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Info on squaw valley

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
To the Bears attending the Tahoe gathering and any others who have skied Squaw Valley. This will be my first trip to Squaw Valley and I'm curious about what the area is like. From the maps and descriptions on their web site, it looks like a fairly challenging mountain. Having skied places like Jackson, Alta, Snowbird, and spent most of my recent time at "altitude" at Copper, how does Squaw compare to these areas? Any favorite spots, places to avoid, etc?

To Ski or Not To Ski...

What a stupid question!
post #2 of 3
Hey Tag, I can't offer any guidance since the only time I was there was in '76 and it was my first day on skis. A day to remember but it was all such a blur. A few moments of shear terror in between great scenery, fun people in a world I didn't know existed. Anyway you've been lots of places so Squaw should just be fun.
post #3 of 3
You will enjoy Squaw. I liked it and you seem to have similar taste (i.e. Alta, Snowbird, Jackson). Yes, its elevation is not as high as Summit County. Squaw's highest summits are about 9,000 ft. and the base is 6,200 ft.

The first thing you'll notice is that a lot of it is very open with very few trees (kind of like the upper half of A-Basin, but much bigger of course). The only bad part about the openess is that they sometimes close the higher lifts due to wind. In that case head over the Snow King peak area (on your left as you face the resort.) There are more trees there. It's not extreme terrain or anything but it's fun on a powder day.

KT-22 is a lift you would enjoy as an advanced skier. If you're into in-bounds hiking, head along the ridge to the right as you get off the Granite Chief lift.

Squaw gets Utah-sized dumps. (Colorado tends to measure in inches, while Utah and Tahoe measure in feet.) You hear about "Sierra Cement". It's not as dry as Utah snow maybe, but on powder days it seems fine to me-- particularly during the storm itself. The only time I experienced cement was when I went in an area that hadn't been skied in the previous several weeks due to a lift closure. So it was unskied but wasn't really "fresh". That snow condition probably is caused by the climate/elevation. It seems to get much warmer in between storms than in Colorado or Utah. I've seen t-shirts in January.

Depending on how long you're there, you might also consider a day at nearby Alpine Meadows.
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