it is very possible. Rent in SF itself is expensive, but SF proper itself is only 7x7 miles.
There are surrounding cities in the complete Bay Area that are more affordable.
I am not quite understanding if you already have a job that requires you to be near particular set of cities, or are just in general looking for work.
If you have a job that has the income to afford to stay in SF or SF area, then it is a great choice in CA.
If you don't have a job or financial means , this maybe too expensive of an area to just "wing it" without any other network to back you up.
If you are determined for California more for snow rather than your job or other factors, Sacramento is half of the way to Tahoe.
I've been doing the Tahoe commute for many weekends past few years. It is not that terrible assuming you are a youthful person with energy and don't need 12hours of sleep a day or need to tend to children or anything like that..
If you are a night owl, you leave later on Friday night after dinner (instead of rush hour), and get into Tahoe area around midnight (or later if there are road condition issues). If there are road closures, you may consider stopping at a hotel/motel in Sacramento then completing the journey the next morning when the roads clear.
If you are a morning person, then you can leave early Sat morning.
If you follow these strategy then traffic jams to get out of the bay area and past sacramento is less of an issue.
There are also buses and many social groups that organize group rideshare transportation specifically for weekend trips if you don't want to drive or meet new people or drive alone.
Many of the weekend warriors only ski Saturday, and use Sunday as a recovery day to watch football or sleep in and commute home.
If you are a dedicated skier and leave and End of Day sunday, the commute home is not terrible either.
But as noted previously, a weekday day is of course much better compared to peak weekends.... If you can build in a few 3day or 4day trips into your season, it will amortize the commute time on those trips.
If you are planning for this season, you better think about getting a season pass soon. It looks like they are closing off sales of those much sooner to lock people in as compared to previous years.
Edited by raytseng - 11/14/12 at 12:53am