RESORT GUIDE 2010: #3 Squaw Valley

RESORT GUIDE 2010: #3 Squaw Valley

WEBSITE: squaw.com
VERTICAL: 2,850 feet
ACREAGE: 4,000
SNOWFALL: 450 inches
TICKETS: $83 (2009-10)

The Lake Tahoe area is littered with great ski resorts, but Squaw Valley — rugged, awe inspiring and legendary — is the Tahoe alpha male. With fabled runs like the Fingers, the Headwall, the Palisades, Granite Chief and McConkey’s (formerly Eagle’s Nest), Squaw’s terrain looks like it was cut straight off of Mt. Olympus. As a testament to its terrain, take a gander at the pros who call it home: Scot Schmidt, Ingrid Backstrom, Michelle Parker, Scott Gaffney, Tim Dutton and many more. An even greater testament are the now-late greats who lived there: Shane McConkey, CR Johnson and Arne Backstrom.

Situated in the heart of the Sierras, Squaw gets pummeled by massive storms that deposit an average of 450 inches of snow a year. But beware on big days, because the powder hounds will be out early and in full force. Don’t opt for the cable car, instead start on the storied KT-22 lift that accesses a spiderweb of short, high-speed lifts that will have you hootin’ and hollerin’ all day long. Just be sure to get there early.

Despite being known as a big-mountain skiers’ playground, Squaw has made a concerted effort to maintain a pretty damn good public park, filled with medium jumps, tons of jibs and rails and a small but decent halfpipe.

When you’re done with the mountain, head down to grab a slice and a beer at Le Chamois or tasty sushi at Mamasake. Or, drive down the road to Tahoe City or Truckee for more eating and sleeping options.


#1 Whistler/Blackcomb, BC
#2 Aspen/Snowmass, CO
#3 Sqaw Valley, CA
#4 Jackson Hole, WY
#5 Mammoth Mountain, CA
#6 Alta/Snowbird, UT
#7 Breckenridge, CO
#8 Telluride, CO
#9 Mt. Baker, WA
#10 Big Sky, MT
#11 Copper Mountain, CO
#12 Park City, UT

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