Fortune Friday

Posted April 8, 2022


Hello Everyone -

We are winding down ski + ride season, which always feels a bit bittersweet. We’ve got a few weeks left in our season, so I’m trying to soak it all in, and hope you’re able to make it out here and do the same, too!

As I previously shared, we’re seeing some really high temps here in the Tahoe region for this time of year, which have caused more rapid snowmelt, impacting our open terrain. Even with a cooler forecast and maybe even a little new snow, we are going to have to pivot and make some changes to our operations for the remaining two weeks of the season. Here’s the latest on what you can expect and some important changes: 

  • Skiing/Riding and Mountain Access in California will close after this Sunday, April 10. 
  • The last day for Stagecoach is also this Sunday, April 10.  
  • Skiing/Riding and Mountain Access from April 11-24 will be via the Gondola only; the Gondola will close for the winter season on April 24 (our closing day).  
  • Tamarack Express, Dipper Express, and Top of Gondola Magic Carpet will operate M-F from 9am – 4pm and on weekends from 8:30am-4pm. 
  • Limited Ski and Ride School available through April 24.  
  • Tamarack Lodge will remain open. 
  • Rental Shop and Retail will remain available in Heavenly Village. 
  • Sightseeing will also operate daily from 10am – 4pm.

The whole Heavenly team appreciates your understanding as we make these changes in response to dynamic conditions on our mountain – we still hope you join us in taking the final turns of the season.

As always, I’m so happy to introduce you to another amazing member of our Heavenly family: Lee Allen. Lee is our Ski Patrol leader, and such a valuable and important team member. I’m excited for you to learn more about him (see his Q&A below), and to understand exactly what it is he and his Ski Patrol team members do – there’s so much they cover every single day, and they do an incredible job at keeping everyone on the mountain safe.

Until next time!


Lee Allen Selfie

Q: Hiya, Lee! Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Heavenly? 
A: As Senior Manager of Ski Patrol, I’m proud to lead a super talented group of strong men and women – they're the best in the business!  I’ve got 83 team members between Ski Patrol and Mountain Safety that help make this resort as good as it is daily. Some of the notable responsibilities of my role would be the ownership of Heavenly’s avalanche mitigation program, oversight of our department training and development covering everything from first aid to snow safety, rope rescue, and our outstanding rescue dog program. Guest service and safety is at the heart of what we do, and I can confidently say that Ski Patrol is passionate about supporting an Experience of a Lifetime for everyone who comes to our hill.

Q: What are some of the responsibilities you have that might surprise people?  
A: Well, we do have two small lakes on our mountain and most people might not know that we have trained patrollers who are ice rescue certified!

Q: What inspired your career path – including how you found your way to Patrol? 
A:  I was a fanatical surfer and spear fisherman growing up in San Diego, and one day, I saw an ad for Heavenly Valley Ski Resort. There was no surf that day, and the water visibility was terrible, so we said…let’s go for it. The rest was history! I was interested in Patrol from what I saw on the mountain during my first year with F&B back in 1989.  I saw enough frozen mustaches coming in to buy cookies that I knew a department switch was right for me.

Q: What do you love most about your job? And about Heavenly? 
A:   What’s not to love?  I love to ski, I’ve always loved helping people, I love our avalanche control program, I love the people I’ve worked with over the decades (and the experiences and memories we’ve made), and we’ve got the best tree skiing in the nation, of course.

Q: What unique or special skills are needed to do your job?  
A: You need a true appreciation for the success of each person individually, and as a team. It also requires a never-ending excitement about mentoring people to achieve better results than the day before, and – importantly – you must be comfortable with a dynamic work environment with challenges that change on a daily basis.

Q: What advice would you give someone who wants to be a Patroller? 
A: Come introduce yourself at one of our ski patrol shacks on the mountain and share your interests!  If we’re able, we’d love to go for a ski with you, too.

Q: What’s one thing you wish guests knew before coming to Heavenly? 
A: That we have the best tree skiing in the nation – I love seeing first-time guests as they experience all we have to offer.

Q: What or who inspires you most? 
A: My family, my friends, and good skiing.

Q: What’s your favorite run?  
A: That’s a hard question to answer. West Bowl is one of the top contenders for sure.

Q: Anything else you want to add?  
A: Every winter season is different and while we’re enjoying them or looking back, there’s always a reason to argue that this one might have been the best ever.