USA ski seasons - What are they really like?
Skiing in America is all about pushing boundaries and transcending limits. Lake Tahoe in California offers some of America’s most sought-after ski. We know that fact may come as a surprise to some. We are talking about California, right? Yes. This is “California Dreaming” at 3,000 meters altitude!
If you are interested in becoming an instructor on your ski season in the USA download your free USA instructor guide to find out how you can become an instructor at one of our world-class ski resorts.
Lake Tahoe, one of the largest alpine lakes in the world, is home to two of EA’s ski resorts; Palisades and Northstar. These resorts deliver some of the freshest powder for skiing and snowboarding, breathtaking views, and bustling nightlife with top-notch après action.
Northstar is a one-of-a-kind winter oasis complete with freshly groomed slopes, world class park/pipes (Shaun White trains here and there is a 18 foot halfpipe), expansive mountainscapes, fireside hot cocoas and s'mores and awesome burritos at Big Daves! It is a bit like a mini Disneyland for snowboarders and skiers.
Palisades (formerly known as Squaw Valley) has a rad factor. Squaw Valley is a legendary resort known for its big terrain, powder and truly epic seasons. Here you'll find more than than more than 6000 acres of skiable terrain split across the two mountain resorts overlooking Lake Tahoe. This is a popular spot that has gained international notoriety with the infamous G.N.A.R film and associated game played out on the mountain.
Why do a ski season in the USA
Doing a ski season in California, particularly at Palisades or Northstar ski resorts, is an epic experience. Here are some reasons why you should spend your ski season in California:
- Phenomenal Snow Conditions: Both Palisades and Northstar ski resorts are located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountain range, which typically receives heavy snowfall each year. In the 2022/23 winter season we saw some of the biggest snowfalls in California's history, with Palisades receiving a whopping 18 metres yewww!
- In Tahoe you can enjoy a long ski season, with many runs open from November to April. In 2023, due to the wild and heavy snow, the ski season is running until summer!
- Variety of Terrain: Both Palisades and Northstar offer a wide variety of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, from beginner runs to expert trails. This means that you can improve your skills and challenge yourself as you progress throughout the season.
- Beautiful Scenery: The Sierra Nevada mountains are renowned for their natural beauty, and skiing or snowboarding at Palisades or Northstar provides stunning views of the mountains and surrounding landscape.
- Active Lifestyle: Skiing or snowboarding at Palisades or Northstar offers the opportunity to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle, with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy during your time off, such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and snowmobiling.
- Access to Major Cities: Both Palisades and Northstar are located within easy driving distance of major cities such as San Francisco and Sacramento, which means you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions of these cities during your time off.
- After a winter of shredding the slopes, you can switch boards and head to the coast for some surfing, where you can experience world class breaks. Get that kombi van with your new crew of shred buddies and chuck on the beach boys!
Palisades vs Northstar
Both Palisades and Northstar ski resorts are great options for a ski season, and the choice between the two ultimately depends on your personal preferences. Here are some factors to consider:
- Terrain: Palisades is known for its steep and challenging terrain, with plenty of black diamond runs and off-piste skiing opportunities. Palisades is known for skiing bumps and moguls. Northstar, on the other hand, has more intermediate and beginner terrain, with well-groomed runs and excellent terrain parks.
- Snow Conditions: Palisades is known for its dry powder snow, which makes for excellent off-piste skiing and snowboarding. Northstar tends to have slightly wetter snow, which can be better for carving turns on groomed runs.
- Atmosphere: The atmosphere at both resorts is different, with Palisades being more laid-back and Northstar being more family-friendly. Palisades has a more casual vibe, with a focus on skiing and snowboarding. Northstar has more amenities and activities, including an ice skating rink, tubing hill, and a village with restaurants and shops.
- Location: Both resorts are located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains, but they are in different areas. Palisades is located on the west side of Lake Tahoe, while Northstar is on the north side of the lake. Palisades is closer to the lake and to the town of Tahoe City, while Northstar is closer to Truckee.
So go get frothy in Cali!