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Squaw vs. Kirkwood for early March

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Looks like I may be out in the Tahoe area for a short 2 days of skiing in early March. I'll be driving in from the Bay Area adn probably be skiing on Thursday and Friday. I was wondering which resort you guys and gals think I'll have the best time at. I just took a Level 8-9 lesson in Jackson Hole and can make it down just about anything that doesn't require air time (I don't look very graceful, however). I like to be challenged by steeps, bumps, chutes, etc. What are the conditions like in early March at each resort? I assume Kirkwood would have much less crowding but how is Squaw on Thursdays and Fridays? I would guess that Squaw probably has more housing and dining options. Any suggestions and input would be appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 9
There is more stuff going on at Squaw and Tahoe city is only ten minutes away. You don't have to worry about crowds on a weekday. Squaw is easier drive when there is a snow storm, to get back to the city from Kirkwood you would have to take that state highway that is sometimes closed for avalance control. Kirwood is the first moutain that costal systems hit so they supposedly get the most snow.

I would probably start with Squaw if you have not been to either of them and get to Kirwood next time.
post #3 of 9
Thursday and Friday crowds will not be a problem. Both mountains should have excellent snow coverage. The "scence" is more lively at Tahoe and the North Shore. Kirkwood is just as good of an area for skiing, snow quality is usually better. Bottom line you can't go wrong with either choice.
post #4 of 9
It depends on what kind of terrain you like, the snow conditions and how much you like to drive.

I just got back from Tahoe (go every other year and rotate between north and south shore), I'd do Squaw just to avoid the drive down to Kirkwood. It's not a huge deal but an hour is an hour. If there's high winds, your best best is Northstar...not the most knarly terrain but the best wind protected area. If you get a fresh dump, I'd suggest a day at Squaw and a day at Alpine Meadows.

If nobody has had fresh snow in a while and you like groomers, check out Sugar Bowl. $35 if you pay with a Vias on thursday, no crowds, good food and some screaming terrain.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I may be skiing Sat. and Sun. Am I correct in assuming Kirkwood would be significantly less crowded than Squaw? How bad are the crowds at Squaw on the weekends?
post #6 of 9
Hit Sugarbowl. Great steeps/trees and pretty short lines most of the time.
post #7 of 9

One thing one must remember about SV, most of the terrain an advanced skier will ski is serviced by high speed lifts, either quads or six packs. In my observations Saturdays are more crowded than Sundays. And yes Kirkwood should be less busy but I wouldn't let crowds deter you, with the advent of high speed lifts liftlines are insignificant. If you do choose SV park at the Far East chair and buy your ticket at the little kiosk at the east end of the parking lot. Big Red and Squaw Creek chairs (fixed grip) offer great steeps that no one skis (bay area folk are very image concious) therefore no lift lines.
post #8 of 9
Prosper by going to Squaw Valley. I went to both places during a March trip. Squaw is so big that there is always room on the advanced terrain. Getting lunch is a hassle.

Kirkwood has short steeps, then flat run-outs. Squaw has longer steeps, more lifts, varied exposures needed for quality spring conditions.

Squaw Valley, an Olympic Memory in 2002.
post #9 of 9
I skied Squaw yesterday and it was great. Skied Kirkwood the weekend before. They're two of the top 3 advanced hills in the area (Alpine is up there), but Squaw has a bit more to offer. More terrain and faster lifts, plus much more nightlife nearby. Kirkwood has some cool natural bowls, especially good for boarders, but runs are a bit limited and shorter. I'd do Squaw now, and do Kirkwood as soon as you get another chance.
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