Guidebook

Sun and Fresh Pow: Top Freerides near Lake Tahoe

Satisfy your inner powder hound with these freerides around Lake Tahoe.

FATMAP

Description

Lake Tahoe is considered a world-class freeride ski destination, not only because of its boundless freeride options but because it also gets great weather, with plenty of bluebird days. Here are a few highlights.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort, south of Lake Tahoe, hosts the qualifiers for International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association World Tour in April 2019. Almost 60% of the runs at Kirkwood are black diamond or double black, and its freeriding opportunities are considered some of the best in the region. Check out the Cirque area and “Kodak” which runs just off of “Lower Cirque.”

Heavenly, just southeast of Lake Tahoe, is blessed with two key gifts: lots of sun and lots of snow. It’s a nice choice for both those on the hunt for fresh pow and families too. If you’re looking for a hidden gem that might not exactly appear on the maps, “Galaxy Glades” is worth checking out. Stay alert for rogue stumps and tree wells while riding through these tight glades though!

Squaw Valley is the reason why famous freeriders live in Lake Tahoe. You’ll find plenty of steeps, bumps, glades, and bowls, and – not to mention – some sweet vibes for freeriders. KT-22 is often referred to as Squaw Valley’s crown jewel, partly because it features tight chutes and a wide variety of freeride skiing. It has also hosted the Freeride World Tour. Check out “Hourglass," a fun bowl/chute combo off the “Cornice II” area, or “Boundary Bowl” (a nice option on powder days), or even the spring classic “Smoothie."

Nearby, Northstar lies just north of Lake Tahoe. “Sawtooth Ridge" is hands down its best hike-to terrain, when conditions permit, where you can easily tailor the hike to the zone you want to drop into. “Bloody Mary” is a popular spot for the locals. If it’s the sights you’re after, “White Rabbit” showcases some of the best views of Lake Tahoe and also features some large boulders to drop off.

Author: Emily Lennon

Sources:
https://awe365.com/10-best-freeride-ski-destinations-worldwide-by-a-pro-freerider/
http://www.ultimate-ski.com/ski-resorts/usa/california/squaw-valley/advanced.aspx
https://tahoesouth.com/events/international-freeskiers-and-snowboarders-association-tahoe-freeride-world-tour-qualifier-kirkwood-mountain-resort/
http://theliftiereport.rentskis.com/tlr/insiders-guide-heavenly-mountain-must-visit-tahoe-ski-resort/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhochman/2018/02/20/how-to-ski-lake-tahoe-in-style/#cb8f2bd20059

Lower Cirque
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Lower Cirque

Kirkwood
230 m
36 °
N
17 m
0.8 km
Wide open bowl with small to medium cliffs scattered throughout.
Difficult
Private
Kodak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Kodak

Kirkwood
86 m
38 °
N
0 m
0.2 km
Cliff and chute zone at the bottom of the Lower Cirque
Difficult
Private
Hourglass
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Hourglass

Palisades Tahoe
132 m
42 °
N
0 m
0.4 km
A fun bowl/chute combo off Cornice II area
Difficult
Private
Fire Break
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Fire Break

Heavenly
744 m
31 °
103 m
4.0 km
A big, wide swatch of sidecountry that's high-risk, high-reward
Moderate
Private
Galaxy Glades
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Galaxy Glades

Heavenly
127 m
19 °
E
0 m
0.5 km
A wide expanse of glades below Nevada Trail
Moderate
Private
Smoothie
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Smoothie

Palisades Tahoe
348 m
33 °
S
28 m
1.9 km
A spring classic
Difficult
Private
Sawtooth Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Sawtooth Ridge

Northstar California
266 m
26 °
41 m
1.7 km
The best hike-to terrain at Northstar when conditions permit
Difficult
Private
Kangaroo Main Run

Kangaroo Main Run

Palisades Tahoe
0.6 km
140 m
19 °
Variation on Kangaroo
Blue (Intermediate)
Private
Bloody Mary
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Bloody Mary

Northstar California
121 m
25 °
N
7 m
0.5 km
A popular locals spot on Sawtooth Ridge
Severe
Private