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Squaw and Windholds + Open Terrain

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi all, 

 

I am considering pulling the trigger on a Tahoe trip for next week and staying at Squaw ( take advantage of my MCP and I have never been). I always wait till last minute to book my ski trips based on conditions and it looks like central + southern CA is where the storm track will be next week.  At this point concern about wind holds and open terrain is holding me back.  How concerned should  I be about windholds? Next week gusts may reach 30mph based on snow-forecast.com but I dont know what the accuracy of that is. Opensnow is not forecasting strong winds. However, I was in mammoth last month and it got very windy with each storm cycle and lots of windholds.  Also opensnow is saying only 50% of skiable acres are open? How is that possible on an 80 inch base? Any insight from the experts like @Tony Crocker would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks and Happy New Year. 

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post #2 of 11

It is basically fully open. You can see it here.

 

http://squawalpine.com/skiing-riding/weather-conditions-webcams/lift-grooming-status

 

Both storms will pass by next Thursday based on current forecast. You will be fine if you come after the storm.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellside View Post
 

It is basically fully open. You can see it here.

 

http://squawalpine.com/skiing-riding/weather-conditions-webcams/lift-grooming-status

 

Both storms will pass by next Thursday based on current forecast. You will be fine if you come after the storm.

 

Thanks. It does look like everything is mostly open. Not sure why opensnow has it at 50% acreage.  Winds dont look to be an issue either. However, snow accumulation is now looking less impressive and I am concerned about shadowing with SW flow. Going to wait another day before I pull the trigger

post #4 of 11

Wind is part of normal weather at Mammoth, and at Squaw/Alpine.  It does have some positives, such as wind refills of soft snow on leeward slopes and delaying the onset of melt/freeze conditions in spring.

 

The negative of course is when lifts are closed, and for predictions there I defer to the local weather experts.  Those would be Bryan at OpenSnow for Tahoe and Howard Scheckter at Mammoth.

 

Both Mammoth and Squaw/Alpine resemble resorts in the Alps that you really don't want to be there during the peak of full-on storms because open terrain is very limited.  In the case of Tahoe you have alternative resorts below tree line for storms days.  June works the same way to some extent for Mammoth.

post #5 of 11

You are in a bind- to get good snow at Tahoe you need a storm and storm almost always limits accessible lifts at Squaw nand brings about wind closures.  Just come, ski the lower mountain in a storm and then enjoy the upper when it opens.  It is amazing on a right day.  

post #6 of 11
Quote = alexzn:
Just come, ski the lower mountain in a storm....

No, go to Northstar and ski powder in the trees all day during a big storm as I've done on my past 3 visits there.  Due to Northstar's gaper reputation, powder competition in those trees is fairly modest by my experience.  Wednesday of the 2012 Gathering was a good example.

post #7 of 11
Another alternative
Is home wood this season cause we got snow at lake level
And home wood does not go on wind hold in storms
Plus it's a lot cheaper than a north star ticket
post #8 of 11

Glad to hear that recommendation of Homewood.  I have not skied there and would not have assumed that it was sheltered enough when big storms hit the Sierra Crest.  We are likely to be in Tahoe in late Jan/early Feb so may check it out then.

post #9 of 11
Tony - Sierra Avalanche Center has discount Homewood tickets. Supports good cause, too. See: http://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/What-is-a-SAC-Ski-Day
post #10 of 11

No option for Senior/ Junior tickets ( Homewood's web site has a price lower than SAC's $50 for these):(

post #11 of 11

While much of Squaw is blasted by storm winds, some of the best terrain is quite sheltered and excellent storm skiing. The lower mountain has some of the best steeps and trees. The handful of lower mountain lifts that usually stay open on windy days offer fantastic skiing - perhaps the best around.

 

Of course, this is common knowledge and those few lower lifts can get really crowded. And the powder doesn't last long. But the bumps that quickly form are some of the best soft bumps you will find - after the crowds thin.

 

Powder lasts longer at Northstar and Homewood. I've had some great powder at Sugar Bowl as well. But the first hour at Squaw in a storm is epic.

 

Eric

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