You need to do these three things when it's shoulder season in Truckee-Tahoe

You may have heard that in Truckee and North Tahoe, “People come for the winter, but stay for the summer.”

That’s not lip service, it’s a hard fact.

What you won’t hear people say is that they love spring in the Sierras. Reason being? We don’t really have one.

Sure, the days get warmer, you can drop a layer after a lap or two, and there’s an increasingly evident roadside bloom of orange plastic cones, accompanied by the reverberating tone of commercial trucks in reverse.

“Wow, that is very large pothole … “

Better to forget the notion of spring, call it “shoulder season,” and start getting yourself ready for the fun, consistently warm times that await. Here are three things to do during shoulder season in the Sierras:

1. Get your gear tuned

The mountain bike trails will be dry and hard-packed in no time—but that’s not what you need to be ready for.

Come this time of year, if you time it right, the mountain biking becomes as sought after as KT-22 on a blower weekday.

Before the sun and super-dry summer kicks-in, shaded trails will exist in a luxurious state of tacky, damp hardpack that lets everyone feel like a pro mountain biker for a few days. This is what you want to be ready for. Find your favorite gear shop, and get that bike on the rack before everyone else does, and you’ll be first at the parking lot when the best conditions reach fruition.

Also, before you hang them in the garage or mudroom for the summer, make sure to get your nordic and downhill skills in for one last edge and wax. Come November next year, you won’t be a “week out” on the shop’s list, missing that first great blast of early-season powder.

2. Snow removal

By May, you’ve pretty much had it with shoveling and blowing snow off decks and driveways. Your plow contract has ended, the sun is out, and you’re thinking: “It’ll all just melt.”

And you’re exactly right.

When slabs of snow piled on your roof, over your stairs, on your decks, and in other important structural places start to melt and slide, things can get dangerous.

Our nights are cold and the days sunny, so the melt-thaw process makes things pretty unpredictable, and creates perfect conditions for heavy slabs of multi-layered frozen garbage to find its way to the ground.

The idea is to have control over where the wet snow goes when it leaves the top of your home, and the only way to do that is by moving it. The hazards are many, from puddles of snowmelt freezing overnight into small ponds of hip-breaking black-ice, to craggy ice blocks taking out deck railings.

Kari recommends being as pro-active as possible. Ask her for names of local labor—insured, of course—to help clear remaining drifts and ice barges that have been weighing on your home and task list since January.

In communities such as Tahoe Donner, up high along the West Shore, and the heavily shaded sections of Prosser Lakeview Estates and Armstrong Tract, it may still look like mid-winter. Do what’s best for the long-term value of your home, and your personal safety.

3. Start looking for a home!

This is the time to take action when it comes to buying a house in the Truckee-Tahoe region.

Shoulder season is when seasonal owners decide to either move-up to a larger home, laterally to a different community (once getting to know the area better), or decide mountain town life wasn’t for them.

This is our busiest market to be sure, and it means sellers are attentive to buyer attention, moreso from those buyers ready to strike.

Thus, make sure you spend time in shoulder season getting ready to make a move on house. Talk to a lender about being preapproved for a mortgage, tour some neighborhoods with Kari, and just as you do for your bikes, skis, and boards, get yourself tuned and ready to live a high mountain lifestyle!

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