Squaw Valley, CA 5/12/2021

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Squaw Valley, CA 5/12/2021

Postby tseeb » Wed May 12, 2021 8:07 pm

I had thought about going 2 weeks and 2 days ago (Mon/Tues 4/26-7), but didn’t as snowfall prediction dropped as storm got closer, as it did in a lot of storms this year, and I had a project scheduled for Friday that needed more prep and it seemed like a lot of driving. On Sunday evening reports from locals were not very encouraging and I saw chain control did not last long on I-80. Chain control was on 50 most of the night and 88 was closed at one point for avy control as storm hit SW of lake harder as predicted.

I woke up at 2:35 and my Internet was down. Getting out of bed and going down a 1/2 floor to reboot router didn't help. Phone showed base of Alpine Remote Data (noaa.gov) had 3" at 10 PM and never went higher and Remote Data (noaa.gov) 8000' level at Squaw went to 5" about 10 PM and never went higher so I went back to bed. Monday morning Alpine reported 6" in last 24 hrs (5 overnight) and Squaw said 4" at base (3 overnight) and 6" at 8200' (4 overnight). I think I’ve learned by now that if skis (and as much else as possible) are not in the car the night before, I’m probably not going. I was not packed beside backpack with enough clothes and ski gear that I re-packed last night. It sounded like I missed a good day/two of cold new snow and snowpack has suffered since then with Alpine closing on 5/9 and Squaw closing many lifts and will barely make it to 5/16 instead of 5/31 they announced earlier.
Note the Wiggle on National Chute
This morning I got out off the house not much after 4:30 AM and was parked at Squaw a few minutes after 8. At 9 I was in the first Funitel, even though there were three people in line to left when I got there. I took a couple of warmup laps on Gold Coast, then skied Siberia a few times (top and middle were good) before moving to Shirley where the most consistent snow was. Line ranged from 2-5 minutes and I may have skied it 12 times, never repeating a route very many times.
I returned to Siberia about noon and used Reverse Traverse (below Palisades) to ski North Bowl twice.
Skis had to be removed twice to get to North Bowl although first time included uphill hike. Looking down North Bowl entrance, I thought once may have been enough, but snow was good enough that I did it again and was able to link turns through entrance (left of center in previous pictures.
Snow below the choke was very good all the way to the lift. Getting to Siberia lift from main Siberia runs or by going between Gold Coast lift and lodge was not as good as it got baked. On my last time going to right near base of Gold Coast lift to get to Siberia I had to step over about 2 feet of dirt. After North Bowl, I took a couple of more laps on Siberia and one on Gold Coast before quitting at 1:15 with 18K.
I usually don't download, but have never seen Mountain Run open and look like this. I downloaded today after picking up beer I'd buried in snow near base of Emigrant on first run. I did see a few people on it including one guy carrying enough speed to cross a few 5-10' gaps although the two 20' ones slowed him down.
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Re: Squaw Valley, CA 5/12/2021

Postby tseeb » Sun May 16, 2021 2:08 pm

Local paper says Truckee had 0.11" (with a low of 30) and South Lake Tahoe had 0.12" of rain yesterday, and saw the following posted in Ikon Pass Holders Facebook page about Saturday of their closing weekend:

"Well, today marked a first for me: We actually walked down Squaw, from just below Sibo - down Mountain Run - strapping into our skis maybe four times - because imminent thunder and lighting forced them to close the hill - at 1145. Thank goodness we started at 920. The Funi line was just too long. Check that box!"

I also heard they were letting people ski/hike down Mountain Run even though there were bare spots because they knew not everyone would be comfortable downloading Funitel (two cable gondola). Going up the mountain they have been running Squaw One (chair) a lot more than usual. It gets you high enough to ski to Siberia (highest lift running) or Big Blue (direct access to Shirley Lake) is an option, but I don't think it is downloadable.
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