First, take a level I avy course. California has a much more stable snowpack than in Colorado, but when it decides to go it tends to be catrastrophic. You definitely want to be able to identify dangers as the kill rate seems to be much more successful for avalanches out there.
Tallac, Carson Spur, Donner Pass are all legit backcountry areas around Tahoe. There is also a lot of hikes/tours out of Alpine. Sugar Bowl has a few tours accessed from the ski area too.
Lot's of Tahoe area backcountry splitters can be found at Splitboard.com
. You might post up some questions about the area there. Keep in mind, most of these guys/gals are seasoned vets. They know their stuff, and would be a very good crew to hook up with.