Season-opening guide to ski resorts

By: Jeffrey Weidel, Special to The Press Tribune
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Here’s a helpful ski resort guide as the season gets underway: ALPINE MEADOWS: Challenging mountain, a favorite of locals, which speaks volumes about the terrain. Location: Highway 89, six miles west of Tahoe City Elevation: Base 6,835; Summit 8,637 Adult lift ticket: $69 Lifts: 11; Trails: over 100 Phone: (530) 583-4232 Web site: BEAR VALLEY: Friendly resort that caters to families. Great place to learn. Location: Highway 4 to Bear Valley Elevation: Base 6,600; Summit 8,500 Adult lift ticket: $47 (night $25) Lifts: 9; Trails: 67 Phone: (209) 753-2301 Web site: BOREAL: Snowboarder haven day and night, great place to learn. Short drive from Sacramento a major plus. Location: Interstate 80 at Donner Summit Elevation: Base 7,200; Summit 7,700 Adult lift ticket: $47 (nights $25) Lifts: 7; Trails: 41 Phone: (530) 426-3666 Web site: DIAMOND PEAK: North Tahoe resort features great lakeside views and typically small crowds. Location: Highway 431, five miles north of Incline Village Elevation: Base 6,700; Summit 8,540 Adult lift ticket: $49 Lifts: 6; Trails: 30 Phone: (775) 832-1177 Web site: DODGE RIDGE: Mid-size resort a good choice for families, but also features plenty of steeps and moguls. Location: Highway 108 in Pinecrest, 30 miles from Sonora Elevation: Base 6,600; Summit 8,200 Adult lift ticket: $54 Lifts: 8; Trails: 59 Phone: (209) 965-3474 Web site: DONNER SKI RANCH: This modest resort has long skiing tradition, dating back to 1937 when it featured a lone tow rope. Location: Interstate 80, Norden exit Elevation: Base 7,031; Summit 7,781 Adult lift ticket: $40 (weekends); $30 (midweek) Lifts: 6; Trails: 52 Phone: (530) 426-3635 Web site: HEAVENLY: South Tahoe heavyweight offers great views of the lake and excellent tree skiing. Close proximity to casinos an added plus. Location: Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe Elevation: Base 6,540; Summit 10,067 Adult lift ticket: (TBA) Lifts: 29; Trails: 94 Phone: (775) 586-7000 Web site: HOMEWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT: Tough to beat its Lake Tahoe views, which are visible throughout the mountain. Lots of tree skiing. Location: Highway 89, six miles south of Tahoe City Elevation: Base 6,230; Summit 7,880 Adult lift ticket: TBA Lifts: 8; Trails: 59 Phone: (530) 525-2992 Web site: KIRKWOOD: Under-rated resort due to isolated location. Challenging terrain and short lift lines a good combination. Location: Highway 88 in Kirkwood Elevation: Base 7,800; Summit 9,800 Adult lift ticket: TBA Lifts: 10; Trails: over 65 Phone: (209) 258-6000 Web site: MOUNT ROSE: Additional terrain on the East Bowl has greatly improved this favored resort of Reno residents; features the area’s highest base elevation. Elevation: Base 7,900; Summit 9,700 Adult lift ticket: $65 Lifts: 6; Trails: over 60 Location: Mt. Rose Highway in Reno Phone: (775) 849-0704 Web site: NORTHSTAR-AT-TAHOE: The new village is a major plus for this family-oriented resort that offers plenty of wide runs for less-skilled skiers and tougher trails for experts and daring boarders. Location: Highway 267 near Truckee Elevation: Base 6,330; Summit: 8,610 Adult lift ticket: $79 Lifts: 14; Trails: 89 Phone: (530) 562-1010 Web site: SIERRA-AT-TAHOE: Popular resort, less than two hours from Sacramento. Operates excellent children's ski center. Location: Highway 50, 12 miles west of South Lake Tahoe Elevation: 6,640; Summit: 8,852 Adult lift ticket: TBA Lifts: 9; Trails: 46 Phone: (530) 659-7453 Web Site: SODA SPRINGS: Perfect for beginning skiers and families seeking a bargain. Location: Interstate 80, Soda Springs exit Elevation: Base 6,700; Summit 7,325 Adult lift ticket: $30 Lifts: 2; Trails: 16 Phone: (530) 426-3901 Web site: SQUAW VALLEY: Famed Olympic hill is a nice challenge for thrill-seeking experts. Lots of terrain and lifts make resort feel less crowded on busy days. Location: Highway 89, six miles from Tahoe City Elevation: Base 6,200; Summit: 9,050 Adult lift ticket: TBA Lifts: 29; Trails: over 4,000 acres of skiable terrain Phone: (530) 583-6985 Web site: SUGAR BOWL: Rich in history and known for its high snow totals, the resort has expanded over the past decade and remains a popular destination. It doesn’t hurt that Sugar Bowl is the first Tahoe resort off the I-80 corridor Location: Interstate 80, Norden exit Elevation: Base 6,883; Summit: 8,383 Adult lift ticket: $66 Lifts: 13; Trails: 95 Phone: (530) 426-9000 Web site: TAHOE DONNER: Definitely a beginner-friendly resort. The mountain is small, but so are the crowds. Location: Highway 89, Northwoods Boulevard Elevation: Base 6,200; Summit 8,000 Adult lift ticket: $38 Lifts: 2; Trails: 14 Phone: (530) 587-9444 Web site: Compiled by Jeffrey Weidel