New snow toys bring more options to slopes

February 12, 2010 7:44:11 PM PST
Lots of visitors are making their way to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the snow and there are lots of new toys that bring new ways to enjoy the slopes.

It's not a scooter, it's not a snow bike -- it's the slopecycle.

"It is aircraft aluminum frame and fork, BMX handlebars, a solid wood core for the board with single cut radial steel edges," Randy Berenson said.

The board is in two pieces. The front part turns so you can steer.

"Your feet are not attached and you don't have any special boots; it's very easy to start slow," Berenson said.

Of course not everyone takes it slow. Harrison Brown travels the country giving demonstrations.

Riders carry the slopecycle on to the chair lift and hold on as they head up the mountain.

Slopecycles sell for $750, but they can be rented for a lot less.

"It's tremendously fun and very easy to pick up," Berenson said.

Brown recently to the slopecycle to Heavenly ski resort in South Lake Tahoe; the resort has a terrain park full of new features made from recycled materials.

"Whether it be mountain garbage or industry trash, we're really just trying to design and get really creative and use less steel and less products that are going to wind up in the landfills," terrain park manager Mike Thomas said.

One rail is made of old towers and pipes from outdated snowmaking equipment. Heavenly wants to be a leader in the field and now has 20 recycled features.

Skiers and snowboarder might also want to check out the eMotion Cam -- a little camera that straps to the top of a helmet so users can record everything they see and still have their hands free. The camera holds two hours of video.

The camera can be rented at Shoreline of Tahoe for $40 a day. When the user is finished, they take it back to the store and a computer makes a DVD or puts the video on a flash drive to take home.

Also new this winter -- a tubing hill at Heavenly with five 500-foot lanes and a state of the art covered lift to take riders to the top.

"[It's] like an airport conveyor belt; it runs obviously on a vertical plane and allows folks to walk on and carry their tube," Director of Skier Services Mike Allen said.

Riders have to hold on tight to the tube or it will get away from them, but it definitely beats hiking to the top.

A great weather report for President's Day weekend is the perfect excuse to head to Lake Tahoe and try some of the new toys.

Written and produced by Jennifer Olney