3. Alpine Meadows
4. Squaw Valley
5. Tahoe Donner
I am a true intermediate skiier (blue runs). I can get down a black diamond that is steep, as long as there are no moguls on it. I do not enjoy the moguls, one bit. This was my first season of skiing at Squaw Valley. There is A LOT of hype around this mountain because of the challenging terrain and the fact that back in the 1960's they hosted the Olympic Games. It is a huge mountain, I have (maybe) had the opportunity to get on about 25% of the slopes, but overall it was not my favorite. I think it is a little overrated.
The reasons I like Northstar the best:
1. They have a lot of trees, thus making the runs defined.
2. You know what run you are going down because it is all very well marked. I am not having to "Call Management" while skiing.*
3. The blue runs for intermediate skiiers are awesome! There are a lot of long blue runs and the mountain is still a pretty big one, you can find a way to stay away from the big crowds.
4. The Village at Northstar is a lot of fun. There is an awesome sushi and pizza restaurant there.
So, if I only ski Northstar for the rest of the season I would be a happy girl!
*The story behind: "I'm Calling Management!!" Two seasons ago, Chris and I were skiing at Homewood with a friend of ours. I don't find Homewood to be as well marked as Northstar and I took a wrong turn. I thought I was going down a blue run, well, it turns out I was headed down a black diamond. I was not prepared mentally for this and at that point in my skiing, I was not able to get down a black without hating it! So we were standing at the top of this black run and I was pretty stressed. It certainly did not help that one of the lifts went right overhead so everyone on the lift was watching! I told Chris, "I'm going to have to call Management about this! (poor signage)." Ever since then, whenever I have a complaint, we both exclaim, "I'm going to call management!!" We all made it down the run, I just skiied back and forth really slowly. Chris, who is about the same level as I am, just sat down on his butt with this ski's between his legs and scooted down. He got a lot of hoots and hollers from the people on the lift.