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Heavenly (Lake Tahoe, CA) Review

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Sam here- head of PeakRankings. We're an independent ski resort review site that launched last December.

We recently launched our first video review, of Heavenly in California. If you've ever thought of traveling to Lake Tahoe—or just want to see what it's like to ski one of the most unique resorts in North America—please check it out
here. We also have a written review here.

We're always iterating on our content to optimize its value for others in the skiing community. That being said, if you have any feedback for future videos (even if it's negative), please don't hesitate to say so!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
peakslopecontent wrote:

We're always iterating on our content to optimize its value


I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Cool site Smile

maybe support with more images?

Thanks for sharing.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
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@peakslopecontent, Heavenly most definitely on my list. Thanks for the review.
Could do with samples of the food that’s available and tour of the town.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
AL9000 wrote:
@peakslopecontent, Heavenly most definitely on my list. Thanks for the review.
Could do with samples of the food that’s available and tour of the town.


gamble nevada side. cross the road & smoke pot in cali.
Nice bar on Cali side next to a pot shop with a large selection of draught beers Smile
Lift pass price on the other hand Mad NehNeh Mad Shocked
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Nice film, but...

It's not the most complicated mountain to navigate (or perhaps it is from a North American perspective Very Happy ).

I like it but there are a couple of drawbacks - the on-mountain food and drink is ordinary and very expensive.

And the lift pass is ludicrously pricey, too. Our best bet was to buy one season pass (to cover eight days) and use the free-ski and reduced day prices for a second person that came with it.

Also handy to ski other areas like Squaw, Sierra and Kirkwood.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Spot on review even if you are spamming

Nice to see a review that doesn't shy away from all the negatives - long flat traverses, potentially shitty weather, lift choke points, maybe also Mott and Killebrew get skied out really fast

AL9000 wrote:
@peakslopecontent, Heavenly most definitely on my list. Thanks for the review.
Could do with samples of the food that’s available and tour of the town.


Food available - chilli, burgers, brats ect
Tour of town - imagine 60s era kinda stripmally type motels and low rise restos in a wooded surround with some highrises at the end of the street (casinos) and a bufferzone of timesharey condos with a small fake "village"
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Dave of the Marmottes, You had me at burgers.

But now I’ve a craving for some TexMex for some reason.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

the on-mountain food and drink is ordinary and very expensive.


You have to get out of the European mindset. People in America tend not to go skiing to enjoy nice gourmet meals. They go to skiing to.. well actually spend time skiing. Ordinary tasting fast food is fine for a quick refueling stop and then back out skiing again. Of course it's expensive it's a ski resort, 99% of the time they are overpriced. Just take a few Cliff bars and maybe a ziplock pocket sandwich to eat on the lifts and you can avoid the food and get more time skiing.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

the on-mountain food and drink is ordinary and very expensive.


You have to get out of the European mindset. People in America tend not to go skiing to enjoy nice gourmet meals. They go to skiing to.. well actually spend time skiing. Ordinary tasting fast food is fine for a quick refueling stop and then back out skiing again. Of course it's expensive it's a ski resort, 99% of the time they are overpriced. Just take a few Cliff bars and maybe a ziplock pocket sandwich to eat on the lifts and you can avoid the food and get more time skiing.


No I don't! I understand there's a premium to be paid for being in the mountains (I've been skiing for 47 years now, so I have noticed! Very Happy ). But it was the locals who ere complaining like hell about the prices, poor quality and portion sizes. As for eating a snack on the lifts, that's an individual choice. Some days, I like a pleasant lunchbreak - not talking gourmet or anything like - as part of the mountain experience.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
LOTA wrote:
Nice film, but...

It's not the most complicated mountain to navigate (or perhaps it is from a North American perspective Very Happy ).



Well that's true but it isn't that intuitively easy either - it's not one mountain for starters but a collection of assorted drainages with multiple aspects almost 360 deg- all of which means transitting is a bit of a PITA. Top of Stagecoach into Comet/Dipper area is a transit (and a transit back). Getting to Killebrew is a transit in itself. Getting back to the chair in Mott and Killebrew can be a painful transit. NV side to CA side a transit. Top of CA to NV a transit though that at least tips you out at the top. You even need a chair to get you up out of the flat spot to top of tram/gunbarrel when you're done for the day. If you like skiing for the down with maybe some short traverses to get to/from good stuff it's not great.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

the on-mountain food and drink is ordinary and very expensive.


You have to get out of the European mindset. People in America tend not to go skiing to enjoy nice gourmet meals. They go to skiing to.. well actually spend time skiing. Ordinary tasting fast food is fine for a quick refueling stop and then back out skiing again. Of course it's expensive it's a ski resort, 99% of the time they are overpriced. Just take a few Cliff bars and maybe a ziplock pocket sandwich to eat on the lifts and you can avoid the food and get more time skiing.

I just eat chocolate bars and maybe a sandwich or plate of chips or a slice of pizza.
Spend a fortune on beer though.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

the on-mountain food and drink is ordinary and very expensive.


You have to get out of the European mindset. People in America tend not to go skiing to enjoy nice gourmet meals. They go to skiing to.. well actually spend time skiing. Ordinary tasting fast food is fine for a quick refueling stop and then back out skiing again. Of course it's expensive it's a ski resort, 99% of the time they are overpriced. Just take a few Cliff bars and maybe a ziplock pocket sandwich to eat on the lifts and you can avoid the food and get more time skiing.

Heavenly's food offering is indeed poor even by North America standard.

In North America, There're two distinctly different demographic of skiers. The day skiers and holiday makers. Some NA resorts cater to largely day skiers while other cater to mostly holiday skiers. Heavenly probably have equal portion of both.

A lot of people go from the SF bay area to Tahoe for the weekend and ski Heavenly... Some of them fit into the day skiers model and some are there for a ski holiday.

Day skiers typically don't sit down for a lengthy lunch. They may buy a burger and a Coke and be back out skiing in 20 min. Or some may even do as boarder2020, bring their own "brown bag" lunch to eat on the lift!

Those who are there for a ski holiday would like to sit down for a lengthy lunch and enjoy the mountain atmosphere/vista. But they'll be mostly disappointed by Heavenly’s on-mountain offering. They're however better off to just get OFF the mountain and eat in town. It's not too difficult to get back up the mountain from town by hopping on the gondola from the center of village, particularly if you're not too fussed with exactly where to ski.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Sat 5-12-20 12:10; edited 2 times in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Hopefully things get back to normal before the end of the season so we can get some food and lodging footage
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@peakslopecontent, Great review with loads of good info! You are obviously a very skilled skier (gave me the palpitations looking at some of those technical lines).
As others have noted it would be helpful to see the food as well as something of the town. For example, staying in a big tacky casino is something fun for a visit to Heavenly that people might like to know about. Same goes for luxury dining/lodging at Northstar, extreme skiing at “Squallywood” etc.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mr.Egg wrote:
gamble nevada side. cross the road & smoke pot in cali.

@Mr.Egg Woo hoo! Smoking pot in Cali with cannabis is available in NV as well.... currently 15 US states allow for legal recreational cannabis: Colorado, California, Montana, Nevada, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Maine, Arizona, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, and South Dakota. Also the entirety of Canada allows for legal recreational cannabis snowHead But tourists should be sure to do a little research... not all communities feature a cannabis dispensary. Better to plan ahead by checking https://weedmaps.com
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
boarder2020 wrote:
You have to get out of the European mindset. People in America tend not to go skiing to enjoy nice gourmet meals. They go to skiing to.. well actually spend time skiing. Ordinary tasting fast food is fine for a quick refueling stop and then back out skiing again.

@boarder2020 We Yankees don’t hurriedly eat at $40 greasy burger and stale beer in a noisy cafeteria because we want to, we don’t have a choice. Europeans need to send some love to France for the valuable contributions they’ve made to the world, mainly affordable snow-sure ski-holidays combined with culinary adventure.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Re the video: Yes, it's a useful review but it lacks a few things. First, you should use a map to describe the main areas, and do a more structured sector-by-sector overview based on the map. Yes, I daresay you would have copyright issues if you want to use the official Resort map, so why not do one of your own? With just the key access-points, junctions and sectors. How about one of those speeded-up Whiteboard diagrams, where someone draws a schematic on a whiteboard? Second, it'd be useful to outline the main accommodation options e.g. lakeside, in the town, and at the base of the main access points. They each have pros and cons.

For example, we always stayed at the Tahoe Seasons Resort hotel at the base of the Gunbarrel Express, because this allowed people in our group to come and go without having to synchronise a transfer - it's just a walk across the car park to the lift. But some people would prefer to be in the centre of town. I've met people there who were annoyed they'd opted to stay Lakeside, as they'd have happily paid the premium to stay where we were at the base of a lift.

The main options for getting there could be stated too. Remember, some visors will be flying in late afternoon to SFR. Personally, we always did an overnight in SFR then drove up to Tahoe in the daylight. Others may be flying into Reno. And so on. The drive from the Bay Area is non-trivial in bad weather.

Finally, video isn't everything. I think you could have used more still shots without compromising the dynamics of the video. Inserting some on-the-ground photos as well would be useful e.g. of the Gunbarrel car park or the town centre and gondola: people like the snow shots but they're also interested in what it's like to actually be there.

Yes, I know this is all more work. But it's that extra work which will differentiate your review from the many others out there. Perhaps the next one you do could incorporate some of these ideas? If you chose a smaller resort then the task would be less challenging and you'd have a sort of Flagship example of what you can do. This might perhaps persuade other resorts to provide you with copyright material to do something that doesn't cost them money but which looks attractive. It might be worth storyboarding what an 'ideal' video review would look like so you can invest some effort in filling-in the gaps.

Some of these gaps might be quite easy to fill e.g. I have considered doing something like this for where we have our apartment. I have quite a few videos and some impressive stills. But I realised I didn't have anything that showed people simply buying tickets, or of the gondola station (both of which generally have very few queues, in contrast to nearby resorts). And nothing showing the best place to park. Or a panorama from the top which would orient people to the main runs down. Or of the inside of the four main (and very different) eateries. Or of a plane landing at the altiport. And so on. I could probably get all of these in a 1-2 days dedicated filming and photography, and they'd serve to greatly enhance the value of any Resort Review.
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Ken in LA wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:
You have to get out of the European mindset. People in America tend not to go skiing to enjoy nice gourmet meals. They go to skiing to.. well actually spend time skiing. Ordinary tasting fast food is fine for a quick refueling stop and then back out skiing again.

@boarder2020 We Yankees don’t hurriedly eat at $40 greasy burger and stale beer in a noisy cafeteria because we want to, we don’t have a choice. Europeans need to send some love to France for the valuable contributions they’ve made to the world, mainly affordable snow-sure ski-holidays combined with culinary adventure.


Clearly you've never eaten at a self on the hill in Chamonix. Mediocre blended with surly.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:


Clearly you've never eaten at a self on the hill in Chamonix. Mediocre blended with surly.


That has become an increasing problem in France. Years back it was almost impossible to get a 'quick' self service lunch in France, even up the mountains but you always had a delicious lunch! With the demand for the quick lunch has also come a decline in quality in many places. Its sad!
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Clearly you've never eaten at a self on the hill in Chamonix. Mediocre blended with surly.

@Dave of the Marmottes I prefer Chignin to chagrin so I tend to reserve a spot on a sunny terrace or a cozy table in a refuge. If I ratchet-up the “oh gee-whiz” Americanisms I’ll get 5-star service regardless the venue (amazing how receptive Europeans can be when they suspect a generous tip). Another complementary génépi for monsieur?

Only problem even encountered was in Italy. Apparently the Italians see my fat American ass and attempt to relieve me of what they assume is a fat wallet. Oh well... when in Rome.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Vibe. He said vibe............
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

@boarder2020 We Yankees don’t hurriedly eat at $40 greasy burger and stale beer in a noisy cafeteria because we want to, we don’t have a choice.


Where are you paying $40 for a beer and burger?

I just don't really see the need for fine dining at a ski hill if I'm honest. If I want to eat somewhere nice I will go in the evening after I've had a shower and got out my ski gear. I generally hate stopping for a proper sit down lunch as it just means getting cold and faffing about with getting gear on and off.
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