Tahoe Tidings: Ski.com’s North Lake Tahoe Wish List

Update: This sweepstakes is now over, but stay tuned for more great giveaways on our Facebook page!

North Lake Tahoe is one of the those places that has all the building blocks of a great ski destination – world-class terrain, excellent resort services and ski schools, great lodging options and lots of off-mountain attractions. But this corner of California has that intangible something that can take a ski vacation from pretty good to can’t-wait-to-come-back-every-year status. It might be the gorgeous Lake Tahoe views, the potential for epic powder or the real community of friendly locals, but whatever it is, North Lake Tahoe should be on every skier’s 2014 wish list.

In the spirit of the holidays, we’re offering our friends the opportunity to win a wish-list worthy ski vacation in North Lake Tahoe. We’ve listed our favorite experiences below, and you can build your own with our North Lake Tahoe Wish List Builder. Already know what you want? Enter to win a six-night ski vacation at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Northstar.

Ski.com’s North Lake Tahoe Wish List

  1. Score some sweet Tahoe pow – When big snow storms march through the Sierras, Tahoe doesn’t measure snowfall in inches but in feet.  Tahoe winters are made up of storm periods that can last several days and drop significant snow on ski areas. Average snowfall totals 400 inches a season, and, in wet winters, snow depths can reach more than 20 feet. This year, if we are lucky enough to be within striking distance of a ski resort when one of these storms bears down, then we are lucky enough.
  2. Park laps at Northstar – If we’re looking for the best terrain parks, it’s probably best to take note from the best snowboarder in the world. Shaun White is the resident shredder at Northstar’s 22-foot super-pipe. Heck, he designed it himself. For those of us who aren’t at Olympic level, The Burton Progression Park  lets up warm up for The Stash, an all-natural terrain park designed by Jake Burton and his Burton Snowboard team riders. There are six of these in the world, and The Stash at Northstar has tree runs, road jumps, slides, jibs and many more features to make us feel like we’re qualified for a TGR segment.
  3. Shred the side-country between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows – In 2012, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows installed side-country gates between the two resorts, giving skiers and riders access to 6,000+ acres of previously prohibited terrain. Dubbed the White Wolf zone, this area can be accessed at the saddle of KT-22 at Squaw or from Estell Peak at Alpine Meadows. Locals tell us that the skiing is good, not great, but the freedom these gates have afforded backcountry skiers is a huge step in the right direction for expanding terrain access in the region. And, as always, we agree that side-country is the same as backcountry, so treat it with the same precaution and respect.
  4.  Take a turn around the rink at The Village at Northstar – With its twinkling lights, canopy of stars and surrounding fire pits and cabanas, the ice-skating rink at Northstar is about as charming as it gets. After perfecting our axels and lutzes, we’ll settle into the couches in the cabanas, roast s’mores and sip hot chocolate and wonder why we don’t do this every day…
  5. Challenge the kids to a snowmobile race – No, our kids aren’t sledneck prodigies. Squaw’s SnoVentures recreation area has mini-snowmobiles for kids to rip around a snowy course. To our disappointment, adults aren’t allowed, but we can all enjoy snow tubing that turns the whole family into giggling 8-year-olds.
  6. Relive Olympic glory at Squaw Valley – Squaw was host to the first televised Olympics in 1960, and the resort’s Olympic Exhibit, located at High Camp, showcases memorabilia, article archives and videos highlighting the magical moments that took place that year. Since the 1960s, many Olympic athletes have put down roots in North Lake Tahoe, including current Olympic hopefuls Julia Mancuso, Marco Sullivan and Travis Ganong. For the in-person experience, we will try to cruise around with Olympic mogul skiing champ Jonny Moseley who lives in Squaw and gives mountain tours a few times each season.
  7. Chow down on burgers, nachos, wings and beers – Most ski resorts have a couple places that do the classic après food right, but North Lake Tahoe has killer versions of the essential food groups. In Squaw, everything is G.N.A.R (see wish-list item #10), including après ski. Rocker at Squaw has the Gnar Burger that can feed half a dozen people as well as dang-hot Buffalo Wings that are only bearable with a bucket of local beers. At Alpine meadows, the mid-mountain Chalet remodel is just finishing up, and the Bavarian-style beer garden might just quench our thirst after a long day on the hill. And then for nachos, we’ll head to Tacos Jalisco at the Village at Northstar, which has the reputation for being the best Mexican restaurant in the entire Tahoe/Truckee region.
  8. Hit up High Camp this spring – When the weather is just right for skiing in jorts, it means High Camp is going off. In late March, we’re hoping to go from spring skiing to swimming at the Lagoon and Spa at the top of Squaw’s Aerial Tram. Cannon ball!
  9. Tip our hat to the Alpine Meadows Avalanche Dogs – The Alpine Meadows Rescue Dog Team is ahead of the pack, so to speak. The program was created and nurtured by Alpine Meadows ski patroller Bill Foster, who passed away last year, and has been expanded to include the Rescue Dog Team at Squaw. These loyal and dutiful dogs are essential in planning and executing rescue efforts at the resorts, and, while we hope there isn’t a need for their services, we’re glad they are there.
  10. Enter the Pain McShlonkey Classic – Honoring the late and beloved freeskiing pioneer Shane McConkey, this annual tribute invites his legion of friends, family and admirers to grab their ski blades, saucers, Jack Daniels and retro garb and race down some of the most challenging terrain on Squaw. We hope to be there to boost our G.N.A.R. points and show off our spread eagles in the Saucer Small Air comp.

Inspired? Create your own North Lake Tahoe Wish List and enter to win a wish-list worthy ski vacation at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Northstar at Tahoe. Or if you don’t want to leave your Tahoe ski vacation to chance, give us a call or chat now to start planning this year’s trip.

Alex Boyd

Online Marketing Manager at Ski.com
I manage the online marketing and social media at Ski.com and contribute to the blog. When I’m not at my desk, you can find me skiing on Aspen Mountain, lunching at Bonnie’s or hiking with my dog.

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About Author: Alex Boyd
I manage the online marketing and social media at Ski.com and contribute to the blog. When I’m not at my desk, you can find me skiing on Aspen Mountain, lunching at Bonnie’s or hiking with my dog.

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