As ski resorts go, Alpine Meadows is a local’s favorite, one spoken of by skiers and snowboarders alike with passion that borders on the fanatic. It must have something to do with the 402 inches of annual snowfall (longest season of any Lake Tahoe ski resort), and the powder that can be skied days after a dumping. And the tree skiing. And the bowls: You pickin’ up what we’re layin’ down here? As a community to visit and enjoy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more relaxed, easygoing atmosphere, yet one that doesn’t miss an ounce of wow factor. Fly fishing Bear Creek is life changing. As is the biking, hiking (Ward and Scott’s peaks are genuine rewards), rafting and, of course, skiing. The new owners of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have announced a new pilot study to determine the possibility of creating backcountry access gates permitting on-snow travel between the two Lake Tahoe area ski resorts.