[R5R, Alpine Meadows] is noted for its open-boundary policy, which allows skiers and snowboarders guests to venture beyond its immediate borders.

There is a lot to explore out of sight of the main lodge and out of mind of casual visitors: the three-mile expanse of High Traverse; the steep chutes of Sherwood Cliffs; the visceral entry to Keyhole.

It's this aspect of Alpine Meadows that led the resort to develop - and inaugurate this season - its Steep and Deep Camps, which will be held Jan. 23-25 and March 13-15.

Campers get three days of lift tickets, three days of top-level on-snow coaching and training, welcome reception and breakfast, lunch each day, indoor rock-climbing clinics, morning core-strengthening, stretching and yoga sessions, video analysis, and après-ski nights in Tahoe City and/or Truckee, for $658.

There's also the Alpine Guides program, through which accomplished riders can spend all or part of a day with exploring off-the-beaten-path terrain with one of Alpine Meadows guides/coaches, for those who can't make the Steep and Deep Camps - or who don't want such a huge immersion into the program. The $449 six-hour cost gets you and up to four of your buddies lift-line cutting privileges, top-notch instruction/coaching, and an unfettered guided tour of Alpine Meadows and the surrounding terrain.