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kirkwood. a good place to spend the season?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
what do you guys think of kirkwood?
i dont see much trying the search function.
with a season pass starting at $220 for 6 days a week, it seems hard to beat for the tahoe area.
post #2 of 17
are you talking about living there or do you already live in No Cal and are wondering where to get a season pass...if the later, go for it- nice terrain, good snow history and a great pass price.

If the former, you may find it a bit isolated and/or expensive in terms of housing. You could live in SLT to have more housing selection, but still would have to drive a bit to get there. FWIW, I haven't been there since early '05 and they were building at the base area, so maybe things have changed.

If you let others know what you are looking for, they may be able to help more...
post #3 of 17
Kirkwood also has an unlimited Network pass good 7-days and Holidays for $399, and that is the better deal. Kirkwood is the hardest of the Tahoe areas to reach due to its remote location. Closures of Carson Spur and Carson Pass for avalanche control can be a factor. It is the highest of the Tahoe areas and consistently has the best and most snow, known as the "K" factor. However, machine made snow making is quite limited and during a bad season, it can result in a late start. Kirkwoods terrain is rugged and covered with volcanic rocks. It takes at least 3 to 5 feet of snow to open the off-piste terrain. There is only one high speed lift of note, Chair #6 (Cornice). Timbercreek also has a detached quad, but it serves beginner terrain. Everything else is fixed grip. Chairs are subject to late openings and full-day closures due to wind and avalanche control but there is almost always skiing off Chairs 5 and 11 until the top of the mountain opens. This year there will be new surface lifts to serve formerly hike-to terrrain. Great idea, but we suspect they will operate infrequently.

If you are looking for a challenge, this could be a good bet. Plenty of easier terrain to work your way up as well.
post #4 of 17
Kirkwood has some good skiing, but there's a reason the passes are so cheap.

Go north shore if you're going to do Tahoe!
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

A little more information

I would skip all holidays and start the season after new year.I would take a day off each weekend anyway so the 6wood pass seems ideal.

I would try to rent a place off craigslist or stay in a camper .

Im a pretty good skier, but certainly no expert. I ve survived all but the steepest and rockiest in Utah . I really stay off the groomers and love deep snow on 85-100 mm waist skis.
post #6 of 17
Sounds about perfect. Just beware that Kirkwood has one of the most intensive infestations of powder maggots, and that virtually assures everything is tracked inside of an hour after opening.

Good luck with the craigslist thing.
post #7 of 17
There aren't many places to rent at K-wood. A couple years ago they started charging people to stay overnight in the parking lot. You can get a place in South Lake, but that's a good 45 minutes away, lots longer if it snows - and often a major PITA if it snows.

If you're really trying to do it on the cheap, North Shore might be a better option. Midweek Alpine pass is $375 and full pass is $875 before Sept. 1 (Alpine passes include Homewood this year). If you like groomers and not-so-steeps, Northstar passes are cheap.

Kirkwood's an awesome place so ski/ride. Just hard to get to from elsewhere and spendy to stay there.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

kirkwood vs alpine

do you know what kirkwood charges to park there? is there a shuttle from soulth lake tahoe?

thanks for the tip on alpine, but is it any easier to find a place to rent there? or park overnight?
post #9 of 17
No parking fees unless you park in premium parking on the weekend. That was $20 last year, and puts you right at Lift #6 or the plaza. Oh, you meant car camping. They used to use the lot across from TimberCreek and had a port-a-potty out there. Most people who are going to camp just quietly find a spot, and keep a beer handy for the security guy. Some stay in the Sno Park at Carson Pass, which requires an inexpensive permit.

Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis at all SNO-PARK sites. No refunds are issued if your favorite SNO-PARK is full. Park and drive carefully within SNO-PARK sites. Watch for pedestrians. Overnight parking, including in-vehicle camping is allowed except where noted or signed at SNO-PARK sites

Carry a shovel and tire chains. Vehicles parked overnight need to be staked at all 4 corners with 1x2 inch by 8-foot poles to prevent accidental damage by snow removal equipment. Lock your vehicle and do not leave items of value in sight. Winter recreation activities may be hazardous. Your common sense, skill level, use of proper clothing, respect for the terrain and weather will combine to affect your safety.
post #10 of 17
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Sounds about perfect. Just beware that Kirkwood has one of the most intensive infestations of powder maggots, and that virtually assures everything is tracked inside of an hour after opening.
And if patrol happens to be escorting around any resort VIP investor types...sometimes it gets tracked out before opening
post #11 of 17

Ski lease?

I've done ski leases in Kirkwood for the past three seasons. We rent a place in base camp amongst 10 people. It's a sweet setup. The lifts are across the street, you just come back in for lunch or if you want to switch to a different pair of skis. The best days are the road closure days. I've had a few days when it dumped and both roads were closed. Only people staying at the resort were able to ski for the first few hours -- makes the freshies last a good bit longer.

Overall, the lease runs about $1,200 per person for the entire season. Not exactly cheap, but can't beat the location. We also charge guest fees to offset the costs.

As for the 6Wood passes, a few of my buddies have done those in the past, but reliably they've wanted to ski some of the blackout dates, since everybody else was skiing, and it was good. So they ended up spending the same or even more than you'd pay for the discounted full season passes.

I prefer the drive up 88 compared to 50 any day (the number of clueless idiots on the road seems to be much lower). The only big downside to Kirkwood is night life. The only two bars in town (Bubbs and The Towers fka The Moon fka The Battered Beaver) get pretty desparate after about 9:30... The Moon sometimes has a local band, not too exciting. If you're staying in a place that is a member in the KCA (Kirkwood home owners association), you may have access to the KCA lounge, which has wine tasting every Saturday night. Other than that, the only night life is a bottle of wine in the hot tub...

Anyways, hope this helps.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

a little more info

i talked to kirkwood, and there is a charge for overnight rv parking but not for vans/trucks. and there was a shuttle from slt last year for $5 rt.
post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post
i talked to kirkwood, and there is a charge for overnight rv parking but not for vans/trucks. and there was a shuttle from slt last year for $5 rt.
Nice, do you have details on the shuttle? That'll be sweet for some friends of mine who are donig a lease in SLT (except for those days when 88 is closed in BOTH directions, and us Kirkwood natives are left with a stash of pow to ourselves ).
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

i dont have any details on the shuttle

i called the pass office and they told me that it existed last year and that it was $5 rt then and they didnt know the price for this year. i didnt ask about the times or stops.
post #15 of 17
Everything people have said is true. I finally skied Kirkweed in 2000 and loved it so much I drove seven hours from Santa Barbara to ski the Wood instead of Mammoth. Why? Vast amounts of fresh snow, beautiful area, steep challenging terrain, plus a mellow vibe. If you want reliable fresh snow, this is your place. Commuting from South Lake would be difficult as the drive can be gnarly. Rents if available are expensive, as is food and fuel. This may be one of the reasons their season passes are so reasonably priced to lure people in. If you want night life, access to supermarkets, a decent job, go with North Lake Tahoe and ski Alpine/Squaw/Sugarbowl and live in Tahoe City, Truckee, or Reno. Have fun with whatever you decide to do!
post #16 of 17
After not skiing Kwood for about 8 years we got passes their last year. Great skiing. But there is a reason the pass is so cheap.

Another concern with Kwood is their power problems. kwood is off the grid and they had all sorts of problems last year. We ended up not skiing a couple days or parts of days due the power issues.

Also, Kwood was super crowded a few days. Even by holiday standards, it seemed a little insane. The slow lifts seemed to make things a little worse.

The terrain is great and we had lots of fun skiing.

But, we are going back to Alpine this year.

If you do go with Kwood, I highly recommend figuring out how to stay at kwood.

have fun

edit: If was closer to Berkeley(<3hr), I was probably get a midweek pass there and do some day trips. There are times kwood definitely has the best in Tahoe.
post #17 of 17
If I were to do Kwood again, I would live there.

Commuting is okay with a full car, but expensive if you drive by yourself every day. Shuttle service sounds sweet, but I envision not so speedy arrival times. I rode the employee shuttle a bit back in the day. It's slow, but whatever.

Living there is a mellow life, but that's how I'd do it if I were to do it again.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › kirkwood. a good place to spend the season?