Getting the most out of Sierra spring | SierraSun.com

Getting the most out of Sierra spring

Norm and Alan Nicholls

I (Norm) spent a great day of spring skiing with members of the Tahoe Donner Senior Alpine Ski Club last Thursday at Squaw Valley.

Actually it was Alan that encouraged me to go, and I am glad I did!

Some readers have asked whether Alan ever writes in our column. Well, here are excerpts from an article he recently wrote for our Web site:

When the weather starts to warm up (and this year it started awfully early) a lot of people feel the desire to head for the ocean, pull out their golf clubs, get their boat out on the lake, or just do something which involves wearing shorts and flip flops.

Those of us who are lucky enough to live in the mountains (yes, we’re lucky!!) know that this really signifies a time to get out your light weight ski clothes and head for the slopes.

The key to great spring skiing is paying attention to the nighttime temperatures and the wind (the NOAA forecast gives you everything you need). If nighttime temps are barely reaching freezing, it’s best to get out on the mountain early. However, if the temps are getting down into the 20s at night, or the wind is blowing over the ridges, you can sleep in a little and show up at the mountain at 10:30 or so.

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If you’re timing is right, you’ll get there just as the snow starts to soften. You’ll want to start on the southeast and south facing slopes, which have been absorbing the early morning sunshine. One of the best examples is the Mecca of spring skiing, High Traverse at Alpine Meadows (just call it “high T” if you want to sound like a local).

Other great options are Sugar Bowl’s Disney Chair and numerous places at Squaw including Kitchen Sink to Sun Spot and Granite Chief Chair. These runs will treat you to some of the sweetest and smoothest skiing you’ve ever had. Your edges will dig in effortlessly and your skis will bend and carve heroically. As these runs start to turn from corn to slush, you’ll want to follow the sun to different exposures.

Keep doing this until the temperature has gotten high enough to soften the north facing slopes, which will remain glorious longer than your legs will.

The highlights of spring skiing are numerous. Within just a couple hours you can get in more runs than you can imagine (No crowds! No lift lines!). When you’re done skiing, head to the lodge and peel off some layers and kick back in the sunshine on the deck.

If you pick your days well it will be warm enough to wear the ultimate after ski boots ” flip flops!

This Saturday morning the parade kicking off the Little League Season will begin early and travel along Donner Pass Road. Whether you have a child in Little League or not, try to get out there and cheer them on. I coached Little League for many years, and for most the younger players, this parade, their uniform, and the treats after the games are the most important things for them. To all the players, coaches, parents, and friends ” have a great season.

I received the following e-mail from Teal Cutter, a member of the 1998 Truckee junior varsity softball team that I had the privilege to coach:

“Last night I saw a commercial that said, ‘have you ‘Googled’ your name?’ So I thought I would take a look. Not surprising I found cutters of all kinds: scissors, clippers, lawn eaters, etc. As well as teal colored anything.

Four items down I surprisingly saw my name in a paragraph with old high school friends. It was the column you had written about our J.V. softball team. That was a wonderful year of softball! I had so much fun and I know that everyone else did too.”

Teal goes on, “I am currently living with my boyfriend, Todd, in New Hampshire during the winters and working in a bakery (in Maine) making cakes and small desserts. During the summers we work at a remote fishing lodge in Alaska called the Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge. Todd runs the lodge and I do all of the baking and parties. This will be my fourth summer up there and I absolutely love it!”

It was great to hear from you, Teal!

Who was the developer of Tahoe Donner?, brought in numerous responses and players. All the answers are deemed correct as all played a part in the development of Tahoe Donner.

Early bird winner Keith Nikkel, identified Dart Resorts, as did Betty Baker, Keith Fischer, Pete Kolp, Sharon Cook, Ron Perea, Dean Litchfield, Sue Allen, Ron Rettig, Kelly Wulff, Barbara Brill, Mike Roman, Fred Haswell, Bill Mullins, Kelly Shane, Lisa Norris and Norval Ayer.

Charlie White and Ed Candler answered Lakeworld Properties, Jim Duffy, and Lou Rasso acknowledged Jack Kirby as the original visionary; and Gordy Kjer and Mike Roman acknowledged Justin Dart.