By Tim Hauserman
I spent a few days this past week at my home near Lake Tahoe watching the rain come down. There was a whole lot of rain, and the little drainage creek behind my house soon turned into a torrent.
The next day, I figured with all that rain at my house there was probably not too much snow anywhere else to play in. I was wrong. On Friday afternoon I checked my Facebook feed and saw a plethora of happy people posts from those who had skied at Squaw, or headed out into the backcountry near Mt. Rose. This was one of those classic storms where you either got all rain or all snow. The lightbulb went on and by late morning Saturday we were driving up the Mt. Rose Highway, from the dirt in Incline to three foot high snowbanks at 8000 feet.
In short order, we were happy snowshoers tromping through the deep forest, then climbing up the steep slope to the top of Chickadee Ridge. There we found thick coats of hoar frost on the hemlocks, lodgepoles and whitebark pines, and glorious views of Lake Tahoe against the impossibly blue sky. It was a total Tahoe tourism brochure day, and such a treat to have all this fluffy white stuff just a few miles from where winter was nowhere in sight.
As I ran and floated my way back down the powdery blanket, I let out a steady series of “Yee Haws!” As we got closer to the road, I was reminded how Tahoe Meadows is a great gathering place for every type of snow lover. On the north side of Highway 431 snowmobilers and sledders were going at it, and on the south side we saw snowshoers, backcountry skiers skinning up to fly down the steeper sections, and ski tourers plying the meadows. We even saw a few folks in tennis shoes with no socks post holing there way across the meadow close to the road. When they asked if they could get a good view of the lake with just a bit more walking I felt bad telling them the view was certainly not close enough for anyone in sneakers. For those who were lucky enough to have a device to keep you on top of the snow, however, it was a great place to be.
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