If you ask any of the thousands of skiing fans who visit Tahoe each winter about the one reason they love it so much here, you’ll get many varied answers. But the one thing in common would be the steep ski runs that bless this winter destination. Add to that the heavy snowfall that this area gets every year covering the cliffs and chutes and you get one of the most desired ski terrains in the whole country. These are the type of runs that will test your limits and give you the thrill of your life. And out of the numerous chutes and cliffs, three runs should be on every adventure seeker’s list of Truckee things to do.
The Wall, Kirkwood
Mention the word ‘Kirkwood’ to any serious skier worth their salt and they will immediately know you’re talking about The Wall. It’s a steep ridgeline that defines the whole of Kirkwood and makes it one of the most visited ski trails this side of the Atlantic. And steep doesn’t even begin to describe it. The drops here are thrillingly frightening. As the skiers jump over high cliffs, thread their way through narrow runs, and use every muscle in their body to stay on their feet, you have to wonder if these are professional stunt performers or just skiing enthusiasts. As it rises more than 1,000 feet above all the other ski resorts in the area, The Wall is the ultimate challenge for skiers no matter how experienced they are.
Killebrew Canyon, Heavenly
Known here as a beginner’s heaven, Killebrew Canyon has a double black diamond secret at the remote edges of the resort where few dare to go. Indeed, you really have to be a daring devil with fire in your heart to challenge this trail. Just one look at the gnarly chutes and sudden-drop cliffs will convince you that you’re in the right place. But first, you have to get there. Take the Dipper Express lift all the way to the top and make your way to that secluded trail. If crushing steep runs is what you live for, this should be one of your top things to do in Truckee winter.
Quail Face, Homewood
This trail is famous for two things: powder and trees. If you like technical tree skiing, Quail Face has plenty of such hurdles to put in your path. Enjoy a 900-foot long descent full of bumps and drop-offs. Make sure you have enough experience and skills under your belt before you try this one.