Squaw Valley, CA, June 2, 2017

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Squaw Valley, CA, June 2, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:46 pm

I'm quite spoiled by Mammoth's spring skiing, but we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of Squaw skiing Friday June 2. The report is late because FTO was down June 3-5 and we had to get ready for our Cuba trip June 7-20.

We arrived at Gold Coast about 10AM with this overview of Siberia.
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We started with 3 Siberia runs, first near the liftline, steep on top than some bumps between 2 flatter sections already getting heavy by 10:15.
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Our next two runs were along Siberia Ridge dropping into Gold Coast groomers near/below the terrain park.

We particularly liked Granite Chief, skied 7 runs there between 10:45 and 12:45. View from top:
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Everything skier's right up there had good supportable corn snow from the open bowls (right) to the tighter lines through rocks and trees (left).
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This interesting traverse led to more good skiing.
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Arete was Liz’ favorite; she skied it 3x.
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I went with her once and poked around some tighter lines at right the other 2x.

After the first run we learned to finish all Granite Chief runs via Shirley Access because Bottleneck Gully under the lower part of the lift was a slog. I went into the office at the end of the day and learned that Granite Chief's days were numbered. The snow was breaking up into a stream near the bottom.
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They should just rope off Bottleneck Gully and make everyone use Shirley Access, but I don't think that was the plan.

As I expected Squaw is far inferior to Mammoth for late season groomers. Shirley Lake was decent for its steep pitches but a bit heavy on the flatter run outs. The mellow skiing area between top of Shirley and Gold Coast/High Camp all faces south and I question whether the snow there will last into July.

While Squaw does not salt all its groomers like Mammoth, they did salt the terrain park runs served by the Gold Coast lift and Racers Run off Siberia, which was roped off for racing all morning. The best groomed skiing all day was Racers Run after they were done with the gates and opened to the public. I skied that at 1:30 and 2:30.

I had a memorable finish, hiking the Palisades for the first time.
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The hike was only 10 minutes, but it’s steep and surely trickier on scree than on a snowy bootpack.

The top of Palisades is flat with no snow left at all.
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I looked over the edge of Main Chute.
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I was not tempted as I had seen from below that it was deeply rutted.

There’s a panoramic view to Squaw’s base and Lake Tahoe from the top of National.
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View toward Siberia from where I dropped into skier’s right of National.
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I then traversed right, leaving a short walk to top of Headwall. Looking back at Palisades from there:
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This area is accessible with about 5 minutes of easy hiking after the Reverse Traverse. But the top of Headwall is burned off.
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Fortunately the snow resumed just around the corner to left ahead.

I skied a few turns in North Bowl, then traversed to Hogsback. View down to Siberia base from there.
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I rode the Funitel down from Gold Coast about 2:45PM after 16,000 vertical of high quality skiing. I spotted two skiers who had schlepped much farther than I did so they could ski 75 Chute.
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June 4 was probably the end for Granite Chief, but the big issue for later weekends is the bizarre decision to push the opening hour to 10AM. The natives are already restless at Squaw.
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The summer hours of 10AM-2PM will add to the controversies regarding lift operations at Squaw. But, as tseeb has noted, Squaw is the only Tahoe area open since Memorial Day, and along with Mt. Rose, the only Tahoe area open since April 23.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,575K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Tony Crocker
 
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Re: Squaw Valley, CA, June 2, 2017

Postby tseeb » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:11 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:The summer hours of 10AM-2PM will add to the controversies regarding lift operations at Squaw. But, as tseeb has noted, Squaw is the only Tahoe area open since Memorial Day, and along with Mt. Rose, the only Tahoe area open since April 23.

I thought you were going to ask Squaw about their hours. Any response? I also asked about their late season hours in response to an e-mail from them, but did not get a reply. I still have their CEOs e-mail and could ask him, but don't want to be be banned although I'm not sure how that would work with Mountain Collective.

Note that Heavenly re-opened for April 28-30. Operations were more limited than snowpack could have allowed, although I heard that they opened Comet chair when Dipper chair line got too long.

I skied about 600 vertical feet on 6/20 near Carson Pass. See post #25 at http://forum.pugski.com/threads/patchsk ... 951/page-2 for some pictures. My first run was about 350 vertical feet of low-angle supportable corn. After a short hiking traverse I skied a steeper area, but was attached by 15' retractable leash to our Beagle who had wandered off too far following her nose a couple of time. I was in the area to make sure we did not have any problems at my family's South Lake Tahoe cabin from below freezing temps with a low of 26.6 at nearest wunderground station the previous Tues morning. On my way to Tahoe Monday afternoon, I went through Ione when temp was 110 according to my phone.
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Re: Squaw Valley, CA, June 2, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:51 am

I did send an email to Squaw on June 4 about the hours of operation, citing Snowbird and Timberline as well as Mammoth as counterexamples. I received a noncommittal response June 15 but yesterday I got an email stating that opening hour will be 8:30am as of this weekend. Closing hour will remain 2pm through July 4 but will be 12:30pm for any open Saturdays after that.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,575K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9422
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA, June 2, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:38 pm

While the change in Squaw's hours are welcome, the bad news is that Siberia closed after the weekend of June 17-18. These leaves only 700 vertical Shirley Lake and the Gold Coast area including terrain park open.

Siberia Ridge has burned off. An exit ramp of perhaps 20 feet from the lift to the entry to still deep Siberia Bowl would need to be maintained. Mammoth seems capable of several such maintenance projects during most late seasons I have been skiing there.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,575K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9422
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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