Alpine is like the girl next door who removes her glasses and shakes loose her hair at the end of the movie to reveal a hidden beauty. It may be one of the best medium-sized resorts in America. “A pocket-sized Squaw,” one reader says. “Skis like a big mountain,” adds another. With the steeps and big lines of a larger mountain, albeit shoehorned into a smaller space, Alpine scores high for Terrain, Value and Access. Its open-boundary policy allows restless skiers to find powder stashes, steeps and bowls throughout its 2,400 acres. “Who needs a terrain park? This place is a terrain park.” But destination skiers might be disappointed by its lack of amenities. “No on-site lodging,” complains one. Indeed, Alpine is hemmed in by national forests, with no private property for fancy hotels. Accordingly, Alpine gets dinged for its lack of après, lodging and dining. But all of those exist 10 minutes away in Tahoe City or nearby Squaw, making Alpine a worthy trophy for anyone planning a Tahoe safari.
/ What’s New / On-hill weekend dining: Take a snowcat to an after-hours gourmet dinner at the Mid-Mountain Chalet; women’s-only RAD (Rippin’ Alpine Divas) camp.
/ Local Tip / Got mutt? Park by the Subway lift, grab lunch at the Gentian Cafe (proceeds go to the adaptive ski school) and tailgate with the locals and their dogs.
/ Mandatory Run / Sherwood Face and Sherwood Run. Located side-by-side on Alpine’s backside, these sun-warmed bowls are party central on bluebird mornings.