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It has been a week long storm that has brought the second 100 inch storm of the season to Lake Tahoe. Cars and houses are buried and my shoveling muscles are completely spent. The only thing to do in this situation is to head to the mountain, strap on your skis or board and enjoy the chest deep pow runs. Northstar offers two perfect areas to do this, so put away the park skis for a while and get ready for some snow splashing to the face.
Upon arrival to Northstar on a day like this, get up the gondola ASAP and head straight for the backside the quickest way you know how. Ski patrol always has the backside open within minutes of the resort opening providing endless terrain filled with everyone’s favorite untracked powder.
La Nina has brought Colorado champagne snow to the Sierras this winter and backside runs like Rail Splitter and Burnout offer the perfect location to float through it. For the more adventurous, there is Northstar’s famed tree skiing. Head down the backside in between Rail Splitter and Burnout to enjoy Monument Glade where a perfect tree line can be found for days after a storm. In here is where you will find tight turns between massive pine trees and also a couple prominent rock drops. Two to three runs on Northstar’s backside should have you smiling ear to ear and ready for more first tracks. After that third run head to straight to the Lookout Link and prepare to ride the steepest terrain Northstar has to offer at Lookout Mountain.
The link drops you at the perfect spot to glide down the Sugar Pine Glade, a run that will leave your lungs breathless but your body desiring steep powder runs all day. Back to the top on Martis Express and to the right towards Prosser is where you head next. Here you will find steep and more steep with no tracks for days. Believe me, no one will look down on you for skiing one run the rest of the day. But, for a change of scenery, try skiing the Martis lift line via Gooseneck and Stampede. These two trails will test even the best of skiers, but the reward is some of the best skiing in all of Tahoe.
Just one tip for all the powder hounds: take a buddy with you because even though there are no friends on a powder day, powdery tree wells are truly no one’s friend. Besides, who is going to take that sick pic of you flying off a rock into three feet of fresh Tahoe snow? Happy powder slaying!
- Michael Findorff