Just got back from the best kept secret in Montana...we'll just say it was a really big mountain. Only 20 minutes from the airport. If 1 person stands in front of you on a lift line, the locals call it crowded. Mountain has skiing on ALL 4 sides. Recommend the Grouse Mtn Inn. Hit the lower lift in a bizzard, halfway up it lightened...was clear and sunny on top. Looked down onto the TOPs of the clouds. Skied down from sun into a snowstorm, and back up again. Spent most of the day on top. Now, that's a BIG mountain!
I agree on Heavenly. There are a few good runs but it's built better for Cross Country not Alpiners.
Heavenly is a glitzy, horribly laid out resort. Their vertical they boast is wasted by poor layout -- not to mention the treck from Nevada to California (atleast at the time of my visit) was flat and required a lot of leg work which was not what I considered "skiing."
Northstar is the best all around Tahoe resort -- really, REALLY, reasonable prices, employees are courteous, mountain is great. The new Lookout mountain they opened last year is just an added benefit -- however the Backside is still the gem .
Alpine Meadows is a "sister" to Squaw -- they are only seperated by 700 acres of land (with plans to build a lift joining them, currently being discussed). Alpine is gorgeous - feels like a large backcountry resort. Definetely if on an extended stay worth a visit.
One really nice resort is Sugar Bowl -- doesn't get much attention but is surprisingly steep and has really nice snow conditions. They have their own version of the "Palisades" (those of you familiar with Squaw know what this is) and it is really a nice place for a day trip. Good terrain park.
Kirkwood is a completely unique Tahoe resort -- just recently added a base village and their first high speed quad -- feels very old I thought and I really didn't care for a lot of the mountain layout (felt it was compressed over a small area if that makes any sense. Mountain was big but felt small?).
Tahoe is a great place -- have fun .
In order of my favorite from top to bottom. The conditions were spring like which means you ski the groomers in the morning and follow the sun in the afternoon.
My favorite slopes were Granite Chief at Squaw, Mott's canyon at Heavenly, Sherwood bowl at Alpine (make sure you do the high traverse from the top of the six pack), and the Wall at Kirkwood.
I am a member of NSP and was treated very well at all resorts. Typically 1/2 price lift tix, free at Alpine.
Food was best at the Ice Bar at Alpine. A small shack at the base of Sherwood Forest, that is great for sun and sausage.
If you want some great firsthand reports on these resorts try www.firsttracksonline.com.
People will tell you they don't like this or that about these resorts, but I highly recommend that you experience them for yourselves.
Mt. Rose is great when it has been awhile since the last snow storm. Base elevation is 8260 feet. Read more about Mt. Rose and Tahoe at my web site: