A snow skate is essentially a skateboard deck that has been adapted for use on snow-covered surfaces, and though the number of snow skaters is relatively small, it is a growing population, and many winter mountain resorts have found room for them.

Now you can count Kirkwood among those resorts.

Kirkwood has opened a good portion of its mountain to practitioners of the burgeoning sport after working and planning and coordinating for the past several years with the South Lake Tahoe snow skate community.

Leashes are required for lift access and snow skates are permitted on the front side of the resort excluding Chairs 6 (Cornice Express) and 10 (Wagon Wheel/The Wall). Anyone looking to venture into this new way of exploring a snow-covered mountain can rent snow skates at the resort for $5.

But snow skates aren't Kirkwood's only recent venture into out-of-the-ordinary (for ski resorts, that is) activities.

For the after-hours crowd, Kirkwood has created Jib Wood, a park located at the Mountain Village complete with rails, stall features, and boxes. Jib Wood, open on Saturdays and holidays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., provides a great place for skiers and snowboarders to work on their tricks and technique before heading out onto the mountain in the morning. Tickets are $5.