Last week I put up a post about the incredible season pass wars going in Lake Tahoe.  Namely, the Squaw pass versus the Kirkwood + Alpine pass.  Here, I will be manipulating the 28 comments YOU posted on what YOU thought was the pass to buy.

First, lets look at the Pass Details again:

The Squaw pass =$700 with no blackout dates.  (prices go up June 15th)

The Kirkwood+Alpine pass =$700 with no blackouts for one resort & the following blackouts for the other resort (use choose which resort to prioritize):  December 26-31, January 14-15, February 18-19.  (prices go up May 30th)

squaw valleySquaw Valley, USA.  photo:

I tallied the results from the 28 comments on last week’s post and here are the numbers:

Votes for Squaw Pass:  10

Votes for Alpine/Kirkwood Pass:  4

Votes that they both suck & they’ll be buying a pass somewhere else:  2

Votes that you should buy the Bronze Pass at Squaw & a full Alpine Pass:  2

Votes that you should just buy a Snowmobile:  1

Votes that you should buy a pass in Colorado instead & that Colorado is the raddest place to ski on Earth:  2

alpine meadowsAlpine Meadows, CA.  photo:

Right off the bat, I need you to know that there was one post, and one post only, that simply dominated all other posts and made them look useless and sadly comical. This Herculean post I speak of was written by none other than Joey B.


Thank you Joey B, thank you for your way of easily contorting the truth into a simple pass-bible that us commoners can so easily understand:

“Heres a simple test you can take to determine which pass is right for you:
Part A
1. Do you like to wake up at 5am and cook your breakfast in a 1 hour lift line on powder days?
2. Do you like icy moguls?
3. Do you think you’re the best skier on the mountain and want everybody to know?
4. Do you think out of bounds skiing should be punishable by death (or at least loss of your pass?)
5. Do you think powder skiing is over-rated, and hard pack is where the real skiings at?
6. Do you want everyone to know how rad you are?

If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, get a Squaw pass.

Part B
1. Do you like skiing powder, without long lift lines or 4am wake up calls?
2. Do you like skiing up to a lift and getting on without waiting?
3. Do you like skiing great terrain and powder just outside of your resort’s boundaries?
4. Would you like to ski the most and best snow in Tahoe?
5. Do you enjoy a relaxed, kick back atmosphere with a noticeable lack of type A personalities?

If you answered Yes to all or most of these questions, a Kirkwood/Alpine pass is for for you.”

kirkwoodKirkwood, CA.  photo:

Here is the rest of the banter & hubris.  I cut the fat off of ‘em and delivered just the “facts” for you below:

Tyler – “Everyone knows that SQUAWS terrain is unmatched, but do you really wanna wait in the KT line for 45 minutes for a 8 minute run?”

Jason –“Well only because “I’m the best skier on the mountain” I choose Squawllywood USA!

Robert R –“would buy neither pass. For my money, I buy $299 season pass for unlimited access to a central California resort were the vibe(everyone is your friend) is about as cool as it can be, ski untracked powder up three or four days after a storm, GREAT terrain (steeps/chutes) – like lift accessed cat skiing, and ZERO, absolutely ZERO liftlines.”

Kevin – “Personally, I’ve been skiing both for years, and this year I’m passing on Squaw and spending my money at and casting my vote for resorts that haven’t completely lost touch with the local community and the idea of social responsibility.”  “It’s unbelievable that despite all the complaints directed at KSL/Squaw this year, so many of you appear ready and willing to give them another chance in 11/12.”

Dude from CO –“Flat+Flay+Really Flat+Epic+Flat+Flat+Flat pass, nice! Or you can save your money and just get the ABasin pass.”

Sean G – “Squaw is better for storm days and storm days only!”

Squallykook –“Kirkwood is a great mountain to ski though with a different, relaxed vibe and worth checking out.”

Jake – i say alpine and kirkwood the black out dates shouldnt be a problem because theyre both great resorts.

Kevin D – “Alpine only has 2400 skiable acres and Squaw has 4000+!!” – “buy a shifter $1.00 PBR from Logan  at the Cornice Cantina”

Nick – “What would you rather have: 1 for the price of 1 or 2 for the price of 1? You would rather have 2.”

Kevin D – “Good point. Buy multiple passes, as long as one is Squaw Pass. More is better!”

Jordan –“Winter Park, though a shorter season, has TONS of easily accessible cliff, drop, hips and steeps (less than 1 hr hike to farthest in-bounds.)”  “Come on out find a local and huck a 40′ cause this is a special place.”

arapahoe basin, coArapahoe Basin, CO.  photo:

I will leave you with this special quote from my good friend Kevin:

“Granted, some of you will never stop skiing Squaw, but if that’s the case, why the F#$& are you actually promoting it here?! Shouldn’t you be telling the world how rad the terrain is at Northstar? Clearly, I’m WAY radder than you.”

P.S.  I’m kinda surprised no one from The Bay or Sacratomato chimed in about how, for them, Alpine & Kirkwood are equidistant and get very different storms at times.  If I lived in either of those places I’d be very tempted to get that PineWood pass as it would give two killer options every time you got in your car and started driving towards the great Sierra Nevada.  Any thoughts on that people in the real world?

22 replies on “SQUAW pass VS. KIRKWOOD/ALPINE pass | WHAT YOU SAID:”