1 - 4 people
Sometimes, just sometimes, it can be VERY advantageous for backcountry skiers to take a lift. Join us and ski outside the boundaries of Lake Tahoe’s premier resort. Take the lift and spend less time hiking and more time skiing this incredible backcountry terrain. You'll get some of the most coveted terrain in the National Geographic bowl outside of Granite Chief.
Get ready for some of the best skiing at premier locations!
In this program you'll ski in three distinct zones: Tram Ridge, Nat Geo Bowl and Munchkins. This terrain used to be off limits, but now you can ride it with a guide. Amazing. Regardless of backcountry experience, there's plenty for skiers and snowboards to ride.
Skiing Nat Geo
The Nat Geo bowl and adjacent peaks have been long admired for their beauty, remoteness, and quality of terrain. When you cross the boundary at Squaw with your guide, you'll step into a true backcountry experience with quiet solitude and engaging terrain. There are many options for ski descents. Once at the bottom you’ll transition to uphill mode and gain the ridge that connects Squaw Valley to the Tahoe National Forest boundary.
Skiing Tram Ridge
You can see this north facing terrain from the parking lot of Squaw Valley. This zone is made up of glades, gullies and ridge lines. You can ski multiple laps in this zone and return to the ski area with the lifts, or you can utilize AT or split boards and skin uphill. Skiing out of the boundary line on Tram Ridge has been a dream of many a long-time Squaw skier. Now it is a reality.
At Alpine Meadows you'll access the popular backcountry zone known as Munchkins off Scott Peak. Munchkins is a huge zone, there's mellow open bowls, perfectly spaced trees to steep technical lines. The zone’s diversity makes Munchkins the perfect place for the new backcountry skier or rider looking to build skills.
Which areas will you ski?
We don’t decide which zone we will ski until the morning of the tour, this way your guide can pick the best ski tour based on current conditions. Regardless, you'll have a memorable backcountry outing.
In general, what can you expect?
- Depending on the group's fitness level, technical ability and daily conditions, skiers can expect to get multiple laps of fresh tracks outside of the ski area boundary. Terrain varies from wide open bowls and widely spaced trees to steep, technical lines that will challenge even the most seasoned skier.
- Depending on the zone, you'll ride the lifts at Squaw or Alpine before heading out of bounds. Lift access to these zones cuts out a significant portion of approach time. You can use them throughout the day to reduce the ratio of hiking to riding traditionally associated with backcountry skiing.
Am I skilled enough?
- Skiers and riders must be competent in a variety of terrain and snow conditions. Skiers and riders must be able to link turns on ungroomed runs while maintaining control. This is comparable to skiing ungroomed black diamond terrain confidently.
- Skiers or riders 12-16 years old can join us with a parent. 16 years and over are able to join without accompaniment.
All participants must bring or rent their own backcountry gear
Need to know
- All guiding fees
- Lift lines
- Avalanche safety gear
What's not included
- AT skis and boots, splitboards and avalanche equipment are all available to rent through the guiding service at competitive prices
Gear to bring
- Water and snacks (guides recommend 1-2L of water)
- Lighter, more breathable layer options than a typical resort layering system. An additional light pair of gloves is preferred for uphill travel
- Ski poles with powder baskets, or a pair of collapsable poles for splitboarding (These are available at no extra charge if you need them)
- A backpack, and any avalanche rescue gear you may own. (Our guides recommend packs around 20-30L)