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  • Diamond Peak - Wow!

    By Tammie Thompson

    Diamond Peak, NV

    Skiers and snowboarders stood stone still taking in the blue waters of Lake Tahoe far below. Early morning mist lingered on the lake adding an eerie spell to the few skiers I encountered. Over my left shoulder the brown desert of Washoe Valley contrasted vividly with the surrounding white peaks and blue waters. Wow.

    Jolted out of my reverie by my rambunctious clan ("let's go, Come on Mom"), we took off down the Crystal Ridge trail, making turn after turn as though we were heading straight into Lake Tahoe. Wow. The trail is a great intermediate cruiser and leg burner that takes you back to the Crystal Quad lift and the guts of the rest of the resort.

    This once sleepy homeowner's ski area has been transformed into one of the premier family resorts around the Tahoe Basin. Varied terrain combined with some great values attracts locals as well as Tahoe destination sliders.

    Surrounded by world class resorts, Diamond Peak is often neglected by die hards. But for families looking for variety and a family atmosphere, I love it. A wonderful beginners area, dubbed the School Yard, with its very own School House lift and Pete's Powerline moving carpet, keeps kids safe and out of the mainstream. Plenty of intermediate terrain and plenty of advanced vertical got my legs going. But it's the lodge that makes the grade for families. Casual, centrally located, with a great deck, the lodge offers good food or big tables for family picnics.

    Diamond Peak offers a parent interchangeable lift ticket. Hang out in the lodge with the little one, and then switch with your partner. If your child is cruising, go for the Family Special - where you get discounted parent/child ticket combos. If you really want to get your time on the slopes, enroll the kids in the Bee Ferrato Children's Center. Bee has been at Diamond Peak for years and the program just gets better over time. They've added a Ski and Play program for little ones (three years old). The half-day session includes two hours of private lessons, two hours of play, lift ticket, rentals and supervised lunch. Parents report so much progress that the price is well worth it.

    Diamond Peak Ski School, courtesy of Diamond PeakClose to the end of a full day I left the kids with dad and some hot chocolate. I headed up for one last run. Once again I lingered at the top of Crystal Ridge, looking out at the sparkle of the massive Lake Tahoe and marveled at its variations in color. With a silver shimmer in the morning, a blue noon and a green to purple afternoon, the lake sleeps into a green then black night. So many colors, such sparkle, it indeed mimics a precious stone.

    My Zen moment over, I headed down the ridge to my rowdy group. Another day on the slopes - picture perfect.

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