How many vertical feet did you cover? Kirkwood feature keeps skiers honest

Kirkwood Mountain Resort has installed the company’s first solar-powered radio frequency (RF) reader to enhance the guest’s experience with EpicMix, Vail Resorts’ proprietary online and mobile application that rewards users for challenges completed, lifts ridden, and days and vertical feet skied. The reader takes advantage of Kirkwood’s legendary hike-to, inbounds terrain, and is located in the Covered Wagon area of the resort, along the southeastern-most boundary on the backside.

“We have so much inbounds terrain here that is truly special, I think this remote reader is the perfect way to bring EpicMix to life at Kirkwood,” said Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s vice president and general manager. “Our visitors are some of the best skiers and riders around and we wanted a special way to recognize them for doing extraordinary things.”

There are two custom pins explorers can unlock at the Covered Wagon reader. The first is called “Pushing Boundaries” and awards the guest 200 points for reaching the reader for the first time. The second is worth 250 points and is called “CW10.” It is awarded for visiting the reader 10 times in one season. In addition to being remote, this reader is also unique in its user experience.

Unlike most EpicMix readers, which don’t require the user to do anything special to record data, guests must intentionally approach the reader and come within five feet in order to be read.

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Kirkwood is a favorite with skiers in Lake Tahoe

Kirkwood receives the most annual snowfall in the Sierras. (Photo courtesy of Kirkwood Ski Resort)

By Marlene Greer

Improving your skiing is all about taking a new skill and being able to use it on a smooth groomed run or a steep pitch. Especially if you’re zigzagging through trees or bounding through a gully.

And Lake Tahoe’s Kirkwood Mountain Resort has what it takes to get skiers and snowboarders moving across the mountain.

“What is brilliant about Kirkwood is the natural terrain of the mountain allows that natural progression to take place,” said Nick Brittain, a college student from New Zealand who was spending his summer break teaching at Kirkwood’s Learning Center.

The beginners’ terrain is a mix of wide groomed slopes of varying pitch, a set of funny bunny rollers, and little gullies with treacherous names like Ditch of Doom and Ditch of Gloom.

“We start at the magic carpet,” Brittain explained. “Our first aim is to move from the carpet to the chair lift, then from less gradient to higher gradient to off-piste. We build their confidence. What we love is involving different terrains and seeing skill level improve. Kids absolutely love those terrain variations.”

So do his adult students.

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At Lake Tahoe’s Kirkwood resort, savings on lift tickets to the power of 4

Kirkwood Mountain Resort is offering the new Kirkwood Quad Pack, what officials at the ski area are calling the most affordable way to access Lake Tahoe’s deepest snow and most authentic big-mountain ski and ride experience.

The Kirkwood Quad Pack is four lift tickets that can be used any day of the 2012-13 winter season with limited restrictions. The price is $65 per lift ticket – a savings of up to $24 per day.

“Kirkwood is such a premium ski and snowboard experience, we’ve got a backcountry-like experience within resort boundaries,” said Casey Blann, the resort’s general manager.

The Kirkwood Quad Pack is available through Feb. 10. It can only be purchased online at www.snow.com and is not available for purchase at the Kirkwood ticket office. Pricing for the Kirkwood Quad Pack is $259 for adults, $199 for seniors and teens, and $169 for children, is non-transferable.

So far this season, Kirkwood has received more than 260 inches of natural snow. For the latest reports on conditions, visit www.kirkwood.com.