Tahoe Weather and Sport Report: December 2011

Everyone’s itching for some Tahoe weather buzz since it’s been fairly dry here so far this season. But just cause the snow hasn’t flown much, doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do here. This Tahoe weather and conditions report comes from TMS staff who’ve been out enjoying the sun, ice and hard pack. For weather forecasts and predictions, visit NOAA or Tahoe Weather Discussion.

ALPINE ICE SKATING is where it’s at right now. Browse any day’s Facebook news feed from your local Tahoe friends and people are posting pics and talking about ice skating. The weather is prime for it. Bodies of water like Eagle Lake, just a short hike from Emerald Bay, Five Lakes, up off Alpine Meadows Road, and the meadow pond just west of Safeway in Kings Beach are packed with people gliding the glass.

SKIING… Grab a big group of friends and it’s all good. The firm conditions and more intimate mountains (i.e. lack of terrain) will take you back to those East Coast days (if you ever had them) where it was all about making turns with friends. Stick to the outside of the slopes for a less-slick path down.

NORDIC SKIING is not great right now. Most of the Tahoe Nordic centers are still not open but you can find short routes at Auburn Ski Club (2 K) by Boreal and Royal Gorge (15 K). No one at TMS has been out yet to scope these out, so comment on this post if you have!

HIKING is great, and TRAIL RUNNING is do-able in spots. The Rim Trail out of Tahoe City’s Fairway Road is the clearest I’ve found on the North Shore. Other trails have patches of super hard-packed snow that makes running difficult. Head even farther east into Kings Beach and Incline Village and you’re sure to find trails clear of snow and ice. I took a hike up the Eagle Falls trailhead today and made it almost to Velma Lakes. The trail was fairly icy and snowy in parts, but totally hike-able and fun. The weather is perfect for hiking!

The ROCK CLIMBING community certainly isn’t complaining about winter’s late arrival. People can finally boulder in the sun, and most Tahoe spots are clear. Star Wall at Donner Summit is seeing lots of action. Bowman Lake is a drive but good, as are South Shore spots like Phantom Spires, Sugarloaf and Woodfords.

MOUNTAIN BIKING is good at low elevation. We’ve heard Lloyds, JP’s and Animal in Truckee are still seeing riders.

Stay tuned to our blog for Tahoe weather report updates. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it snows!



I'm Tahoe Mountain Sports' web editor and a 6-year Tahoe resident. Yep, I live the life, with a lake view from my desk, lunch breaks on the beach with my dog, and morning powder runs when the snow's good. I ski, snowboard, skate ski, and cross-country ski in winter, and hike, mountain bike, backpack, and lay around on Tahoe's beaches in summer.


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