tyler1719Thanks for the advice, incredibly helpful! Decided I'm skiing strictly weekdays while I'm out for that reason haha
You should not necessarily do that. Squaw and Alpine are insane, you should enjoy them. However, you might consider doing a weekend day at Mt. Rose. It is a VERY underrated mountain, great steeps and snow. I would rather ski Mt. Rose than lots of the famous places out there. If you get to ski the chutes you will know why. If you are in King's Beach Rose it is doable from there. I highly recommend looking into Rose.
I lived in Tahoe for six years, mostly winters as the first couple of years I was finishing college. I left in 2004. Back then a full Squaw pass was 1600, so lots of weekend warriors bought Alpine or Sugar Bowl passes, or did their ski lease in South Lake and skied Kirkwood. One of my cousins was a Dr. in the Bay at that time, he used to go to Squaw just about every weekend, and he also took a full month off from the middle of February to the middle of March, so it made sense for him to get the Squaw pass, but lots of people did not. For this reason Squaw was not as crowded on weekends as it is now. A few years ago they started selling full Squaw passes for around 800. My Tahoe buddies who stayed said that the weekend crowds REALLY took off after that. Bay area weekenders who were skiing 20 days a year started buying passes for Squaw instead of the other places. Mammoth has had cheap passes since I left Tahoe and became a weekender. It has always been crowded. Mammoth is hard to get to, so I would have to say that i have not REALLY noticed a difference in crowds now that Mammoth is Ikon. There have always been people from socal going to Mammoth, and Mammoth is tough to get to, so I don't think, just from the eyeball test at least. I would not be surprised if Squaw has gotten worse. Tahoe is much easier to get to compared to Mammoth. It is easy, and less sketchy, to fly into Reno. The Mammoth airport sucks.
When I lived in Tahoe I worked nights and taught skiing part time. I would typically give them most of the xmas period, ski week, and the big weekends. Other than that I only had to teach a couple of other days to get my pass. Usually they just let me go and I did not have to teach. The rule back then, and keep in mind I left Tahoe in 2004, was that if you lived in Tahoe City you needed to be through Tahoe and on the 89 to Squaw by 7 am on the holiday periods or you would not make the 830 check-in. But it was not all that bad on normal weekends, it was really only like that over xmas and on the 3-day weekends. From what my friends say things have gotten much worse, which sucks. I would think the Ikon pass would be worse for Tahoe than Mammoth because Tahoe is so easy to get to. It is much easier for someone with the Ikon pass who lives in Denver or Seattle to get to Tahoe as compared to Mammoth..
But like I said, I would not necessarily let that limit you from hitting Squaw on the weekend. If you leave King's Beach early it should not be too bad. So I would maybe do one day in Squaw and another day at Mt. Rose. I don't know how the traffic will be to Mt. Rose from King's Beach. Kings Beach is around 15-20 minutes further than Tahoe City, without traffic, as I recall.
Have fun. Squaw and Alpine are two of the best places to ski in North America. The steeps are insane. Alpine is highly underrated, I would rather ski Alpine than most of the famous places you hear more about. Tahoe has gotten crushed by snow, so the steeps should be in prime condition. I love skiing Mammoth, I am there 2-3 weekends a month, but I really miss Squaw. You might well get powder when you are there, and even if you don't the south facing steeps should get nice and slushy. The north facing stuff should stay wintery at that time of year, if you follow the wind you should get some good windbuff.
I have a long trip coming up, I will be skiing fro 10 days, from March 22 to March 31. I will be based out of Mammoth, but I might head up to Tahoe and visit some buddies if the 395 is not too bad between Mammoth and Reno. I am hoping to get into some of my old favorites at Squaw. The Light Towers, Extra Chute, Granite Peak....Maybe a Silverado pow day if I'm lucky. Let's hope late March delivers.