Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby tseeb » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:11 pm

I thought I had a ride with friends who were going to Truckee for a night at Best Western, and I could work out logistics to get to/from skiing while staying at friend's house a couple of mi N of town and picking up two ski pants being cleaned and repaired in town. I confirmed they were leaving San Jose at 5:30, but when my alarm went off at 4:15, I saw late text reminding me they were not going until the next day. Since I was already packed and up and didn’t want to spend the day watching impeachment with my wife who stayed home sick for two days with a cold and fever, I got out of the house a little before 6. I had some slowdowns from traffic between Davis and Sacramento in fog, arrived Squaw about 9:30 and walked about 50 steps from where I parked to get on snow next to Far East 6-pack. Since lower Dogleg was closed for race training, I skied Cushman’s, which was mostly dust on bumps, to KT where I skied Saddle to Headwall. While snow surface had improved in the 15 days since I was last at Squaw, my DPS skis, which I was using for first time after DPS treatment, and skiing were a little balky. Cranking down the boots and skiing a couple inches new on steep Headwall Face improved everything. I rode and skied Headwall 4x; twice going left of then cutting under the Gazex on the Face, once skiing Cornice Bowl which was not as good as it looked from the chair, then leaving to Big Blue by skiing very steep right of Gazex on Face, then cutting across to the left side of Hogsback.
8988HeadwallLowerFace.JPG
8992HeadwallGasex.JPG
8994Headwall2Skiers.JPG
I used Big Blue to get to Solitude which I skied and rode twice. Groomers with some new snow skied well. The untracked and tracked out new snow was mostly difficult. (I layer learned Squaw reported 6” new - 3 overnight, and Alpine 6” new - 5 overnight). I also skied both Shirley 1 (aka Tomlinson’s, skier right of chair) and Shirley Bowl (skiers left of chair). Both had good packed powder snow, but not much challenge. I skied to the base of Squaw via tower 16 where sun had already baked some of the new S-facing. After separating my skis, I went into Wildflour bakery and had a $5 pizza bagel and a $2.50 chocolate chip cookie (both still warm from the oven). After my break I did a lap on KT, where I skied partially refrozen mank on an alternate East Face to get to Olympic Lady which I had to ride (twice) since it was running.
8996OlympicLady.JPG
8998SkiersOnOly.JPG
Skiers on Olympic Lady
Both my Olympic Lady run were more W-facing snow off steep ridge past Tamara’s
9002RedDogRidge.JPG
and had good snow as was a last run down West Face/Mosely’s of KT. I went to the car and dropped a layer as I was getting too warm and grabbed a beer for long slow Squaw Creek lift.
9010SquawCreekBeer.JPG
I skied top of Village View and did short hike (<100’ climb) to get to top of knoll (Sully’s Knob) to ski nearly untouched groomed face of Upper Knob Hill that also had view of a little of the Lake and a lot of Alpine Meadows.On return from Squaw Creek, I found some untracked powder? in trees next to Heidi’s.
9015HeidisTreesDown.JPG
Second time I carried enough speed and only did a couple of herringbones. Only track is probably my first lap.
9016HeidsTreesUp.JPG
First time when returning from Squaw Creek, I had to side-step to get up hill on way past old Red Dog lift top terminal.
9011TopOfOldRedDog.JPG
I quit about 3:45 with almost 26K.
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 825
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby Sbooker » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:41 pm

It's obviously a thing to keep track of vertical per day. I will have a go at doing that from now on - just to see how much skiing I do per day compared to others I guess. Would 26000 vertical feet be an 'average' day for you? Do you have one of those fancy apps on your phone that you have in your pocket or so you just calculate your daily vertical by keeping a log of which and how many lifts you do?
Sbooker
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby tseeb » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:06 pm

I have a 20 year Avocet Vertech II that counts runs and vertical. It's usually within 2-3%. I have used SkiTracks, a 99 cent app, but even though my iPhone is less than a year old (to me, not sure when it was made), if I run app at ski area with spotty Internet like Heavenly or Kirkwood, it's too hard on battery which won't make it through day.

At Vail resorts (and Ikon only if you load their app?) EpicMix counts your lifts and vertical. My experience at Heavenly this year is they should rename it to EpicMiss as I've had it miss 3/4 of my lifts some days. Sometimes I'm able to take what my watch says for lift count and break it down by lift, but when I have multiple days and don't break it down daily, I can't remember.

My average day for the last eight years has ranged from 21.5K (twice) and 23.8K. I think the lower numbers are from partial days due to other commitments or weather closing lifts/area.
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 825
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby Sbooker » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:18 pm

Thanks. I think I'll just count lifts. It will give me a rough idea I guess.
I'll be interested to see my average vertical.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:06 am

My vertical history is summarized here. Lifetime average is 19.3K.
Season totals are here.

I got the Vertech watch the year it came out, 1995. I had to count chairlift verticals before 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: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10364
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby Sbooker » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:40 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:My vertical history is summarized here. Lifetime average is 19.3K.
Season totals are here.

I got the Vertech watch the year it came out, 1995. I had to count chairlift verticals before that.


Surprisingly detailed Tony. :-D
I think I'll try one of the apps on my phone but will also count lifts to see if the numbers are accurate.
Any resource to tell how much vertical lifts have? Obviously some are easy to work out. Example Snowbird tram goes from 8110 to 11000 feet for a total lift of 2890 feet. But there's no way to work out Little Cloud or Gadzoom accurately that I can see.
Aspen/Snowmass have the vertical measurements on the trail map.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby tseeb » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:55 pm

Some ski area maps give details for lifts and/or top and bottom elevations.

There is also skilifts.org but it has only has details for most lifts at some places such as http://www.skilifts.org/old/ca-heavenly.htm but they also still has Olympic as a slow double, when it was upgraded to high-speed quad at least two years ago.

Another resource is https://jollyturns.com/resorts/continent/north-america but not sure they are 100% accurate.

There is also http://mountainvertical.com/ which does not have lift info, only a number for greatest skiable vertical at each resort. But their number for Squaw's vertical is 2,389 while it's possible to ski from top of Emigrant at 8,741' (according to jollyturns) to base of mountain at 6,200' for a difference of 2,541. Heavenly's number is a little harder to calculate as it's possible to ski from top of Sky chair at 9,950' to CA base at 6,640' for a vertical of 3,310, but that includes a part of Roundabout that I usually avoid because even with their regrading and me carrying speed, it is very flat and requires pole-ing and skating for at least 1/4 mile. Mountain vertical says Heavenly's 'real vertical' is 2,735; that is the difference between Sky chair and the Boulder base in NV which also requires carrying speed to avoid a flat and a very short uphill going past East Peak Lake and good navigation to get to Boulder vs. higher Stagecoach base. Heavenly used to claim 3,600 vertical which was the difference from top of highest peak at 10,067 to CA base at 6,640 plus another 280 for Groove which is a lift that runs opposite direction from rest of CA. They used to have loading going both ways at Heavenly Valley Creek when Waterfall and Patsy's, and also Powder Bowl and Grove shared same cable and drives which led to epic lines on busy weekends as lift stopped twice as often due to loading/unloading problems. EpicMix allows you to add and remove lifts which gives you an easy way to get what Vail consider the lift's vertical.
Last edited by tseeb on Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 825
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:52 am

When I started skiing in the 1970's nearly all trail maps showed the vertical of their lifts, as Snowbird still does AFAIK. I only remember Vail and Kirkwood as places I had to go into an office to get that information. Currently some places have chosen to replace vertical with ride time on their printed trail maps. At this time I guess it's safe to assume that anyone who really cares about counting vertical has a device to do it.

However we all know that devices can fail. In the case of the Vertech, when the battery gets low, accuracy diminishes. In my case I know all the lifts at Mammoth after 400 ski days so it's easy to audit the watch accuracy there. As tseeb said, with a good battery it's nearly always within 2%. I have zero interest in using phone apps to do this because it's hard enough to sustain a phoine battery in cold weather without that extra load. Plus tseeb points out that the phone apps aren't as reliable as the watches.

Vertech has been out of business for quite some time though there's guy in NorCal who will repair them. Suunto is probably the leading maker of altimeter watches now.
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: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10364
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby tseeb » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:32 pm

There are some used Avocet altimeter watches on Ebay, only one of which includes the ski band that allows wearing and use over your jacket. But that can also lead to damage from getting too close to things like trees, doorways or chairs. I've also nearly lost mine more than once when removing jacket without removing and putting watch in pants pocket first. I was lucky to notice it was under my bumper after my last day at Squaw last week.
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 825
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:51 pm

tseeb wrote:...the ski band that allows wearing and use over your jacket.

I don't care for that band. It stretches out and the watch gets loose on my wrist. I never wear it outside anyway to avoid damage. I also don't think the Vertech is completely waterproof. When I was with Patrick July 2, 2012 transitioning from uphill to downhill AT mode in a T-shirt I fell over, plunging that arm into wet slush, at which point the numbers on the watch started spinning like a slot machine.
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: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10364
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby Sbooker » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:56 pm

Thanks for the tips on the phone apps and websites that give info on vertical.
I think I'll just log lifts and make the best estimate from there.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby sierra_cement » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:41 pm

I haven't yet figured out how to track my vertical at Squaw/Alpine. I will ski there 3-4 days more this season.

I was also considering an altimeter but not sure if I can get one for < $100 that will be accurate enough to make it worth buying.

My best day so far has been 30k vertical lapping the Stagecoach area of Heavenly where the wait was only 4-5 chairs most of the day.
sierra_cement
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:01 pm
Location: San Jose

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby tseeb » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:04 pm

Ikon has an app that does tracking. Search for app on website returns the following:
"Will the app track my activity automatically?
No. Tracking must be activated at the beginning of each day. Tap the Start Tracking button on the home screen or at the top of the Live Map & Tracking screen."
User avatar
tseeb
 
Posts: 825
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:16 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby sierra_cement » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:15 pm

tseeb wrote:Ikon has an app that does tracking. Search for app on website returns the following:
"Will the app track my activity automatically?
No. Tracking must be activated at the beginning of each day. Tap the Start Tracking button on the home screen or at the top of the Live Map & Tracking screen."

Good to know. I don't know why I need to turn it on in the app. With epic, it was linked to my pass and easy to track. I have a 2-year-old phone so I won't do it if it consumes too much battery.
sierra_cement
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:01 pm
Location: San Jose

Re: Squaw Valley, CA 1/22/2020

Postby sierra_cement » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:16 pm

BTW, what are those structures (pipes, poles) in the pictures?
sierra_cement
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:01 pm
Location: San Jose

Next

Return to Western North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use

cron