Inside Skier: Mount Rose-Ski Tahoe
In the late 1930’s, the Sky Tavern Lodge was built along Mt. Rose highway, and its patrons used to hike up the mountain and ski the wilderness on Slide Mountain, even cutting trees in the summer to widen logging roads to improve their ski trails…some of the first ski trails in Sierra Nevada. The Reno Ski Bowl was constructed on the east slope of Slide Mountain (it’s now the East Bowl of Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe) in 1953, and a lift called “Ringer’s Chair” operated from a base near Sky Tavern. Popular and well-known to locals, it became visible to a wider audience in the 1960 Winter Olympics, when the Reno Ski Bowl was chosen as an alternate site for ski events, increasing its renown and popularity.
In the early 60’s, the Reno Ski Bowl became the Slide Mountain Ski Area, with Wes Howell constructing additional lifts and improvements. Jim Leusher drove efforts to find investors to develop new resort potential in the Lake Tahoe area, and the Mt. Rose Development Company was formed, with Swiss-born businessman Fritz Buser purchasing controlling interest in 1971. The company built Mt. Rose Ski Area on the north face of Slide Mountain in 1964, and operated side-by-side with the Slide Mountain Ski Area (formerly the Reno Ski Bowl) for many years.
1987 saw the combination and mutual improvement of the two ski areas into a single resort, Mt. Rose – Ski Tahoe. Mt. Rose has numerous claims to fame, not the least of which is the only 360-degree view into both Truckee Meadows and the Reno desert, a gorgeous sight. The resort’s 1200+ acres is smaller than some neighboring venues, but Mount Rose’s annual abundant snowfall, Tahoe’s highest base elevation at 7,900 feet, and primarily north-facing slopes make it a favorite of serious skiers.
Mount Rose has consciously offered excellent ski experiences to all skill levels. Their beginner and novice areas offer safe, gliding slopes with a Wonder Carpet conveyer lift, and a wealth of experienced ski instructors on the “Slide Side”. For more experienced skiers, the Slide Side offers a high speed Zephyr lift that carries passengers 1400 feet up the mountain in under 4 minutes to slopes that challenge intermediate and advanced skiers alike. Also on the Slide Side, the new Winter’s Creek Lodge, a modern glass and steel structure offering the best views of Washoe Valley while you enjoy a world class restaurant and bar. The facility is proud to be energy self-sufficient, using only green power from wind turbines. Advanced and Expert skiers will enjoy steep runs under the Northwest Magnum Lift on the northern face, with challenging lines to satisfy the most enthusiastic experienced skiers. Recently, “The Chutes” opened up on the north face, with gorgeous views of Washoe Valley and the Humboldt-Toiyabe range, this 200-acre ski area offers 17 designated runs (9 expert, 8 advanced), several of which offer grades of over 50 heart-stopping degrees for those advanced and expert skiers with a serious need for speed.
From fresh newbies, to Olympic-class experts, to those who simply want to enjoy the beautiful views of nature and skiers: Mount Rose – Ski Tahoe has something to offer for everyone!