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Squaw/Alpine (N. Tahoe) Conditions and News- 2011/2012 Season thread - Page 4

post #91 of 573
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skicomau View Post


If there's a water problem, recycle waste water - every one of those condos has a bath, shower, jaccuzi and toilet. Build a recycling plant and woohoo, the only brown stain is if you don't use plastic pipes.

 


The last thing we need is yellow snow...  Although at this point I will take any kind ;-)

 

 

post #92 of 573
Thread Starter 

Squaw skiing very well today, surprisingly light crowds. 

 

Here is a shot of Squaw Creek today close to midday time:

PC260841.jpg


Edited by alexzn - 12/26/11 at 11:39pm
post #93 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post


The last thing we need is yellow snow...

 

 


I told my kids that the avi dogs are the reason Yellow run is called Yellow.  This resulted in lots of giggling...

 

post #94 of 573

I also had a few nice laps on Red Dog right around 1pm with little to no people.  Actually managed to open up to about 40mph at one point without the worry of people suddenly turning or stopping in front of you.  Snow was pretty soft and relatively smooth still.

 

Broke for lunch though and came back around 3:00 and it had frozen solid and was super packed--immediately called it a day.

 

Checkng out Alpine in the a.m...

 

 

post #95 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormDay View Post


I told my kids that the avi dogs are the reason Yellow run is called Yellow.  This resulted in lots of giggling...

 



This story is MONEY! I'm going to use that with students from now on. Yesterday I actually explained to someone the real story of why it is called Yellow trail.

 

Alpine is still skiing great from 9-10:30 or 11. Yesterday in lessons we used Yellow Chair to lap Weasel a bunch of times. At the end of the day we "changed it up" by coming down Loop Road to Alpine Bowl Chair and then back through the trees to Weasel. I stopped at ABC and looked up. I must say that High Yellow Gulley actually looks like it would ski pretty well right now if the snow were soft enough in there.

 

My son went for a nice hike yesterday. From the condos (the ones at the end of condo run over past Subway) he hiked out the trail and most of the way down the ridge toward 89. I've also heard of people carrying sticks and skates up to Five Lakes for some pond hockey (don't forget the puck).

post #96 of 573

Someone on the lift today at Alpine was saying both Squaw and Alpine are out of water and are going to stop making snow.  Anyone know if this is true?!  Alpine bowl was totally scraped bare down to ice and rocks by 1:30 today and rock garden was literally a rock garden.  I picked up several nice core shots the last few days.  mad.gif

​Would be really depressing if this is true...

 

post #97 of 573

Heard this was the case for Squaw, not sure about Alpine.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethesteeps View Post

Someone on the lift today at Alpine was saying both Squaw and Alpine are out of water and are going to stop making snow.  Anyone know if this is true?!  Alpine bowl was totally scraped bare down to ice and rocks by 1:30 today and rock garden was literally a rock garden.  I picked up several nice core shots the last few days.  mad.gif

​Would be really depressing if this is true...

 



 

post #98 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethesteeps View Post

Someone on the lift today at Alpine was saying both Squaw and Alpine are out of water and are going to stop making snow.  Anyone know if this is true?!  Alpine bowl was totally scraped bare down to ice and rocks by 1:30 today and rock garden was literally a rock garden.  I picked up several nice core shots the last few days.  mad.gif

​Would be really depressing if this is true...

 



That's not true in either place. Squaw does have some limitations on how low they can drain their ponds and what they can buy. Alpine has been buying water, plus using the ponds (which are refilling). The biggest issue the last few days has been the temps. It is too warm at night to make much snow.

 

The icy scraped-off sections up top are a combination of the fact that we're skiing on man-made snow, it is a WROD, and there is exceptional skier traffic right now. Get your butts to the hill early, ski the upper stuff from 9-10:30 or 11:00, then work on something else, or go over to Squaw and go ice skating.

 

Of course if it rains tomorrow and then freezes, ice skates may be the tool of choice for descending the mountain.

post #99 of 573

Like several others who are posting to this list, we are headed to squaw January 6. Alexzn's update doesn't sound great but at least there is some positive in there. 

 

We are trying to plan where to ski for three days and we are thinking a day at squaw, a day at north star and a day at alpine. Does anyone who lIves out there have any recommendations?  Does anyone want to meet for a drink Saturday jan 7 at le chamois?

post #100 of 573

If there still have not been any storms, Heavenly.  

post #101 of 573

I've heard several people on lifts "raving" about the conditions at Northstar compared to Squaw/Alpine--go figure!  Haven't been there yet, but I'd be willing to put my money there if I was in north lake and didn't already have a season pass at Squaw.  I hear their snowmaking is pretty good.

post #102 of 573
Thread Starter 

Well, to be totally honest, if the weather stays like this, skiing in Tahoe is going to suck no matter where you go.  Manmade snow is manmade snow no matter where you ski it, and it will feel the same at Squaw, Alpine, N*, or Heavenly.  Neither of those mountains will feel like anything resembling its true self (well, maybe N* is an exception, and that's not a compliment ;-).  

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAskiBUM View Post

Like several others who are posting to this list, we are headed to squaw January 6. Alexzn's update doesn't sound great but at least there is some positive in there. 

 

We are trying to plan where to ski for three days and we are thinking a day at squaw, a day at north star and a day at alpine. Does anyone who lIves out there have any recommendations?  Does anyone want to meet for a drink Saturday jan 7 at le chamois?



 


Edited by alexzn - 12/27/11 at 10:23pm
post #103 of 573
Thread Starter 

The feedback from a few people I met was that N* has a lot more runs open, but they are all the same man-made snow low-ish angle groomers.  I ask heard that their lift ticket is full price, which is crazy...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethesteeps View Post

I've heard several people on lifts "raving" about the conditions at Northstar compared to Squaw/Alpine--go figure!  Haven't been there yet, but I'd be willing to put my money there if I was in north lake and didn't already have a season pass at Squaw.  I hear their snowmaking is pretty good.



 

post #104 of 573
Thread Starter 

 

Squaw holiday update:  Squaw still manages to hold reasonable snow and coverage on the few runs that are open and the Dog Leg off Red Dog is still the only place resembling any truly challenging skiing around (as opposed to high-speed cruising on groomed pitches).  It has been getting warmer, so the snowmaking feels to be on a hiatus, so the conditions can easily go from bad to worse, especially if it rains.  On a plus side, there are still soft-ish bumps on the side of Dog Leg and there is a freestyle mogul course that is sort of open for general public (you just need to be considerate and get out of the way if you see a freestyle team member getting ready to run.  I got a few runs on that, that was fun.   The crowds are still light, although I am starting to see more holiday visitors. Sinecure's advice is correct- get your butt on the slopes early.  Overall, there is plenty of fun to be had, if you have the right expectations.  But make no mistake, Tahoe is skiing as bad as I have seen it.  We need snow.  

 

Squaw is doing its usual holiday "ski with Johnny Moseley" event at 2 pm, which Johnny turned into a mogul clinic, which was a lot of fun (Tamara McKinney also joined for some time and gave a few tips).   Yours truly was happy to get down that freestyle mogul course top-to-bottom non-stop twice at the end of the day (on 184 ProRiders, nonetheless).   Johnny is also running a similar event at Alpine at 10 am, rumor has it that it is a more intermediate clinic.   

 

Got to try the new Rocker@Squaw restaurant for lunch (as I had a coupon).  If you like greasy American food you will be happy.  If you are used to the Bay Area food, you will be disappointed. Not to stereotype, but it felt like something that would be hugely popular with tourists from MidWest.     
post #105 of 573

Maybe it's a false perception, but this early season low base actually makes the runs open on the backside (Burnout, Drifter) seem steeper than normal.  Still not "steep" of course.  Anyone else notice this or is my mind just warped from spending too much time on intermediate groomers?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

The feedback from a few people I met was that N* has a lot more runs open, but they are all the same man-made snow low-ish angle groomers.  I ask heard that their lift ticket is full price, which is crazy...
 



 



 

post #106 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Maybe it's a false perception, but this early season low base actually makes the runs open on the backside (Burnout, Drifter) seem steeper than normal.  Still not "steep" of course.  Anyone else notice this or is my mind just warped from spending too much time on intermediate groomers?
 



 


I think the low base exposes more "undulations" in the terrain which somehow get smoothed over with more snow, but overall didn't feel any steeper.

 

post #107 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethesteeps View Post

I've heard several people on lifts "raving" about the conditions at Northstar compared to Squaw/Alpine--go figure!  Haven't been there yet, but I'd be willing to put my money there if I was in north lake and didn't already have a season pass at Squaw.  I hear their snowmaking is pretty good.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Well, to be totally honest, if the weather stays like this, skiing in Tahoe is going to suck no matter where you go.  Manmade snow is manmade snow no matter where you ski it, and it will feel the same at Squaw, Alpine, N*, or Heavenly.  Neither of those mountains will feel like anything resembling its true self (well, maybe N* is an exception, and that's not a compliment ;-).  



 


Have you ever skied at Blue Mountain in PA? If so, you would not say man made snow is the same wherever you go. Northstar is producing some damn good snow (as is Mt. Rose per TC). I think what is helping Northstar with their snow is that the trails are pretty well insulated with trees from the sun where more open areas like Squaw and Alpine are getting more sunbaked along with more skier traffic, N* is dispersing the traffic on more trails. Right now depending on how you look at it, Northstar is offering some very good eastern conditions or as TC says, the best April skiing in December. We have Squaw passes and everyone who has skied there AND Northstar say Northstar is skiing better.

 

What I think is hysterical...is before the season started all the Squaw "faithful" were upset that the Alpine skiers will come and poach their lines...a good amount of these people who were complaining are skiing at Alpine. 

 

post #108 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

 

Got to try the new Rocker@Squaw restaurant for lunch (as I had a coupon).  If you like greasy American food you will be happy.  If you are used to the Bay Area food, you will be disappointed. Not to stereotype, but it felt like something that would be hugely popular with tourists from MidWest.     


My son skied with Jonny Mosely yesterday. Erol Kerr (Jamaica Ski Team) showed up too. They had fun and he even learned a couple of things. We don't have a bump run at Alpine so very little bump-specific stuff.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 

What I think is hysterical...is before the season started all the Squaw "faithful" were upset that the Alpine skiers will come and poach their lines...a good amount of these people who were complaining are skiing at Alpine. 

 


/\/\ This! And I thought that we'd be taking intermediate clients over to Squaw to take advantage of additional blue terrain. They're all coming to Alpine to teach lessons these days.

 

Today was sort of sad. It rained a little overnight and again a little in the afternoon. Small brown patches are getting bigger. I pick up rocks all the time. It actually skied OK since it was soft and corn-ish, but if we get much more of this, or it re-freezes, it's going to be pretty ugly.

 

One of the families I share our condo with went to Yosemite today and then were headed home. Today was pretty busy at Alpine with nearly 3000 guests (7000 was the peak we hit last year during Xmas break when we had snow and lots of open terrain). I'm not exactly sure how we count those numbers - if it includes only paying guests, or paying guests plus passholders plus employees. But either way you look at it, we had ~40% of peak guests occupying maybe 15% of our usual terrain. Amazingly, I've seen very few collisions and both guests and employees are showing incredible patience and politeness.

 

post #109 of 573

We can talk about the NoStar vs. Alpine vs. Squaw differences all day but it comes down to is this isn't good for ANYONE. For the Tahoe bottom line, December snow is 10X  more important than March snow. Rooms were down up to 50% in some places when businesses count on 100% for the Christmas week. What is happing now at this point, people are afraid to schedule their MLK and Easter ski weeks because lack of snow and very well will put that $$ elsewhere for vacation. While it will be great for the locals when we get snow in March, but that doesn't bring many dollars into the resorts, we have our passes already paid for and that money was long spent by the resorts. 

post #110 of 573
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Have you ever skied at Blue Mountain in PA? If so, you would not say man made snow is the same wherever you go. Northstar is producing some damn good snow (as is Mt. Rose per TC). I think what is helping Northstar with their snow is that the trails are pretty well insulated with trees from the sun where more open areas like Squaw and Alpine are getting more sunbaked along with more skier traffic, N* is dispersing the traffic on more trails. Right now depending on how you look at it, Northstar is offering some very good eastern conditions or as TC says, the best April skiing in December. We have Squaw passes and everyone who has skied there AND Northstar say Northstar is skiing better.

Phil-  I skied for a few years at Sunday River, Okemo, and Loon, so at least I know my New England man-made snow :-)  No matter how you look at it, it is not the real thing ;-)  

post #111 of 573
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sinecure View Post
Today was sort of sad. It rained a little overnight and again a little in the afternoon. 


Same story at Squaw- the snow was wet and slushy.  Someone told me it was 57 deg in the parking lot, surely felt like that on the mountain.  This is indeed the best April skiing in December, although April is usually a lot sunnier and has a bigger base than the 3 inches or so that we have now.  People on the lift are surprisingly cheerful, but the crowds are very light.  In the morning it is pretty much the ski teams out there, the average age on the mountain  feels to be about 10.  Here is what the line for the first lift of the day looks like, just kids and coaches:

Screen Shot 2011-12-28 at 11.19.28 PM.png

 

Did the Ski with Jonny Moseley clinic again with my daughter, she was thrilled to get some personalized instruction; I highly recommend this thing; with so few runs open Jonny just runs a straight mogul mini-clinic instead of his usual mountain tour.   Today there also was one of the Squaw instructors who ran the freestyle course on telemark skis - pretty awesome skills.  

 

 With the warm temperatures there is no hope for snowmaking, so we are stuck with what the resort was able to make doing the cold period.  No matter what happens to this snow, it will suck- either it stays warm and gets slushier, or it refreezes and turns into ice or tilled ice.  Have not made it to Alpine the last couple of days, but I doubt the situation is different there.

 

I heard that N* is charging people $101/day to skis this stuff; I don't care how good their snowmaking is, this is truly insane.eek.gif  In all honesty, if I had not had my seasons pass, I would not have been skiing today.  All I saw today was the pass holders and tourists from Texas or East Coast who made vacation plans in advance.  

 

For the record, Tahoe got MORE SNOW LAST JUNE THAN THIS DECEMBER.  As Phil said this is turning into a big problem for the area resorts and other businesses.  I am not that worried about the resorts, they got deeper pockets, it is the small guys that I am worried about.   There is no significant snow in the forecast through the first week of January.  


Edited by alexzn - 12/28/11 at 11:22pm
post #112 of 573

Mt Buller July 14 2011 038.JPG

 

 

 

That's roughly a 1/4 of all the man made mostly from recycled hotel water at a hill with 10,000 beds, created in temps up to 3 degrees celcius. And if done right, itd pass, imo, as drinking water: just use plastic pipes to avoid oxidation stains being misinterpreted as poop

 

I think Poulsen has a possible water site behind the 7-11 Tahoe Daves area. Lay a few miles of pipes, pump it up the hill, lay pipes to Alpine: our hill pumps it up from 3000' to 5500': yep that cover in the pic is well below 5000' in one of the driest continents on earth with typical day time temps of -1C to +8C from mid June to mid September

 

It can be done Andy, ... and its good for repeat business. 

 

 

post #113 of 573
Thread Starter 

10 day forecast...frown.gif

Screen Shot 2011-12-29 at 7.25.39 AM.png

post #114 of 573

 

Quote:
best April skiing in December

That is a gross insult to April skiing.  In April you get to ski real terrain not WROD's, the base is deep, crowds are much less and prices are much cheaper.

post #115 of 573

Sorry if this is slightly off topic--but I have to agree.  Rocker is atrociously awefull.  Both my  wife and I had the wings and not only were they too salty but we both had "TMI" almost immediately after finishing our meal.  

 

Service was terrible and the prices were extortionate for what you get (a 4 inch "plate" of chili for 10 bucks--really?!). The restrooms were filthy and sadly ugly for a restaurant of this "caliber" (newly owned by Squaw and with the best views of the mountain of any other restaurant at the base.)  So sad... obviously VERY badly managed...  

 

Saying the mid-west crowd would be pleased with this place is a grave insult to mid-westerners.  It's too expensive for greasy spoon food -- even the most picky mid-westerners would find this place, its menu, the service and the food a horrific excuse for a restaurant!

 

Pretty much any other restaurant at Squaw is a more acceptable option.  High Camp is great, the sushi place is good and even the Euro snack places are a better option!  Stay far far away until this place gets their act together!!!

 

 

 

Got to try the new Rocker@Squaw restaurant for lunch (as I had a coupon).  If you like greasy American food you will be happy.  If you are used to the Bay Area food, you will be disappointed. Not to stereotype, but it felt like something that would be hugely popular with tourists from MidWest.     


 

 

post #116 of 573
Thread Starter 

Tahoe keeps going from bad to worse.  Most of Squaw and Alpine terrain resemble an ice-skating rink with a lot of brown spots. The temperatures stayed warm last few days, so resorts made no new snow, and whatever is left is dwindling fast.  Crowds are still very light at Squaw, mostly teams and passholders/employees; I would be surprised if there was more than a couple of 100's paying customers on the mountain in the morning.  Ski patrol was going around the mountain with shovels and was trying to harvest whatever snow was left from the sides of the run, the berms near the guns, everywhere they could.  Squaw is giving free showing of the last Warren Miller movie (which features a lot of Squaw terrain and skiers), cudos to them for doing it; but seeing people ski powder for 1.5 hours must feel like a cruel joke.  

 

I heard that this afternoon, there were some snowflakes on top of Red Dog, and Squaw tweeted excitedly about it, but the weather soon turned sunny, thus I doubt that it had any transformative effect.  There is no significant snow in the forecast until at least Jan 8th, I am beginning to have doubts about the MLK weekend.    

post #117 of 573

 

Quote:
I am beginning to have doubts about the MLK weekend.

I think there's no more than 10% chance of MLK being any good.  Tahoe needs ~6 feet of snow to get majority of terrain open and nothing is happening for the first of those 2 weeks.  Can the Sierra get 6 feet in one week? Sure, but even if they do there will be a major snow stability/avy control issue for a few days before anyone can ski it.

 

Also the odds of the Gathering being in severe trouble rise ~10% for each additional dry week.  So that's in the 35% range now.  If Tahoe is still at square one after MLK the odds of even a marginally adequate Gathering for the predominantly advanced skier group fall below 50% and that is the point at which relocation or rescheduling should be considered.

post #118 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 If Tahoe is still at square one after MLK the odds of even a marginally adequate Gathering for the predominantly advanced skier group fall below 50% and that is the point at which relocation or rescheduling should be considered.


I hope you are very very wrong

 

post #119 of 573

 

Quote:
I hope you are very very wrong

I do too, as I have bought a Tahoe Six Pack and look forward to a fun week like my first Gathering last year.  But I think it's worthwhile to make an informed assessment and update it regularly since the probability of disaster is now meaningful and rising every week.  The drought at Tahoe is now exceeded only by the 1976-77 season, which never did get off the ground.

 

If I were thinking about coming from across the country and had not committed yet, I would certainly hold off pending a weather turnaround.  For those who have committed, each individual can weigh the cost of bailing out vs. that probability, currently ~35%.  Some people may be able to get out more cheaply a month ahead vs. last minute for example.

 

IMHO Gathering organizers should be preparing a plan B behind the scenes.  I am in no way advocating bothering them now.  They are doing the work, live in the area and are best situated to come up with the best deal they can.   I would hope  that the numbers we have are large enough that postponement to another season with reduced cancellation costs could be arranged.  I think late January is the right time to do this because:

1) The disaster probability will be over 50% if it remains dry until then.

2) Being one month out vs. last minute is a better negotiating position to cut a deal.

3) Being one month out gives those who have committed to the dates and want to ski somewhere else enough time to arrange that.

post #120 of 573

bikinis2.jpg

 

My weather models are looking good

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