In the Shadow of Mountains: The Return of the Sixpack

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With the opening a few years ago of Boulder Creek Canyon on the "backside" of the resort, Dodge Ridge became a sizable ski area. Although Boulder Creek Canyon is only ' vertical, it offers much longer continuous drops than the front section. The terrain is somewhat tame as diamonds go, but the trails offer plenty of interest and variety. The original area -- Ego Alley, Comstock, etc. Fact is, all "summits" have an easiest route down that can be managed by high end novice skiers. Again, this is an ideal area for developing skiers. A mid-mountain restaurant, The Waystation, is another big plus.

The downside is that the area caters to snowboarders. Signature Trail: Exhibition, Comstock. Can get crowded on weekends, but rarely too much. Hotshots and wanderers will be nonplussed.

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Area separated by "frontside" and "backside" which wrap virtually around the entire mountain. The classic lodge is the main attraction; top-notch service, quality second to none. The skiing is a throwback Today you can enjoy this classic hill on much safer equipment of course. It is an ideal place to learn, or to take a first-time skiing date or spouse, etc.

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Wanderers and hotshots will not be found at Granlibakken, and that's just fine. Longest Run: 29,'. Season: usually late November to late April. Heavenly covers so much terrain, with so many lifts, it can be quite daunting to newbies or anyone unfamiliar with the area. One of the most frequent complaints about Heavenly is the abundance of flat areas, which is actually advantageous in that it keeps snowboarders off many of the runs.

Basically, if you can't find what you're after at Heavenly, you won't find it. Heavenly has a reputation for being poorly designed In reality, this is undeserved. If people fully comprehended the size of the area -- and not just how it looks on the trailmap -- they would try to travel less and enjoy more. Heavenly should be approached as two or perhaps even four ski areas. Ski the California side today; Nevada tomorrow.

Even then the mountains should be further chopped up on your itinerary. Do that, and you'll love Heavenly.

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Stay on the less crowded lifts, work those areas, then move on. Trying to ski from border to border will be tiring or frustrating or both. This ski area really does have something for everyone; hotshot, wanderer, family man, beginner and so on. Just don't expect a ski town at the base Did we mention that the skiing is great?


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Compartmentalize the mountains, and you'll love it. The SKInny: Homewood is one of those ski areas where beginners feel good, intermediates feel like experts, and experts feel like the king of the world. Groomed, gentle, snowy, nice. Family atmosphere, definitely not for hotshots. Non-skiers or part-timers who visit Tahoe ought to consider the Wood over most of the others.

Plans are in the works to lease adjoining land and add another ' vertical; hard to say whether Homewood will retain its charm if that happens. Great area for families, OK for wanderers, not good for hotshots. Good variety of terrain. Signature Trail: Hobbit Land. Season: usually mid December to April. The SKInny: Not many people who ski June think of it as anything less than the best skiing in the state. Excellent snow, tremendous variety, no liftlines.

There's something at June for everyone, from flat-out first-timer to full-blown expert Wanderers and hotshots may prefer Mammoth or Heavenly or Squaw, but you'd be hard-pressed to find too many family type ski groups that wouldn't pick June first. June is but a few miles from Mammoth, so it fills a niche for resort-goers who need a "break" from the big resort. Only real drawback to June is lack of superhotshot terrain, and some quirks in the layout.

Beginner slopes are excellent. An emerging intermediate can pretty much ski most of June. Signature Trail: Slalom. It really caters to intermediates and experts, not a great ski area for novices at all. For the emerging blue and black diamond level skier, however, Kirkwood is usually a favorite. No liftlines, no crowds, no hubbub of the bigger resorts. Using the word "bigger" is a bit of a misnomer here Were it not for the two noisy neighbors, Kirkwood would be a household name. Because of the reputation it has, it's well on its way.

Fact is a lot of people ski Kirkwood, a lot of people like Kirkwood. But because it doesn't offer much for the novice -- and since many novices mistakenly ride the lift to The Wall once -- they tend to stay away and the crowd stays thin. Signature Trail: The Wall. It was closed, and then purchased by the same "angel" who rescued Mt Waterman see below. Waterman has resumed operations, but the situation at Kratka isn't quite so clear.

Right now it's sort of an open snow play park with no lifts or amenities. Summit elevation: '; Base elevation: '.

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Season: usually early November to late April. Mammoth isn't quite as huge as Heavenly, but at these numbers, who can tell? The mountain sort of runs in stages; beginners at the bottom and middle, intermediates middle and up, and experts at the top.

websrv2-nginx.classic.com.np/las-cejas-de-la-gioconda.php But really, when all is said and done, Mammoth is intermediate paradise. Yes, there are hot drops for King Kong hotshots, but this is really a developing skier's mountain. The lower reaches and they do reach are wonderfully rolling groomers carved through the woods. Tree skiing abounds; "secret stashes" are everywhere. Moving up and we do mean up , Mammoth opens into big bowls. Like Heavenly and Squaw, Mammoth is best approached as a collection of ski areas If you do decide to wander all over the place, Mammoth is unparalleled for moving people around efficiently, and the lifts are much better laid out than a Heavenly or Vail.

Beginners, wanderers, family skiers It can get crowded, but you can always find a lift with little or no wait if you look around a bit. Season: usually early November to April. The SKInny: Rapidly building a reputation as a haven for obnoxious snowboarders redundant, I realize that.

About an hour or two from L. Slopes are generally easy, and generally crowded.

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Considering how close it is to the city, the snowmaking crew get kudos for doing an awesome job. Mountain High opens in November and stays open into the spring.

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