I returned to Squaw for the 3rd day in a row, the most I’ve skied Squaw since I had a season pass there (only) in 2010-11. (That was winter when I retired early in 2011 and long before Alpine was owned by Squaw.) Why? Most of my reason is that parking is so much more convenient than Northstar, where my friends were going, especially if doing a short solo day. (One friend who lives in Sierra foothills was going to join me at Squaw until I told him all of the overnight precip at 6K was rain). At Squaw, even arriving at 9:30, I’m able to park 20-50 steps from the snow and it’s only a few more steps to a steep high-speed 6-pack. There are also bathrooms in SnoVentures building that is lightly used during the week. At Northstar, the parking change implemented the week after final pass payments were collected is so bad, they are being sued. See https://www.sierrasun.com/news/northsta ... d-parking/
for some details, but map is not entirely accurate as shuttles from free lot drop and pickup from bottom left of loop, not top. So, even after a shuttle, you still have at least 1/4 mile (boot-ruining) walk to gondola.
I loaded Far East at 9:05 and skied lower Dog Leg where most of the blue from previous day’s racing had been groomed or skied out and top half was firmer than expected (not icy). I saw short line for Funitel so I rode KT and skied Saddle trying to move up the mountain using Headwall, but lift was not yet open, probably due to winds which were gusting into the 50s. I skied past where friends had taken off their skis the previous day and past Funitel line which was growing. So I used Red Dog to get to Squaw Creek terrain where I did hike to Sully’s Knob and skied Nob Hill. Surface was surprisingly firm until the last 300 vertical, even though temps were not close to freezing.
I skied all of Dog Leg on Red Dog and moved back to KT and repeated Saddle with an alternate ending and loaded Headwall. I skied toward Siberia on road to Chicken Bowl which I dropped off and found snow not very consistent with 1-2” new, but not everywhere. I skied groomed with some new snow on edges Siberia Bowl a couple of times before finding run of the day, Siberia Ridge, which had a couple of inches of new that skied well. I only did it once then before cutting across to get to Emigrant, an already slow chair which seemed to slow down when I got on. Since it was such a long ride, I had time to scope out and go into the Funnel for the first time in a while and skied the steep left side where there was a couple of inches new, before cutting to the right to get through the choke. Shirley Bowl below the Funnel was also good, but both Shirley and Granite Chief had longer lines than I had time to wait in since I was quitting early. So I returned to Siberia and skied the new snow off the Ridge three more times and also found some new snow on top of smooth groom on Racers. I was on the road about 12:15 with 17.7K vertical and back in San Jose 3 1/2 hrs later. It was high 60s going through Concord and almost 70 when I got home.