Diamond Peak opens new terrain park for 2018-19

Courtesy Ryan Salm

Progression is the name of the game at Diamond Peak ski resort for the 2018-19 winter season, with a number of exciting new developments and important reconfigurations that will provide a true Tahoe experience for the resort’s skiers, snowboarders and other guests. Diamond Peak will open for the season on Dec. 13.

As a community-owned ski resort, Diamond Peak stands out in the Tahoe Basin and greater U.S. ski industry as a beacon to skiers and riders looking for a friendly, low-key vibe. And as the only Lake Tahoe resort to achieve STOKE Certified status, it’s a great choice for skiers and riders concerned about supporting environmentally sustainable resorts, according to a press release.

New Lower Mountain Terrain Park

Terrain park skiers and riders, as well as those new to terrain park features, will enjoy a new venue to progress his or her skills as Diamond Peak’s master park builders will be concentrating the resort’s terrain park features in a new lower-mountain zone called The Village at Diamond Peak.

“We’re trying to create more than just a new terrain park here at Diamond Peak,” said Matt Melilli, Diamond Peak’s Slope Maintenance Manager and Lead Terrain Park Builder, in the press release. “We want to build this into a place where you can feel a part of something… part of a community.”

Accessible from all areas of the mountain, the new Village Terrain Park location will allow park riders to explore more of the mountain before taking a lap through the park, or simply enjoy quick park-only laps via the Red Fox chairlift.

The Village Terrain Park will take over what used to be the Penguin and Dusty’s Delight ski runs, as well as a portion of lower Wiggle, creating a comprehensive arena for Diamond Peak’s park staff to build features for all ability levels and conditions. Centralizing Diamond Peak’s terrain parks will also allow park staff to spend more time grooming and maintaining the features to ensure consistent conditions and maximum fun.

The Village terrain park is the brainchild of Melilli and Assistant Slope Maintenance Manager Tim Hay, both of whom have extensive experience constructing boundary-pushing terrain park features for events such as the Burton U.S. Open, the Dew Tour and Snowboard Magazine’s annual Superpark competition.

Look for the debut of a huge selection of new progression-oriented boxes and rails in The Village park this winter, as well as show off the shaping capabilities of Diamond Peak’s two PistenBully Park Pro grooming machines.

School Yard beginner terrain

This summer, Diamond Peak was able to regrade the beginner-friendly School Yard run to make the terrain more welcoming to first-time and beginner skiers and snowboarders. Already known as one of the best runs for beginner skiers and snowboarders, the new and improved School Yard run will offer more usable space for beginners to practice his or her first turns without worrying about running into others around them.

Serviced by the beginner-friendly Schoolhouse chairlift, which keeps riders lower to the ground than a traditional chairlift, the School Yard run has served as the first turns for thousands of Lake Tahoe skiers and snowboarders over the years.

STOKE Certified

Diamond Peak Resort has been recognized for its sustainability initiatives as the first ski resort in Tahoe to become STOKE Certified. As one of the early adopters of the STOKE Snow certification program during the 2015-16 season, the community-owned ski resort has been diligently following their Roadmap Report to achieve best practices in snowmaking, interpretation, waste diversion and community development.

STOKE Certified — the Sustainable Tourism Operator’s Kit for Evaluation — is the world’s first sustainability certification body with standards built specifically for surf and ski tourism operators. The organization was founded with a mission to assist resorts in developing systematic approaches to sustainability, environmental responsibility, customer loyalty and staff retention.

During the 2017-18 ski season, Diamond Peak was evaluated against the 110 criteria in the STOKE Snow standard by an independent evaluator, Pete Blanchard. The ski area achieved an overall compliance score of 78 percent across all four categories of sustainability performance, making it the second STOKE Certified ski area behind Oregon’s Mt. Ashland Ski Area. Read more at stokecertified.com/members/diamond-peak.

Expanded on-mountain interpretive tours

In partnership with the Incline Village General Improvement District’s Waste Not conservation staff and the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS), Diamond Peak will offer a series of guided interpretive ski/snowboard tours of the mountain this winter.

Program participants will meet at the Base Lodge with a guide before touring the mountain to discuss the unique plant and animal life that flourishes within the ski area’s boundaries, as well as the history of the resort, of Incline Village and the Lake Tahoe region as a whole. Throughout the winter, tours will be available for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Dates and details can be found at diamondpeak.com/events.

Guided after-hours snowshoe hikes

Join guides from the Incline Village Parks & Recreation Department for Moonlight Snowshoe Hikes to Diamond Peak’s Snowflake Lodge. The snowshoe hikes offer non-skiers the chance to enjoy the slopes of Diamond Peak in wintertime and encourage exercising in a social setting.

The 1.5-mile (3 miles round trip) hikes includes guides, exclusive after-hours access to Diamond Peak and Snowflake Lodge, s’mores and hot cocoa. There will also be light fare available for purchase at Snowflake Lodge. See diamondpeak.com/events for dates and more information. | diamondpeak.com