LAKE TAHOE IN WINTER
BY DR. J.E. CHURCH, JR., OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA
[Footnote 1: By courtesy of Sunset magazine.]
Lake Tahoe is an ideal winter resort for the red-blooded. For the Viking and the near Viking; for the man and the woman who, for the very exhilaration of it, seek the bracing air and the snow-clad forests, Lake Tahoe is as charming in winter as in summer, and far grander. There is the same water—in morning placid, in afternoon foam-flecked, on days of storm tempestuous. The Lake never freezes; not even a film of ice fringes its edge. Sunny skies and warm noons and the Lake’s own restlessness prevent. Emerald Bay alone is sometimes closed with ice, but more often it is as open as the outer Lake. Even the pebbles glisten on the beach as far back as the wash of the waves extends.
But beyond the reach of the waves a deep mantle of white clads the forests and caps the distant peaks. The refuse of the forests, the dusty roads, and the inequalities of the ground are all buried deep. A smooth, gently undulating surface of dazzling white has taken their place.
The forest trees are laden with snow—each frond bears its pyramid and each needle its plume of white. The fresh green of the foliage and the ruddy brown of the bark are accentuated rather than subdued by their white setting. But as the eye travels the long vista of ascending and retreating forest, the green and the brown of the near-by trees fade gradually away until the forest becomes a fluffy mantle of white upon the distant mountain side. Above and beyond the forest’s utmost reaches rise the mountain crags and peaks, every angle rounded into gentle contours beneath its burden of snow.
[Illustration: The Fergusson Metrograph on the summit of Mt. Rose, wrecked by snow “feathers,” some of which were six feet long.]
[Illustration: Refuge Hut and Headquarters for Snow Studies on Mt. Rose, 9000 Feet]
[Illustration: Skiing from Tallac to Fallen Leaf Lodge]
[Illustration: Snow Surveyor on the Mountains Above Glen Alpine in Winter]
Along the margin of the Lake appear the habitations and works of men deeply buried and snow-hooded until they recall the scenes in Whittier’s Snow Bound.
The lover of the Lake and its bird life will miss the gulls but will find compensation in the presence of the wild fowl—the ducks and the geese—that have returned to their winter haunts.
Lake Tahoe is remarkably adapted as a winter resort for three prime reasons: first, it is easily accessible; second, no place in the Sierra Nevada, excepting not even Yosemite, offers so many attractions; third, it is the natural and easy gateway in winter to the remote fastnesses of the northern Sierra.
Among the attractions preeminently associated with Lake Tahoe in winter are boating and cruising, snow-shoeing and exploring, camping for those whose souls are of sterner stuff, hunting, mountain climbing, photography, and the enjoyment of winter landscape. Fishing during the winter months is prohibited by law.