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how would you compare Kirkwood to northstar/sierra

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nifeblade View Drop Down
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: how would you compare Kirkwood to northstar/sierra
    Posted: Mar/02/2013 at 2:46pm
if you had the choice to only go to one of them; which one would it be? and what if you had to choice of choosing two?

i need to make a decision and i can only make it to two over the break and i need some input.... thanks!
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  Quote Piranha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/02/2013 at 3:06pm
kirkwood and sierra are the best (in that order)...but northstar and sierra are closer to one another and to stateline, which is where I'm guessing you'll be based.  Kirkwood takes a bit of traveling to get to, so it's not really that convenient
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/02/2013 at 4:07pm
i actually will be taking bus on sepaate days :P i wanna get a park day in though... so does northstar basically suck? :(
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  Quote Muse25 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/02/2013 at 4:30pm
Northstar has great parks! lots of variety. Kirkwood has tons of terrain and if you're into blacks, Kirkwood's blacks sh*ts on any blacks in Tahoe. Sierra has great glade skiing. If I had a choice it would be N* and Kirkwood. But if you want a park day go to N* for sure!
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  Quote Piranha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/02/2013 at 4:36pm
imo, there isn't anything in Tahoe that sucks.  Northstar does have notoriously good parks, but the parks at the other resorts are pretty good, too.  I, personally, wouldn't go out of my way just for park, especially since it's march and you never know when/if a mega dump is going to happen.  
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  Quote dking Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/02/2013 at 5:57pm
Kirkwood is the best all around mountain. I haven't been there this season yet, so I can't comment on the parks.

Northstar has the best parks, but the worst mountain.

Sierra is in between with a smaller, but diverse mountain. Again, I haven't been to Sierra this season, but they'd typically have the worst parks of the three.

With the snowpack being what it is, you might be best off going to N* and just riding the parks all day. But be prepared for some lift lines.
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/02/2013 at 11:36pm
where should i stick to if im a beginning advanced rider? i dont want to side step the entire way down but want a challenege.... is the backside tough? as in tougher than cornice express?
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  Quote Blur510 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/05/2013 at 6:39am
[QUOTE=dkinge]Kirkwood is the best all around mountain. I haven't been there this season yet, so I can't comment on the parks.

Northstar has the best parks, but the worst mountain.

Sierra is in between with a smaller, but diverse mountain. Again, I haven't been to Sierra this season, but they'd typically have the worst parks of the three.

With the snowpack being what it is, you might be best off going to N* and just riding the parks all day. But be prepared for some lift lines.QUOTE]

going to sierra with my friend, he picked it, and he is a park guy, I rather ride the whole mountain and explore than just to hit the park all day (which is what he does) So your post just made me smile a bit.
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/05/2013 at 8:07pm
Thanks for the insight and input.... i'm going to northstar on a Thursday (of spring break) should i expect really bad crowds then?
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  Quote lightning80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/06/2013 at 9:02am
Personally, I would go to Kirkwood for terrain and Northstar for park. Northstar also has pretty good terrain variety.
Non-holiday weekdays are not bad with crowds for the most part. Especially if you head to the backside and martis.
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  Quote Piranha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/06/2013 at 10:12am
Originally posted by nifeblade

Thanks for the insight and input.... i'm going to northstar on a Thursday (of spring break) should i expect really bad crowds then?
I've been to a few Tahoe resorts on a few different spring breaks...and they were all always crowded.  Sierra might be less crowded since it's a smaller resort and on the lesser traveled highway 50 (instead of the main 80 corridor).  If crowds are a factor, might wanna consider Homewood, as it's also small and even farther from the mainstream
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/06/2013 at 11:37am
i think our school is one of the few that's on this spring break schedule though... most california schools are out in about two weeks. but most thursdays are still crowded then? I might reconsider going then ....
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  Quote dking Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/06/2013 at 1:03pm
Getting some snow right now. I'm up at Kirkwood today. About a foot in the parking lots and over two feet up top and still falling. Even with only part of the mountain open, I barely had to wait in a lift line... only really when they first opened chair 6 Aron's mid-day.
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/06/2013 at 4:22pm
how bad were the winds though? im afraid they migt close down cause i heard saturday is going to be really windy...
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  Quote LittleSoup Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/06/2013 at 5:00pm
kirkwood, like other mtns have been known to put lifts on wind hold. but it has to be really bad for that to happen. it doesnt mean that you cant hike up though.
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/06/2013 at 8:28pm
really? I might actually try that...
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  Quote dmo580 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/12/2013 at 9:26am
I've had a N* season pass for years.... Here's what I think

N-Star:
- On weekends its crowded as hell. I used to hide on the back side but even then the lines would hit 30+ minutes after 11am. I had a fast pass for 2 years, but was half useless because only one of my buddies bought one as well. I had to wait in line with the rest of my friends, and we'd just go singles line instead. This could have improved with the new Promise Land Express? I only hit N* twice last year and went to Heavenly the other times, but I found the Backside those times to be more bearable. OTherwise I hide in Lookout.

- GREAT park. Even though I don't do the more advanced stuff, it's so fun just cruising up Vista and watching everyone hit the jumps, especially the big ones. Looks so fun.

- I know it's flat, and much of the blacks are overrated, but being able to race down the Back is fun. Even the front is OK with Comstock. Great blues for intermediates though IMO. Plus you still have Lookout for decently challenging stuff. 

- I try to go SUndays to avoid the crowd.

- I really do like the Village. I like being able to come back, sit around, hang out. I would like staying there one day provided I have the money, but it's just a fun friendly atmosphere. I've had buddies who bring their gfs who don't want to go on the mountain and instead hang out in the village.

- Go early or parking sucks. And traffic sucks on the way back unless your group is real good about leaving before 4:30. My friends are in general really slow, or we decide to grab a waffle and coffee and take our time.

Kirkwood:
- Not all quad lifts. Slow as hell. I hate the triple chairs as they just hit you as you get picked up and throw you off. 
- Great snow. I love Chair 6, Sentinel Bowl, The Wall, etc. The blacks are awesome.
- Hard to get around. If I go with intermediates everyone always wants to go Chair 1 and then work over to Chair 2 to 3. Wastes so much time. Of course I could be the douche that just runs off on my own. Wanna go Sentinel Bowl? GOtta hit Chair 6 and do the horrid traverse for boarders, then make sure you cross back over after going down the bowl. I prefer Olympic and Zachary for that reason.
- Crowds are manageable. Very manageable. If Chair 6 starts getting crowded, it's a 10 minute wait max, and going to the Wall is always a no wait. The trick is getting enough of my advanced friends to go with me that trip so we can just shred The Wall nonstop.
- Meh park.
- Gets quite icy for the green runs for newbies as they're in the lower half of the mountain which hides in the shade.

But with a season pass, you get both so why not!
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/12/2013 at 11:57am
how do you think the crowds at northstar are on weekdays like wed/thurs?
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  Quote dking Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/12/2013 at 1:09pm
Originally posted by nifeblade

how bad were the winds though? im afraid they migt close down cause i heard saturday is going to be really windy...
I went back to KW on Saturday and while it was pretty windy, they didn't shut down any lifts. It was only really windy right at the top where you unload. Otherwise, it was a total bluebird day and maybe a little too warm.
 
It might have helped that the wind was blowing up the hill, so at your back when on the lift. On days I've seen lifts get shut down, the wind was blowing in the other direction; in your face while unloading.
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  Quote dking Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/12/2013 at 1:13pm
Originally posted by nifeblade

how do you think the crowds at northstar are on weekdays like wed/thurs?
Other than spring break weeks, crowds will be minimal. And even on spring break weeks, the crowds still won't be as bad as a weekend.
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  Quote nifeblade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/12/2013 at 3:08pm
Yeah the winds at squaw weren't bad at all.... except at the top of sierra. thanks for your input!
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  Quote dmo580 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/13/2013 at 11:27am
Originally posted by dking

Originally posted by nifeblade

how do you think the crowds at northstar are on weekdays like wed/thurs?
Other than spring break weeks, crowds will be minimal. And even on spring break weeks, the crowds still won't be as bad as a weekend.

I went 2 years ago during the CSU springbreak on a Wed/Thurs. Completely empty.  Can't even compare to a Sat or Sun even if it's a snowing weekend.

Maybe there's more people during the UC spring break, but my memory is kinda faded from back in my undergrad days :D
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  Quote zakk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/13/2013 at 11:36am
I have ridden Northstar and Sierra maybe a hundred days each.  The Double Whammy pass was the best pass ever.  Have the Epic pass this year.  

I have ridden kirkwood maybe 20 days.  

Northstar* has the best parks around.  that's a fact.  it isn't the steepest mountain around, but a fun day can be had and the grooming is fantastic.  with no snow, between the parks and the groomers, Northstar is my go to.  

Kirkwood* on a powder day is something you have to do in your life.  many people will claim Squaw/Alpine, but Kirkwood has easily that same level of terrain, without the Squallywood flavor and it doesn't get tracked out in 60 minutes.  

Sierra* is a mix of those two.  very solid parks, great trees, fun groomers, Huckleberry Canyon when the conditions are right, so if I had to pick one, with no idea what the snow would be like, it would be Sierra.  




*your mileage can and will vary.  these statements have not been approved by the FDA.  please consult your physician before starting any exercise.  

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  Quote jibhugger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/13/2013 at 7:42pm
If you want mostly parks, mixed with a little powder and some speedy groomers, N* is for you. I speak out of experience here, the parks are legendary for a reason.

If you want powder, go Kirkwood.

If you want some leisurely runs, then some powder, then cruise back to the lodge, go Sierra. I was at Sierra this past weekend, and they had four 10ft jumps, and 1 40ft. Literally the worst park i have seen in all my years.

PS: going to N* on a weekday shouldnt be too bad, especially later in the week, once everyone has had their fill the first few days.
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  Quote artikxscout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/15/2013 at 11:19pm
DMO said it pretty well in terms of the crowd. I used to also have a season pass for two years back when I was in college. I went to Kirkwood back in high school since they had discounts for students (I believe it was really cheap, $35 for kids under 18 or something).

Here are my two cents:
Northstar - It's a great all around park. Yes, it does get crowded on the weekend, but when you're one of the most popular mountain in Tahoe, you really can't escape it. The terrain parks are great, the backside has great runs, and the lifts are quick. It really is an all around park that's great for families, beginners, and intermediate/advance boarders. On the plus side, it's easy to get to, there's food and lodging right near by, and if you're staying in Tahoe, it's close enough where it can potentially be worth it to drive.

Kirkwood: It's somewhat tougher to get to from the bay area since it's not that close to a main highway. I felt that I've gotten the best snow at Kirkwood, enough that my friend ate it on one of the runs and his head was stuck in the powder and his legs and board up in the air. I remembered that same run was really long. I'd recommend the mountain if you were a skiier. It's been a while since I've gone so I don't know if the lodges have been upgraded. It feels a lot... quieter and less busy at Kirkwood.

Sierra... if there's a ch
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  Quote shRADnasty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/28/2013 at 8:12am
Big mountain with mucho lines = kirkwood
parks parks parks pipe = northstar
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  Quote 2zz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/28/2013 at 2:35pm
Kirkwood...is the best when there's pow. Not much for me when is icy. Is isolated away from cities and is hard to get to.
Northstar...great park but I hate how most of the runs funnels down to one lift where all the beginners go. The slope of mountain is also not as steep compare to the other two.
Sierra...my fav. Steep runs, great parks, good lay out. Great vibes.

Length of the runs of all these mountains is about the same.
11 Rome Artifact Rocker 147 / 12 Signal Vita Rocker 147 / 11 Ride Canvas 144 / 13 Union Rosa
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  Quote artikxscout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/04/2014 at 8:26am
If anyone can mention any deals for these places, even local deals such as Costco, then that would be great. I've seen Kirkwood at Costco going for about $57.
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