Lift lines are rare at this North Lake Tahoe resort, and ridges primed for hiking encircle the base area. "The mountain is set up so that you have to hike for your turns a lot of the time," says Benson. "It opens your eyes up to a different way of skiing." Notable: This winter Alpine Meadows has joined forces with Squaw Valley (they share the same massif). The combined skiing will be the biggest in the U.S.
From the Early Winter 2012 issue