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Last Minute Squaw/Tahoe questions

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm an east coaster who will be spending time in Tahoe this coming weekend, and I've got a few questions.

I have two ski days, and I'm staying in a lodge off of I-80 on the north side of the lake, maybe 30 minutes from Squaw.

* Should I consider another resort besides Squaw for one of my two days? I'm looking for bowls, chutes, steep, and deep. Must be on the North side of the lake. Price is not really a consideration since I'm just skiing two days and the difference in price just isn't enough to matter to me.

* Aside from KT-22, any good suggestions on how I should ski Squaw? I plan to ski from open to last chair, and I wouldn't mind getting some info on "locals ususally start here cuz of the sunlight, then move over to the quad for fresh after the main slope is tracked out etc) type of info.

* Where's a good place for the 20's and young 30's set to go apres ski at Squaw on Saturday? Someplace to have a beer and chill and maybe chat up a cute girl. Wish me luck. Ha!

* Ditto for a place to eat Saturday night. Someplace where a single guy (meaning both not married and travelling alone) can feel comfortable. Not fast food, definitely more like a bar with good food.

* Should I bring my pack to do some in-bounds hiking? Does Squaw offer good lift served hiking? If so, where? Honestly I don't have a lot of room to pack my backpack with all the bags I need to bring. Since I'm by myself I'm really not looking for full BC, just like a sweet pow stash or hidden peak or something.

I'm out in Cali for business and getting the skiing on the cheap. Can't wait.
post #2 of 12
i'd ski alpine or sugarbowl as it seems you have the ability to get around most of squaw in a day.
cant answer the rest, i only stay at south lake.
post #3 of 12
There are other resorts on the North Shore? You could easily ski Squaw for years.

Headwall, Silverado, Granite Chief, etc.

Bridge Tender or Peter and Peters for both.

Squaw has a closed boundry.

Have fun!
post #4 of 12
post #5 of 12
See if you can get a copy of this ... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=21232&item=8733753 186
There's enough snow that many of the lines are skiable. And if you're hiking then you won't ski dawn to dusk (I think there's still night skiing too). My favorite lines are off Broken Arrow but like some of the other posters have noted there's a huge choice. Bar One used to be a good meat market, not sure how it's holding up with competing with other outlets at the village. In Truckee Moody's is a great up-market bistro (this is close to the time of year when an ex-Beatle shows up to play his annual residency). Otherwise the beer joint, Blue Coyote, next to the cinema on 267 is always happening.
post #6 of 12
SKiing -
I would ski Squaw one day and Alpine the next. don't spend all your time on KT. lot of nice lines on headwall, granite chief. there are hiking possibilities on Granite Chief (make a right at the top of the lift and hike to the left)

cute girls - Balboa cafe at the base of Squaw.
post #7 of 12

River Ranch

In addition to all the good advice above, if you ski Alpine, hit River Ranch apres ski. BTW: There's a lot of stuff at Squaw, especially if you hit Broken Arrow & Silverado in addition to everything else, so you don't need to hit Alpine. Also, Alpine has slower lifts & a lot of great terrain that you can/must hike to, if that matters...
post #8 of 12


silverado silverado
broken arrow if there's fresh snow.
post #9 of 12
The Squaw sat and Alpine sun sounds like a good plan. Weather might be a factor on Sat, "gusting to 80 mph". That is getting to a level that can close Alpine's Summit and/or Scott chairs and close parts of Squaw's upper mtn.

Squaw is a better call (KT-22 open) if the upper mtns are closed.

Sun forecast is looking good for going on the hikes at Alpine. Also, things look a warm for Sunday, so gear some of your spring skiing clothes.

Also, I would skip the pack. All inbounds hiking is short enough to just shoulder the skis.

Weather link:
post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by StormDay
The Squaw sat and Alpine sun sounds like a good plan. Weather might be a factor on Sat, "gusting to 80 mph". That is getting to a level that can close Alpine's Summit and/or Scott chairs and close parts of Squaw's upper mtn.

Squaw is a better call (KT-22 open) if the upper mtns are closed.

Weather link:
I was just up there for a week - one day I was at Squaw high camp was closed - it was only KT, Red Dog, Squaw Creek (etc) open on the lower mountain. Top of KT was a whiteout and windy as heck.

Interestingly, two days later I was at Alpine, and it was another stormy and windy day, with gusts to 80mph on the summit. While Alpine's summit chair was on 'wind-alert' from 9:00am onwards, they managed to keep it, and the rest of the mountain, open all day (ok, Summit, Scott and Lakeview did all close around 3:15 or so). I heard Squaw's high camp was closed that day.

So I wouldn't always assume that Squaw is better than Alpine during a storm. Alpine seems to be able to keep Summit Six open in conditions that close high camp at Squaw.

Of course, the traditional choice for really stormy days is tree skiing at Northstar. You might want to consider that?
post #11 of 12

North Star Trees

Yep..on really stormy days head for NS..the back side has the most perfectly spaced trees (large Ponderosa Pines)..I think NS is not a Forest Service leased opp..so they can thin more..

Probally the best tree skiing I have ever had...there is some sweet hiking too..I forget the name of the run (it has been a few years) but there is a gate on the back side which lets you hike to a steep knoll..there are several lines you can ski back to the inbounds area with some pretty nice terrain...not really out of bounds, but off the beaten path for sure

NS is an excellent alternative to Squaw/Alpine when it is seriously windy...
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
so I just had a great weekend at Squaw. Loved the mountain. Saturday was HORRIBLE weather, 80-90mph winds closed the entire upper mountain and it was pouring at 8:30 when I started the day, and didn't let up until 1:30ish (and I was soaking wet, full up drowned rat goretex actually worked well but there's only so much a jacket can take when water is going down the neckhole!). Weather changed for the better around 2pm and the snow really really got better . 100% water content made for some challenging terrain! Wish I went to Northstar or Sugar Bowl which apparently didn't get as much rain due to the elevation (according to some locals I talked to - I personally have no idea).

Skied KT-22 all day on Saturday since it really was the only thing open. did every line possible including the first tracks through many of those colouirs. The small 2 seater chair served some great lines and I did laps until the sun came out then I did laps on the KT22 express which goes all the way down (the base of the mountain was a full monsoon and needed to be avoided till thesun came out). For rain, it actually was a great day since the sleet at top (whcih felt like rain) was actually accumulating and the lines were nonexistant.

Sunday was full spring! I got a big burn even though I was wearing sunscreen. Spent the morning skiing every line off the headwall, doing laps on the headwall express. Moved over to Siberia bowl and did roaring fast cruisers as they had groomed it out. Then made my way over to Shirley Lake, solitude and Granite Chief. found lots of little hucks over on granite cheif and saw people hiking to some sweet lines over on a spot i think was called alta? Got involved in the superpipe for a while, then back to KT-22 to ski out the remainder of the day.

A few final impressions:

* you can tell that San Francisco is close
* workers at Squaw were actually pretty rude/clueless to me considering I was asking some pretty easy questions (where's the KT-22 chairlift, please?)
* Squaw is steep. Those tales of the snow sticking to steeper terrain in Tahoe definitely rang true! What fun.
* No lodge? Where do people change into their boots? Yeah, in the car, but what about when it's absolutely pouring outside? Olympic house is kind of a lodge, but there's nowhere to put your bag and clearly they want you to buy something if you have a table. my brown bag was sneered at by many.
* everybody i spoke to on the chairlift was super nice and helpful.
* the kids inthe pipe at stowe seemed to be better than the guys at squaw. could have just been the specific people i was watching. luckily i am horrible in the pipe so i was pleased to not be horribly embarassed!
* i'm so jealous of the SF ability to access such amazing terrain so easily. i did the drive and it was pretty easy.
* there were a lot of cute girls on saturday at that place balboa, and many of them were chatty! upscale crowd, definitely not for everybody. lots of huge diamonds and even some fur on display.
* the lack of altitude was actually pretty cool for this east coaster who felt no affects of 8900 feet (or whatever it is) especially compared to utah and god forbid colorado. for the record, i typically start to wheeze above 9500 feet until my 2nd day of vacation.
* when you see a sign that says "cliff", that's a sign of really good terrain! the first hour of the first day i avoided such signs (visibility 2 feet!) and was wondering why the terrain seemed lacking lol

thanks to all for the advice on squaw. i had a freaking amazing time and thought that KT-22 had some of the best, and steepest lines I've skied!
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