Family Friendly, Varied Terrain, Great Food, Lots of Cruisers, Above-Average Size
No truely advanced runs, New base area is contrived Colorado Mega-Resort copy
I love this mountain. I've been skiing here since I was 4. It has to be one of the best place for people to learn how to ski. Wide variety of terrain (admittedly short on the extreme end), above average amount of terrain, and some of the best on mountain food. Before the opening of the backside of Lookout Peak, challenging terrain was in short supply. Most of the expert runs are not super challenging, but if you are going to Northstar then you aren't looking for the extreme (that's why you go to Squaw or Alpine). The backside of the Pluto Peak has long, fun runs that are especially nice on fresh powder days. The East Ridge has some short but moderately challenging high speed cruisers and is generally less crowded than the West Ridge. The best tree skiing is also on the East Ridge. The Powder Bowl is, as it's name implies, filled with powder on fresh powder days. While certainly not an expert mountain, I've had some of my best days skiing at Northstar.
The new resort makes me sad because the old base area had character and charm. Just like Squaw, Northstar is trying to be a Colorado mega-resort. Be a unique Tahoe mountain, and stop charging $76 for a lift ticket.
Call it nostalgia, but this is still one of my top 3 mountains in Tahoe.