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CA: SugarBowl challenging enough for the daily burn?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

Moved to Sacramento recently from CO. Excited about skiing the Tahoe area this year. I have always had a CO Pass and spent most of my days at A-Basin and Keystone. Looking for a good 'go-to' mountain for quick day/half-day trips up from Sac with some challenging terrain and a few bumps to keep me honest. I work weekends in the winter for obvious reasons.

I get half off at Heavenly for the epic days with my CO Pass, but thinking of picking up the Sugarbowl Mid-week pass for the daily burn. And throw a few snowbomb Kirkwood E-ticket days in the mix for pow pow?

The $199 mid-week Kirkwood is an awesome deal, but don't see myself doing the drive when I just want a few hours shreddin.

Thanks for your input

post #2 of 10
Where in Sac? How much longer is the drive to Kirkwood?

Sugarbowl has some good terrain but it tends to be short steeps with long run outs. SugarBowl has always felt a little small to me for its stats.

If you are living up on the northeast side of Sac with only ~1hr drive to Sugarbowl than Sugarbowl is probably a good call for mid week half days.

(versus driving across town in commute traffic to get to US50/SR16)

IMHO: kirkwood is a much better mtn. The downside is 88 closes much more than i80. Particularly, during a storm and the morning after a storm for avi control long the road.

If you are close to US50, get the kirkwood pass.
post #3 of 10
As you can see from my profile, Sugar Bowl is my home mountain so I might be a little biased...

You can definitely get your "daily burn" on the mountain. Loops on Fuller's Folly, Silver Belt, the 58's will give you a solid workout and might even get the adrenalin going. East face, Sugar Bowl and Nancy's couloir are all solid relatively steep runs but I'd agree with storm day about the long runnouts for those runs unless you are moving from Disney over to Lincoln.

My impresson is that it might take slightly longer to ski out the powder at Sugar Bowl than at some of competing areas. (or maybe I just know where to go)

Go for it! Hopefully these early season weather forecasts are correct and we'll get a solid early base.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Right on, thanks for the replies guys,

I just need to pull the trigger on one and start praying for snow. I'm right in midtown Sac where Hwy50 and Bus. 80 meet so access to either road is a snap, but I still think SB will be a solid 25-30 minutes closer.

Frankly I miss my A-Basin, especially with the Montezume Bowl opening this year!

Oh well all this whining of my dilemma while I should be grateful of how many options I have within a 2 hr radius :
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by FlyXSki View Post
I still think SB will be a solid 25-30 minutes closer.
Sound about right.

FWIW: I would pick kirkwood and take the 30 minutes drive time hit. Which is about the same time difference between SB and Alpine Meadows or Squaw. Plus the foothills roads to Kirkwood can be more fun to drive than i80.

BTW: I have been a Alpine Meadows passholder and this year decided to get a Kirkwood pass. I usually ski a few days a year at SB. I find SB ok, but not great. For whatever reason, it just does not work for me that way Alpine Meadows or Kirkwood do.
post #6 of 10

Welcome to Sac

You might try Sierra-at-Tahoe as well as it's pretty quick to get there via 50 and it has reasonable terrain. Perhaps not as challenging as Sugar Bowl or Kirkwood, but can be loads of fun - particularly mid-week. We're ALL biased - Sierra is my home mountain :-) Good luck, rickp
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys

I just bought the SugarBowl pass. I will definitely be venturing out to KW as well as it sounds like that is a fantastic mountain.

Glad to be a part of the forum here, what a great resource!

post #8 of 10
i know they used to have a Sugarwood Pass at one point (they never really advertised it though, it was kinda on the DL) that was good at SB and KW.
post #9 of 10
Sugar Bowl is the shortest ride from Sacramento via I80 and is a relatively unknown gem. I consider it to be a pocket Squaw. There are definitely some heart-stopping runs there and plenty for the advanced to expert skier getting a quick half day. The drive to Kirkwood is much harder, especially in bad weather. For what you say you want, stick to your plan and ignore the macho hype.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ebough,

Your sentiments are exactly what I hope to find up there. Now we just need some weather, these sunny Sacramento mornings are killing me. I did get out to A-Basin in Colorado over Halloween, but I think that small taste of what could be is now driving me crazy
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › CA: SugarBowl challenging enough for the daily burn?