Squaw Valley is the birthplace of extreme skiing in the USA and has been the backdrop for more ski and snowboard videos than I can count. It’s a destination that every serious skier and snowboarder pines to visit, and is widely recognized as one of the best and most extreme ski resorts in the world. Squaw Valley may well be the best ski resort in the USA. The extreme terrain is matched by few other resorts. Extreme big-mountain skiers and snowboarders, however, only make up a small number of the people who visit ski resorts. Squaw Valley an important fixture in ski history, and that infuses the area with interest for me. The crowd on the hill was the most ethnically diverse that I’ve ever seen. Hearing Mandarin and Spanish on the chairlift — rather than dudes talking about their pickup trucks — was refreshing. Squaw Valley has an unmistakably Californa feel to it. It has all the glitz, shine, and attitude of L.A. Some people even call it Squallywood. Squaw Valley has the reputation, the crazy terrain, and the history of an epic mountain and it’s in California, which makes it accessible to an enormous number of people. On the other hand it’s beginner’s area is not as convenient as some at other resorts.