HEAVENLY OPENING DAY 2015/16
2015/16 OPENING DAY AT HEAVENLY MOUNTAIN RESORT
Saturday, November 14, 2015
By: Curtis Fong – The Guy From Tahoe
For as far back as I can recall… Making opening day at Heavenly Mountain Resort has always been a tradition for me, as well as the hundreds of other dedicated local and out of area skiers and riders that have been eager to make turns.
I got to the Harrah’s back parking lot when the Gondola fired up at 8:30am and saw it starting to load as I was walking to the Heavenly Village. When I got there, the line was still back up but moving at a steady pace… skiers and riders with big smiles and excited to make first turns of the season.
I met up with Cassandra Walker and Rachel Woods, from Vail’s Communications Department as well with Heavenly’s VP of Marketing, John Wagnon and Pete Sontag, Heavenly’s Chief Operation Officer. Mike Allen and Don Evans and others made It like a great Family Reunion!
Lots of excitement and energy filled the atmosphere with US Forest Service reps along with Smokey Bear, the smell of fresh Heavenly Donuts and film crews from Lake Tahoe TV and Mountain Resort Television on hand to capture and report about this early opening for Heavenly.
I rode up the Gondola with locals, Kathy & Rick Wharton and a new Heavenly food services employee who was reporting to Tamarack Lodge for his first day of service. The ride up is always scenic and beautiful blues skies and Lake below is a site that can’t be missed.
The electric energy level was rising as I boarded the Tamarack Express and excitement for those making for first turns as got off the top and headed down Orion’s Run… I hugged the skier left side of the run and linked my warm up turns as hundreds of skiers and riders enjoyed sliding down on snow. Snow coverage was better than expected with natural snow combined with machine made snow… packed and groomed made for easy turns as long as you kept an eye and ear out for Yah-Whoo skiers & riders letting it go amongst the others who were just attempting to make turns and get their ski legs back.
After several runs down Orion’s, I met up with Tammy Lundquist and Suzanne Roberts for some hard charging runs and I can only say that the FUN level got even higher. We found great lines to ski on the skier right side of the run and did non- stop runs and I could feel the burn in my legs, but that kind of burn is a pleasure in re-awakening muscles to fire in getting your legs in tuned for more…
Took a break at Tamarack Lodge and ran into Martin Houle who has been at Heavenly skiing everyday since 1957. He cross country skied up from the California Base and was doing a couple of laps around the top of the Gondola area before skiing back down…
Fun to see lots of other friends also enjoying the day on the slope of Heavenly and many left early to make opening day at Kirkwood and Northstar as well… I thought about heading to Kirkwood as well, as I usually like to make opening day at that resort, which is usually a week apart, but opted to continue to ski Heavenly and by noon, called it a day…
I headed down the Gondola and as tradition continued, I stopped in to the Fox & Hound up on Tramway Drive (Heavenly North – Nevada Side) to welcome the winter season with them as we looked forward to having Stagecoach and Boulder Base Lodges opening soon.
All in all, opening day and Heavenly proved to be a Great Kick -Off to the Winter Skiing & Riding Season at Lake Tahoe.