19th Annual Tahoe Downhill Ski Guide | Winter 2019-20

Brian Walker Photography | Sierra-at-Tahoe

These are the days we dream of.

Auburn Ski Club Training Center | Boreal Mountain Resort | Diamond Peak Ski Resort | Donner Ski Ranch | Granlibakken Tahoe | Heavenly Mountain Resort | Homewood Mountain ResortKirkwood Mountain Resort | Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe | Northstar California | Sierra-at-Tahoe | Sky Tavern | Soda Springs Resort | Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows | Sugar Bowl Ski Resort | Tahoe Donner Downhill

The Ski Resorts


Courtesy ASC Training Center

Auburn Ski Club Training Center

Opening TBA

Dec. 7 | Captain Nordic Day
Dec. 22 | Snowshoe Thompson Classic
Jan. 5 | 10th Mtn. Biathlon
Jan. 12 | Paco’s Freestyle
Feb. 2 | Chuck Lyda Biathlon
Feb. 17 | President’s Cup Freestyle
March 4-15 | Cross Country Junior Nationals

Combined Alpine & Nordic | ASC Training Center is a nonprofit winter sports facility and one of the few combined venues for Alpine, Nordic, biathlon and snowboard in the United States.

Biathlon | ASC has the only Olympic distance, year-round Biathlon range in the West, with winter and summer programs, as well as group and private clinics. ASC also offers the hard-to-pass USBA Red Book Certification for biathletes.

The Deals | Season passes are only $129 for adults and include unlimited access to the cross-country trail system, use of the Training Center facilities, five discounted guest tickets and five free nights of skiing or riding at Boreal Mountain Resort.



Dawson | Boreal

Boreal Mountain Resort


Feb. 1 | Burton Qualifier
March 14 | Clover Cup
March 20 | Subaru Winterfest
March 21 | Boreal Banked Slalom

Woodward Mountain Parks | Featuring a network of terrain zones to build skills at the Woodward Start Park, Woodward Progression Park and the Woodward Peace Park.

Free classes & clinics | Guests with an All-Access season pass, Bunker Pass or any Bunker Access product can drop in on a class or clinic.

Free kids pass | Kids 8 and younger get a free season pass with the purchase of an adult Boreal Unlimited or All-Access season pass.

Woodward Mountain Kids | A new multi-week seasonal ski/snowboard program for ages 4 to 17 at Boreal and Woodward Tahoe.

Faster lift lines | A new RFID access system offers hands-free ticketing and direct-to-lift access for season pass. There are also new self-ticketing kiosks.

Pop-Up Parks | Look for the Pop-Up Parks in January, February and March.

Women’s Park Camp | Beyond the Boundaries comes to the mountain from April 3 to 5.

The Grub | Check out the action sports-themed bar and restaurant The Hub & Spoke. The Grind Café, formerly Moondoe’s, will have an updated look.

The Deals | Enjoy $25 lift tickets on Dec. 13, Jan. 17, Feb. 14, March 13 & April 10.

rideboreal.com, worldofwoodward.com


Courtesy Diamond Peak

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Opens Dec. 7

Jan.-March | Guided Snowshoe Hikes (select dates)
Jan.-March | STOKE Mountain Tour (select dates)
Jan. 24-25 | UllrFest
Feb.-April | Last Tracks (Saturdays)
March 22 | Dummy Downhill
March 29-29 | Luggi Foeger Uphill/Downhill Festival
April 3 | Diamond Cut Awards & Screening

Village Terrain Park | The park crew helped build Snowboarder Magazine’s Superpark 22 in the spring and is back to bring more innovative features to the park with features for all levels.

Free skiing | Kids 6 & young & seniors 80+ ski free.

Upgraded snowmaking | Four new snowmaking guns mean more snow during all types of snowmaking conditions, adding to Diamond Peak’s fleet of 14 snowguns covering 75 percent of the developed terrain on the slopes.

New groomer | Diamond Peak has invested in a new grooming machine to stay at the forefront of slope maintenance in the Tahoe Basin adding to the fleet of 5 snow cats.

Diamond Cut video competition | Diamond Peak’s video edit will be open from Jan. 1 to March 15 for submissions, with the Awards Ceremony and Screening on April 3.

The Deals | $20 discount with pass from any resort, Interchangeable Parent’s Pass, $44 beginner tickets, $49 lunch combo, free birthday ticket, and discounts for firefighters, police and military.



Courtesy Donner Ski Ranch

Donner Ski Ranch

Opening TBA

Old School Days | Enjoy throwback pricing on lift tickets and packages deals Tuesday to Thursday starting Jan. 7 (excludes Feb. 18 to 20) with adults tickets only $40.

The Pie | Don’t leave with a slice of fresh-baked yummy pie. The Old 40 Bar & Grill is known for its tasty cuisine with locals, but the star attraction are the pies. Local tip: You can order a pie for Thanksgiving.

It’s a party | Savor your slice of pie and then hang around for live music at DSR on select nights. It’s a favorite locals hangout. Follow Donner Ski Ranch on Facebook for updates.

The Deals | Discounts for active-duty military and spouse/dependents.



Courtesy Granlibakken

Granlibakken Tahoe

Opens Dec. 13 | Sled hill opens before Thanksgiving

Feb. 17 | Tru Retreat
May 15 | Kaia Fit Retreat

Sled hill opening | In case you didn’t know, Granlibakken has snow making and has been blowing snow for a few weeks in preparation for openings its sled hill for the season before Thanksgiving.

Kids sled free | Kids younger than 3 sled for free.

The Grub | The Cedar House Pub opens for the season on Dec. 12 with dinner server Thursday-Sunday. Enjoy tasty Mexican fare at Rusty’s Kitchen next to the ski and sledding hill when it reopens Dec. 13 from Friday to Monday for the season.

The Deals | Unlimited sledding pass is $100; lodging guests receive half-off sledding and lift tickets.


Courtesy Heavenly Mountain

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Open | Cal Lodge opens Dec. 13

Nov. 29-Jan. 1 | Heavenly Holidays Family Festival
Dec. 7 | Mountain Dew Snow Dance
Dec. 7, 14, 21 & 28 | Heavenly Holidays Rail Jam
March 23-April 7 | Spring Loaded
March 21 | Pink Heavenly
March 28 | Gunbarrel 25
April 4 | Rail Jam
April 11 | Pond Skim

First turns | Kick off opening day with morning treats, A DJ and emcee at the base of the Heavenly Village Gondola, live music from a DJ Cat and Send it Band on the mountain and après celebrations at Tamarack Lodge and Bar 9150’.

Extra runs | The Helly Hansen Après Tracks offers guests staying a Sunday evening at Gondola Vista, Lakeland Village or Zalanta Resort to ski a run with the Heavenly Ski Patrol after the resort closes and attend an exclusive après at Lakeview Lodge with complimentary beverages and appetizers starting in January.

Kids ski free | Kids ages 4 & younger ski free.

The Grub | LAT38 opens this year on the California Lodge’s roof top open Friday to Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. for aprés-ski with delicious street food inspired offerings like the Spicy Poke Tostada and Ultimate BLT Sliders.

The Deals | Active and retired military discounts.


Sam Hamilton | Homewood Mountain Resort

Homewood Mountain Resort

Opens Dec. 6

Jan. 20 | The Very Best Day to Learn How to Ski or Ride
March 7 | Community Cup
March 21-22 | Beer & Gear
March 28 | Pride Ride

Earn a free pass | Learning how to ski or ride with the Easy as 1-2-3 deal and earn a free ski pass for the season after completing the three beginner lessons.

Expanded snowmaking | New access to water resources will double Homewood Mountain Resort’s snowmaking capabilities to open more terrain earlier.

New groomer | A new PistenBully winch cat will allow for high-angle grooming on some of Homewood’s steepest terrain.

Snowcat guide & back-country training | In partnership with the North American Ski Training Center, Homewood will offer snowcat guide and back-country training to the public starting in January.

Kids ski free | Ages 4 & younger ski free.

Reducing single-use plastics | Look for water bottle refill stations in the North Lodge.

Cheap beer | Join The Mug Club at 89 Bar & Grill for $40 for a custom mug and 20 oz. beers for the price of 16 oz. all season.

The Deals | Active-duty military ski free non-peak days; $5 off for taking local transit to the resort on TART.


Courtesy Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Kirkwood Mountain Resort


Dec. 14 | Kirkwood Deep Riders Awards
Jan. 25-26 | Tahoe Junior Regional
Feb. 22 – 23 | Banked Slalom
Feb. 28 – March 1: IFSA Junior National
April 4-5 | Freeride World Tour

Opening Day | Early risers can snag a burrito to eat on the lift and then drop into their winter flow at Kirkwood’s opening day. Passholders will have the chance to sample food and beverage offerings throughout the day, and everyone is invited to join the GoPro group opening day photo.

Family Learning Zone | Kids will experience natural, enhanced teaching terrain on green gullies like Trench of Terror to help learners advance, build skills and grow confidence.

Expedition:Kirkwood | Expedition:Kirkwood is for the avid adventurer looking to explore backcountry opportunities, both within and just outside resort boundaries with specialty clinics, professional coaching and private guided tours.

Kids ski free | Kids ages 4 & younger ski free.

Kirkwood Deep Riders Awards | The #KirkwoodDeep Rider Awards honor the adventurous spirit of the mountain’s culture and ramp up the winter stoke. For the seventh year, skiers and riders will enjoy a night of friendly competition and films on Dec. 14 for a chance to win in coveted categories like Family that Shreds Together or Grom Rider of the Year.

The Deals | Active and retired military discounts.


Courtesy Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe


Feb. 1 | Ski Your Heart Out
Feb. 22 | McKinney Cup
March 13 | Roses are Rad Film Festival
March 21 | Pinkfest Tahoe

Faster lift lines | New Axess RFID lift gates allow skiers and riders to leave their ticket or pass in their pocket.

New snowmaking | Expanded snowmaking on the slopes including two Pole Cats on Kit Carson Bowl, one Pole Cat on Ponderosa Trail and six portable snow guns. A new snowcat was also added to the grooming fleet.

Opening Aida’s | Summer slope grooming and adding snowmaking on Aida’s Trail means early season skiing on as little as 10 to 12 inches of packed base.

Resort improvements | Look for improvements in the lodge, parking lot and Timbers Bar.

Roses are Rad Film Festival | Show off your skills in this amateur film festival on March 13.

Ticket deals | $49 SKI-G.I.F. Fridays, Ladies Day Thursdays, Two ‘Fer Tuesdays, Locals Sundays and military discounts.



Courtesy Northstar California

Northstar California


Every Friday | Friday Fun Night
Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 12 & 20 | Noel Nights
Dec. 5, 12, 19 & 26 | Silent Nights
Dec. 21, Jan. 18, Feb. 1 & 15, March 7 & 14 | S’moresapalooza
Dec. 28, Jan. 18 & 25, Feb. 15 & 29 | Snowshoe Stargazing
March 28 | Spring it On

Opening Day | Enjoy live music in The Village at Northstar, along with complimentary s’mores and hot chocolate.

First Tracks | Begin the day at sunrise with Platinum First Tracks, where Adventure Guiding and Learning Center mountain guides take two intimate groups on a tour of the mountain before lifts open to the public.

Kids ski free | Kids ages 4 & younger ski free.

The Grub | Bourbon Pub Northstar opens Nov. 22 in The Village at Northstar with starters such as truffle tater tots, cheddar brats wrapped in puff pastry with jalapeno mustard, and entrees including al pastor pork ribs, mesquite grilled steaks and fennel stuffed salmon.

S’mores galore | Keep your eyes open for the S’mores Ambassadors in The Village carrying silver platters covered in ooey-gooey chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow treats.

Enjoy a toast | Enjoy a glass of bubbly (or apple cider) from 1:30 to 2 p.m. daily; first-come, first-served.

The Deals | Active and retired military discounts.


Courtesy Sierra-at-Tahoe



March 13-15 | Subaru Winterfest
April 4 | Boarding for Breast Cancer

Faster lift lines | Access the slopes quicker with new RFID-enabled gates at all entry lifts.

Kids ski free | Kids 4 & younger ski free.

Adventure Zones | On-mountain themed adventure zones feature terrain elements such as rollers, mini jumps and banked turns that keep children entertained, while signage and animated characters educate them on local history and animal species. Each adventure zone focuses on a theme, including the Wampa Cave featuring a Star Wars theme.

Mountain Tours | Learn more about the geology and history of Sierra-at-Tahoe and the Lake Tahoe Basin on a guided, one-hour tour on select weekends.

The Deals | Discounts for firefighters, EMTs, police and active duty military.


Courtesy Sky Tavern

Sky Tavern

Opening TBA

Nov. 22-23 | Ski Swap
Dec. 6 | Pray for Snow Party

The little hill that could | “We’re a bunch of moms and dads opening a ski hill for our kids,” says Executive Director Bill Henderson in describing the dedicated volunteers that keep this historic ski area open.

Kids are the focus | The nonprofit is focused on teaching kids to ski and ride, including an adaptive ski program for kids, and all kids passes include lessons every weekend. Adults season passes range from $135 to $165, and everyone volunteers.

Eyeing the long term | Sky Tavern has been working with the City of Reno (who owns the land the ski hill is on) to approve a 30-year lease before the group can raise funds for $2 million in improvements to the property.

Shop the Swap | Help the nonprofit that runs the ski hill continue its program at its annual Ski Swap on Nov. 22 and 23 in the old Sports Authority Building on Kietzke Lane in Reno, Nev. Drop off gear Nov. 21 and 22.


Courtesy Soda Springs

Soda Springs Resort


December | Snowball Festival
March 28-29 | Tom Sims Retro Worlds

Just for kids | Enjoy a dedicated snowplay area at Planet Kids for children ages 7 and younger with tubing carousals, snow-tubing lanes, ski/snowboard specific learning areas, snow volcanoes to climb and more. Tube Town offers up to 20 tubing runs and a 400-foot surface lift.

Mountain Adventure | The new Mountain Adventure ticket will make for simplified and faster access to the Tubing and Planet Kids venues in an all-access ticket. Mountain Adventure does not include skiing or snowboarding.

Retro Worlds | For the 37th year, this grassroots celebration honors Tom Sims and the first halfpipe competition ever held, which was at Soda Springs in 1983.

Self-ticketing | Use the new self-ticketing kiosks around the resort for more time on the slopes. Purchase online, skip the ticket line and pick up tickets at the kiosk.

The deals | Kids 5 & younger ski for $5; Family Pass for two adults & two kids.


Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Jeff Engerbretson | Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley 


Squaw Valley Events
Select dates | Mountain Host tours
Dec. 26-31 | Ski & ride with Jonny Moseley
Jan. 4-5 | Backcountry Demo Day
Feb. 29 | Leap of Love
March 19-22 | U.S. Freestyle Moguls
March 27-29 | WinterWonderGrass Festival

U.S. Freestyle Moguls National Championships | Coming to Squaw Valley from March 19 to 22, 2020.

Snowshoe tours | Alpenglow Expeditions will offer half-day guided snowshoe tours every Saturday and Sunday.

Explore the back country | Alpenglow Expeditions will lead half-day guided snowshoe tours through Shirley Canyon and single-run guided tours in the Tram Ridge zone beyond Broken Arrow.

North Face Mountain Guides | Explore Squaw’s terrain with guided tours to secret stashes and hidden groomers.

Kids ski free | Kids 4 & younger ski free.

The Grub | Grab a drink at The Tram Car Bar, a restored 70’s-era Squaw Valley tram cabin, or try Casamigos, the new Mexican restaurant and tequila bar opening in The Village.

Mountaineer shuttle | The Mountaineer app-based shuttle service runs Dec. 13 to April 12, 2020, with extended evening hours.

The Deals | Fly & Ski Free; Senior 80+ Free Pass; $60 Military Pass; all tickets include access to Alpine Meadows.


Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows


Dec. 14-Feb. 8 (select dates) | Moonlight Snowshoe Tour & Dinner

Treeline Cirque | The new Treeline Cirque chairlift at Alpine Meadows is a $10 million detachable, high-speed quad chair that will transport skiers and riders from base area to the Sherwood ridge in 5 minutes. The lift will feature a mid-station for quick access to some of Alpine’s best low-intermediate terrain. From the top terminal skiers and riders can drop into expert terrain on the frontside or venture into the back bowls of Sherwood, which boast the resort’s best views of Lake Tahoe.

Kids ski free | Kids 4 & younger ski free.

Mountaineer shuttle | The Mountaineer app-based shuttle service runs Dec. 13 to April 12, 2020, with extended holiday service to Alpine Meadows.

The Deals | Fly & Ski Free; Senior 80+ Free Pass; $60 Military Pass; all tickets include access to Squaw Valley .



Courtesy Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort


Dec. 7 | Toys for Tots discount day
Dec. 21 | D Money’s Poker Run
Rail Jam TBA
Big Mountain TBA
Quad Crusher TBA
Banked Slalom TBA

Covered beginner lift | The Flume Surface lift has been replaced with a 240-foot covered surface lift.

Youth & terrain parks | Look for the new 13-foot mini-pipe and a top-to-bottom terrain park featuring extra small, small, medium and large features off the Judah lift. The park will be punctuated with 21 new terrain park features including a 13-foot butter box, 20-foot chubbie box, 10-foot quarterpipe box and 10-foot wallride.

Kids ski free | Children ages 5 and younger ski free

Snowmaking upgrades | The resort is continuing its investment in the planned $8 million multi-year snowmaking system upgrade to expand early season snowmaking efforts.

Hotel renovation | Twelve of the Mountain View Rooms in the Sugar Bowl Hotel have been renovated with a mountain modern feel with a nod to Tyrol influences.

Mid-Mountain Lodge remodel | Celebrating the rich history of Sugar Bowl and its Tyrolean influences featuring a contemporary take on a traditional Austrian ski lodge. Resort guests can also expect a new outdoor barbecue and fresh menu.

New shuttles | Two new shuttle busses will run from the parking lots to the Village or Judah Lodge.

The Deals | $99 any day in December; free beginner’s ticket.



Courtesy Tahoe Donner Downhill

Tahoe Donner Downhill

Opens Dec. 13 | Tahoe Donner Cross County opens Nov. 28

Dec. 15 | Customer Appreciation Day
Feb. 15-23 | Winter Superstars Weeks
Feb. 22 | Glowstick Parade & Carnival
March 8 | I-Did-A-Run dog pull
March 14 | 200-Foot Banana Split Extravaganza
March 15 | Tahoe Donner Family Challenge
April 12 | Dummy Downhill

Skills | The Downhill Ski Resort offers unique Ski and Ride Lesson Packages for all ages and as young as 3 years old, along with season-long programs to advance kids to the next level, starting in January.

Learn to Ski/Ride | New Learn to Ski/Ride packages for first timers that include lift ticket, rentals and lessons for all ages as young as 3 years old.

Expanded snowmaking | Snowmaking is being expanded with completion anticipated in 2020.

The Deals | Parent interchangeable ticket; military discounts; combo ticket good at Tahoe Donner Downhill and Cross Country.