skiing.
One last exciting note. We saw people bombing down the mountain on Ski Bikes! We caught up with them at the base of the hill and bombarded the owner/maker with questions. The owner claims that he is a terrible skier, but when he jumps on one of his custom-made ski bikes, he’s able to go down almost any terrain. He hopes to put together a few models to sell over the summer if anyone is interested.