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First trip to Squaw & Alpine - easy blue cruisers?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am going on a last-minute trip up to Tahoe on Wednesday, 4 Apr.

 

I hope to take a lesson on Thursday ($139 all-day group lesson at Squaw or Alpine ... ouch!).

 

Does anyone recommend some nice blue cruisers at Squaw and Alpine?

 

My group will also be going to Homewood, which I hit in early March.  At Homewood I liked warming up on Rainbow Ridge and then got some nice turns on Bonanza  and Miner's Delight before it got bumped out after in the afternoon.  I would like to give High Grade a go off the Ellis Chair this time around.

 

Any suggestions to help me progress would be great!  Again, I hope I can get in with my group early enough to get a lesson.  I am 5'10" 160lbs, 167cm K2 Apache Raider, Rossignol Zenith3 100 boots and this weekend will be days 7-10 on the snow for me this year.  I have had trouble with getting in the back seat when I get on steeper blues and up to speed.  I bought some cheap used Volkl Unlimited R1 in 156cm as a short spring/rock ski to practice on and I am thinking about using these depending on the conidtions to help me get closer to carving.  I have really plateaued and I am frustrated with my turns becoming Z-turns or a series of hockey stops/one-leg squats.

 

Excited to head up there tomorrow!

post #2 of 12

At Squaw there are lots of polite blues to chose from

 

 - from Red Dog lift: Lake View/Far East Run (toward Squaw Creek Resort) - first part is steeper, but it levels out quickly

 

 - from Gold Coast Express lift: several runs to chose from back to Gold Coast

 

 - from Shirley Lake Express: Tree runs 1-6 (a little steeper than the others, but something to work up to)

 

 - Mountain Run from Gold Coast back down to the mountain base

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkbruce View Post

At Squaw there are lots of polite blues to chose from

 

 - from Red Dog lift: Lake View/Far East Run (toward Squaw Creek Resort) - first part is steeper, but it levels out quickly

 

 - from Gold Coast Express lift: several runs to chose from back to Gold Coast

 

 - from Shirley Lake Express: Tree runs 1-6 (a little steeper than the others, but something to work up to)

 

 - Mountain Run from Gold Coast back down to the mountain base



Thanks for the tips!  I look forward to checking out the Tree Runs.

 

Current plan is Alpine on Thursday, Squaw Friday, Homewood Saturday, and back to either Squaw or Alpine on Sunday morning.

 

post #4 of 12

Shirley Lake Tree runs are a classic intermediate terrain at Squaw.  Run 5 is the easiest, and then they get progressively steeper as you go skiers left.  If any of those runs are challenging, Gold Coast lift has "blue" runs that are on a verge of green.  Another great intermediate option is Mountain Run, which is a great long variable pitch easy blue run and is near-empty as long as you avoid it between 11:15am-1:15pm and 2-4pm (this is when it gets REALLY crowded and quickly becomes a dangerous zoo).  I am not a fan of the Easy Street (the run from Red Dog, it is way too much traversing.  The Ridge Run from the Resort (Squaw Creek) chair is a much better option if the snow is not too slushy.  Another great blue run at Squaw is the groomer on Solitude lift. Siberia lists itself as a blue chair, that's a bit bashful, because the top of the groomer is pretty steep and quite intimidating for an intermediate, but if you feel adventurous, try that one.  Kids at Squaw do it in three long sweeping turns, but they grew up on that mountain ;-)  Squaw page on Epic has detailed maps of at least some of these areas.  PM me if you need more info. 

 

Alpine has comparatively more more blue terrain, I will let Sinecure describe it.  He also teaches at Alpine...

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
alexzn, thanks for the tips and outstanding write-up on the resorts page! What is the best way to access the Shirley runs from the Funitel?

For Alpine it looks like I will start with Hot Wheels and then move on to Roundhouse and maybe Lakeview. Hope to take a lesson there on Thursday though, so that will dictate where I go...

If winds are up, where are the best places to go? (Note: I ski Free at Sqauw/Alpine/Diamond Peak Sun-Fri and everyday at Homewood.)

Thanks!


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post #6 of 12

For Alpine, just take Roundhouse and you can split off in either direction for plenty of intermediate trails.  Lots of variety to choose from there.  It's also a significantly faster ride up than Hot Wheels and you can still access all of the same terrain.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

alexzn, thanks for the tips and outstanding write-up on the resorts page! What is the best way to access the Shirley runs from the Funitel?
Take Gold Coast lift from the top of the Funitel, then traverse to the right ll the way along a well-marked path.  you will be at the top of Shirley.  Tree runs are along the idle, five is the farthest.  If you go past 5, you will be at Solitude lift, also worth checking out. 
For Alpine it looks like I will start with Hot Wheels and then move on to Roundhouse and maybe Lakeview. Hope to take a lesson there on Thursday though, so that will dictate where I go...
If winds are up, where are the best places to go? (Note: I ski Free at Sqauw/Alpine/Diamond Peak Sun-Fri and everyday at Homewood.)
If the winds are up enough to close the upper mountain, go to Homewood or NorthStar.
 
Thanks!
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

I hope to take a lesson on Thursday ($139 all-day group lesson at Squaw or Alpine ... ouch!).

 

 

$139 is a lot? You're going to get six hours of instruction from a professional. It should be worth at least that much - plus, didn't you just say you get free lift tickets? BTW, if you have a group of 5 people of similar abilities, you should just spring for a full day private lesson. It will cost you $120each and you'll start at 9 instead of 10, and go as long as your legs last (total cost for a full day private is $600 and you can have up to 5 people in the lesson at any one time). If you want to book me for a full day private lesson tomorrow or Friday, PM me and we can work out the details. The lesson can be at Alpine or Squaw (or both if we shuttle from one to the other at lunchtime). Regardless of who your instructor is, skip a beer or two one night this week so you can give them a tip should you enjoy the lesson.
 

I would skip Hot Wheels at AM. You get the same terrain from the Roundhouse chair, plus some. And you spend 6 minutes riding up, instead of 13.

 

If Sherwood is open tomorrow, that's a great place to head in the morning. It will soften up earlier than most other stuff since it gets full sun. To get back there, take Scott Chair up, follow Summer Road (the lower, zig-zagging cat track) out toward Lakeview, then carry speed past the Lakeview chair onto Ray's Rut and follow that around to the back.

 

Other nice intermediate terrain includes Rock Garden (off Roundhouse), Charity, Weasel, Scott Ridge and Werner's Schuss (the last two are a little steeper than the other stuff). Also, Alpine Bowl is marked as a blue trail on the map, although the first part is a bit steep. Once you get past the first 50 feet though, it is very manageable. Plus the views from the top of Summit are worth it.

 

If I end up teaching tomorrow, maybe I'll see you. But I don't think I'm teaching group lessons until Friday at Alpine. I'm thinking of going to Squaw tomorrow if I get my butt back up to Tahoe tonight.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the inputs. $139/6hrs is valid, I just usually don't last six hours and would have liked a half day option, that's all. Yes, since I am skiing free, I don't mind dropping the cash on the much needed lessons. I am with a bunch of boarders and a few skiers that are more advanced, so I will stick with the group lesson. Noted on the tipping ...

Thanks for the Alpine tips! Hopefully the winds stay down, but I guess we can hit Homewood if there are lift holds.

Thanks!


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post #10 of 12

Alpine is definitely the better place for blue cruisers--the cruisers at Squaw are either short (Shirley and Gold Coast) or winding with a lot of traversing or flats ( the blues off of red dog--which also involve long slow chairs, Siberia Ridge.).  Alpine bowl at Alpine is a top to bottom cruiser--a bit steep at the very top as Sinecure says. The mellowest cruisers are the groomers off sherwood--once they soften--it was cold and windy today, which I guess you know) and Weasel.  In the morning if it's been cold overnight the route to Sherwood sinecure described can be icy. An alternative is to ride the Hot Wheels chair from the base--it's a long very slow chair and there's a fairly long pole to get to sherwood that way but it is easier. Coming back from Sherwood keep your eyes open for the signs--it can be a little tricky to find the first time.

 

A lot of the people who wind up at Squaw--because of the name--would be happier at Alpine.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ended up at Squaw today. Group lesson with Ragnar. Great day and the snow was really nice. Plan is to hit Alpine tomorrow.

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post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I just wanted to thank everyone for the recommendations!  Friday at Alpine was great.  The groomers were so wide and fun.  I ran Weasel and Yellow Trail all to myself the first couple of laps.  Then I hit Charity down to Sandy's Corner.  Went up the Summit with my friends and dropped into the Alpine Bowl.  It was a little steep at first, but once I got into a rythm, cruising down to the bottom via Rock Garden and Charity was great.  That top to bottom run had my legs burning.  I made it over to the Lakeview Chair for a few runs and views as well.  I really liked my first time at AM.

 

Saturday we hit Homewood.  I was eighth in line for the chair.  I went straight to High Grade and made the first tracks on the perfectly groomed blue.  I love this run!  Then I hit Hidden Vein (liked as well) and The Glade (didn't care for it, just narrow and had to take the cat track a ways to get to it).  Also did some laps on Tailings, Bonanza and Miner's Delight.  It really warmed up on Saturday and the spring slushy mashed potatoes were thick.  My legs were burning, so I called it an early day.  It was a great three days of skiing!

 

(edited for spelling)

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