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Best Skiing in Sierra Nevada?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
 I am currently a student at UC Davis and am trying to figure out what season pass I should buy for this upcoming ski season.  I have looked through this forum a bit, and got some good advice, however, none of it directly answered my question.  Where is the best place to ski in Sierra Nevada mountain range?  I am a pretty good skier and love fresh dry powder, trees, chutes, bowls and everything else great about skiing.  Right now I am considering Sugarbowl, Heavenly, Alpine/Homewood, and Northstar.  Also what about Kirkwood, I have been hearing good things on this forum about it .  So what do you think given my prefences.  Also being relatively close would be nice as I will be driving from the Sacramento area.  Thank you.
post #2 of 10
 Try to find out where people you know go and then you will have people to car pool with and ski with.  Failing that just from internet reading I would go with Sugarbowl first with its new lift and Alpine second with its side country.  
post #3 of 10
I would stay away from Heavenly and Northstar. Squaw should be on your list as well. Alpine, Kirkwood, Sugarbowl all are nice options as well.
post #4 of 10
Carpool advice is a good idea- when I lived in Davis I got a Heavenly pass for this reason.  When the snow is right, you will have a fun time in Mott & Killabrew canyon...the front face is good if you like bumps, but some find it a bit of a pain to get from CA-NV (but at least it is a relatively big mountain with some options)

I think Kirkwood gets the most snow and has good terrain for a mid sized mountain, but road more likely to close and less lodging choices...not sure if they have a student deal on the Sugarwood pass, but this would give you the choice of two fun mountains.

The Northstar/Sierra at Tahoe pass also gives this option, but most would feel that Sugarwood is a better combo for what you are looking for.

I have never hit Squaw on a good snow day (or done any good tree skiing there), but many feel this is the best experts mountain in the area (and I think they finally lowered their season pass price which had been one of the highest).

Not sure of the dates, but if you go early to the Sac ski show, you might get a free day pass somewhere and/or deals on season passes.
post #5 of 10
There's a reason some of the best skiers in the world call Squaw home, but I think you missed the cheap pass deadline.  Kirkwood, Sugarbowl and Alpine are all good hills.
post #6 of 10
Check Reno Craigslist.  Someone was offering a Squaw pass, just check it is legit and transferrable.

And don't even think about coming to Mount Rose, terrible place, huge crowds...
post #7 of 10
From Davis that Sugarwood pass would be the best.  Sierra at Tahoe is a good option for tree skiing on storm days.  These 3 are probably the shortest drives as well.
post #8 of 10
Another vote for carpool friendliness, although one thing to bear in mind is that there are carpool listings on sites like SnowPals that will help you hook up with people.  Also, query whether you're going to be daytripping or spending nights.

For pure proximity, Sugar Bowl can't be beat.

But another consideration is when you're going to ski.  On the North Shore, Sugar Bowl, Alpine, and Squaw all have reasonably priced college passes -- $299 at Sugar Bowl and Alpine, $369 at Squaw.  But the blackout dates vary.  All three black you out 12/26-1/2 and 1/16-17 (MLK).  Sugar Bowl and Squaw also black out President's Weekend.  Squaw also blacks out all Saturdays in January and February.
post #9 of 10
post #10 of 10
If you're gonna carpool at all, find out where that group will be parking their butts b4 you buy anything.
If you will go on your own, Kirkwood would be closest but, that road is always subject to closures &/or chains.
Personally, we ski the Tahoe area every year, like the variety of terrain and slighter warmer temps., (have skied @ 20 below but don't make it a habit) andI think that it's a tossup between Kirkwood, and Alpine. Kirkwood, as it wasmentioned, is remote and not alot of lodging there. Alpine - No. Shore, near Truckee if you wanna party and right off the highway.
Really, you can't get stiffed anywhere @ Tahoe, just ask questions b4 you buy..
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