Alpine Meadows — Snowboarding, Parks and pipes
Even though Alpine Meadows is paying more attention to its manmade features, most riders agree that the natural terrain is the real reason to come here. If you like in-bounds hiking, this is the place for you. Unfortunately, you might be doing some hiking even if you’re not looking for it: There are some flat spots and traverses that you might just find yourself cursing about. The biggest beware is traveling back from the Lakeview and especially the Sherwood lifts to the front side. It never hurts to ask one of the liftees, many of them snowboard and have helpful tips to make the trip less grueling.
The Bowls are great powder runs—with special kudos to Upper Beaver and Estelle Bowl—and there are plenty of steeps, gullies and nutty drops if you go looking for them. Mix it up with some of the tree runs such as Hot Wheels Gully, you’ll be happy you did. If you’re there after a fresh dump, look for the wind lips—you’ll find yourself airborne for days—and see if you can find Munchkins and Outer Outer.
If you favor groomers, don’t panic. Alpine does a real nice job and there’s a lot to choose from all over the mountain. Beginners will find very gentle terrain and the learning area is sheltered from the rest of the trails.
Parks and pipes
The medium and large parks are now expanded into a one-mile-long park that runs from Terry’s Return to Dancefloor. Riders and skiers will jump for joy when they see the nicely kept superpipe. It’s together with the terrain park—Roo’s Ride—and the boardercross course off the Kangaroo lift. The park includes rails, tabletops, funboxes and quarterpipes. The pipe and terrain park are open for night riding 5–9 p.m. nightly, complete with a speaker system for tunes.