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Jan 2010 25

Day 18
Location: Incline Village, NV
Resorts: 9 out of 50

After seven feet of powder in four days, the TSJ crew took a weekend break in Reno (we love that town). We restocked the Mystery Machine with the essentials: Water, propane, and beer. Then back Sunday night over the Sierra Nevada Mountains via the Mt. Rose Highway. We rolled into scenic Incline Village on the shores of Lake Tahoe with another snowstorm riding shotgun.

It was lightly raining/sleeting/snowing at the parking lot of Diamond Peak when we arrived Monday morning. No bother. That only means that snow would be falling at the 8,450 ft peak. We finally got our introduction to the famed “Sierra Cement”, a quad busting heavier snow than from the previous week.

Another day, another seven inches of fresh

Another day, another seven inches of fresh

Diamond Peak is oriented along a  long ridge line. We went straight to the top via the Crystal Express and spent the morning divebombing through The Glades and the trees between Thunder and Lightning. All the glades we found off the top of Crystal Ridge are those big wide open sorts with plenty of rooms between trees. Because of its lower elevation, make sure to keep an eye on biters in the woods — stumps and rocks that haven’t quite been covered.

diamondpeaktrailmap

The real treat at Diamond Peak is Solitude Canyon, a large untracked expert area that can be accessed right off the top of the mountain. Like most Monday mornings with a fresh snowfall, we found nothing but smooth untracked lines through the trees. One note of caution: pay close attention to the boundary signs posted along the far side of the canyon. They can be easy to miss when one is focusing on all those fun turns.

Diamond Peak is what we like to call a “n0-fuss” ski area. The parking lot is close to everything. The ticket window, main lodge, and the lifts are all located a stone’s throw from each other. The best part is that it only takes about three minutes to get from Incline Village to the base — no mountain driving at all. It’s so close to town that they even have a “Local’s Lunch”. $20 bucks gets you gets you a lift ticket valid from 11 am – 1 pm any weekday along with a $10 food voucher.

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Riding into the deeps of Solitude Canyon

By late afternooon, our clothes were soaked through. We tried one last time to see the Lake Tahoe from Snowflake Lodge. We heard that Diamond Peak has the best views of the lake in the area. But the storm had socked in the ridge. That’s fine by us. The more snow the better.

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Apres-Ski Report:
You can’t go wrong with the Happy Hour at the Tahoe Biltmore casino. $1 beers Monday thru Thursday from 3-7 pm. Yeah, it’s dark and in a basement. But dollar beers! Join the player’s club and get $5.00 of free play. And there’s room for our RV in the parking lot.

The Cheat Sheet:
Diamond Peak Ski Area

1210 Ski Way
Incline Village, NV 89451

Tahoe Biltmore
#5 Hwy 28 Tahoe Blvd
Crystal Bay, NV

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