Many people who come to ski in northern California typically race off to Tahoe's big and excellent slopes, including Heavenly, Squaw, Alpine, Sugar Bowl and many others, while others flock to Kirkwood nearby or Mammoth on the east side of the Sierra. I happen to be fond of the smaller and less publicized California spots such as Badger Pass in Yosemite, Bear Valley in Alpine County and Dodge Ridge, as you'll see on the video. I'm not the world's greatest downhill skier and my snowboarding talents are few and mostly funny. But I love getting away from the big crowds and goofing around in the snow, snowshoeing in the backcountry and cross-country skiing when I can. The point is that northern and central California offer many options depending on your interests and budget. Once you've clamped them on, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing don't cost anything. That's how I got into them, when I lived in New England, Wisconsin and later Alaska and didn't have much money to throw around. Besides that, if you want a great workout in nature's gym they can't be beat. But saucering, sledding and tubing are my favorites. I've done a lot of that with my kids and still do. The Dodge Ridge place we feature in the video was terrific. I also like Granlibakken near Tahoe's north shore and many spots we've encountered along winter roads. Some cost a little and many cost nothing and I guarantee you'll get much more than you pay for.