"Killebrew and Mott Canyon are the perfect playgrounds for adventure-seeking riders." says Brent Abrams, a member of Heavenly Mountain Resort's Freeride Team and a South Lake Tahoe native who grew up playing in Heavenly's terrain parks, trees and expert canyons. Currently, he’s ranked amongst the top ten halfpipe skiers in the world.
He explains: "Killebrew and Mott Canyon become very addicting. Between the two, they provide enough shoots, cliffs and runs that you can ride all day without repeating a line. I've spent days in Mott and Killebrew with my friends where we told each other eleven times, because we couldn't stop skiing, 'OK this is the last run.'
"The skiing is so incredible it doesn't matter how tired your body gets, you just can’t stop riding. Every run will supply a new patch of fresh powder or a tighter line to ski but don't forget the super magical part: in addition to the varied terrain, every storm changes the conditions making it possible to spend an entire lifetime in the canyons without getting bored.
Constantly Changing Conditions Changes These Canyons’ Shapes
"Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon contain the most difficult and steep terrain that you’ll find in-bounds anywhere. Each canyon is formed like a stadium; the walls in each canyon funnel down into a valley at the bottom and when it snows these canyons act as pockets for the mountain and relentlessly collect falling snow. Each snow storm changes the shape of these canyons. Snow constantly creates massive cornices, higher cliffs, narrower shoots, and challenging new terrain as it covers more rocks and trees throughout the season. These constant changing conditions coupled with the existing treacherous terrain is what gives experienced skiers and boarders sore legs and a huge smile at the end of the day.
Mott Canyon Is More User Friendly
"Mott Canyon is probably more "user friendly" [please excuse the cliché] then Killebrew, but still gives any expert skier all he or she can handle. Mott's walls funnel down and congregate around a two-person chairlift at the bottom. "Bill's" and "The Y" are two of the best runs in Mott.
Killebrew Canyon is Harder to Reach
"Killebrew is positioned above Mott Canyon on the mountain; its accessibility is not as easy. Killebrew's walls funnel into a "goat trail" at the bottom; this trail winds just above the outer limits of the resort and speeds you down a roller-coaster-like ride that flies through the trees and finishes at the bottom of Mott Canyon's lift. Killebrew's runs are narrower and steeper. Killebrew's powder tends to be softer than on most other runs because the runs are so steep the snow is not able to compress and stiffen as it does on flatter runs.
Constant Shade Protects the Snow
"Both canyons are shaded most of the day which protects the soft, light snow from coagulating due to the warm Californian sun. In addition, most skiers and boarders are not capable of handling the advanced terrain Mott and Killebrew provides; therefore most of the powder remains untracked for nearly two days after a storm. This two-day period isn’t normal at most resorts, which become tracked out in one day.
"Killebrew and Mott are guaranteed to tire you out but the wonderful memories will give you the energy needed to party through the night. If you ski Heavenly, lasting through the night is important because besides the canyons the night life surrounding Heavenly is the best. Gambling, dance clubs, movies, shopping, an abundance of alcohol, food and friends sure can take your mind off a battered body after riding Mott and Killebrew Canyon all day."
Contact for more informationFor more information about Heavenly and it's canyons visit Ski Heavenly
Patrollers & Locals Disclose the Best Inbounds Extreme Skiing & Snowboarding at Their Resorts
Click on Top Resorts With Inbounds Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Terrain to find more places for expert skiers and snowboarders to enjoy backcountry-style terrain inbounds at ski resorts. If you’re not sure what backcountry skiing and riding are outside ski resort boundaries, visit What is Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding. If you’re going to ski, snowboard, snowmobile or do any other sports in the backcountry when snow covers the mountains, read Surviving an Avalanche, which lists online and other sources where you can learn from experts about the odds of, and skills needed, to help keep yourself out of avalanche-prone areas and tips that may help you if caught in an avalanche.