Area Woman Lays Fresh Tracks in Backcountry
Tahoe is a backcountry skier's paradise, with huge amounts of terrain, warm weather, and lots of powder. If you are visiting the Tahoe area and wish to get away from the crowds and head out to ski in the wilderness, the most important thing to remember is 'Safety First'. In addition to the typical hazards of skiing, the backcounry presents the challenge of being on your own in unpatrolled terrain with avalanche danger and other hazards. Learning to choose the correct routes and having and knowing how to use necessary equipment are important first steps when heading out to earn your turns. With proper safety precautions, backcountry skiing can be an extremely rewarding experience. These are some resources that may help on your quest for powder.
Expedition Kirkwood offers awareness courses to teach the skills you need for backcountry riding. They offer information, programs and periodic clinics including classes on beacons, etiquette, equipment usage, snow observation and route planning. For information, visit their site and follow the link to Expedition Kirkwood.
The Plaza at Kirkwood
Sierra Avalanche Center
This agency provides information on snow pack and stability info along with avalanche education in the Sierra Nevada.
Alpine Meadows Ski Area
Alpine Meadows is has some great terrain, with wide open bowls and great access to the backcountry as well as backcountry-like skiing within the patrolled ski area. You can take several hikes to get fresh snow within the resort boundary to get that 'backcountry feeling' and to practice backcountry skills.
Off HW 89 between Tahoe City and Truckee
Snow Phone: 530.581.8374, 530.583.4232
Squaw Valley Avalanche Awareness and Tra
Weakly classes are held to encourage avalanche awareness and provide beacon training at Squaw. For current times and information, visit the Squaw website.
Sierra Ski Touring
Offers avalanche and winter survival courses and guided events in the Sierra Nevada.
Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars
Avalanche awareness education for those who venture into the mountains in winter.
Pacific Crest Snowcats
Snowcat assisted backcountry skiing and snowboarding service. Ski/lodging packages are available in partnership with the Lost Trail Lodge.
Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Mountain Sports
Order your beacon, skins, probe, shovel, and other outdoor gear online at this backcountry equipment store operated by Tahoe locals.
Backcountry Huts and Cabins
The Sierra Club operates several backcountry ski huts in the Tahoe area. They afford the opportunity to get out into the wilderness and stay in a rustic hut with a wood stove. You can reserve space and find information about locations and rates at their website.
Offers backcountry equipment rentals and sales, including bikes and skis.
Truckee and Tahoe City, CA
Spooner Lake is a small lake just east of Tahoe. In the summer, you can rent mountain bikes. In winter, they offer cross country ski and snowshoe rentals, and 80 kilometers of trails cross country trails for all abilities. There are two backcountry cabins that can be reserved, The Wild Cat and Spooner Lake cabin. 5 miles beyond and above Spooner, Marlette Lake is accessible via bike, hike or ski. Marlette is a popular scenic lake and fish hatchery, and is also the start of the famous Flume Trail, a popular mountain biking and hiking trail.
Off HW 28 Near 50 and Spooner Summit