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Heavenly’s California Main Lodge in South Lake Tahoe, CA

Heavenly’s California Main Lodge in South Lake Tahoe, CA

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Company Info:

Rating: 3.50

Address: 3860 Saddle Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 96150

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    Comments (8):

    1. Jennifer L.
    This is one of the oldest buildings at Heavenly, and the Gunbarrel chair lift has been there for more than 50 years.  (renovated since then!)  This is where the Heavenly Day Care is located.  The building has gone through some changes but could do with a complete over haul.

    26/02/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    2. Melissa C.
    Adult Ski School Review at Califronia Main Lodge:

    I took the first timer class. The instructor Paul was very good, friendly staff. That said, the ski school area for adults and children were mixed, which is a bad idea. I spent more time standing in line to get on the conveyer belt up the learning hill than I ever spent going down the hill because it was crowded. Parents were allowed in with their children, so there were multiple parents playing in the snow with even smaller kids in the way of the adult learners.There were also a number of "stage parents" who were in the area coaching their kids along with the instructors they paid to teach their kids in the first place. Because of overcrowding and lack of time on the practice hill, the class did not get to the bunny hill. I eventually left and went to the green lift on my own. I would give this place five stars had they better managed separation of kids and adults practice areas. Frankly, if the parents weren't there it probably would not have been an issue.

    04/01/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    3. Vincy L.
    Love Heavenly. It is my resort of choice. I like that sometimes they serve free hot chocolate in the afternoons!

    17/01/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    4. Matthias K.
    Heavenly was the first mountain I ever skied in Tahoe and I was happy with my experience. There is quite a lot of mountain to ski, and you can ski the Nevada side for half the day and California for half the day. Now I did go in the middle of the week, so I didn't have to deal with crowds that made it better, but the quality of the mountain, lifts, runs and people were great. If you are looking for a mountain with over 75% blue runs, fast chair lifts, and wonderful views, I would recommend heavenly to anyone. There are more challenging runs like the face, however I didn't ski them because the coverage wasn't quite right at the time. I would visit again in a heart beat though, and look forward to my next visit.

    05/02/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    5. Wanugee N.
    There are a lot of places and rent skis or snowboards around Lake Tahoe. But if you are going to Ski Heavenly, this is the main place.

    If you have your equipment and are staying near Stateline at the hotels, you can walk to the Heavenly Village Gondola, and go up to mid mountain to ski.

    On the other hand, if you want to rent and buy lift tickets, this is a good starting point. There is a large parking lot right in front of it, with preferred paid parking close in, or free parking a little farther out.

    The lodge is on multiple levels. The lift tickets can be purchased on the bottom parking lot level. If you need to rent, you start off the next level up, at rentals. Here, you log into a computer your info, get a print out, then take it to get your boots from some foreign young worker who speaks English with a thick Chilean or French accent.

    You try on the boots to see if they fit. Then you keep the left boot loose, because you have to walk to get your poles around the other side of the large room. After getting the right sized poles, you clomp clomp in your boots, holding your poles and whatever other gear you are carrying with you, along with that print-out from when you first typed in your vitals. up to get your skis.

    Before that, you have to carry your shoes/boots over to the day lockers ($7) to put the shoes you came with away, and what other stuff you don't want to take up the mountain.

    At the Skis, is where you hand over that loosened left boot so they can test your bindings, after you tell them your height and weight, and age, and what type of skier you are. Then they give your skis after they are fitted, and you carry them with your poles, to the cashier to pay for your rentals. After that, you carry your skis, poles, gear, while clomping in your boots, down stairs to the parking level, and then carry all of this while clomping in your boots, 100 yards over to the Tram to take you up the mountain.

    When you get to the TRAM, you climb up more steps, and across the deck to get into the Tram. When you ride the tram up to mid-mountain, you get off, and you try to tighten your boots, and put on your skis, and gather your poles, and zip up your gear, and try to find the trail to actually ski. If you are a beginner, the easy run is down an intermediate road about 300 yards. And if the wind is blowing over the mountain top, you will get a face full of cold ice and windburned cheeks.

    If you are a novice and can't stand the 30 MPH cold gusts in your face below freezing,    and can't ski well enough into the face of that the distance to get to the easy runs and lifts, then you have to turn around, and get back into the Tram, after taking off your skis in the blowing wind. Then you have to ride down again, to the bottom, and carry your skis, poles and gear, from the Tram, in your clomping ski boots, back to this Main Lodge and return them and ask for a refund. And then you have to go downstairs, and ask for a refund from the Lift Ticket booth.

    That is what we did. It was about 2 hours of schlepping like a Scherpa, with no skiing, and determination to go to Northstar the next day.

    28/12/11 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    6. Lorrie M.
    This is not the best building Heavenly has, and, as someone mentioned, is one of their oldest buildings. The convenience of the California Main Lodge is that there is an actual parking lot where one could walk directly onto a ski lift without having to deal with the infamous Heavenly Gondola.

    What's more, Gunbarrel express actually does provide just as spectacular of a view of the lake, without all the scratched up glass, as would the Heavenly Gondola. And you don't have to worry about making it back by 3:30 or having a gazillion people waiting in line to get down the mountain.

    There are far more food choices here at the lodge, there is a Day Care which is cool, a store for you to pick up odds and ends should you need them and generally nice, well maintained bathroom facilities. I like the California side so much more than Tamarack lodge despite all its newness and "Cool"ness. I would take a ride down to get to the car over a 20 minute wait and 10 minute gondola any day!

    05/03/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    7. Norm G.
    Needed to only rent boots. The rent skis Vail franchise was understaffed causing a wait of 45 minutes to an hour to rent a pair of boots. They were buried by busloads of tourists who had never skied before, all requiring lengthy personalized attention.

    Then they wanted to hit me for the $20 binding check ripoff fee which I had just paid two weeks prior at Kirkwood where the same experience took 15 minutes beginning to end. Way way understaffed. Ruined my day because the snow turns slushy by 1 pm. At least they didn't charge me anything.

    The staff was nice, but the management wasn't good. Apparently it was near the end of the season and they had terminated a lot of the seasonal staff.

    23/04/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    8. Christina N.
    I'm a beginner, and I've tried learning skiing a couple of times. 5 times to be exact, at different locations, but never succeeded until this time! I enrolled for the women's ultimate 4 lesson and saw it as my final attempt to learn skiing before I ditched the sport. However, I finally managed to pick it up during the 2.5 hours class and grew to enjoy the sport! I'm still slightly apprehensive and probably wouldnt go on a green run on my own without someone to look out for me, but hey, at least I can turn now!! ;)

    The instructor was extremely patient with us and got us started being comfortable on skis without our poles. In fact, we did the entire lesson without poles so when I got on the actual run and had to carry the poles, I got super messed up and ended up ditching the poles. Lol.

    The runs are pretty well maintained and I like that they had a super long and wide green run from the top of the mountain. Definitely great practice for a beginner like me. I enjoyed the gunbarrel express which had an amazing view of the lake. It was my first time taking a ski lift DOWN instead of UP so that was pretty interesting.

    There's a free shuttle from the gondola to the california main lodge so it is pretty convenient to get there. Can't wait to go back again!

    01/03/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0