Where to Ski in Tahoe: Kirkwood

Kirkwood is off the grid—literally. Go strictly for the skiing.
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Kirkwood to Santa Cruz, CA

Here’s the thing about Kirkwood: The ski area is off the grid—literally, it’s powered by generators (they’re working on building wind turbines to create energy as well). It’s an hour drive to pretty much anywhere and there’s little to no nightlife at the ski area. So you’ll go here for the skiing, and the skiing alone. But you won’t be disappointed. There’s a reason the World Freeskiing Tour makes a stop here: You’ll find scary steeps, deep powder, and not a soul in sight. The best places to ski? Take Cornice Express to Sentinel Bowl and look for caves near Cave Rock. Then head up The Wall and drop skier’s right into Norm’s Nose, which has short but fun rolling terrain. www.kirkwood.com

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Freeskiing World Tour: Kirkwood, California

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Inside Line: Kirkwood, CA

Kirkwood is off the grid in more ways than one. The whole place runs on generators. Lift lines are six people deep on a powder day. Sierra storms fill the ski-porn-worthy terrain, closing roads and shutting down lifts for days. But with inbounds runs slanted up to 42 degrees, the most reliable snow in the area, and chutes that make big-mountain skiers queasy, it’s hard to believe the resort stays so low-key. Thank the hourlong drive from South Lake Tahoe’s packed casinos and resorts, which ensures Kirkwood remains unsullied by the masses. Just the way skiers there like it.