With all the ways to save at Mt. Rose, it's nearly impossible to pay full price at this Nevada golden nugget. No other Tahoe resort offers as many daily discounts. Locals' favorites include "Bonus Mondays," "Two-fer Tuesdays," "Student Wednesdays," and $19 lift tickets for women on Thursdays. Located just 22 miles from the bright casino lights and dirt-cheap lodging of Reno, a good time at Mt. Rose is never a gamble. While the resort's 900 acres and six lifts may not be as impressive as some nearby Tahoe Basin mega-resorts, Mt. Rose contains enough steeps and trees to satisfy even demanding skiers. After all, this is where World Cup champion Tamara McKinney learned to carve turns with her brother Steve when they were kids. "A small resort that skis big," comments a reader. With a base elevation of 8,260 feet (the highest in Tahoe) and northeast-facing slopes, Mt. Rose typically receives plenty of snow (400 inches a year) to cover its varied terrain. The steep runs under the Northwest Magnum 6 detachable drop 1,400 vertical feet and contain lines that challenge the hardest of chargers. Gold Run's 50 percent gradient makes it one of North America's steepest steeps. On Slide Mountain to the east, the epic glades of East Bowl provide some of the best treeskiing anywhere. And Rose's excellent beginner area has been improved this year with a Wonder Carpet conveyor lift. There is, however, a drawback to Mt. Rose. In good weather, a trip from Reno to Rose is a 25-minute drive up Highway 431, but if there's a hint of new snow it's best to start early; adverse weather makes the commute a bit hairy. "Access can be a problem," agrees one reader. As locals know, however, Rose is worth the trip.
WHAT'S NEW Expanded parking and installation of a conveyor lift for the Rosebud Children Ski and Snowboard Center. Also, snowmaking now covers one-third of the mountain.
A GOOD DEAL The $90 Runs 'n' Roses package includes full-day lift tickets for two adults and up to two children.
HIGH/LOW PACIFIC RANK Grooming (5), Snow (7), Value (10); Challenge (25), Service (26), Lodging (31).
DON'T MISS March 23 is a women's discount day, open to cross-dressers and complete with "Drag Race" competition.
READER REMARKS (+) "Great snow, varied terrain, beautiful views." "Fun cruisers."
(-) "Small; crowded on weekends." "Poor base facilities."