B-Rad from S Cruz’s Guide to Boreal

Welcome to Boreal. No village, timeshares, fur coats or Ritz Carlton’s to deal with over here. Just 500 feet of raw vertical in a 380 acre ski area where the fun had here will rival any 3,000 acre corporate mega resort. Top to bottom jumps, jibs, side hits, wall rides, poppers, gully’s and a halfpipe under the lights accompanied by the hottest laps in Tahoe will leave shredders galore salivating and hot lapping for hours. With the addition of Woodward Tahoe at the base of Boreal in 2011 the first gem of awesomeness that greets you along I-80 as you enter the greater Tahoe area became the radical mothership and epicenter for all things shred in this here parts. Want to see the future of snowboarding? Get your ass up here already!

snb_tim_slash_ph_0369If you’re not first, you’re last. Photo: Paul Heran

1. The first – The first to open every freakin’ year in Tahoe. Sometimes the first in the nation (Outside of Hood, duh!). It’s Halloween? Usually time to go shred Boreal. With the opening of Woodward Tahoe they are now the last to close. You can potentially be taking hot laps till July. What the hell are you doing? Get up here!

snb_tim_jump_360_chickensalad_ph_0798You could be doing this in less than an hour! Photo: Paul Heran

2. It’s close – 40 miles from the Reno/Tahoe airport. 90 miles from Sacramento. Book a train, plane, automobile, thumb it. You could be shredding tonight!  Boreal is literally right on the shoulder of I-80. If you can’t find Boreal you are blind as shit and shouldn’t be snowboarding. Get off the freeway and get radical.

snb_tim_pill_backflip_ph_0866-2Tim Eddy knows history. Do you? Photo: Paul Heran

3. Know your history – Boreal is OG. The first snowboard park in existence, Jibassic Park, was the launching pad for snowboarding and freestyle progression in the late 80s/early 90s. Noah Salasnek, Chris Roach, Kevin Jones, Blaise Rosenthal, John Cardiel and a list that could go on and on paved the path for snowboarding as we know it today. Neoproto ruled here in there day, too. Come to Boreal and grab history by the balls.

Pauleggersboreal_93carnelPaul Eggers, 1993 (we know there’s no snow there this year) Photo: Chris Carnell

4. Donner Summit gets dumped on – Boreal is right at the top of 7,240 Donner Summit. They are one of the first resorts to bear the brunt of any storms coming in off the Pacific. 5-10 foot storms are not out of the question, as are 3-5 days of continuous dumpage that can leave 20+ feet of white gold on them there hills. Boreal faces due north so the snow stays good for a long time after dumps, and the 500 feet doesn’t look that big but within that lies tree runs, cliffs, chutes, poppers, banked slaloms, a halfpipe, wall rides, rail bonanza and side hits galore. It just dumped a foot or two? Take Accelerator to the top and head for Cedar Ridge. Get ready to enter the white room, bitches.

snb_erik_jump_indy_ph_0486Erik Leon ain’t cheap, but Boreal is. Photo: Paul Heran

5. It’s Cheap – Season passes under $200 bucks, night passes for about $100 bucks, day tickets are $52 and you can nightride after 3:30 to close for $26 bucks. Scrounge the couch, sell a sack, hustle hard and head to Boreal. Time to get buck!

snb_max_wallride_fsblunt_ph0618Village? Who needs it? Photo: Paul Heran

6. There is no village – Fuck yo village! This is family. Boreal is a house to get rad in. Nial Romanek sums it up perfectly when he said, “Reminds me of back home in Minnesota. It’s not some crazy ski resort that has a freakin’ mall at the bottom of it with sushi and massages. It’s none of that crap. You come here, you park, you walk 10 feet, you get on the lift, and you get to ride an amazing park and an amazing mountain.” No fur coats, no shuttle bus from the parking lot, no having to walking 2 and 1/2 miles thru some kooky village with a bunch of rich squares. Park and shred, friends!

2012_boreal_night_scenic_lift_group_bw_lensbaby_phNight moves. Photo: Paul Heran

7. Night Riding – 9am to 9pm everyday. Come out and shred ‘til you’re dead, your edges fall off ‘cuz of the ice, or you can’t feel your face. Getting your snowboard devirginized on a nighttime powder session under the lights is a must if you’re lucky enough to experience it on a visit. Work till noon and tell your boss to fuck off. 8 more hours in the day to shred Boreal!

blake_paul_jump_method_ph-0917Suns out, guns out. Blake Paul. Photo: Paul Heran

8. Snowmaking – Drought in the rest of California and half the ski resorts are closed? Boreal ain’t having none of that. Might have snowed once or twice all season but looks like winter wonderland up here because Boreal has top to bottom snowmaking operations and they can blow a shit ton of snow to last all the way to July. Think the snow sucks everywhere else in Tahoe? It does. Come shred Boreal!

snb_leon_jump_indy_ph_0667Erik Leon and no cops in sight. Photo: Paul Heran

9. Ski Patrol…What Ski Patrol? – In one word – nonexistent (almost). “They don’t have stupid safety patrol people monitoring your speed for how fast you are going. It’s one of the last cool places in Tahoe, “ states Tim Humphreys.

scenic_boreal_park_jumps_top_ph_0422Come and get it! Photo: Paul Heran

10. Hot laps – Boreal’s Accelerator chair was the first Quad installed in Tahoe way way back in the day. Faster than you can smoke a cigarette, post a shitty pic to Instagram, or watch kooks almost kill themselves off 50 footers while you laugh till you piss yourself and walaa! You are the top and ready for hot laps to commence. “Probably the hottest laps in Tahoe on the accelerator chair,” states Tim Humphreys. 5-7 hot laps an hour thru the best parks in Tahoe is possible here, epicly rad, will get your blood flowing and your boot liners sweated thru. Take a piss, grab a Ninkasi at the upstairs bar, smoke a spliff with some milfs you met on the sundeck and get the fuck back out there. You deserve more hot laps, brother.

snb_tim_slash_ph_0422Tim Eddy knows where to go. Photo: Paul Heran

11. 80/20 rule – 80 percent of the Boreal customers are beginners. 20 percent advanced.  “Probably the best place to learn how to snowboard in California,” states Paul Heran. The parking lot may look packed, but trust us – the jump lines, side hits and park insanity lay empty eminently awaiting your attack.

bunker_scenic_overview_ph11072The bunker. Photo: Paul Heran

12. Woodward Tahoe – What was great became the greatest with the addition of Woodward at Boreal. An uber shred mecca utopia came to life. A shredder’s wet dream!  “Board in the morning when it’s good and then in the afternoon when it gets too crowded go into Woodward. Skate with your friends and come right back out to Boreal and do it again.” states Max Tokunga. The just completed an outdoor bowl and snake run designed by Evergreen Skateparks. Boreal/Woodward is now a year round bull that you want to grab by the horns and ride till the wheels fall off. “Within a few feet you can be jumping on trampolines, flying into foam pits, skateboarding. You can walk a few yards to the lift and take that right onto the snow. I never thought i would be doing inverted aerial maneuvers, backflips and shit. I learned them here in Woodward in a safe way and then took them out on the hill,” states Paul Heran. Wanna learn inverted maneuvers and not break your neck and end up in a wheelchair the rest of your natural life? Wanna learn to edit a snowboard flick like Mack Dawg? Well, you better come to Woodward!

Stay Here: Boreal Inn, Truckee Hotel, Tahoe Biltmore, Reno

Eat Here: Jax at the Tracks, Taco’s Jalisco, Squeeze In, Java Sushi, Wild Cherries

Party Here: Bar of America, Boreal Bar, Crystal Bay Club, Reno

Snowboard Shops: Totally Board (Truckee), Tahoe Dave’s (Tahoe City), Eternal (Reno), Boards N Motion (Auburn).

More Info:  rideboreal.com, woowdwardtahoe.com

9 replies
    CHOWDA KILLA says:

    When I went to tahoe i rode Northstar, Heavenly (dont ask me why), and Boreal. I wish I would have just went to Boreal every single day. Best vibes, best hot laps, best grub.

  2. powfinder
    powfinder says:

    Couldn’t agree more! Boreal is one the ONLY resort in North Tahoe with a shred-focused mentality. Opens early, 9a-9p every single day, cheap as f***, and they are dedicated to having a high caliber terrain park the entire season.


    Fuck Woodward. Boreal is raw as fuck, and Woodward is as square as a mormon. Fuck Eric Rosenwald while I’m at it. Pipe under the lights? When’s the last time ANYBODY rode the pipe at night? Mr Knaack and the rest of the park crew are dope as fuck, they kill it daily. Get that faggot Frozenballs out of there and watch that place take off. If you think the park is good now, those guys can do way better with no “straight line of rails on tiers” mentality. Powdr Corp needs to recognize that Boreal (not Woodward) is the only resort they own that turns a profit. Every Year. Penny pinching management is ruining that place. And their ski patrol is just as gay as some speeding ticket giving homo at Vail.

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