Voted one of the top ten ski resorts in North America, sporting the best Tahoe powder, and the highest base elevation in California, Kirkwood offers some of the best vertical and freeride terrain in the Tahoe area. They are exceeded only by Squaw Valley for steeps, by Mammoth for altitude, and are matched by Sugar Bowl for annual snowfall. The altitude makes rain a rarity, and spring conditions are usually late to arrive. Notorious for high winds, the upper chairs often close when gusts become excessive, but these same winds build up some of the best cornice jumps in North America. Out of the mainstream and not big on change, Kirkwood installed their first high-speed chair for the 2000–2001 season. In spite of the faster ride up the mountain, the remote location keeps the crowds smaller, the lift lines shorter, and snow untracked for days.
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