Sierra at Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe…
If you’re heading to South Lake Tahoe in the winter, it’s probably to get in some skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. Based on the recommendation of family, we headed to Sierra at Tahoe. This resort offers something for everyone including a variety of lifts, equipment rentals, and lessons for all ages and abilities. It also includes several food options and a cozy place to warm up. Prices are comparable and you can often find discounts (more on that later).
I haven’t skied since I was eight years old and my husband took lessons in the Netherlands but on mats. We figured it was time to give it another go. Snow was fantastic this season and the fresh powder provided the perfect conditions for our family ‘outdoor sports’ day. The weather was gorgeous with clear, blue skies and the temperature stayed in the mid-50s!
Before arriving, I had already booked lessons and rentals for all of us online. Munchkin’s lesson and our lessons started at the same time so it was a bit of a juggling act at first. It also didn’t help that everyone gave us different directions of where to go. We first went to the Wild Mountain area to get equipment for Munchkin and check her in. This only took about 15 minutes. She opted to ski instead of snowboard. Frans and I then ran over to the adult rental area. Thank goodness the staff fit everything for us because we’d have no clue what we were doing if on our own. Lessons ensued…
Our instructor was great in helping us get accustomed to the skis. We only had five people in our class so it didn’t take long before we took the lift to the top of the bunny slope. We did pretty good at first. The hard part was when all he wanted us to do was traverse (go back and forth) across the width of the slope. We had to do this while constantly using a wedge (front of the skis pointed together to slow down or stop). Like old fogies, Frans and I got sore and tired pretty fast. Overall, we had an ‘okay’ experience with the lesson but I think it was mostly due to the instructor not being very insightful or helpful. It would have been better if we only did a half-day lesson then used the rest of the time to practice on our own.
Note: ‘Sugar and Spice’ is an easy but long course. Don’t do it if you are already out of energy. I was in agony for 45 minutes until I made it to the bottom.
Munchkin did fantastic though! In the beginning she stayed in a separate area specifically designated for the ski school. There were no other children her age and at the same skill level so she basically had a private lesson. Her teacher showed her how to do everything with no poles. She caught on quickly and often passed us on the slope. Her lessons included snacks and lunch. In the afternoon, she even got the chance to go in the half pipe that was groomed earlier. That was her favorite part. At the end of the day, when we went to pick her up, she informed us of how much fun she had and that she wants to come back to do it again!
We actually really enjoyed our time at Sierra at Tahoe. Most of the staff knew what they were doing and were helpful. The resort was clean and the slopes were well-groomed. Experienced family members went on the difficult slopes and had a blast. There were several options for food ranging from pasta to pizza and deli items to fish ‘n chips. Our lunch was mediocre but enough to refuel. Expect to pay about $8 for a hot dog. There was also an area for sledding but we didn’t get to check that out this time.
I’m telling you now – you must check the Sierra at Tahoe site before your trip. They have the best deals for everything online and even lists where you can pick up any available discount lift tickets. If you need a lift ticket and rentals, the price is MUCH cheaper if you purchase online in advance than just picking it up at the entrance. Frans and I were each able to take advantage of an online-only $39 Learn to Ski/Snowboard special, which included a half-day lesson, equipment rentals (boots, skis/snowboard, and poles) and lift access to the beginner slopes. It’s also good to book lessons ahead of time if going at a busy time or if you child want the Star Wars lessons (I have no idea what this is).
Next time you plan to play in the snow in South Lake Tahoe, why not spend a day or two at Sierra at Tahoe. It’s definitely a place I would return to with my family.