Tahoe ski resorts way down list of SKI magazine’s reader survey | SierraSun.com

Tahoe ski resorts way down list of SKI magazine’s reader survey

Staff Report
Skiers get a nice look at Lake Tahoe from atop run at Northstar.

SKI magazine released its annual “Best in the West 2018” reader-ranked survey in late September and zero Lake Tahoe-area resorts appear in the top 15, and just three made the top 30.

But it’s better to be on the list than not.

There are four California resorts on the list, published Sept. 19, with Mammoth Mountain ranking highest at No. 18, Northstar California Resort checked in at No. 27, Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows was 28th and Heavenly Mountain Resort rounded out the list at No. 30.

Taos Ski Resort in New Mexico ranked No. 24 and the description doesn’t sound so inviting. “Lots of expert terrain, not crowded, cozy base area, friendly employees and the nearby town of Taos is funky and cool! That being said, it has pretty inconsistent snow and is hard to get to.”

On the other hand, South Lake Tahoe’s lower-ranking in-town resort was described in better terms.

“Heavenly was truly named for its view. Somehow, as you ride the lifts, all stress just melts away. The snow is amazing, there is a variety of terrain, and while it is pricey, it’s worth every penny for the experience.”

About Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows, “Between the weather, terrain, and views there is no better mountain. If your primary purpose is to ski, Squaw is the best resort in the U.S., but not ideal for beginners.”

Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows Public Relations Director Liesl Hepburn is happy to make the list, but says the reputation at Squaw often is misleading.

“We agree that there is no better mountain,” Hepburn said. “Our iconic expert terrain and big mountain legacy often overshadow the fact that 65 percent of our terrain is beginner and intermediate terrain, one third of it being beginner terrain. We also offer 30 acres of beginner terrain at the top of Squaw Valley with stunning views of Lake Tahoe, where most beginners get stuck in the base area.”

Northstar was described as a great resort for kids or groups that have a wide variety of skill levels, “but if you’re looking for an advanced trip this may not be the place for you.”

Colorado has 12 resorts on the list, including nine of the top 15. Snowmass, Telluride and Vail were Nos. 4, 5 and 6, respectively.

Deer Valley, Utah, Sun Valley, Idaho and Whistler, Blackcomb, British Columbia ranked one, two and three, respectively, on the top 1-15 list that was published on Sept. 22.

On March 17, 2017, Heavenly was ranked No. 3 in the Best in the West: Scenery survey. Telluride, Colo., and Jackson Hole, Wyo., were Nos. 1 and 2 and no other California resort made that list.

SKI magazine is based out of Boulder, Colo.

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