Great freeriding and natural freestyle resort with a good annual snow record. Limited slopeside facilities, but excellent services within easy reach.
alpine meadows / Photo: Dave Blackburn
Freeriders look no further this resort has everything to keep you smiling for many days. The summit six chair takes you to over 70% of the mountains terrain in just six minutes and also access to the back bowl which offers some nice hiking to some black diamond chutes. Alpine Meadows is also home of some of the best open tree runs in the area with some nice cliff drops if it takes your fancy. On powder days check out some awesome off-piste available from Scott chair and Lake View. Unlike other nearby resorts, Alpine has an ‘open boundary’ policy, meaning that providing the area boundary is marked ‘OPEN’, you can ride wherever you desire. However, you must observe all ‘CLOSED’ signs, or risk riding in dangerous areas and losing both your lift pass and your life. If you are prepared to explore at Alpine you will find some excellent powder, long after a storm - it’s worth hiring a guide for the day. Intermediates can enjoy long cruises from the Roundhouse detachable quad, and also over the back of Alpine on Sherwood, where the best early sun can be found.
Alpine has two terrain parks and a "start park" which are well maintained by the mountain and the local boys who are super friendly. Progression is certainly considered here and there really is something for everyone. Each park is of a reasonable size - approx 12 features in each by early to mid season and continues to grow throughout the rest of the season. Very uncrowded too with a warm & friendly vibe to suit.
The pistes are just great with super smooth corduroy slopes all over the mountain. The best advanced and intermediate stuff is off the Summit chair lift, where you will find some nice blacks that mellow out into blue trails for some real fast descents.
Beginners may only have a few marked green runs, but they are more than adequate. First timers should ride the chair lifts at the bunny slopes on the base of the mountain, before graduating to the Weasel chair for smooth, wide, open runs. The local ski-school offers a high level of tuition but comes with a price tag.