Acres: 2,300 | Vertical: 2,000’ | Snowfall: 354” | kirkwood.com
Laid-back, hard-charging Kirkwood is something of a Tahoe un-resort where the focus remains on sliding around high quality terrain, not on thread counts and concierges. This season the pros at Expedition: Kirkwood, the area’s snow sports education arm, have refined their courses to emphasize more time on the mountain instead of in the classroom. You’ll find alpine touring workshops, women-only lessons, avalanche safety courses, and three-stage ski-the-steeps programs.
Can’t-Miss Run: “Hit anything you can off Chair 10,” says Jim Reilly, director of the Kirkwood Ski Education Foundation who’s been skiing Kirkwood since ’93. “The chutes off Thunder Saddle stay chalky because they get no sun in there at all.”
Resort Bite: Head to Off The Wall for fat buffalo burgers under antler chandeliers, or wander over to the 7800 Bar and Grill for steak and ale pie with a pint of porter next to the fireplace.
Local Advice: Reilly suggests warming up on the high-angle, winch cat groomers off Chair 6 for an hour or so before moving to the backside and Chair 4 for fast runs down the blue Elevator Shaft or the single black Hully Gully. —Tim Neville
From the Early Winter 2016 issue.