Picture of condoview This was the view from the front porch of our condo at Heavenly. For the first two and a half days we were not convinced that Lake Tahoe really existed as it was covered by a layer of clouds. The protrusion of clouds in the foreground is the valley leading up to Heavenly. Our condo was at about 7800 ft. (2380m) the clouds ended not too far below that.
Picture of davidslope Our first day of skiing was incredibly nice. It was sunny all day long, and the temperatures were high enough that we had to shed several layers of clothing at lunchtime. We spent a brief amount of time on the California side of the mountain which had lift lines and was strewn with beginning skiers. The Nevada side by comparison was practically deserted, so we returned to that side and didn't cross back over the remaining four days.
Picture of lodge This picture was taken from the lodge midway up the mountain where we ate lunch the first day (and the second day, and the third day). After skiing we returned to the condo for a nap and later that evening we drove to Reno to pick up Andrew and Keith. Reno is a rather well-illuminated town and we passed an hour or so at one of the casinos waiting for their plane to arrive.
Picture of drewkeith And here are Andrew and Keith on skiing day #2. Notice the lake is still hidden underneath a layer of clouds. The sign, incidentally, says 'Please move past this point'. Obviously we didn't. Once you moved past that point you'd find a professional photographer willing to take this picture for you for just a mere $50 or so.
Picture of cloudlake And of course here we are in the same place. Our party increased a bit more that night when John arrived from Los Angeles. We drove into South Lake Tahoe down at the base of Heavenly Mountain to partake of some more casino action and of course, the cheap casino buffets. This is where Melanie and I discovered roulette can be fun, especially when you're winning at it. This was our first experience at gambling tables and I got yelled at for placing roulette chips for Melanie (who couldn't reach the other end of the table) as well as using the wrong blackjack hand signals (it apparently varies from table to table). But we came out ahead in the end so that's something.
Picture of nevada From the mountain looking away from Tahoe there was no problem with clouds. This is the Nevada valley which contains Carson City. The town barely visible here is Gardnerville, Nevada. Conditions remained pretty nice the second and third day though it wasn't quite as warm. Regardless of what was happening elsewhere on the mountain, the view down into Nevada was always just this clear. Across the Carson Valley are the Pinenut Mountains.
Picture of trail Here's a rare picture of Keith and I with Andrew skiing off into the distance. This is rare because usually Keith was the one who never stopped once he started going. The third night in Heavenly, Emily rejoined us bringing our party size to six. We returned to South Lake Tahoe's casinos in search of a restaurant but we'd failed to make reservations and it was now Saturday night. Instead we ate at a tavern near the condo and then returned home for a rousing game of Act One (highly recommended) and a bottle or so of rum.
Picture of us John left on Sunday morning, but the rest of us managed to finally get a picture with water in the background. (There is a lake after all.) Emily is hiding behind Keith for some reason, so you can only see bits of her jacket. Melanie is happy because she had ski boots that fit again. She broke one of her boots in an impressive cartwheel-style crash the day before and had to rent some beginner boots. However, we managed to exchange them for high-performance boots which (naturally) she was much happier with.
Picture of tahoesunset After skiing Sunday we headed back to Reno to drop Andrew and Keith off at the airport there. Along the way we stopped along the shores of Lake Tahoe for a water-level view of the lake.
Picture of laketahoe
Picture of carsoncity We also stopped in Carson City for a picture of the state capital. In Reno, we spent an unsuccessful hour or so in the Circus Circus casino though we had a decent dinner. Around 10 or so we left Andrew and Keith in the casino and headed back to Sacramento to catch our plane. It started snowing in the Donner Pass at approximately the same time we left Reno, and the mandatory snow chains warnings went up about 30 seconds after we passed the checkpoint. The pass was not enjoyable with quite a bit of blowing snow and sleet and fog and every other weather condition that can make driving high mountain roads hazardous. We survived though (you might've guessed) and made our plane in time.

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