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Squaw Valley (almost) weekly report

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

A running thread for the Squaw sponsor page.   SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST POST

 

This is a repost of what I am posting in the Tahoe conditions thread (I cannot find a way to feature a post instead of a thread on the Squaw page, so I have to resort to double-posting for now).

 

Squaw Valley gaper report, Dec 22, 2012 edition.

 

Another snowy, wet, awesome powder day at Squaw….We rolled into Tahoe pretty late last night, so running on 4 hours of sleep put a few extra challenges in the morning. I got the kids to the team on time, but then I found out that in true gaper fashion I forgot to scrape the powder skis, forgot powder cords, and forgot to put the card into the camera.  Great way to start the day, and after looking at a sizeable RedDog line I almost didn't feel like skiing. Of course nothing wakes you up like a steep powder run in the trees, and Poulsen's looked pretty inviting from the chair, so I headed straight to it.   The run was surprisingly good, soft Sierra cement, nicely filled in for the early season and shockingly uncrowded.  Today Squaw only ran Red Dog, Resort chair, Far East and Exhibition (KT was first spinning on standby, but then it stopped even that).  Early in the morning there were some lines, but by mid-day the crowds went away. 
 
The snow kept falling throughout the day, so the runs were getting better and better.  The runs off Resort chair were probably my favorite, the snow held very well in the trees, and the storm just kept filling in.  By the end of the day we went to some of the farther terrain off the Squaw Creek lift and there it was more than knee-deep, fluffy,  and again completely deserted.  Red Dog Face by the end of the day looked more like a zoo.   There was still a lot of rocks still showing under, another friend told me later that he put pretty big core shots in his boards.   Of course the continuing snowfall will mitigate this problem. 
 
Tomorrow should be more of the same- stormy, limited visibility, great snow in the trees and everywhere else.  See you out there. 
Here is a picture from today, that's an iPhone (a better camera had no card in it :-):

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Edited by alexzn - 12/31/12 at 12:20am
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

December 24, 2012

 

 

Bluebird day at Squaw, good snow, long lines.  KT opening was delayed, and all of the East-facing terrain remains closed (a number of 3-feet deep avalanche crowns visible on a ride up KT22 explains that decision very convincingly).  The best skiing today was in the trees off Red Dog and Squaw Creek, the snow remained soft and deep-ish.  The hordes were all standing in KT and Funi lines, so Resort, Far East, and Red Dog had pretty manageable lines.  First 45 minutes of the morning off the Resort chair I had some of the best powder runs of the last few days.    

 

 

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The Funi opened at noon, and all the powder off Shirley and Gold Coast was gone in a split second. People were getting creative sneaking powder lines along the Mountain Run, but it looked like patrol got the wind of it pretty quickly and roped off the access. The evidence of avalanche activity on the upper mountain was also painfully obvious- crowns and tongues everywhere.  The snow up top was a weird mix of windbuffed powder and wind-scoured hardback.  I got to ski one the Shirley chutes and was surprised to find a nasty patch of bare ice at the top.  There was talk of opening the rest of the upper mountain tomorrow, but it looks like it won't happen because of the persistent avalanche danger.     

 

 

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post #3 of 14

Click on the blue link in "post xx of yy" in the top right corner of a post to get the URL for a specific post instead of just the thread.

 

Thanks for creating a separate TR thread for Squaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

A running thread for the Squaw sponsor page.   SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST POST

 

This is a repost of what I am posting in the Tahoe conditions thread (I cannot find a way to feature a post instead of a thread on the Squaw page, so I have to resort to double-posting for now).

 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Click on the blue link in "post xx of yy" in the top right corner of a post to get the URL for a specific post instead of just the thread.

 

Thanks for creating a separate TR thread for Squaw.

Does not work for featuring posts (at least it does not work for me).  

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Dec 25 and 26, 2012.  Two beautiful powder days, with tons of fresh snow, and, surprisingly, hardly any crowds.   I understand the light crowds on Christmas Day, but today apparently the masses got deterred by the weather, and a lot of locals had their passes blacked out.  Some of the typical holiday visitors were already around (people at the Dave's Deli were quite shocked and amused by a site of a large Chinese family cooking breakfast at the lodge... this is the only time of the year that kind of thing happens.  People cook breakfast at the KT line, but that's a different story, so I digress).  

 

In the morning it was windy and snowy, so as usual, the Resort runs provided the best snow, the best coverage from wind, and NO LINES (the decision validated by the sighting of Michelle Parker and a number of other well-known Squaw personalities ripping the terrain under that lift in the morning).  I had a lot of fun skiing the pitches under the lift, and further down the ridge with many face shots.  At some point I got lured by an untracked field to the Mighty Mite Gully and immediately congratulated myself on sound decision making- skiing by myself on a storm into a terrain trap.  I don't remember ever skiing that gully faster than I did today- I got out in a hurry.   The snow was so deep that the lower liftline resembled pillow skiing.   

Closer to noon the weather opened up a bit and KT became the prime terrain, so everyone went there and the line was still almost non-existent.  The snow kept filling the tracks, sp you could get fresh tracks well past noon.  Olympic Lady lift was running, so we just skied powder lap after powder lap on it.   The evidence of recent avalanche activity is everywhere- there is a very large crown in the main KT22 bowl (marked off), even though the powder was really deep, there were places where my skis scraped bare ice bed that remained after the slide.

 

Here is a little video of a skier dropping the skiers right off Eagle's Nest (For Squallywood fans, I think this is Air-to-the-Right line).

 

 

 

 

 

Powder on KT22 was deep

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post #6 of 14

Lot's of people travel on the day after Christmas and the real crush often begins on the 27th.  I bet next weekend will be busy!

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Dec, 27-28, 2012

Last couple of days Squaw was in an unusual state of holiday bliss- great snow, good weather, and most of the time holiday crowds were nowhere to be seen.  The skiing is simply unreal.  Thursday saw the opening of the upper mountain with all the snow from the last storms still untouched, and with cold days keeping it fresh and fluffy.  The best surprise was that there was virtually no crowds on the mountain. For the first hour or more there was no line on Granite, no line!!!   Usually on any powder day on that lift I can get two fresh runs tops, that day I got 6 before I got bored and went somewhere else. I heard that the powder off Headwall was equally good in the morning.  Mid-morning more people came and when the Sun Bowl opened, it was gone in one run.

Friday was soft, cruddy, and bumpy.  Remarkably, Palisades opened for about an hour in the morning, all of the gnarly chutes have some problems Main has a large crack in the middle, so I went down National which was smooth and powdery all the way down. I noticed some win action starting to reshape the mountain, so we may get some of the Squaw wind-filled "butter" snow later in the week.  

I have a feeling the holiday crowds have finally arrived, Safeway was really crowded this evening, and cars were going around Tahoe Donner well into the night.  

 

Here is a quick picture of the Palisades from this morning. 

 

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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Dec 29, here is a short edit from my brand-new helmet cam:

 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

December 30, 2012  Good cruddy snow skiing and a "Ski with Jonny Moseley" annual holiday week event:

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Squaw has been in the grips os arctic cold for the New Year's holiday.  I don't remember it boing so cold on the mountain, the temperatures don;t rise much above 20 deg and windchill only adds to the sensation.  This is warm California after all ;-)  The good thing is that the cold keeps the snow fresh, so the skiing is still pretty good. With sunny weather for the last couple of days and holiday crowds, most of the off-piste runs have healthy moguls with occasional pockets of wind-filled.  

 

A quick edit from the morning of New Year's Eve:

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Squaw- Alpine backcountry connector is finally open.  Here is the report from Tim Konrad from Unofficial who crossed the resort boundary over it.  

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Instead of duplicating the video posts here, I am posting them to this thread and also to the Vimeo channel.  Enjoy. 

post #13 of 14

I,m enjoying your reports. Thanx.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by veteran View Post

I,m enjoying your reports. Thanx.

Thanks!  I think the last video was probably the best I done so far.  I like the follow-cam footage a lot more than just helmet footage.  

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