University of Nevada Art History professor was a passionate outdoorsman who hiked the mountains around Lake Tahoe and in 1908 developed the Mt. Rose Snow Sampler which measured the water content in snow and is still used to this day.
In 1939, Wayne Paulsen operated the Mount Rose Upski at the current location of Sky Tavern until 1941, when he took out an option to purchase Squaw Valley.
In 1950, the old Mt. Rose Highway was merely a summer road connecting Reno with beautiful Lake Tahoe. As the years marched on, the old SR 431 continued to be improved thus allowing winter travel to higher elevations; more terrain became easily accessible.
“This postcard view clearly demonstrates the potential for tremendous snowfall in the Tahoe Basin. This is the summit along Mount Rose Highway in July 1952. the depth of the snow is so overwhelming that it needs a photograph just to be believed. The automobiles provide a convenient sense of scale. (Courtesy of the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society)”
Reports of 20′ of snow falling from October to Jan 1, and then another 12′ in January.
Devoted skiers from Sky Tavern hiked up to the 9,700’ peak of Slide Mountain and skied in the location of the present Mt. Rose – Ski Tahoe. By widening the existing logging trails for better ski terrain, these powder hounds were cutting some of the first ski trails in the Sierra Nevada.
The original Reno Ski Bowl was constructed on the east slope of Slide Mountain (currently the East Bowl of Mt. Rose) and was at one point connected to the Sky Tavern area by the old “Ringer Chair.” This lift spanned “Bum’s Gulch” taking it to the base of the Reno Ski Bowl. When Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, the Reno Ski Bowl was actually chosen as an alternate site for skiing events if Squaw did not have adequate snow coverage.