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My big concern about the upcoming Tahoe season is snow.  The extreme drought in CA continues with no end in sight.  Climatologists claim that the record shows that CA has had many century long droughts.  Last winters snowfall at kirkwood was half of normal.  They got 250", and they are right on the Sierra crest.  By mid march the lower 1000 vertical at heavenly was unskiable.  The woods at Sierra were unskiable all season because the rocks were uncovered.  I am not a big believer in long term weather forecasts, but the jet stream needs to hit the pacific coast 500 miles south of where it hit last season.  Almost all of last season's big storms hit the OR and WA coast.  Hood had an above average snow year, Shasta and everything south of the CA/OR border were way below average.  

I now live in SF and have the Tahoe Epic pass, largely because of Kirkwood, a truly great place.  My wife doesn't ski and still runs a business, so I ski on weekdays staying in south lake in dirtbag motels for $35/ night w. Microwave and frig.  I had no trouble last year just walking in and getting a place.  They were never anywhere near booked up in winter.  Their big season is summer.  South lake is primarily a casino and summer town, and secondarily a ski town.  I stayed a couple of times in north lake where lodging is much more expensive but also more family friendly.  I would not take my wife to the places I stayed in south lake.  There appear to be a lot of modest second homes in south lake and I'll bet you could score good deals using Leigh's methods.  Heavenly is right in town.  I haven't skied there for years, but it's huge, has many different micro environments, and some good tree skiing (I am told) and does not attract a high percentage of hard core skiers.  Such places have often rewarded me with great tree skiing and little competition.  I've never skied Northstar, the third area on my pass, but it understand it is similar to heavenly.  Unless the snows return I probably won't be skiing Heavenly or Northstar this year either.  Kirkwood gets mostly hard cores, but is still uncrowded on week days.  I was told that before Vail took it over half the skiers in south lake had never heard of Kirkwood.  It's a 45 minute drive from south lake.  There is no lodging over most of that distance and 2 passes, Luther and Carson, with chain or 4WD restrictions when it snows.  There is limited lodging at Kirkwood.  I've never stayed there.  

There is a shuttle service between south lake and Sierra.  Never took it.

Give me a shout if you're out this way.

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