Experiment 1

I fell in love with snowskating a little more than a year ago.  At the time, I had been snowboarding for boocoo years.  I’d ride every single day that I wasn’t working.  But, my whole heart wasn’t in it anymore.  I’d get up to the mountain, ride a few hours, and then leave after I hit my favorite runs a couple times.   Although I loved snowboarding, I was bored with it.

I didn’t even know what a snowskate was the first time it was mentioned to me.  But the first time I saw one, I was fixated.  All the implications of a “snow-skate” and what it meant to my understanding of riding snow started to come together.

I learned to snowskate in Pat Bonser’s back yard, which is kind of like learning to skateboard at Tony Hawk’s ramp.  I was so pumped that I actually ran back up the hill after each drop in.  I couldn’t get enough of it.

In the 2010/11 season, I snowskated more than I snowboarded.  I was euphoric, I wanted to snowskate all the resorts and backcountry that I had previously only experienced within the confines of my snowboard bindings. 

I started with Heavenly Mountain, which is my home mountain.  When I snowskate Heavenly, I ride from first chair until they don’t let me on again.  There is so much to explore, so many different features, and any terrain you could ask for; it is a snowskating paradise.  There are no restrictions on where you can take your snowskate, so whether you want to ride Motts or Killebrew, High Roller or Groove, as long as it’s open, snowskates are welcome.

Donner Ski Ranch hosts the Minus 7 Melee, and they are exceptionally welcoming to snowskaters.  There have been days at DSR that there were more snowskaters on the mountain than skiers and snowboarders combined!  And, they make the BEST bloody marys.

Sierra at Tahoe is also wide open to snowskaters, and the vibe there is super upbeat and fun.  They host the Ralston Cup every year. They’ve got the only super-pipe in the area, a nice boarder-x run, and fun kid’s stuff for the groms.

Kirkwood opened the Banked Slalom competition to snowskaters last season.  They are so responsive to customer’s needs and wants that I want to ride there just to support them for that reason, (not to mention they have the most advanced terrain in the Sierras.) Kirkwood restricts snowskates only on Chair 10, but the ever famous Coop has advocated for us in the past and who knows if that restriction will be lifted this season.

Squaw Valley USA doesn’t allow snowskates.  In fact, they won’t even let you hike around in July, after the lifts are closed, with a snowskate strapped to your backpack.  But, they won’t tell you that until after you waited in line that rivals Disney Land, paid for a tram ride that costs more than a full lift ticket at DSR, crammed yourself into the tram full of screaming babies, stood patiently and listened to the screaming babies for 15 minutes, and assisted a woman with her stroller off the jam-packed tram.  But they did refund our money after we had to do it all again backwards(minus the stroller). Thanks Squaw!

Mammoth Mountain will send out a groomer cat to catch you if you try to snowskate a run after the lifts close.  They don’t care if you paid for your lift ticket to get sore feet snowboarding all day.  The groomer guy told us that snowskates aren’t allowed because “THIS IS A SKI RESORT,” watch out snowboarders, you might be next.

Alpine Meadows doesn’t allow snowskaters either.  So, I haven’t even tried to give them any money.

Project Snowskate is an attempt to open up a dialog with the resorts that don’t allow snowskates in order to get things changed and to express how grateful snowskaters are to the resorts that welcome us.  I have shared this blog with all of the resorts listed via their Facebook pages. 

Let’s see how they react.

9 comments on “Experiment 1

  1. Great blog! I’ve always thought snow skating was interesting but seems really scary. Mt. Rose is another resort that openly welcomes snowskaters. They only require a lift ticket and a leash!

  2. Mt. Rose is where i met Zack and he introduced me to snow-skateboarding! i love that place for that one reason. Oh, and i designed the new Slide Lodge too :)

  3. Thanks for posting this blog. Here in washington they allow snowskating at Stevens pass, snowqualmie pass, crystal mountain, mission ridge and I don’t think baker has yet. And mt hood in oregan allows it.
    I also saw snowskating within the last couple years and I literally stepped on a snowskate and never strapped in again. It is the funnest thing in the world in my eyes and probably will be to anyone who does snowsprts and hasnt tried snowskating yet.

    • Hi Joachim! Thanks for reading! I agree that anyone who tries snowskating should fall in love with it, unless they are dead inside. ;) What resorts in your area besides Baker don’t allow snowskating?? We should make a list and take action via social media or whatever works!

  4. Hey Kendra, great post! I have a lot of respect for snowskating as I have tried it before and felt first-hand how hard this sport is. It doesn’t make since to me why some resorts won’t allow you to snowskate at their mountains, but hopefully this will change as the sport gains more popularity. One thing I am curious about is do you ever go snowskating on a powder day? And if so, is there a wider snowskate that you use so that you float better over the snow?

    • Yes! Awesome that you have snowskated before. How did you ever step back into ski boots?? haha. And yes we have different powder skates. They have longer skis with a wider shovel. I like bi-decks best, but single decks work really well in powder, kinda like the old snurfers. I think I’ll have to do a blog on powder skates now!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. here’s a quick link to some powder-snowskating:


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