A Tour of Lake Tahoe

This is the third time in the last decade I’ve gone to Lake Tahoe in the winter. I grew up with cold and snow, and though I hate the cold and what it does to my skin, I love snow in the winter. LOVE IT.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t like where I live in Germany. If I were in Munich, I would be in the Alps every winter weekend. Instead I stay in the rainy central valley, where snow is an abomination, dirtying things up for a day’s sprinkling, then melting before the cold sets in and makes me hate hate hate winter. Snow is great while it’s falling because it has to stay around freezing, not colder.

I wanted to instill this love of snow in my kid, which is why we high-tailed it to Tahoe this year (see also: The List, which included cliff jumping on my snowboard and wintering in the mountains). This year, we were soooo in luck.

Right after we arrived, and just in time for Christmas, a storm that brought six feet of snow in four days hit and I was in heaven. The storm came in spurts… a foot, then an overnight pause, then two more feet, then a day’s break. Chain controls over the pass between my sister’s house and my cabin meant we had to plan in advance where we’d be doing all the Christmas stuff so we wouldn’t be separated. But life in the Sierras goes on, snow or non. There was even a surfer out on Lake Tahoe at the beginning of the storm (which, considering the lake is freezing even at the height of summer, is some serious NorCal hard core surfing):

Tahoe SurferFor a bit of perspective, you can see the snow coming in sideways and bending these old-growth pines here in this pic, taken just a minute after the one snapped of the surfer:

Tahoe TreesWe snuck out during the storm’s lulls, me to cross-country ski since I couldn’t get my running fix, the babe to build a snow fort and snow bear and to learn how to sled down a big hill (which had her rollicking with laughter — ever need a laugh, grab a kid, they’ll remind you of life’s awesomeness). We frequently ended up in waist-high powder so when the storm cleared, I grabbed my snowboard and headed down to Squaw Valley. The adventure there is another story for another post, but from 8,200 feet, I got a new view of the lake (which, at an elevation of 6,200 feet is the highest in North America)

Tahoe at 8200When the the storm settled, it left a lot of beauty in its wake. Here’s a few final shots of the pretty stuff to hold in memory (as it’s now all become black slush, just like the junk that falls from the sky in Germany, and that snow, well, that’s not nearly as gorgeous).

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