Sugar Bowl to host Backcountry Ball fundraiser

Sugar Bowl Resort will be hosting the Backcountry Ball – an evening of food, drink and music – to benefit the Sierra Avalanche Center on Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. It will feature a presentation by legendary big mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones.

The event will be held at the resort’s Mt. Judah Lodge. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and are available at www.sierraavalanchecenter.org.

Tickets include a pasta buffet dinner and live music by the Sierra Drifters, a four-piece Americana, roots rock band. Attendees who order Sugar Bowl Pale Ale at the cash bar will send $1 per beer in donations to the SAC.

Vendors will be showcasing the latest backcountry gear and a silent auction will feature prizes including an unrestricted season pass to Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge.

Jones will give a 30-minute presentation on backcountry terrain selection and big mountain riding. He has been featured in dozens of snowboard films and was selected as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2013. His last two Teton Gravity Research films, “Deeper” and “Further,” featured himself and team of backcountry riders accessing some of the world’s most intense big mountain snowboard terrain all on foot and by splitboard. Jones is currently filming for “Higher,” the last film of the backcountry snowboard trilogy that will feature terrain from the Sierra Nevada to the Himalaya.

Sugar Bowl Resort has hosted the Backcountry Ball for five years as a way to support the nonprofit Sierra Avalanche Center and its team of two full-time avalanche forecasters.

Sugar Bowl, Sun Valley resorts team up on deal for season passholders

Sugar Bowl Resort has partnered with Sun Valley Resort to give Sugar Bowl’s Unrestricted and Slightly Restricted season passholders free skiing at the Idaho ski resort. The agreement also offers Royal Gorge Cross County passholders complimentary cross-country skiing at Sun Valley Nordic Center. Combo Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge Unrestricted and Slightly Restricted passholders will have access to both downhill and cross country skiing at Sun Valley Resort.

A two-night minimum stay in Sun Valley Resort Lodging is required for eligibility. Some blackouts apply. The program is available all season long, but is not valid with other offers or discounts. Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge passholders may call Sun Valley Resort and ask for the Sugar Bowl “Sweet Deal” to reserve discounted lodging, on a space available basis, at 800-786-8259.

Sugar Bowl’s passholders can take advantage of new non-stop regional jet service from SFO to SUN on United Airlines, with daily flights beginning Dec. 12.  Reservations can be made  by visiting www.united.com.

The Sun Valley Resort announcement complements Sugar Bowl’s free skiing program with Grand Targhee Resort, which allows season passholders to ski the Wyoming resort for free this upcoming season when booked in conjunction with Grand Targhee lodging. Sun Valley and Grand Targhee are about a four-hour drive from one another, allowing Sugar Bowl’s passholders to enjoy free skiing at two iconic Idaho and Wyoming resorts this season.

Information: www.sugarbowl.com/passholder-benefits

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work you’ll go – after getting the job

Resorts throughout California are ramping up for the 2013-14 snow season by hiring thousands of seasonal employees. Here’s a sampling…

Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley: The Lake Tahoe resorts are looking to hire nearly 1,000 workers, and will host a hiring fair on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Olympic House at Squaw Valley. Interviews will be conducted for a wide range of positions including ski/snowboard school instructors, lift operations, grooming, terrain parks, culinary services, rental services, retail, security, product sales and services, and parking. Opportunities include full-time and part time positions. Skiing or snowboarding abilities are not required for all available positions. Apply online and schedule interviews prior to Nov. 2, however walk-ins will be permitted the day of the hiring fair. For information, call the resorts’ Human Resources Department at 530-452-7112 or visit www.squaw.com and www.skialpine.com.

Boreal: Meet with Boreal Mountain Resort managers in-person on Oct. 19 in the Boreal Cafe located on the second floor of the Boreal Base Lodge. Interview for one or several winter positions available for the 2013-14 ski season. The job fair will offer interviews on a first-come, first-serve basis. Apply at http://rideboreal.com/winter/jobs/benefits.

Northstar: During the 2013 winter job fair on Oct. 26, Northstar will be hiring full- and part-time and holiday/on-call positions. Information: 530-562-3510, www.northstarcalifornia.com

Sugar Bowl-Royal Gorge: The annual job fair will be Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Coldstream Room at Judah Lodge, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Positions are open in many departments, from terrain park, hotel, food and beverage, and more. Managers and supervisors conduct interviews, with many positions offered that day for exceptional candidates. Sugar Bowl employees enjoy free unrestricted season passes, discounted tickets for friends and family, 50 percent off food, discounted lessons and rentals, and more. Sugar Bowl also offers employee housing on property, as well as at Donner Summit Lodge. Information: www.sugarbowl.com

Hire calling at Sugar Bowl, during the resort’s annual job fair

Sugar Bowl-Royal Gorge is holding its annual job fair on Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Coldstream Room at Judah Lodge.

A wide selection of positions are open in many departments, from terrain park, hotel, food and beverage, and more. Managers and supervisors will be conducting interviews from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many positions will be offered at the time of the interview, “for those exceptional candidates exemplifying positive skills and attributes in line with Sugar Bowl’s long-standing dedication to delivering the highest guest service possible,” according to a press release.

Sugar Bowl employees enjoy free unrestricted season passes, discounted tickets for friends and family, 50 percent off food, discounted lessons and rentals, and more. Sugar Bowl also offers employee housing on property, as well as at Donner Summit Lodge, located 4 miles away, with a free shuttle to and from Donner Summit Lodge for those without transportation.

Information: www.sugarbowl.com/employment

Sugar Bowl gears up for equipment and apparel sale on Labor Day weekend

If you’re looking for new equipment to use on the slopes this winter, it may be available at a steep discount during Sugar Bowl Resort’s annual Labor Day gear sale. The event takes place in the Truckee High School parking lot, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.

Top name-brand ski and snowboard equipment – jackets, pants, gloves, under layers, helmets and, of course, skis and snowboards – will be available at 50 to 65 percent off last year’s regular retail prices. Brands include Arc’Teryx, Armada, Burton, Helly Hansen, K2, Patagonia and Volkl.

The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Truckee High School is at 11725 Donner Pass Road.

Passes for the 2013-14 season at Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort also will be on sale.

Information: www.sugarbowl.com

Sugar Bowl getting a jump on winter with a new $3 million chairlift

Sugar Bowl is getting ready for winter with installation of the Crow’s Peak chairlift, which will provide access to the Strawberry Fields area of the mountain.

Sugar Bowl is getting ready for winter with installation of the Crow’s Peak chairlift, which will provide skiers and boarders access to the Strawberry Fields area of the mountain. (Sugar Bowl Resort photo)

Sugar Bowl Resort is installing a new chair lift this summer, which will improve lift-serviced access to advanced and expert terrain on the west side of the resort.

The Crow’s Peak chairlift, a fixed-grip Dopplemayer triple, will provide lift-serviced skiing and riding in the Strawberry Fields area of the mountain, just below the Crow’s Nest Peak.

Currently, hike-to terrain accessed from the Disney Express Chair, the new Crow’s Peak chair will greatly improve fall line skiing, increasing the overall terrain and vertical for skiers to enjoy. With approval from the United States Forest Service in place as of last week, installation of the new chairlift is beginning so it will be ready for skiers and riders to enjoy during the 2013-14 ski season.

With a project cost of $3 million, it represents Sugar Bowl’s latest significant capital improvement to the resort, both on-mountain and around the base area. Sugar Bowl recently acquired Royal Gorge, North America’s largest cross country ski resort, bringing multiple XC ski trails directly into America’s only snowbound village, at the foot of the mountain.

The new lift’s bottom terminal will be located just above Royal Gorge’s Van Norden Meadow, physically bringing the two resorts closer together. At nearly 1,000 vertical feet, the new lift will run to the top of Crow’s Nest Peak, with the top terminal located just looker’s left of the peak itself.

The terrain enhancements will include two new groomed runs, tree skiing through glades, chutes and cliffs, and also provide a wind-protected area on inclement weather days.

2013-14 Sugar Bowl season passes are on sale starting at $299, with dual-resort Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge season passes starting at $449. Information: www.sugarbowl.com and www.royalgorge.com

Season’s last runs at Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl Resort will be closing for the season at the end of the day on Sunday. Spring skiing will be in full swing until then, with the summit snow depth at 118 inches and the base snow depth at 25 inches.

“We had a great year, from early season powder days to mid-season groomers and sunny spring days to wrap things up,” said John Monson, the resort’s director of sales and marketing. “Bringing Royal Gorge Cross Country back to its once and former glory this season was especially rewarding. We look forward to even more skiers and riders enjoying both resorts next year.”

One-day lift tickets purchased during the remainder of the current season can be used toward the purchase of a 2013-2014 season pass (up to an $80 value).

Sugar Bowl is hosting a weekend-long passholder appreciation party, April 13-14. All current and 2013-2014 pass holders are invited to enjoy live music with Lisa Phenix on Saturday at Judah Lodge. Also, enjoy a free barbecue at the Lodge from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

New and experienced skiers also can take advantage of general admission days through the remainder of the season. That means all day lift ticket holders can get free equipment rentals and a free two-hour lesson during their visit.

Sugar Bowl has been home to some of the foremost skiing and boarding races this season, including the finale of the Rahlves Banzai Tour and the Women’s and Men’s Freestyle Hill Climb race in the United States Ski & Snowboard Association SuperTour finals.

During the 2012-2013 season, Sugar Bowl Resort also assumed operations of Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort under an agreement with the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land. Royal Gorge is America’s largest cross country resort with about 6,000 acres of terrain and 200 kilometers of trails.

Information: www.sugarbowl.com or call 530-426-9000.

Top skiers prepare for final Rahlves’ Banzai Tour challenge at Sugar Bowl

The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour will end where it all began more than 70 years ago — the Silver Belt gully at Sugar Bowl Resort.

Some of the best skiers and snowboarders in the West will battle it out to cap off the four-stop skiing competition with a win at Sugar Bowl.

The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour is described as “big mountain freeskiing meets skier/boardercross.” Competitors race in four-person heats over natural terrain in a contest of pure skiing speed. Previous stops include Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley USA.

The Rahlves’ Banzai dates back to the famed Silver Belt downhill race, which began at Sugar Bowl in 1940 and was considered one of North America’s premier ski races, attracting elite skiers from across the nation.

Daron Rahlves — Olympian, X Games gold medalist, one of the most decorated downhill skiers in U.S. history, and freesking film star — helped reshape the race into the four-resort circuit that it is today. Although he does not compete in the other three stops of the tour, he will take on the ski winners of all four tour stops in a one-time, winner-takes-all, $10,000 cash prize Super Final at Sugar Bowl on Sunday.

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Shuttle between North Lake Tahoe ski/snowboard resorts — for free

A free ski shuttle is now ferrying visitors among nine North Lake Tahoe resorts.

The pilot program, which runs on weekends and holidays through March 31, aims to get skiers and snowboarders out of their cars and reduce travel hassles.

Participating resorts are Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar California, Homewood Mountain Resort, Sugar Bowl, Donner Ski Ranch, Boreal, Soda Springs and Royal Gorge.

For the schedule and details, go to www.laketahoetransit.com.

Sugar Bowl unveils its game plan for Sunday’s NFC championship

Sugar Bowl will be hosting a full-on football party on Sunday during the NFC championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons.

At the resort’s Judah Lodge, there will be two big-screen TVs, drink specials for Sugar Bowl Pale Ale beer, and a raffle that will benefit the Sugar Bowl Ski Team Foundation.

The lifts will be operating on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., so skiers and riders can spend the morning on the slopes, then head into the lodge for lunch and NFL action.

This is the 49ers’ second straight trip to the NFC championship game, and kickoff is at noon. The Baltimore Ravens meet the New England Patriots in the AFC title game at 3:30 p.m.

The atmosphere in Judah Lodge will likely have a strong 49ers slant, given Sugar Bowl’s popularity with skiers and riders from San Francisco and elsewhere in Northern California.

For more information, call 530-426-9000 or visit www.sugarbowl.com.