Heavenly Mountain ski resort hopes to widen runs next season

Hoping to better avoid traffic on the slopes next year for skiers and snowboarders, Heavenly Mountain ski resort wants to create wider runs for the 2018-19 ski season.

The proposed changes at Heavenly Mountain ski resort by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit include more than 25 acres of trail-widening on 12 runs and nearly 42 acres of hazard reduction on 11 trails.

By creating terrain that would be more skiable in times with less snow, Heavenly Mountain ski resort would reduce the amount of snowmaking necessary to open runs. In light snow years like this one, snowmaking is crucial because without it many Lake Tahoe ski resorts – large and small – would not be regularly operating.

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the U.S. Forest Service manages approximately 7,000 acres of public land that Vail Resorts operates at Heavenly Mountain ski resort in South Lake Tahoe. The U.S. Forest Service group recently unveiled details regarding the proposed changes in an environmental document.

The plan would create wider runs with the goal of reducing skier and snowboarder traffic bottlenecks that frequently take place on busy days. The plan calls for removing boulders and downed trees that will result in runs that are more skiable during low-snow seasons, which have been taking place more frequently in years like this one as the Lake Tahoe warming trend continues.

The proposed changes by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit include more than 25 acres of trail-widening on 12 runs and nearly 42 acres of hazard reduction on 11 trails. These improvements are part of Heavenly Mountain ski resort’s Master Development Plan.

The environmental document that details the proposal includes a “finding of no significant impact” by the Forest Service. The finding is followed by a 45-day period where people who comment on the environmental assessment can object.

Heavenly Mountain ski resort believes the work could begin as early as spring or summer of 2018. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has already issued a permit for the project.

Heavenly Mountain ski resort believes the work could begin as early as spring or summer of 2018. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has already issued a permit for the project.

The hazard removal areas like boulders would be blasted with explosives to a height of 12 to 18 inches and removed by hand or heavy equipment, when necessary. Stumps would reportedly be ground or cut to a height of less than six inches.

Runs proposed for widening

  • 49er
  • Sam’s Dream
  • Cascade
  • Ridge Run
  • Upper Powderbowl
  • Ridge Way
  • Lower $100 Saddle
  • Comet
  • Orion’s
  • Big Dipper
  • Lower Olympic Downhill
  • Bonanza

Runs proposed for hazard reduction

  • Upper California Trail
  • Cascade
  • Sam’s Dream
  • 49er
  • Advanced Round-a-bout
  • Little Dipper
  • Upper Stagecoach
  • Meteor
  • Ridge Run
  • Upper Powderbowl
  • Lower Olympic Downhill

 

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