In my efforts to uncover the mysterious draw Lake Tahoe seems to haveonsnowboarders, I’ve found there’s more there than a few resorts andsome snow. Though the beauty of the saphinre blue “Lake of the Sky”could be enough on its own, the truth is nowhere else can a snowboarderfind sixteen resorts in one region. And that’s not even mentioning theunlimited and easily acessible backcountry terrain. The Sierra Mountainssurrounding the lake offer everything from steeps to cliff drops, tohalfpipes and parks.
Though the northern part of the lake is home to several resorts, Ivisited three over a three day span. The differences betweenNorthstar-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, and Squaw Valley, are as broad astheir names. Northstar, for example, prides itself on catering tofamilies. Though it’s been cursed with an unflattering nickname(Flatsar) the resort makes up for its lack of steeps with a variety ofother fun stuff.
Of these three resorts, Alpine Meadows can be considered the mostrootsy andown-home of the three. It does have its fair share ofhigh-speed chairs and a fully stocked lodge,yet the general atmospheresurrounding Alpine is the terrain comes first, amenities second. Not ina bad way, in a way that gives the resort a reputation for having insanesteeps, tree runs, and more. And with someone like Tom Burt, a fourthgeneration Lake Tahoe local, as a resort spokes-rider, it appears Alpineis popular for many reasons.
“Sqwallywood” might be a bit drastic a term to use when describing thelargest and most world-renowned resort in north lake, but Squaw Valleydefinitely is the most developed. Between the plush Resort At SquawCreek, the numerous shops and cafes around the base of the resort, itappears any non-rider could find entertainment. But it’s the terrain andreputation for great lines that keeps snowboarders coming back. From thehero-cliffs called the fingers just under the KT22 Chair, to theillustrious Pinnacles, its apparently the terrain that draws riders into call Squaw their home mountain.
These three resorts are by no means the end of Lake Tahoe’sofferings, but hopefully this brief insight gives you a peek into theworld of options this area holds.