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Outdoor Activities

Biathlon

A long time Tahoe tradition is a curious mix of two sports in the same day. This serves to take advantage of seasonal weather and the variety of activities available.

The Tahoe Biathlon, by Joey

Lake Tahoe biathlonA long time Tahoe tradition is a curious mix of two sports in the same day. This serves to take advantage of seasonal weather and the variety of activities available. Here are a few we have enjoyed. You may have your own ideas. Would like to hear from you. Triathlon anyone?
 
Early spring is a troublesome time. The Lake gets choppy in the afternoon and the snow doesn’t soften until noon. Solution: Water ski/ wakeboard in the AM (dry suit recommended) and snow ski/ board ride in the PM. Lake Tahoe to Heavenly mountain are a good connection.
 
A good mid spring option is the fish and snow sports. Good pairings are Lower Truckee and Alpine Meadows or Carson River (West Fork) and Kirkwood.
 
By May all Tahoe Basin golf courses are open making the water sport/ golf combination work well. For some odd reason Mother Nature chose to make the Lake glassy in the winter and choppy in the summer. For this reason, water sports in the early morning and early evening work best.
 
The Tahoe Biathlon hits full stride in the summer with seemingly limitless combinations. Hike-and-snowsport is my favorite. The trick is to get the most downhill for all that uphill work. For this reason, the traditional Mt Tallac choice makes little sense to me. A minimum of 90 minutes up is rewarded by a mere 15 minutes down. My favorites, in the order of preference, are: Faith Valley (near Red Lake) follows an improved dirt road up and over the back way to Blue Lakes. Pull off just above a nice strip of snow and 10-20 turns are yours! Highland Lakes (off Ebbetts Pass) is another good one with twice as many turns taking you right down to the upper lake. This is a great overnighter with decent primitive campground. Also, Red Lake Grade via Crater Lake is worth a mention.
Note: Summer snow in the outback is much more consistent than spring snow at the resorts. Packed snow with two inches of slush throughout most of the day.
 
My favorite Fall biathlon is golf/ photography. (Photography is a sport, isn’t it?)
By now the Carson Valley has cooled down from triple digits and the crowds are gone from the golf courses. Genoa Lakes is a great choice with favorable Fall rates. www.genoalakes.com. Play in the AM as afternoons can be windy and the sun sets early behind the mountains to the west. Loop back to Tahoe via the foothill road through Woodfords to Hope Valley. There you will find the most spectacular fall foliage display in the Sierras. The Aspen groves are screaming colors from light gold to deep red. Late afternoon is a great photo op as the light is soft making the colors stand out.
 
Lastly, comes the best part of any biathlon… pigging out! Look for the most decadent food available. You have earned it.

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