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Lake Tahoe | California

Backcountry Skiing along the Truckee Skyline Traverse

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Skill level


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Group size

1 – 6 people

A backcountry skiing classic

This is truly a special objective. Traditionally the traverse takes two days, but now is offered as a one day journey along the crest of the northern Sierra Nevada.

You’ll ski along the norther Sierra Nevada from Donner Summit to Squaw Valley and pass through some of the best terrain that the Lake Tahoe are has to offer.

Prerequisites for backcountry skiing
  • Excellent physical fitness is required. You must be able to hike for many hours while carrying a pack
  • Once the tour has started, cancelling and aborting mid-tour is very difficult
  • Skiers must be competent resort skiers able to link turns in a variety of terrain and snow conditions
  • This tour typically takes 7 – 10 hours to complete
Here’s a sample itinerary for your day out
  • 8:00am – 8:30am: Meet your guide and go over your gear, then ride the shuttle to Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
  • 8:30am – rest of day: Once at Sugar Bowl, you’ll ride the Lincoln chairlift where we’ll gain backcountry access. Here begins the journey from Sierra Crest to Squaw Valley

Things you need to know

What's included?

  • All guiding fees

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

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch
  • 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)

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