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A snowHead
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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Homewood

Country: USA

Author: hd

Date: Thursday 28 January 2010

Our holiday: Annual trip with 2 powder hungry snowboarding mates to North America. We have toured the Alps extensively and are now looking for new challenges across the pond. Previously in NA we have visited Panorama, Lake Louise, Whitefish and Fernie.

Basics: We visited Homewood on a day trip from Squaw Valley which was our base for a 10 day Lake Tahoe holiday. Homewood is a 30 minute drive from Squaw.

Lift system: The principle lifts are 4 chairs; 1 fast and 3 slow. One of them (Quail) wasn't running when we visited so instead there was a frequent shuttle bus running from there back to base. No footrests on any of the chairs Sad

The snow: A recent monster 200cm storm meant the base was excellent. It hadn't snowed for a couple of days and everywhere in Squaw was tracked out plus it had been quite warm so we were very surprised to find the snow in great condition at Homewood with loads of untracked stuff plus nice and light/dry at the top of the mountain and on the north/east facing runs under the fast Old Homewood chair. The grooming of the trails was superb and it was a delight to alternate between scoring fresh tracks in the bowls and trees and then carve full speed down the groomed trails after having been suffering the chopped up bumpy un-groomed runs at Squaw.

The terrain: Most of the area is wooded with great fast cruiser trails (see above) and some cool between the tree stuff. The off-trail tree runs near the Old Homewood chair were the best I'd done all trip due to the excellent snow (loads of fresh tracks). There is also an open bowl double black diamond area accessed by a traverse/hike. Like the rest of the mountain this area was great fun - steep and freshies galore. Smile

What put the icing for me on top of the already very tasty cake were the stupendous views. Homewood is situated right by the lake and frequently I found myself just stopping mid-run and staring in stunned amazement at the panorama in front of me. I rate the scenery up there with Chamonix, Zermatt, Murren etc in terms of "wow-factor".

We visited midweek and the resort was very quiet. I overheard some lifties saying that the 10.30am skier count on the hill was 434. Apparently that was busy - the day before it had been only 237.

Food: There is a tent half way up serving hot-dogs, sandwiches, drinks etc. Nothing amazing about the food but worth it several times over for the view as you eat.

Costs: $40 for a day ticket including a $5 voucher from the back of a supermarket receipt we picked up the day before i.e. by far the cheapest of any of the Tahoe resorts we visited. Various other deals for Homewood can be found on websites such as Sliding On The Cheap and Liftopia.

Conclusion: Amazing scenery + empty slopes + great snow + glorious sunshine = one of my best days riding ever. 9.5/10

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