Day 20
Location: Truckee, CA
Resorts: 11 out of 50

We like to think of this trip as a sampler platter of ski resorts across the West. We hit the big, the small, and everything in between. Our only criteria: Never pay full price. Everyone in Truckee told us to that an afternoon at Donner Ski Ranch was worth the trip. It’s small, but fun was the overall opinion. And with midweek tickets at only $22, we were sold.

A stunning scenic drive down to the bottom of Donner Lake and back up was just the beginning of another great day in the Sierra Nevadas. Snow had fallen again the night before. Another six inches of solid Sierra Cement.

There’s a nice, short steep ridge near the bottom of the ski area. It’s a great place to practice running some quick lines if you don’t have much experience with chutes and steeps. You might even find yourself cliffed out. You might even find yourself being mocked from people on the chair lift. Not that this happened to me…

As the low hanging clouds blew away with the morning, we carved fresh turns down the backside. More short runs with not much pitch, but everything is just butter when it’s untracked. The only low point was that the two lifts that access the Boreal Ridge were both closed. It appears that they might be closed during the week. Oh well. What else do you expect for $22.

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Apres-Ski Report:
We had to return to Taco Jalisco and the Volcano Bowl. It’s like heaven — if you consider heaven to be shrimp, steak, pork, and chicken served in a sizzling bowl of mole sauce.  Then it was off to the Crystal Bay Casino where Snooze has been winning us bottles of wine with suited blackjacks.

The Cheat Sheet:

Donner Ski Ranch
19320 Donner Pass Rd
Truckee, CA 96162

Taco Jalisco
11400 Donner Pass Rd
Truckee, CA 96161

Crystal Bay Casino
14 State Highway 28
Crystal Bay, NV 89402