Best Ski Resort: Spending to counter its carbon footprint
This best-kept secret of the bay's ski culture went fully green this season. Sugar Bowl Ski Resort near Donner Pass in Tahoe now purchases renewable energy credits from wind farms to offset all 4,272 megawatt-hours of electricity it uses every season. That power supports ten lifts and snow machines serving four peaks and 84 trails, of which 38 percent are rated "advanced." If you've never been, prepare for a modest resort that trades in frills for thrills. The closest powder to the bay, winter storms whack Donner Pass and Sugar Bowl head-on, dumping an average of five hundred inches of powpow on steep chutes and deep bowls. Prepare for those one-of-a-kind awesome vertical powder turns on the Palisades, then float on pure air through deep powder in Strawberry Fields. Northstar and Kirkwood offer bigger mountains and perks, but nothing is as steep and deep (and cheap!) as Sugar Bowl after a good storm.