Snow Reporter's Blog

04/19/2012 | By Leslie
Sierra's Magicians AKA Park Crew

Sierra Resort and its signature terrain parks have continuously been rated in the top ten by TransWorld SNOWboarding! The 2012-13 TransWorld SNOWboarding Resort Poll is live; take a quick survey and get entered to win a brand new snowboard! It's quick, it's easy, and is a chance to share the love you have for Sierra and its hard working Park Crew!

As we prepare to say sayonara to another season at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, I’d like to stop and reflect on the crazy awesome year that we’ve had!

We received 326 inches of snow this season, 40% less than our average annual snowfall…and 40% of all that snow came in the last month!! This was definitely a year filled with many challenges for resorts all across the globe. However, Sierra rose to the occasion and I’m proud to be a part of a team that truly delivered and did the very best we could with what we had.

In a season with no December snowfall to speak of, our Park Crew still delivered a killer terrain park on Broadway from day one! Who would have ever guessed that this terrain park would become the main venue on the mountain?! We pulled off numerous unforgettable events on Broadway terrain park including: Volcom PB & Rail Jam,  Gatorade Free Flow Tour, Snowboarder Mag’s Superpass, Vans & Pro Tec High Standard, and the 6th Annual Buckle Up Big Air! Whew! Broadway was also the venue for many USASA competitions, which were both planned in advance and pulled off last minute when other mountains were unable to host the events.

Volcom PB & Rail Jam - January 7th, 2012

Gatorade Free Flow Tour - February 4th & 5th, 2012 - NV Images

Snowboarder Magazine Superpass - February 12, 2012 - Photo:Kyle McCoy

Vans & Pro Tec High Standard - March 24, 2012

6th Annual Buckle Up Big Air - April 14th - Photo: Shaunte Dittmar Photography

Sierra was the FIRST Tahoe Resort committed to terrain parks, so it’s always very important to us that we deliver the goods for all our loyal fans! The Park Crew at Sierra is dedicated to delivering park features that are consistent, high quality, and progressive. From small tables to large booters, on-the-ground boxes to urban stair sets - Sierra's Park Crew builds and maintains each feature with a love for the sport and a commitment to providing annually ranked park features.

Park Crew Puttin' In Work

After Mother Nature delivered 3 feet of snow in January, Park Crew worked their magic to debut the boardercross course on Upper Snowshoe and the terrain park on Upper Main by February 8th. The intermediate park on Upper Main quickly became a fan favorite and was the venue for the 5th Annual Ralston Cup Snowskate event and GNU’s Grom Games!

GNU's Grom Games - March 17, 2012

One month later, winter was finally in full effect and Park Crew revealed our signature terrain park on Upper Bashful! The stoke level in West Bowl was immediately raised up a few notches and everyone was loving all the large features!

Opening Day of Bashful Terrain Park - Sierra Rider Danny Rein Photo: MezWorks2012

As if the large jumps and rails placed on Upper Bashful wasn’t enough to get us all pumped, Park Crew added a few sick rail features and the signature Sierra stair set to Lower Bashful at the end of March. This addition was a huge hit, especially with the Billabong girls as they all threw down for the Billabong Flaunt It Finals on April 1st on Upper & Lower Bashful!

By mid-March Park Crew was maintaining 5 killer terrain parks with a large variety of features across the mountain for your jumping and jibbing pleasure!

Not to mention, this year we built a terrain park for all of our younglings and padawans to play in as well! Thanks to a collaboration between Sierra-at-Tahoe, Burton Snowboards, and LucasFilm, Yoda’s Riglet Park has introduced tons of little groms into the world of snowboarding, using the ways of the force! If you haven’t already checked it out, make sure you stop by before the season ends. It is out of this world!

The Park Crew worked some serious magic for our number one girl, Jamie Anderson for her spring photo shoot on Bashful. Here's a little sneak peak of the action going down right now...

It amazes me that in a year with unusually low snowfall, our Park Crew was still able to deliver amazing features, smooth landings, and pristine jumps! Major props to every single member of the Park Crew...thank you for keeping our terrain park standards high and giving us another killer season!!

04/13/2012 | By Leslie
Wrapping Up Sierra's Spring Fiesta

It’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings....this storm has already brought in 42” of snow at Sierra and we are loving it! Conditions are spectacular, and they just keep getting better as we get ready to wrap up Sierra’s Spring Fiesta with another early load for season pass holders, a few killer signature events, and tons of fresh POW to play in!

Pass Holder Perk Alert

Set your alarms and plan on getting up here early, because once again we’re hooking up all Sierra Season Pass holders with early access to all the untouched goods. West Bowl Express and Easy Rider will spin at 8am Saturday morning EXCLUSIVELY for season pass holders, so grab your snorkel and get ready to dive into plenty of untouched powder!

6th Annual Buckle Up Big Air

On Saturday, April 14th the 6th Annual Buckle Up Big Air slopestyle event goes down on Broadway. This event is very near and dear to our hearts at Sierra, as it’s held each year in loving memory of Sierra team rider Greg Smith, to spread seat belt safety awareness to ours and your local youth with a fun day of snow culture.  

An $1,800 cash purse is up for grabs for open divisions with prizes and swag for amateur divisions. Registration will be in the Aspen Cafe at 7:15 am with practice at starting at 8:30 am and the competition/rider's meeting is at 10:30! All competitors will need to have a season pass or lift ticket. Discount competitor tickets will be available for $35, spectator tickets for $53. Join us for this signature event as we say sayonara to the season!

5th Annual Salsa Showdown

Lined up for Sunday, we have the 5th Annual Salsa showdown, hosted by your trusty snow reporter at the Baja Grill in West Bowl! Pull out your famous salsa recipe to compete for a chance to win a 2012-13 Sierra Season Pass. To compete in the Salsa Contest, bring 2 cups of your home made salsa to West Bowl by 10:00 am to be entered into the Showdown!

A brand new PBR Snowboard will be given away along with some other sweet prizes and swag! Enjoy live mariachi music, taco eating contests, and pinata bashing while kicking back in the sunshine at the baja grill to see who is crowned Salsa King, or Queen!

3rd Annual Sippin at Sierra

While you’re up here on Sunday, join us on the roof top deck of the Aspen Cafe at 1pm to get your fill of frothy ales and fine wines at Sierra Resort's 3rd annual Sippin' at Sierra Beer and Wine Festival. Enjoy wine, seasonal brews & food tastings from a variety of fine wineries and eateries while enjoying the musical stylings of local Jazz bands.

It’s only $15 to take part in this sweet event, and of course you must be atleast 21 years old!

This weekend is going to be one to remember, and trust do not want to miss out on all the fun! Cruise on over to and check out our events calendar to get more information and I’ll see you on the slopes this weekend!

04/10/2012 | By Leslie
Sierra Extends the 2011-12 Season!!!

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort currently has a base depth of 42-90" and a season total of 276". Miracle March is to thank for over 10 feet of this season's snow, and so far April has brought us another 22”. There's no doubt about it, skiing and riding conditions are absolutely spectacular!!

Thanks to Mother Nature’s late season generosity, Sierra will be extending the 2011-12 season and will remain open with full operations everyday through Sunday, April 22 for your spring-time enjoyment!That means there is still plenty of time left to cruise up here and experience the good life that is spring at Sierra!

Don't miss out on Customer Appreciation Day on Monday, April 23, when we will be open w/ limited operations, and all ticket proceeds will benefit the community.



Another snow storm is on the horizon and forecasters are calling for a few more feet of fresh POW by this weekend! Check out our Weather Blog and make plans to join us for the late-season fun! Remember, if you buy a 2012-13 Keepin' It Real Season Pass, you can use it to ski/ride the rest of this season too.

Stay tuned, as your trusty snow reporter will be keepin’ all of you updated daily on snow totals, lift status, and mountain conditions throughout the rest of the season! See you on the mountain!

04/07/2012 | By Leslie
Sierra Season Pass Holder Perks

Having a Sierra-at-Tahoe Season Pass is like being a VIP member to one of the hottest local spots in town, and it’s definitely something to brag about! We love our season pass holders so much at Sierra that we are constantly hooking them up with sweet discounts and even early loads on select powder days.

Do you want to start reaping the benefits of being a season pass holder?! Great news! You can snag a 2012-13 KEEPIN’ IT REAL SEASON PASS for a sweet deal! For just $249 for adults, you can set yourself up with UNRESTRICTED access to the mountain seven days a week, all season long, with absolutely no restrictions the entire season. BEST OF ALL – you can ski/ride the rest of this season FREE with your purchase and start enjoying all the perks that come along with being a Sierra season pass holder. Don't miss out, this amazing deal ends May 15th.

Keepin' It Real Means:

  • Sierra-at-Tahoe is managed by people who love to live and ski locally.
    No missing out! Your Keepin' It Real pass will never have a blackout day on a powder day!
  • We love our passholders and show it often by offering Early Loads on select powder days through the season.
  • Sierra's wind protected lifts and trails make Sierra-at-Tahoe your best bet on stormy days.
  • Our hard-working crews know every minute on the hill counts and makes it their mission to open on time.
  • Our passholders get hooked up with 20% discounts on food, new gear and rentals with My Sierra Rewards!
  • Sierra Resort is the closest major resort to Northern California (ensuring you less driving and more skiing/riding).
  • Sierra's blessed with natural snow from heaven, not hoses.
  • A family of four can ski and ride for the same price as ONE unrestricted pass at other resorts.

Grab your pass today and you can enjoy the good life that is Spring at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort! To make this deal even better – we will be open with FULL OPERATIONS through Sunday April 22!

04/03/2012 | By Leslie
A Glimpse Into The Background

So you spent all day carving up the mountain at Sierra with your friends and you all had such an awesome time that you’re planning to come back again the very next day! When you arrive the next day with your posse in tow, you are greeted by the smiling faces of the Sierra staff (pretty typical) and of course, miles of FRESH corduroy. Sounds like the start to another perfect day, right?! But how did this happen so quickly?

Many of us take those seamless cords for granted, as it seems like they magically reappeared just in time for you to carve up the slopes again. If you had a strong belief in the corduroy fairy, brace yourself because I’m here to inform you that she does not actually exist. The mountain continues to look fresh every day thanks to our talented grooming crew, who works hard all through the night!

As your trusty snow reporter, I went behind the scenes on a Snow Cat tour so I could bring you the inside scoop of the not-so-glamorous world of grooming and snow-making – AKA the backbone of our resort! Just before 6am, I was swooped up by one of our grooming machines to begin the ride of a lifetime.

I was excited to discover that I would travel this sweet journey in one of the industry’s most impressive snow-moving machines – The Beast. This aptly named, high-tech Snow cat is built to be the very best at moving snow and laying down fresh corduroy! Sierra has two Beasts in its grooming fleet of 11 snow cats. Each Beast has a 500 horsepower engine allowing them to cover 9.5 acres of ground per hour. Talk about power!

Coolest part about this fleet is how green it actually is – all of the cats run off biodiesel that we make from used vegetable oil straight from our kitchens! The more sweet potato fries and hot wings you eat for lunch, the more cat food our fleet will have – so be sure to do your part in between Grandview laps!

As I climbed up into the Beast, I immediately gained a HUGE appreciation for the pure skill and talent that it takes to operate these massive machines. We started the tour by heading up Sugar and Spice, and even though I feel like I could navigate across this mountain with my eyes closed – I felt a little disoriented heading up the trail instead of carving down it. My tour guide, Clancy, informed me that carving down the mountain on skis or a snowboard pushes snow downward, so they generally start the grooming process by going up the mountain to push all the snow back up.

I know you love the steeps at Sierra including Castle, Clipper, Lower Main, and Upper Powderhorn as much as I do, and to keep those trails lookin’ pristine groomers using a special technique called wenching. Basically, that means one end of a cable is secured to a tree while the other end is attached to the snow cat.

As I watched one of the groomers make his way down Lower Main with a Wench, I was both scared for the man in the cat and excited to be watching something so amazing! Talk about a high level of skill and bravery – Major props!! The cable connected to the tree is the only thing preventing the cat from plummeting straight down Lower Main – oh man what a wild ride that would be!

Around 6:30 am, the Beast climbed up the steep slope of Hemlock just like it was no big deal. This monstrous machine took us to the summit just in time for a beautiful rosy red sunrise over Lake Tahoe.

On a clear night, you can see the lights all the way down in El Dorado Hills to the West, the lights of Lake Tahoe to the east, and occasionally the crew even catches a glimpse of the Kirkwood groomers’ headlights. When the Kirkwood grooming fleet is spotted, a fun game of flash light tag will usually follow! It’s awesome to know that they are having a blast while keeping the mountain fresh for the rest of us to have a good time!

Don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s only the hard work of the groomers that keep the mountain looking fresh. The groomers wouldn’t be able to do their job without the hard work of the mechanics who keep all the machines up and running properly. Our snow making crew is also a large part in keeping the mountain fresh and maintained, especially with this season’s less-than-average snowfall.

Next time you’re carving up the mountain at Sierra, I hope you appreciate and admire all the hard work and countless hours every person on our team puts in to ensure your experience at Sierra is nothing less than SPECTACULAR!!