Sugar Bowl Ski Resort was a dream that came true for two Austrian immigrants, Bill Klein and Hannes Schroll. Schroll, Director of the Badger Pass Ski School in Yosemite in the 1930s, wasn't convinced that there was any skiing at Donner Summit. Klein had opened and successfully run the Ski School Klein at Mt. Lincoln on Donner Summit, and when the property was put up for sale, he brought Schroll to the site. They immediately recognized the possibilities, and Schroll purchased the original acreage in 1938 for $7,000. One year later, Sugar Bowl Corporation opened the resort and Walt Disney became the resort's first major stockholder. Disney was known not only to have invested in and skied the Bowl, but bartend incognito as well, thus the Disney Chair name. The resort became the premier choice of ski areas among Hollywooders in the 1940s, and the guest list often included Norma Shearer, Errol Flynn, Claudette Colbert, and Levi Strauss. Sugar Bowl has been named to skiing firsts, including the state's first chairlift, which was built by an ore mine tram company, and the country's first gondola. Sugar Bowl also has an open boundary policy, making it the best entry point for Tahoe backcountry excursions. Skiers can purchase a one-way ticket for $10 to the top of the mountain, after that, the snow's the limit. Sugar Bowl holds the overall 100-year record for amount of snowfall. In March of 1958, 11 feet of snow fell in four days. In January, 1969, 13.5 feet of snow fell in twelve days. February, 1975, the resort saw 11 feet fall in sixteen days. And in 1978, during an El Nino, almost a foot of snow fell daily for the entire month of February. Its proximity to the Royal Gorge chasm, which funnels storm fronts into the Sierra Nevada, and the Pacific Crest, maximizes orographic uplift onto the northeast slopes. Translation: Sugar Bowl has always received more snow than just about anywhere. A new detachable high-speed quad, climbing 1,000 vertical feet and replacing the Disney chair, was added in 1999 allowing skiers to load directly from the lodge deck. There are still a few towers remaining from the original Disney chair, built in 1939, and for historical reasons, some may stay. Though the chair had been rebuilt a number of times, the line was never changed until the quad was installed. Not many skiers talk about Sugar Bowl-it's one of the best kept secrets of Donner Pass and North Lake Tahoe. When conditions are good, they're very good, and when conditions are bad, the skiriding is still good. The resort encompasses four peaks and their sub-summits. Ample ridge runs access ever more ample trails for all ability levels, and because there's so much diverse terrain for skiriders to cover, the snow stays untracked longer. With a great snowbound lodge, as well as being the closest major resort to the Bay Area, Sugar Bowl is a great choice for both day trips and destination vacations. This eTrail contains a thorough description of the resort including driving directions, mountain statistics, trail profiles, extensive lodging & dining information, travel tips, and much more.
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