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Off piste from Heavenly



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 1st 06, 04:06 PM
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Default Off piste from Heavenly

I have done next to no off piste skiing, but I am very interested in
giving it a go in the next couple of weeks (5th to the 20th). I have a
season pass for heavenly, so I shall be going there most of the time.

I friend of mine said "You drop off the path between the California and
Nevada sides". Is this reasonble? I guess you cannot get lost, as you
are completely enclosed by the resort and the village. Is it safe to
do it alone (I would probably have a mobile phone)? What sort of skill
levels are required? If it is not sensible to do it alone, then can
anyone sugest how to hook up with others? Can you recomend anywhere
else I can go?

I can get down everything I have found on piste at most of the tahoe
resorts, including Kirkwood. I have often skied the bits next to the
piste with trees on, and have once during a leason been taken on a
little trip off piste.

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  #2  
Old February 1st 06, 05:36 PM
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Haven't been to the H is 3 years, but it's always been out of bounds
if you drop Cal side from the connector route. OOB means if ski patro
sees you, they take away your pass.
Better to drop thru the trees off one of the sky chairs, as that's
legal and there's a run to catch you before you get too low.
Nevada side, just ride between the runs, or in Kill/Motts, between
the runs..... tight tree spacing means you should ride with two
other's..

  #3  
Old February 1st 06, 06:53 PM
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There are a lot of good off-piste spots at Heavenly. That and the views
are the best thing going there.

I think your friend is talking about the Sky Trees, which are to the
skiers right of the Sky chair. It's nice in there - either go in around
50 yards from the chair, or continue on around to the Nevada sign and
follow the tracks in there.

For more of an introduction to the trees, I'd suggest the stuff either
side of the Comet chair on the Nevada side of Heavenly - there's a sign
for "Aries Woods" on skiers right. The Powderbowl Woods are also nice -
go in past the sign at the top of the Powderbowl chair, Also,
definately try the trees on either side of the Stagecoach chair, where
the lack of crowds and shelter from the weather makes it a good hangout
on busy weekends or stormy days. These places are all pretty easy.

There are good lines off Olympic and Northbowl chairs, though some
people don't like the non-express lifts.

All of Motts and Killebrew canyons are off-piste, and that's where the
steepest terrain is. Nice stuff on a good day.

All these places get skied out early on new snow days (except
Killebrew) - finding the more hidden stashes is beyond the scope of
this note. But if the weather stays cold these places can be fun for
many days after new snow falls.

I wouldn't be the one to tell someone to go into the trees alone, but
if you are going to do it, the areas around the Comet chair are the
most well traveled, so you're probably going to be found pretty fast if
something goes wrong there. The down side is that there is so much
traffic it can get pretty skied off.

They run something called "Mountain Adventure" out of the ski school
which goes for about 3 hours for $70, which is kind of a combination
lesson and mountain tour. I would talk to them before signing up to get
a promise to doing some off-piste stuff.

All this is dependent on good snow - if it's goopy or icy it's not much
fun in these places. One last thought is that the trees make a perfect
hide away on stormy days - there is much better contrast for visibilty,
and you are not as exposed to the wind. Fair weather skiers may even
find themselves changing their tune if they get used to this.

Warning: this kind of skiing is addictive. You may find that groomed
runs lose their appeal if you get lucky and have a day running through
a ten inches of untracked new snow in wide open trees on a sunny day.
(Like yesterday at Heavenly.)

PS Wear a helmet and remember, don't ski the trees, ski BETWEEN the
trees.

  #4  
Old February 1st 06, 07:18 PM
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Is this reasonble?
No...

I guess you cannot get lost, as you are completely enclosed by the resort and the village.

Unless you drop into a valley with no exit and a few hour climb out...

Is it safe to do it alone (I would probably have a mobile phone)?

No. (Does you cell phone automatically dial 911 if you're rendered
unconscious?)

What sort of skill levels are required?

Novice, if cautious....

If it's not sensible to do it alone, then can anyone sugest how to hook up with others?

I usually look for someone skiing well and looks like a local, let them
see me ski, then jump on a chair with them. in your case, find someone
with a like ability, or buy someone lots of beer the night before, or
hire a guide....

  #5  
Old February 1st 06, 11:47 PM
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LeeD wrote:
Haven't been to the H is 3 years, but it's always been out of bounds
if you drop Cal side from the connector route. OOB means if ski patro
sees you, they take away your pass.


Thanks for the input. This is something I have always wondered about,
as it seems there is a lot of out of bounds at most ski resrts. What
legal power do the resort have outside of the pistes? Most of them are
on national forest land, which persumably means that anyone is allowed
to enter this area. What rights do they have outside or inside their
area?

What made me think of this is people saying that they can walk up to a
lift on heavenly and ski all day withoput a pass. Is that an offence?

  #6  
Old February 1st 06, 11:59 PM
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If everyone could walk up and not need a ticket, do you think more
people WOULD?
They have a contract to lease land in the winter, and as such, are
responsible for it's use as they see fit. They don't see fit to rescue
you when you break your leg in a treewell, with no one around, where
you are not supposed to be, after skiing hours in OOB areas.
They have plenty to cover just inbounds, and have to cover their
as.ses when and if you sue them because you were dumb enough to duck
under OOB ropes, fall in a treewell, break your leg, and expect them to
fix everything.

  #7  
Old February 2nd 06, 01:08 AM
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wrote:

Thanks for the input. This is something I have always wondered about,
as it seems there is a lot of out of bounds at most ski resrts. What
legal power do the resort have outside of the pistes? Most of them are
on national forest land, which persumably means that anyone is allowed
to enter this area. What rights do they have outside or inside their
area?



CLIP
This passage and your earlier talk of cell-phones, etc, makes wonder if
you have off-piste and backcountry skiing confused.

Off piste, loosely speaking, is inbounds terrain they don't groom.
Heavenly has lots of off-piste, including some lovely tree runs between
pistes right off the Cal side top (remember to visit the Bono Memorial
Tree.) Off piste is patrolled and avalanche controlled just like the
piste is, including rescue by the patrol. If it's not patrolled and
avalanche controlled, or they just don't want you skiing there, it will
be marked closed. No special prep required for off-piste.

Just go do it.

Backcountry has requirements, and by definition is never patrolled and
avalanche controlled. Buddies, beacons, shovels, probe, snacks, water,
etc; plus skiing and avalanche skills and experience are all required. A
cell phone may or may not help you live if you screw up. Some resorts
let you access backcountry; some don't. It's not as simple as whether
it's forest service land or not.

Don't just go do it. Prep.
  #8  
Old February 2nd 06, 01:49 AM
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In rec.skiing.alpine LeeD wrote:
If everyone could walk up and not need a ticket, do you think more
people WOULD?
They have a contract to lease land in the winter, and as such, are
responsible for it's use as they see fit.


Strike 1.

They don't see fit to rescue
you when you break your leg in a treewell, with no one around, where
you are not supposed to be, after skiing hours in OOB areas.


Strike 2.

They have plenty to cover just inbounds, and have to cover their
as.ses when and if you sue them because you were dumb enough to duck
under OOB ropes, fall in a treewell, break your leg, and expect them to
fix everything.


Strike 3.

You're out.

The resorts get paid for BC rescues around here.

-klaus

  #9  
Old February 2nd 06, 03:59 AM
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Klaus, are you beyond an idiot for recommending to a relative newbie
to off groomed skiing to go not only out of bound, but to charge
recklessly without precautions or buddies?
I don't really believe you can be so dumb....but maybe you can
suprise us.
Obviously, davidjo has not ridden in the trees any more than an
occasional one line venture past the groomies, and everything you seem
to point towards would have him thinking he'd be rescued, there would
never be any problems, and a run will magically appear below him when
he needs one.
Klaus, please tell us you are just chiding me, but don't intend to
give dumb advice to davidjo.....

  #10  
Old February 2nd 06, 04:05 PM
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On Thu, 02 Feb 2006 01:08:59 GMT, lal_truckee
wrote:

wrote:

Thanks for the input. This is something I have always wondered about,
as it seems there is a lot of out of bounds at most ski resrts. What
legal power do the resort have outside of the pistes? Most of them are
on national forest land, which persumably means that anyone is allowed
to enter this area. What rights do they have outside or inside their
area?



CLIP
This passage and your earlier talk of cell-phones, etc, makes wonder if
you have off-piste and backcountry skiing confused.

Off piste, loosely speaking, is inbounds terrain they don't groom.
Heavenly has lots of off-piste, including some lovely tree runs between
pistes right off the Cal side top (remember to visit the Bono Memorial
Tree.) Off piste is patrolled and avalanche controlled just like the
piste is, including rescue by the patrol. If it's not patrolled and
avalanche controlled, or they just don't want you skiing there, it will
be marked closed. No special prep required for off-piste.

Just go do it.


Took most of the words right out of my mouth (I can't speak to
backcountry, or out-of-bounds, hence the snip). The only part of
Heavenly I've skiied is up high on the Nevada side, where there was
abundant, forgiving, and very nice off-piste skiing, almost all of
which bottoms out on groomed runs which take you right back to the
lift (maybe a small percentage ends at the marked boundary, which THEN
leads you back to civilization). It's a real good place to improve
your skiing beyond what the groomed requires, getting used to deeper
snow, variable snow, and variable terrain.

There are a few new ways to get into trouble there, so it's a good
idea to ski with a partner if possible, mainly to cut down on the risk
of laying there injured for a long time before you're found. But if I
couldn't find a partner, I'd still go for it, although I might be a
little more conservative in my explorations. Skiing is inherently
dangerous, and I don't think going off-piste and into the trees up
there adds an appreciable amount of risk. Yeah, you might conceivably
get stuck in a tree well, but you're much less likely to get mowed
down by an out-of-control yahoo, too.

If you're concerned about being stranded overnight (highly unlikely,
but conceivable), you might talk to patrol, tell them where you'll be
skiing (and why you're concerned), and offer to check in with them
when you're done, so that if they haven't heard from you, they can
keep a sharper eye out when they do their sweep.

bw
 




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