When there’s no snow at Lake Tahoe…

High Meadow on New Years Eve

High Meadow (8000 feet) on New Years Eve

With a serious delay to winter at Lake Tahoe this year, I’ve spent the past few weeks finding non-ski activities for both me and my family during their recent visit.

Don’t get me wrong – all the ski resorts are open with varying amounts of terrain available, and it’s actually really good snow for man-made.  Groomers are fine, but since I’m supposed to be working at getting in shape for a backcountry ski trip next month I need to think about activities that will do more to get my aging lungs in shape.  Backcountry skiing here is out.  So is nordic skiing. So…

I’ve embraced many of the below in the hopes that I’m in shape for when the snow does finally show up, which I hear is this month.

And of course I hope this list becomes rapidly outdated very soon.

  • Mountain biking: In South Shore, many trails are dry (some even bordering on dusty).  Pretty decent riding conditions, if a bit icy in places.
  • Hiking/trail running: Many trails – especially south facing – are clear to 8,000 feet and above.  I’ve been hitting Fallen Leaf Lake for midday runs, and have hiked a few other trails near Echo Summit.
  • Ice-skating:  With rinks at many of the ski resorts (Squaw, Heavenly, Northstar) plus a municipal one in South Lake Tahoe, there is ample choice if you want the safety of a rink.  Conversely, for the more adventurous, there are more than a few frozen lakes around here.
  • Community college: Classes at Lake Tahoe Community College start this week (disclaimer: I’m both an instructor and a student there), and among the offerings are plenty of physical education classes like spinning, skiing and even avalanche awareness.  For California residents it’s basically a no-brainer, as it’s about $25 a unit.
  • Swimming: Admittedly not for everyone, but if you’re into it, lap swimming can be hard.  Especially if you’re trying to keep up with someone else.   If you’re looking to practice your aerials, hit up the pool in Minden, as it has a high dive.
  • Ice climbing: I’m no climber, but I hear that there’s ice to be had around here thanks to the cold temps.
  • Gymnastics: I have a friend that was trying to organize an adult gymnastics night at the local gym – the one with trampolines.  Could be fun if you can’t get out to Kirkwood to play on the airbag.
  • Zumba: All of a sudden there are a half a dozen different classes being offered here.  I’ve tried it once, and my body doesn’t move like that, but it seems like it would be fun if you had the moves.
  • Snow dances: Hey, it’s times like these when superstition should not be overlooked.  If praying for snow is your thing, have at it, but I find my heart rate goes up more when I’m dancing.

Got any other suggestions for non-snow play that I missed here?

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