Tuesday 22 December 2009

California: For those in the Snow

It snows in California….who knew? Famous for long stretches of golden, sandy beaches and months of dazzling sunshine, few Australians know that California is also home to 30 ski resorts meaning you really can ski and surf in the same day.

In northern California, Lake Tahoe boasts the largest concentration of ski resorts in the US, with 15 downhill and four cross-country resorts. The region receives 10 metres of snow annually and 300 days of sunshine making the conditions very pleasant indeed. Lake Tahoe’s first-ever five-star resort, The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, opened its doors at Northstar-at-Tahoe on December 9th. Featuring ski-in-ski-out access the resort provides skiers with the ultimate in convenience.

Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe has debuted a new tubing lift for the season which accesses a new four-lane tubing mecca at the top of the Gondola at Adventure Peak. Be careful though, once they are there the kids won’t want to leave… until the sun sets and they hear about the new evening Snow Cat Tours on offer at nearby Kirkwood. The moon and stars can be your guide to explore the scenic ridgelines before collapsing by the fire at your lodge.

Yosemite National Park is not only home to famous granite karsts and stunning waterfalls, it also boasts California’s oldest ski resort. Badger Pass is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary in 2010 and is a great place to learn to ski or board with 85% of it’s slopes dedicated to beginner and intermediate levels.

California’s ski regions are accessible by car from Los Angeles and San Francisco, with a maximum five hour drive to Mammoth Lakes. However, that trip can be reduced by taking a short 70 minute flight on Horizon Air, who has just announced a second daily flight on the route. and

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