Squaw Valleys Siberia Ridge
Photo: Nathan Kendall/courtesy, Squaw Valley Ski Corp.
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Did we nail the best resorts in North America? Or did we miss your favorite ski area? Weigh in on our ski resort smackdown
Snowfall: 450 inches
Area: 4,000 acres
Vertical Drop: 2,850 feet
Heavenly has the nightlife. Alpine Meadows is California's telemarking-hippie heaven. Kirkwood is old-school and raw. But my favorite Tahoe resort is Squaw, where they call cliff faces ski runs. No need to take my word for it, though. Here are the five best things about Squaw Valley, according to freeskiing-film star Shane McConkey: (1) High-moisture-content powder. It sticks to steep terrain, you need far less of it to cover rocks, and it lets you go fast with barely any effort. [Editor's note: Bring fat skis.] (2) Tons of fun terrain. [We would call it scary.] (3) For some dumb reason, a lot of resorts don't run their lifts all the way to the top of a peak. At Squaw they do. (4) California sun! Blue skies! (5) The steeps of KT-22! [That's a lift. And Squaw Valley's PR department will be pissed that Shane didn't mention their well-groomed beginner terrain, the new guided backcountry tours, and the spruced-up village.]
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