Heavenly at Lake Tahoe is an awesome ski resort. Spanning two states, the mountain rises to an elevation of 10,067 feet with nearly 5,000 acres of runs, making it the largest area on the West Coast.

We found ourselves there the second week of February. Like vultures to a carcass, friends were flying in from all over to enjoy Heavenly's 3,500 feet of vertical spread over 92 runs (that's a descent of 5.5 miles). The rumored 30-foot annual snowfall didn't hurt either.

Unfortunately, the snow pack's been off this year, so rather than being met with a promised land of powder and blue skies, we found runs with exposed rocks and bare ground.

As luck would have it though, the snow began falling the night we arrived and continued through our visit, making up for the disappointment of that first day. The sun even made an appearance, and by the end of our stay the snow was primo and the skiing was, in a word, heavenly.