A Rookie Observation

by Geoff Forcier

As we all know the weather finally looks to be changing in Tahoe to more reflect the date on the calendar. This could not come at a better time. I have been in Tahoe almost three weeks and my experience thus far has been a little strange to say the least. Let me explain.
I had spent ten years in Summit County Colorado where I enjoyed life as a typical mountain town dude. Breckenridge to be exact and though life was challenging at times, the lifestyle was excellent. The small community of kindred spirits was truly a great thing to be a part of. From powder days to endless single-track, river trips and hut trips, the life was worth all the challenges.
After many years of braving long cold winters my wife and I felt the calling for warmer climes and a new adventure. We decided to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area and started exploring and enjoying the high quality of life in the Wine Country. The Bay Area (most of it anyway) is fantastic with access to most anything you are looking for. This includes the mountains as I could be in the parking lot of Squaw Valley in three hours from my house. This allowed for a handful of ski days over the last couple of years but the six hour round trip was starting to get old. My wife and I enjoyed the Bay Area but missed the mountain lifestyle and started throwing around the idea of checking out Tahoe. Unlike Breck, Tahoe has this large blue body of water that is a totally new dimension. After a new opportunity presented itself we finally had the impetus to pull the trigger and make the move. We arrived in North Lake Tahoe on December 29th. Needless to say something was a little off.
As a passionate skier I was looking forward to being in close proximity to a multitude of chairlifts, apre ski bars and some of the most accessible backcountry anywhere. I was pumped. I acquired my Squalpine pass, dialed my kit and started soaking in any type of multimedia to get the stoke going. It was actually a small blessing for us that it was a slow start to the season as moving our life in the middle of a Tahoe tempest would have been challenging to say the least. But I thought to myself that as soon as I moved the last box of junk into our Tahoe City rental the skies were welcome to open up and get the party started. Well, as we all know, that has not happened.
I had been here before. We had our slow starts in Breck for sure. But this was different. This was really slow. I didn’t know any different. For all I knew this was normal in Tahoe. It did not take long to realize that this was not normal, at all. So although I was jonesing as hard as anyone for powder skiing, I started to observe the effects of this on the community. There has been the obvious impact on the local economy. It has been tough. No snow, no people, no business, no work. It is felt everywhere. That being said I have been amazed by the POM (positive mental attitude) displayed by most of the people I have met thus far. Confidence that the snow will come has barely waned. People seem to be holding on and making the best of it. From ice skating on perfect glassy ice found on the multitude of small lakes dotting the landscape to cycling and hiking. It is my understanding that backcountry ice skating such as what we have experienced this season happens only every 15 years or so. I feel fortunate to have hit this one dead on. I even observed one die hard playing golf in Kings Beach. I also attended a super fun “pray for snow” car wash. A friend who, upon realizing this was going to be an extended drought, loaded his touring bicycle and put in 1000 miles around the entire Sierra Nevada. He called it making the best of a bad situation.
So here I sit watching every weather forecast known to man and from what I can tell we are about to get things started, hopefully. To be honest I won’t truly believe it until I see the stuff falling from the sky and accumulating on my deck. But I have a POM and am looking forward to putting my truck into four wheel drive for the first time this year. I know we need a lot to really get it going but you have to start somewhere right?
The point I wanted to make was that I do not regret my move, at all. I to have gained confidence that this ski season will be salvaged and we will all get to make powder turns soon. So in the meantime I will be keeping my eye on the sky and waxing my boards. Thank you to everyone who has helped welcome Amy and me to Tahoe and we look forward to experiencing with you everything this amazing place has to offer. We hope to see you at the Chamois. Cheers!

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