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Squaw, when it's crowded

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
It's supposed to be really crowded next weekend. I have ideas on where to go for members of our group who ski black, but what chair is best on a crowded day for those who ski blue?

Please respond with suggestions for Squaw. I know there are better places to avoid a crowd, but Squaw is where we will be.
post #2 of 6
Red Dog to Squaw Creek. Shirley has more good blue terrain, but it will get hammered by the crowds (big lift lines). In truth, Squaw is a bad mountain for intermediates and it is particularly bad for intermediates on crowded days.

But with the three day weekend the week before, why would it be especially crowded next weekend?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks, AC. Why it would be crowded is a good question. I would have thought the weekend after a three-day weekend would be slow. But the ski school at Squaw says it's going to be very busy (350 kids); Alpine sold out the ski school for 4-6 year olds through next Saturday at least a week ago; and friends report difficulty finding accommodations. And all of that was before snow started falling again.
post #4 of 6
I went to Squaw Valley on Feb 16. We were planning to start about 9:30. We arrived at the Squaw Valley turnoff off of Highway 89 at about 9:15. It was bumper to bumper from Tahoe City North to the turnoff, we came from Truckee and buzzed right to the turnoff. We did not make the turn as we decided to wait until half day to avoid the traffic.We went to Tahoe City and goofed off for 2.5 hours. We started to head North on 89 from Tahoe City at about 11:10, we got about a mile north where we again ran into bumper to bumper traffic, I don't do traffic well, we returned to Tahoe City. At about 1150 we headed north once again. We drove straight to Squaw Valley traffic free and we parked about 100 feet from the Eastern? Express! Half day went on sale at 1230 so we had twenty minutes to get ready.

As we had expected we skied KT-22, Headwall, Big Red, and Squaw Creek all afternoon with little more than a 3-minute wait. People said there were lines at Shirley Lake, Granite Chief, and the runs out of Gold Coast. I've never seen a mountain move so many people so well as the lower lifts at Squaw Valley.

You either have to be there before 0900 or at half day to avoid the traffic. Leaving is another ordeal unless you leave before 4:00. We were on the road at 4:PM at I was at my house in Reno in 48 minutes.

I went to Alpine Mdws on the Sunday of Martin Luther weekend and we were in the parking lot at 0855, we never saw any traffic.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Now that's some really useful advice. Thanks.
post #6 of 6
I ride up at Squaw every weekend and I don’t ever have a problem waiting once you are on the mountain. The place is huge and there are tons of expert only lifts that don’t get that bad no matter how many people are there. It is not that great of a place for intermediate and beginner, mostly cause you often get stuck sharing groomed cat tracks with millions of people. And since there are so many good skiers at Squaw, almost every single trail will turn into a bump run by noon.... including the green cat tracks! If you like wide open off-piste rocky terrain accessible from lifts this place is the bomb.

The ride into squaw is horrible on a weekend. The traffic on 89 and on Squaw Valley road sucks big time. There is no real way around this other than getting there super early. But once you get your lift ticket and head up it is fine. Often you see all the people milling around at the bottom and you think the day is going to suck, but for some reason it is always fine on the mountain.
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