VIEW of Lake Tahoe!!!; Discount Lift Tickets Through Save Mart Supermarket
$$$; Not a good value for Beginners;
Spent 1 day of 6 skiing days at Heavenly.
One of our trip days was driving around the lake, where we stopped at SaveMart Supermarket, 100 River Road, Tahoe City, 96145 near Squaw Valley USA. SaveMart sells discounted lift tickets for Heavenly. For 2 A 3 K, saved $39 for 1 day lift tickets.
The views from First Ride lift and Poma Trail run are outstanding for a green run. Our group is all beginners and we had a fun time at Heavenly. We stretched our skills on the Mombo run, California side. The last section of Mombo is quite steep and is a "green section" of the Powderbowl Woods (blue). Be prepared to do a lot of turning to control speed, but well worth the challenge.
People we encountered were courteous and respectful of our slow-moving group. We were there on a weekday, which I am certain helped. The best access to green runs are from the California Lodge. We used the bus to get from the Gondola base to the CA lodge and the wait times were very reasonable. The bus at the end of the day was standing room only, which was challenging with 3 kids and equipment. The Orange bus goes between the Gondola and CA Lodge.
The Gondola only allows access to 1 green run (Big Easy lift/Easy Street run), which was a nice warm up to have some great views. Other have posted comments on the staircase down from the Gondola at Top of the Gondola. Yes, it is high, yes it is steep, yes it is "entertaining" to traverse with 3 kids and equipment. Could it be made better, not in mountainous terrain! The views from the Gondola are worth the time to ride up and back down.
The runs we encountered were well maintained. We encountered ice in the shadows, but it was due to the warm weather during the days (50 F +) and below freezing at night (15 - 20 F). The Mombo run had quite a few trees, so it had more ice than I would have liked.
When we arrived at the CA base lodge, a Heavenly Employee immediately greeted us and explained where the lifts were, walked us through the building and made recommendations for lifts/runs. I was thoroughly surprised at the outstanding service. We arrived later in the afternoon (1:30 - 2:00), so they were not extremely busy at that time. We had spent the morning on the Gondola and several runs on Easy Street.
If you are a beginner skiier and want to enjoy some Heavenly skiing... (Day 3 + of skiing) Start your day at CA lodge base, take Gunbarrel Express to Patsy's, ski down Patsy's (easy green), rest at Snow Beach for a bit, take Powderbowl Express lift to top of mountain, work way down on either Mombo or Maggie's. The first signs you will follow are for Maggie's and then follow signs for Mombo. Again, end of Mombo is steep and requires some switchbacking to control speed. Enjoy the afternoon on a ride up the Gondola, a couple trips on Easy Street and enjoy those views!
If you are an intermediate/advanced skiier - enjoy yourself - there are TONS of blue runs. I should see you next year!