As you would expect with 13 ski areas to choose from, the range of skiing around Lake Tahoe is both vast and varied. There's something for everyone. You can choose between a quiet, intimate, small scale ski area for unpressurised family fun, through a wide selection to an internationally famous centre with world class slopes to challenge the most demanding skier or boarder. The Ski Lake Tahoe Interchangable Pass for international visitors gives access to over 500 trails on 17500 acres, the most skiing on an area pass any where in North America. The area pass give access to - Kirkwood, Squaw Valley, Northstar, Sierra at Tahoe and Alpine Meadows. It's also possible to travel between the North and south ends of the lake by using a traditional mississipi paddles steamer across the Lake with an on-board après ski party in full swing on the way back. Beginners and intermediates will find superb skiing wherever they choose to spoend the day. However experts need to choose a little more carefully. At Heavenly advanced to expert level skiers will find just over a third of terrain classified for them, with famous runs like Gunbarrel, on the Californian side, is ideal for those confident enough to do some posing under the chairlift. Otherwise the Milky Way Bowl and Killebrew Canyon over on the Nevada side should provide plenty of entertainment. Famous for having some of the steepest terrain in North America, Squaw also has less widely publicised beginner terrain which, as you would expect from a resort with its reputation, is also world class. Unusually, the beginner slopes are at the top of the mountain so beginners can benefit from the same views and higher-elevation snow conditions as the more experienced. Nor should intermediates feel too intimidated by Squaw's reputation as 45% of the terrain is geared up to suit them. For better skiers, the KT- 22 Peak, accessed by the KT-22/Olympic Lady Express Lift, is legendary. From the top of KT22 the entire spine of the snow covered Sierra Nevada is strung out in bold view for the eye to see. Some guests visiting Squaw's slopes wouldn't have a clue that a restaurant aptly named "The Cornice" used to sit near KT's present top terminal, or that there was actually a family of eagles that roosted in the "Eagle's Nest. West Face, renamed "Moseley's" in February 1998 in honour of Squaw Valley Freestyle Team member and Nagano Gold Medallist Jonny Moseley, is the flagship of KT's double diamond terrain. Bumps on the steep slope stay cold, soft, and gullied into massive mounds storm-to-storm. Negotiating down its rippled compressions is like facing hand-to-hand combat. But KT-22 also has plenty of terrain to offer the intermediate-level enthusiast. From the top, head west along the Saddle Traverse and drop into the long lovely gradients of the Saddle. Keep skier's right for its steeps and a fun finish, or cruise left onto the well-groomed paths and the Mountain Run. Although much of Northstar's terrain is graded intermediate and easy, there are several steep sections, most notably Lookout Mountain, which added five black-diamond runs, Prosser, Stampede, Gooseneck, Boca, and Martis (named after reservoirs visible from Lookout Mountain) to the area thanks to a new quad a few seasons back. Before that the backside of the mountain and the East Ridge with its short sharp blacks like the chute dropping down from it, were the main advanced ski areas, the former home to the mile long Rapids run, right under the Backside express quad, one of the toughest on the mountain. With 12 lifts, a 2,000ft vertical descent and over 68 runs to choose from, Kirkwood boasts some of the deepest snow in North America. The resort is known as the home of Tahoe's deepest snow with steep chutes, powder filled open bowls and numerous runs with varying terrain have made Kirkwood one of Lake Tahoe's premier ski resorts and a favourite with locals. First time instruction takes place at Timber Creek on the region's widest, most gentle beginner slopes, away from faster moving skiers and boarders with lessons led by skilled professionals who provide individualised attention in a relaxed group environment. For the more experienced skiers, Kirkwood offers various camps including All Mountain Day Camps which focus on all mountain skiing with four on-snow hours and an hour of video analysis, and Ladies All Conditions Camps which encourage ladies to ski at their ability level while pushing their limits in a safe and supportive environment. Homewood is the only Tahoe ski area where the lifts and runs start right down by the lakeside, which is just over the street. It has around 60 runs, half of them intermediate and a reputation for family skiing. Alpine Meadows has 2000 acres of varied terrain including six bowls, chutes, glades and cruisers. Boreal is a particularly good choice for beginners, the area's Nugget chair is free and offers gentle terrain, ideal for beginners and children. Offered when the mountain is 100% open. Nugget is easily accessible, and easy to see from the lodge. Take a beginner lesson at Boreal and you can come back for free lessons until you reach the mountain top, or a level III lesson.