Heavenly’s Killebrew Canyon

Killebrew Canyon MapAt the far eastern end of this sprawling resort exists an extreme skier’s playground where tight cliffs harbor 45-degree chutes, snow stays soft and deep days after a storm, and the crowds keep their distance—thanks to the rough-and-tumble traverse required to get there.

Get here by traversing east from the top of Dipper Express lift, stay high across Milky Way Bowl, and enter through gates A–E. Stay clear of gates 1–6—they’ll drop you in MottCanyon.

The shorter, south-facing runs crust up when baked in the afternoon sun. In the spring, most runs are open from mid-morning until glop-thirty.

Leave the canyon by following a quarter mile traverse west to the base of MottCanyon lift (not shown). You can’t get lost—a rope marks the lowest return point.


North facing with a consistent 35-degree pitch, this line preserves the pow and drops you through open trees. Ski through Gate A and follow the glade skier’s right to the top of Meadows, following the rope line to the knob at the end.


Riding this 41-degree natural half pipe down the 900-foot fall line is as close to surfing in the Sierras as you’re gonna get. Go through Gate A, ski right until you get to the sign marking the run. This north/northeast-facing aspect promises a smooth ride of protected snow. Toward the bottom, cut right to the often-untouched Boundary Chutes.


The late ski patroller Ramarrah Ann Moore loved this 42-degree, narrow chute that funnels into Pipeline after about 450 feet. Enter with care: exposed rocks would love to chew up your bases. Once in, however, let ‘er rip. If you want to slalom the wide-open trees, avoid the Pipeline detour.


Highly technical with several no-fall zones, the Fingers is the least skied area on the mountain. The pitches range from 38 to 42 degrees. To scare yourself, ski the ridge between the Thumb and the Index Finger—you’ll have mandatory air and a landing in the trees.


Make about 10 turns down the Index Finger, then angle left, across the more open face above the Thumb, to scream into Bonzai. Keep making turns, always banking left, without going over the ridgeline and into Stateline. This run’s name evokes the adrenaline you’ll need when your skis hit the 44- degree entrance. Once you’re in, huck the rock face with the small landing zone, and avoid the trees below. A word of advice—scope your landing before pulling a samurai move.


Boasting a 1,000 foot vertical drop, this 40-degree, north-facing avalanche path is the best place to find soft, chaulky snow after a storm.


Cruise the Boulevard’s 38-degree pitch and wide-open aspect. This friendly run gets the most traffic of any in the canyon.


It’s on the canyon’s sunny side, and only a few ski this consistent 42-degree run. A perennial favorite among patrollers, Sharkey’s is typically untouched, and is named after a bar.