Tahoe Resorts A-to-Z: Mt. Rose
It’s easy to call Lake Tahoe the last unforked pea on the plate of American snow riding. More and more Tahoe resorts might be mirroring the mainstream, painting a canvas of haves and haves more, but don’t kid yourself: No other resort destination in North America encompasses such a wide array of world class slopes, abundant snowfall, pristine vistas and sparkling amenities. Moreover, there are more chair lifts to ride in the Tahoe Basin than in the entire state of Colorado and four out of five days are sunny. Winter temperatures average around 29 degrees, and when it snows, which is often this early season, the flakes fall thick and fast, piling into soft mounds on the upper portion of discolored mountain peaks and setting the stage for exceptional skiing and snowboarding.
Snow Phone- (800) SKI-ROSE
If there is a predominant geological statement to Mount Rose that immediately captures the eye it’s the Chutes. Towering over the Mount Rose Highway, and situated just under the resort’s 9700-foot summit elevation, the Chutes reign supreme among all the left hooks that drop on the point of Rose’s jaw. Plunging into the Chutes is not just hard, deliciously so, but a place that engages the whole skier or rider. It’s adventuring into one of North America’s most monstrously mean places to rip. Half northwest facing, the other half northeast, with a vertical drop of 1500 feet, the Chutes seasonally offers every variety of snow: stormy pillow mounded chutes to mid-season shadowed slopes and springtime corn that funnels into sparsely timbered benches.
The resort’s trump card has always been the Chutes. Discovering the Chutes free zones become a tonic for the soul, a place where one can savor unmediated consequences of one’s actions. Its snow heralds a place that swells beyond the buffed beltways of groomed and predictable snow havens.
Off limits for 40 years since the resort’s initial season in 1964, several years ago Mount Rose management finally was able to open the iconography to the public. Containing Sylvain views of the Washoe Valley and the Humboldt-Toiyabe range, the 200-acre fantasia features 17 designated runs, several which offer grades of over 50 degrees in steepness. Nine of its chutes are designated double diamond (experts only). The remaining 8 chutes are rated single black diamond (advanced). There are other wild shots and playful pitches to be discovered in the trees.
Located in Nevada, just 22 miles from the bright casino lights and dirt-cheap lodging of Reno, a good time at Mount Rose has never been a gamble. While the resort's 1300 acres and seven lifts may not be at first glance as impressive as some of Tahoe’s bigger resorts, Mount Rose contains enough dandies and primal rushes to get anybody all shook up. With a base elevation of 7,900 feet (Tahoe’s highest) and primarily north facing slopes, Mount Rose perennially receives more than enough snowfall to bulge out over its terrain like thick hair under a baseball cap. For four decades the place has been all things to all people. The steep runs under the Northwest Magnum 6 detachable drop 1,400 vertical feet and contain nasty lines to challenge the hardest of chargers. Over on the eastern Slide Mountain side, the beefy glades of East Bowl provide some of the best tree skiing and riding anywhere. Rose’s excellent beginner and novice area was improved last year with a Wonder Carpet conveyor lift.
The snowsport area spent over $5 million two summers ago, upgrading the popular Slide side Zephyr Chairlift into a reconfigured high speed, detachable, six-passenger ride. Called the "Blazing Zephyr," the state-of-the-art lift jets 1400 feet up the mountain in less than four minutes. Other additions included the installation of snow making equipment on intermediate runs and parking improvements Mount Rose also expanded its permitted area to include the northwest bowl of Slide Mountain, increasing the area’s total acreage to 1300.
But what has improved and transformed Mount Rose more than anything has been the construction of the Winter’s Creek Lodge on the Slide Mountain side. The modern glass and steel structure contains a year-round restaurant and structure highlighted by eye-popping views of Washoe Valley. With seating for 400 and complemented by the popular Sky Bar, the Winter’s Creek is self-sufficient, collecting green power from three wind spires.
What’s New: The resort installed a new ski school conveyor lift dubbed the “Flying Jenny’: slope recontouring off Washoe Zephyr and Zephyr Reverse.
Best Deal: No other resort at Tahoe offers as many daily discounts such as “Bonus Mondays,” “Two ‘fer Tuesdays,” Student Wednesdays,” and $39 lift tickets for ladies each Thursday.
Best Place To Take A Screaming Pottie: Popping off the craggy aerie called El Cap is like dropping a dime into a pay telephone. Aficionados love to take initiates down its 55-degree pitch for their first time. Sliding along the highest point, they’ll say,” Close your eyes,” and then,” okay, now open.” You look down and suddenly the ground has dropped beneath you. It’s terrifying yet exhilarating. Lose it here and the results will make you feel like the Tin Man after a good thrashing by the flying monkeys.
Don’t Miss: Rose’s “Slide Back Retro Party” January 29th transforms the mountain into an 80’s party bash with contests and tight clothing.
Insider Tip: Always check on line daily for discount lodging packages and ticketing.
More of Tahoe Resorts: A-to-Z
Donner Ski Ranch
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Homewood Mountain Resort
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Squaw Valley USA