I was hoping by now to be skiing local slopes, not fantasizing about far away places, but...
Renowned for good snow, serious steeps, and fewer crowds, Kirkwood ski area is located about an hour south of most other California resorts in the Lake Tahoe region. The area has 2000 feet of vertical and 12 lifts spread across a wide ridgeline.
This is a real fine, high resolution character study capturing some of Kirkwood's most challenging upper mountain terrain, be sure to click on view full size. The steep face beside the chairlift to the left is known as The Wall. The promontory above it is Thimble Peak, elevation 9876'. http://community.webshots.com/photo/88705191/88708768pcOrqF
Kirkwood website: http://www.kirkwood.com/winter.shtml