Tahoe Basin offers a pass for every type of rider

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Park Rider

Junior Gabby Dodd rides on SNC’s freestyle ski team.

When every dollar counts it is critical for skiers and snowboarders that ride park to get a pass to the resorts that have what many consider to be the best parks around: Northstar and Boreal. These resorts are included on the Epic and Boreal passes.

On an average day at Northstar it is likely to see a large variety in skill levels of both skiers and snowboarders: Northstar accommodates all different types. The resort is known for its park, as it offers features for all ability levels. And on a powder day the backside is the place to be.

Gabby Dodd, a Junior at Sierra Nevada College, competes on the SNC freestyle team and trains at Northstar.

“You get a range of people at Star: Everything from kooks standing in jump-landings, to the ‘I don’t give a f*ck snowboarders’ who rolled up at 1 o’clock to catch like three laps, to die hards in the park that are there every day, always working on something new,” she said.

When skiers and riders want to hit bigger features, they can head over to Boreal for big variety and advanced features. This is where the SNC freestyle ski team prefers to ride.

“Everyone on the freestyle team skis at Northstar because it has the closest decent park from campus,” said Cole Lyon, a junior freestyle ski team member. “Northstar’s park is very long which is nice but they don’t offer any big features, which is frustrating.”

Ryland West, a senior at SNC, grew up riding at Boreal. He is an advanced snowboarder and considers Boreal his home mountain. Being formally sponsored by Arbor, Sessions, and 32, West has been exposed to many different types of parks. West said Boreal’s unique lines helped him form his skills.

Backcountry Enthusiast

Senior Tyler Rayman enjoys steep lines and big mountains

Those who lack the patience to stand in resort lines strap on their skins for backcountry access, to earn their turns.

“Despite the ease of lifts that the resort offers, everything is relatively confined, and often packed with people,” Tyler Rayman, SNC Senior, said. “Backcountry offers freedom, away from people, and the turns are so much more rewarding. Earn your turns.”

While the turns may be fewer in the backcountry, Rayman and his fellow backcountry recreationalists agree that it’s about the quality of the turn over the ease of access.

“Resorts are nice with their flying sofas that bring you right up to the mountain, but I hate all the tourists on the weekends,” Gabe Seveek, SNC sophomore, said. “I’m definitely willing to sacrifice convenience for a day in the backcountry. Anytime I’m out there I come back with stories of some of the best times on the mountain.”

While the rewards are much greater in the backcountry, there are higher chances of error because open exposures exists, including avalanche risk.

Daryl Teittinen is a professor at SNC who teaches avalaches safety courses.

“I’ve seen and caused hundreds of avalanches, when I worked as a patroller,” he said.

“Scary avalanches are the ones you aren’t expecting.”

Certifications, including the American Institute for Avalache Research and Education (AIARE), help prepare backcountry skiers and snowboarders by teaching them how to travel safely in avalanche terrain and how to identify potential avalanches.

Education is not the only thing recreationalists in the backcountry need: they should have a beacon, shovel and a probe, and know how to properly use these tools so they can be prepared to save someone in an accident.

Weekend Warrior

Junior Emily Noel is excited about riding at Squaw Valley and Alpine
Meadows this season.

On a pow day, it is likely to see Tahoe locals riding at Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows.

Squaw Valley, on a powder day mid-week, is where adrenaline junkies can be found, usually on KT-22, hitting different lines on the fingers. When the lift lines are too long at Squaw, locals head over to Alpine Meadows, a smaller local resort, in search of fresh tracks. Alpine is less populated, making it easier for skiers to get easy access by hiking a short distance to hit steep lines on cornices leading to dreamy turns in knee-deep pow. The Ikon season pass works at both resorts.

Emily Noel, a junior at SNC, bought the Ikon Pass because she is able to ride at world-class resorts all over the country.

“I can ski when I go home to Vermont, and I can go skiing in Montana where my sister lives,” she said. Emily is an all-mountain rider, who enjoys hitting steep lines and riding park. This pass best accommodates her type of riding, and she is excited to ride at Squaw and Alpine this coming season.

For people who ride big mountain and live in the Tahoe Basin, the Ikon pass accommodates their every need in steepness and proximity to resorts, including Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Mammoth Mountain Resort.

“The Ikon pass is appealing to me because of the opportunities it gives pass-holders to travel to different parts of the country,” Andre Chevalier, SNC alumni, said. “Usually I am restricted to my home-resort mountain due to the cost of buying day tickets at other mountains.”

Diamond Peak is a local resort within a stone’s throw of campus. Students who don’t have cars, can get picked up in the SNC parking lot and driven up to the resort by the TART bus.

“DP is more family oriented, and it is a more local spot. It is easy to go skiing in-between classes because of how close Diamond Peak is and easy to get to on powder days,” Gabby Budick, a Junior at SNC, said.

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