Beautiful Kirkwood; Rare Earth Indeed

by: nessasnobunny - Mar 15, 2009

  • Overall Rating 5
  • Family Friendly 4
  • All Mtn. Terrain 5
  • Terrain Park 3
  • Nightlife 5

    Pros: Beautiful, Deep snow, tree riding, challenging cliffs and chutes

    Cons: Distance

    Recommended For: Singles, Empty Nesters

    Date Visited: Feb 1, 2009

Full review

So my only con, is also a pro because it means more of the tourists are going to get trapped "before" they make it to Kirkwood. Unless, of course, they've heard it's worth the drive, which it is. Kirkwood is sheltered from the lake wind and weather, so the powder is lighter and softer, and there's more of it. The resort's slogan is "rare earth", and it's not hard to see why. There is an abundance of exhilerating (terrifying?) rock cliffs and chutes to tempt fate with, and the tree riding is wonderful. There did seem to be more skiers than boarders, and the moguls can get frustrating for boarders towards the end of a powder day, but the snow is soft, you'll survive. And I'm not a skier, but it's apparent that moguls aren't an issue for you guys; in fact they almost look fun... or something.... lol The terrain parks are not too terribly impressive, but you're not driving all that way for a park that you could find at Boreal before you even get to Tahoe (or Mt. Rose if you're East of Tahoe). You're driving to Kirkwood for the powder, and the awesome beauty of that place, so grab your nice, sturdy all-mountain board and enjoy the ride.

One precaution. Expect that the relatively small stretch of highway 50-W that you have to traverse is going to take A LONG time during peak tourist traffic days (Friday afternoons East and Sunday/Mon Holidays West). This is especially the case if it's snowing. I spent over 2 hours in a snowstorm, on 50 West on Monday, President's Day, to travel about 15 miles. Not my idea of a good time. But even though we got to Kirkwood late, the fresh powder was amazing and it was so deep my back leg was already mush after 5 (albeit long) runs. lol