Mount Rose-Ski Tahoe, NV: Lake Tahoe’s Unicorn Mountain

Claire Weiss |
Top of Mt Rose. PC: Claire Weiss

For the past couple of seasons, we’ve been Mount Rose-Ski Tahoe pass holders, and we couldn’t be happier!

Mount Rose-Ski Tahoe Resort in Nevada is not a part of any behemoth corporation and still keeps the friendly local vibe. The resort was on the market in 2016 as the Buser family planned to sell it. At that time, the crowdfunding campaign to finance the ski resort and keep it local had been started by a group of volunteers called OneReno group. In 2017, the mountain was taken off the market, and since that time it has been owned by the children and grandchildren of Fritz Buser.

Around The World run. PC: Claire Weiss

What makes the resort a pioneer mountain?

  • It was one of the first ski hills in Lake Tahoe (Mount Rose Upski was opened in 1939 with a tow rope 1,300 feet long and operated by Wayne Paulsen).
  • It was also one of the first resorts to allow snowboarders, although they were required to pass certification! 
  • Mount Rose Weather Observatory – one of America’s first high-altitude meteorological observatories, established on June 29, 1905.
  • Mount Rose is usually one of the first resorts to open in Lake Tahoe every winter.
View of Washoe Lake from Mt Rose. PC: Claire Weiss

What makes Mount Rose stand out among the other resorts around Lake Tahoe?

High elevation

The snow feels drier and wintry on the mountain. The groomed runs, which are usually skied out by the afternoon, hold pretty well thanks to high elevation. Even the firm patches have an excellent grip. The bumps feel less icy, again due to higher elevation and less ski traffic.

Excellent operations

Can you imagine running the resort without any power? Following an enormous snowfall on March 5th, 2023, many places around Lake Tahoe were without power, including Mount Rose. But that didn’t prevent the resort from spinning both of its high-elevation lifts on generators for the whole day.

Powder Day at Mt Rose. PC: Claire Weiss

Amazing local vibe

It’s great to recognize the same people day after day, even without personally knowing them. One of the nice things here at Mount Rose is free clinics for pass holders and weekly ticket promotions like Ladies’s Thursday, Locals’ Sunday, etc. And those promotions date back to the 1960s. Beer festivals, Steep Sixteen, SKIG.I.F, and many other events define the unique local atmosphere of Mount Rose.

SKIG.I.F at Snow Deck.PC: Claire Weiss

Nice views

The views are amazing here—you can see beautiful Lake Tahoe from the top of Lakeview Express and Washoe Lake from the top of Zephyr Express.

View of Lake Tahoe, top of NorthWest Bowl. PC: Claire Weiss

Early start

Did you know that the Slide Bowl area is open half an hour early for pass holders? That allows you to be on top of Northwest Bowl earlier than the main lift starts and ski or shred down untracked terrain.

Top of Lakeview, Mt Rose. PC: Claire Weiss

Mount Rose has terrain for every level—from beginner skiers/snowboarders to experts whose favorite area is the Chutes.

The Chutes. PC: Claire Weiss

And that name says it all! The “easiest” chutes are Miller Time and Beehive, so if you want a taste of steep, you can start with those. If you want steeper, from the top of Beehive you can traverse to Yellow Jacket, which allows you to skip the steepest part of the run but enjoy the great snow of the less steep half. The Chutes are facing north so they are mainly in the shade during winter, and the snow quality is perfect there.

Yellow Jacket run. PC: Claire Weiss

For the springtime, the best place to start is a Slide Bowl, as it faces east and gets more sunshine in the morning. And then move to Northwest Bowl, where the runs still hold pretty well even when the other part of the mountain is baked.

Groomed Bruce Run. PC: Claire Weiss

Here are a few nice upgrades for the coming season at Mount Rose:

 Lodgepole Cafe remodel

There will be a few upgrades for the lodge which makes it more comfortable and cozy.

Lakeview Deck 

If you’re a pass holder, you know what it’s for! Every Friday in the spring the mountain operates until 6 pm. Three lifts (Lakeview, Wizard, and Magic) are spinning until 6 pm. And there is beer, wine, and après at the snow deck by the Lakeview. Wait! It was always a snow deck. This coming season, however, an actual deck will be constructed for the Deck Bar with a stunning view of Lake Tahoe!

Heated Ramp

The ramp near the main lodge will get an upgrade, making walking around much easier, especially after snowfall.

Snowmaking upgrades

A couple of new Pole Cats will be installed to allow more snowmaking at Slide Bowl and Bunker Trail.

Come join the Mount Rose fan club—you won’t regret it!

Credit: Claire Weiss

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...