Heavenly Mountain Q&A

Question: I’ve never been there, is Heavenly a good mountain for snowboarders in comparison to the other mountains? We were thinking kirkland or squaw as well as we hear heavenly is pretty expensive and a little pretentious. Do you have any insight on this? Sorry, just never been there so want to make sure to pick a great place for the rest of the group.

Answer: Heavenly is great for snowboarders, although it often gets a bad rap. The mountain is actually laid out across a bunch of peaks (albeit rounded ones in most cases). The trail map does not do a great job of showing the dimensionality of the different peaks, so snowboarders often get stuck trying to attempt traverses that they probably should not. The good thing is, there is a very easy solution. You just pick a different side of the mountain each day, or one for the morning and one for the afternoon. Dont’ try covering the whole mountain in one day (its enormous, one of the biggest in the country). Instead just pick an area and focus on it for a while.

If you ski trees there is nothing better in Tahoe than the front side of heavenly which takes you out of bounds and back down to the Gondola. It’s hard to beat ultra high speed gondola service on a 2,000 foot vertical looking straight onto the lake. And of course, its the view of Lake Tahoe that really sets Heavenly apart.

With all of that said, Squaw and Kirkwood are both epic mountains and its hard for me to say that heavenly is better. Those are two of the best resorts in California in my opinion, and you will never hear me say anything bad about either :)

* How far of a drive is it to heavenly mountain from your place?

Heavenly is 8-15 minutes depending on which of the three entrances you choose (the gondola is only 8 minutes away).
Squaw and Kirkwood are 1.5 hours.

Send your questions about skiing in Tahoe to ryan@flyingleap.org