Sensational skier? Black-diamond bragger? Or are you someone who’s always wanted to take to the slopes but just never tried before? Right now, the mountains are calling you. Usually at this time of year, the peaks are packed with gleeful people crossing elevations like streets, schussing down and riding up the slopes and reeling at the grandeur of it all. But if Squaw Valley, on the north side of Lake Tahoe, is anything to judge by, the slopes and lifts and cable cars have a wonderful amount of elbow room, allowing experts extra room to practice their tricks, and beginners plenty of space to make their mistakes.
This weekend, as wildfires raged across the southern half of California and Governor Schwarzenegger channeled The Terminator to warn all arsonists that he will “hunt them down,” I fled to the east and atop the jack-o-lantern laden Sierra Nevada mountains for my annual “girls weekend” at Lake Tahoe.
Now put your frozen-bra and pillow-fight illusions aside. This fall tradition began about five years ago, when we didn’t even know it was going to be a tradition, just a generous invitation to a friend’s family cabin in the woods with views of the lake, mountains, pink-valentine sunsets, and a woo-hooo witchy-woman moon glowing through the giant glass windows.
Photo: One of the Angora Lakes before this year’s fire.