If you’re around Tahoe, want to ski, and can’t get to one of the three resorts in North America that are still open, patch skiing is a good option. However, some spots are certainly better than others. Andy Hays, Katy Hover-Smoot and I drove down today for some 4th of July turns on “The Patch”, a classic spot just a short jaunt outside of Tahoe near Red Lake and Kirkwood. Easy access, but don’t attempt getting up the dirt road without a raised suspension vehicle (it’s a bumpy and rocky ride). There are several large-ish patches at the end of the road. We skied the first, as it had a bit more terrain variation and looked more fun to ski, though the last patch was the widest.
I was really happy with the amount of snow still up there. I’ve skied some small and ridiculous patches, this was not one of them. We were able to get solid, continuous runs in. The snow was suncupped, but smoothed out and corned up a bit for our second lap. A choke halfway down added a little terrain variation, but I’m not sure how much longer that choke is going to hold snow. I suspect the patches will be there for another couple weeks, maybe a bit longer, but could start to get segmented into smaller patches soon.
Easy and fun jaunt, and a good way to break up the long summer. Happy fourth!