Things to Do in Lake Tahoe in the Winter

by Tim Hauserman 

Looking for a great way to spend your evenings after a day of skiing? The Tahoe Film Fest brings a fascinating variety of films to North Lake Tahoe December 5th through the 8th in Incline Village, Crystal Bay and Northstar. The Film Fest benefits the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC), and their programs of science education and research at Lake Tahoe.

Robert Roussel is the director of Tahoe Film Fest. He has been putting on film festivals for nearly 30 years and has been the director of the Tahoe Film Fest for the past four years. He founded The Film Series for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Berkshire Film Festival and the Puerto Vallarta Film Festival with Anjelica Houston. 

The Tahoe Film Fest opens with “Marriage Story” starring an all star cast including Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, and Alan Alda. There will be over a dozen environmentally oriented films, productions about fascinating musicians, and a focus on Latin Cinema. 

“They have put out some outstanding Latin films. We screened ‘Roma’ last year before we realized how successful it would be,” said Roussel. “There will a documentary of Raul Julia, a great actor who died so young and Harvest Season, about immigrant Mexican’s picking grapes in the Napa Valley.” 

Films screened include: 

Echo in the Canyon-which explores the popular music the came out of LA’s Lauren Canyon in the mid-60s, and features Bob Dylan’s son Jakob Dylan

Linda Ronstadt-The Sound of my Voice

David Crosby: Remember my name

Clarence Clemons: Who do you think I am?  (He was the sax player for Bruce Springsteen)

The Two Popes, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Price

The Story of Plastic

The Condor and the Eagle

Pollinators

Honeyland

N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear

The River and the Wall 

Raul Julia: The Worlds A stage

Midway

Map of Paradise

Harvest Season

Eating Animals 

To view the full schedule for the Tahoe Film Fest, get more information on the films, and to purchase tickets go www.tahoefilmfest.com. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. All access passes are also available for $75 which give entrance to all the films, and four after parties to be held at Crystal Bay Casino.

By Tim Hauserman 

Need to do a bit of work while you are visiting Lake Tahoe? The Tahoe Mill Collective at the entrance to Alpine Meadows has just expanded to a second location in the center of Tahoe City. The new space has six private offices and desks for rent in an open concept space. There is also a conference room, kitchen, lake views, a gym next door and the famous Pete and Peters bar just across the parking lot. In addition,  Commons Beach and the Lakeside bike trail are just across the highway, Alpenglow Sports is next door, The Cobblestone Center is a block away, and the Tahoe City Golf Course sits right behind the building. I know, sorry, this might be way too many distractions to get your work done, or maybe it is an incentive to get to it so you can go out and play. 

“We know you come to Tahoe to get away and unplug—spending time with friends and family outside. But sometimes, you’ve still got to crank out a few emails, make a conference call, or check in on work from afar, and it can be hard to do that in a vacation home filled with others and possibly limited cell service and wifi,” said Megan Michelson, co-founder manager of Tahoe Mill
Collective.  

“We created the Tahoe Mill Collective, a coworking space in North Lake Tahoe, for just that reason. We offer desk and office space for remote workers, freelancers, start-ups and anyone who needs a quiet place to get work done while they’re in Tahoe. Whether you’re a full-time local or a visitor just here for a couple of days, we’ve got permanent spots and drop-in desks available for rent for the day or week (drop in rates start at $30/day, $75/week, or $150-$250 for the month), as well as conference rooms for small groups.”

For more information on the Tahoe Mill Collective  go to www.tahoemill.com

On a personal note, I’ve been familiar with this property since I was a wee tike. It once housed Kehoe’s Market, the only grocery store in town when I lived up the street where The Cobblestone is now. When I was seven I would obtain my candy money by gathering up recyclable bottles and returning them to Kehoe’s.  

By Tim Hauserman

Big winters like this one are a perfect opportunity to combine two of Tahoe’s favorite pastimes: Downhill skiing and water skiing. Homewood Mountain Resort happens to be the perfect place to make it happen, so they are continuing a tradition that has been going on for 15 years with the Gates and Wakes competition on April 6th. 

Sponsored by Superior Boat and Repair, Gates and Wakes supports the High Fives Foundation   Participants first race gates for two runs each at Homewood. Then in the afternoon, the water skiing segment commences across the highway at Homewood High and Dry Marina.  Racers will take turns executing turns on Lake Tahoe behind Superior Boat’s Ski Nautique.

Competitors need to bring their own skis, both snow and water, and their own wetsuit for the water ski portion. Given that the temperature will be in the 50s, a wetsuit is pretty darn essential. It will be the combined snow and water skier that will win the competition. As Homewood says: “The top three places will be rewarded with unlimited bragging rights, prizes, and a trophy.”

Fees: $45 for Homewood Season Pass Holder, $95 for non-passholder. Registration includes both events and lunch is included in the fee. There is also a two day pro challenge entry for $150. The pro-challenge starts with a two round slalom waterski completion in Rio Linda, CA on April 5th, followed by the Gates and Wakes at Homewood on April 6th. 

by Tim Hauserman

This winter we’ve seen some spectacular days of skiing through deep snow, and day upon day of less spectacular never ending shoveling so we can get to our car and ski. All that snow has been beautiful, but also exhausting. Which for many of us means, it’s time to get some body work done. And I don’t mean the kind on your car (although given the driving conditions, that is a possibility as well). Fortunately, Tahoe City is loaded with opportunities, to get your body worked on by professionals who will ease the pain of winter, and get you back out on the snow with a smile on your face. 

As I write this I smell like citrus from the massage oil my massage therapist Lisa Goodman rubbed into my tired back, legs and shoulders yesterday. Lisa owns Massage on the Lake, which is located next to the New Moon health food store just down Highway 89 a half mile from Tahoe City. She has spent a lot of time over the years working out my skate skiing and bike riding caused kinks, but yesterday she noticed new places of tenseness in my back and shoulders. Several times I heard her say as I was tensing up…”Oh, yeah, that’s a shoveling spot right there.” Have you done too much shoveling? Reach out to Lisa she will do her best to loosen it up a bit. massageonthelake.com 

While massage is a special treat, you can do more regular maintenance by attending one of the yoga classes at The Yoga Room, Tahoe. They are located just across the parking lot from Hauserman Rental Group in the Cobblestone. They have several classes each day, as well as a regular array of fun events. Yoga Room is also home base for monthly group Acupuncture Clinics with two acupuncturists who grew up in Tahoe City, Lauren Corda and Tyler Lapkin. yogaroomtahoe.com 

Another option is to hit up Dr. John Walsh at Sierra Sports Care and Chiropractic. John’s a life long Tahoe guy and former US Ski Team member who focuses on working on the aches and pains caused by us wanna be athletes. I’m not sure whether shoveling is a sport, but this year, it is certainly has been what we have been spending the most time doing.  Contact John at tahoedc.com. He also is located in The Cobblestone Center. 

By Tim Hauserman

Since 1984 the first week of March in North Lake Tahoe has meant it is time for Snowfest! It begins on February 28th and goes through March 10th, and is a gathering of friends at parties and parades, There are  lots of classic quirky events that have been going on for decades, as well as new events that are making their debut. This year Snowfest will be a much needed chance to take a break from all the shoveling and let your hair down. 

The first weekend of Snowfest! focuses on Tahoe City, while on the second weekend Kings Beach is the happening place. Here’s what’s happening March 1-3rd: 

Friday afternoon the Pioneer Cocktail Club in the center of town has a block party during the afternoon, then the fireworks fly over the lake at 7:30 above Tahoe City’s Commons Beach. Later, Hacienda Del Lago in the Boatworks is the place to catch live music. 

Saturday March 2nd it’s time for probably the biggest attraction at Snowfest. The Tahoe City Parade. It’s a small town parade where half the town is in the parade and the other half is waving at their friends (I hear a rumor that Hauserman Rental Group will be a star attraction). Before the parade you can carb up at the Firefighter’s Pancake Breakfast. After the parade stay in Tahoe City for the fun Tahoe Community Nursery School party, Pete and Peter’s Post Parade Party, or Paint the Snowman contest. 

A little later at 2:30 pm make your way to Garwood’s in Carnelian Bay for the Polar Bear Swim. Where a few hearty souls tackle a rather lengthy swim in Lake Tahoe in March (Yes, it is very cold). 

Wind down your Tahoe City fun at the Tahoe Art Haus in the Cobblestone for the Haus Brewfest where five breweries will be showing off their wares, and food, live music and games are to be had. 

Sunday morning, March 3 you could begin your day by joining the throngs skiing in The Great Ski Race from Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area to Truckee if you can ski 30 kilometers. 

Those not up for a race, could instead watch the dogs doing the slogging at the Dog Pull at Cafe Zenon, or eat your own dogs at the Fat Cat’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. If you are not too full after all those hot dogs, go Hawaiian, at the Sunnyside Luau, where you can get tropical drinks and hula pie. 

Want to hear about all the fun stuff in Kings Beach next weekend? Well, keep your eyes peeled for my next post. Or all the event information can be found at tahoesnowfest.org 

(By the way this photo is of my daughter Hannah about ten years ago riding in the parade after she was crowned Snowfest Queen…it was destiny since she was born on the opening night of Snowfest.)

By Tim Hauserman 

Driving to Lake Tahoe in the middle of a snowstorm has always been a challenge. The last few winters, however, there seems to be even more havoc. Interstate 80 and other major roads close often during snow storms, even though Cal Trans and the counties do an excellent job of getting after the snow as soon as they can. Part of the problem is surely caused by California’s increased population, and the desire of more and more folks to come to Tahoe and ski. I mean look at this place, who could blame them? But I think much of the problem is related to a lack of an understanding of winter driving, so, I thought I would throw out a few tips I acquired from 40 years of winter driving: 

While it might seem counterintuitive, I believe more accidents are happening because more drivers have four wheel drive vehicles than ever before…and they assume that means they now have magical powers and can drive just as fast on the snow as on dry pavement. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. When the roads are snowy, we need to drive slower.

When chain controls are in effect the speed limit is either 25 or 30 mph depending upon the road. In addition to driving slow, give plenty of room between you and the car in front of you, and anticipate actions you will need to take in advance. Got a right turn coming up? Slow down well in advance and take the turn slowly. 

Four wheel drive is good. But you also need a good pair of snow tires on that car. And an understanding that a four wheel drive car will still have challenges turning and stopping in the snow. 

Remove all the snow from your car before driving. That big fluffy white stuff will slide right off the roof onto your front windshield when you hit the brakes.  And then you will be an accident in progress when you can’t see a thing out your window and wiper blades can’t cut through a six inch deep pile of snow. 

Watch the forecast. Plan your activities around the storms, instead of around your schedule. The snow storm really doesn’t care that you need to work late on Friday or get to an early meeting on Monday. If it’s a big storm, you will be much better off delaying the trip until after the storm. And if you are here and the road conditions are horrendous. Stay home. Stoke the fire, Take a ski around the neighborhood and wait for the conditions to improve.