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blue Squaw

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'll be skiing there the first time on a Saturday in late March, with my cousin, who'll be getting in the first of his three days a year. He's an athletic, gung-ho intermediate, and I see on the trail map that there are a few blue chairs, but I'm wondering where might be a good place to start the day; I'm looking for the lowest angled blue on the hill.

It looks like the Shirley Lake and Solitude chairs might offer a friendlier pitch than the chairs on the other side of that ridge, Main Line, Gold Coast and Emigrant, to which he could graduate later.

Maybe if it ends up truly "springy," conditions in Siberia Bowl might entice him to get up top once.

Thanks for any tips regarding liftlines, too.

btw, i love the 360 cams at Squaw, w/shots from last spring.

post #2 of 10
you seem to have a good plan for intermediate skiing at squaw.
post #3 of 10
Shirley Lake is a zoo, and (along with Emigrant) includes some of the steeper blue terrain. At age 4, my boys were skiing every other blue area competently except those two.

Solitude is a much better bet, both for varying terrain (you can easily dive off the groomer into some very fun stuff and meet up with your cousin) and for orders of magnitude less traffic.

IIRC, Gold Coast is the gentlest pitch, but the traffic is high.

On the lower mountain, take Red Dog to the Squaw Creek area -- it's often less densely populated, and like Solitude, has great off-piste areas designated Advanced or Expert Only that you can jump on and meet up with the groomers.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
...has great off-piste areas designated Advanced or Expert Only that you can jump on and meet up with the groomers.
that's a factor. thanks .
post #5 of 10

ditto what alpinedad said

Squaw Creek has good intermediate cruising. In late March, you shouldn't see many liftlines at all, assuming you go after spring breaks.
post #6 of 10
Aaah, missed the late March issue. Obviously, the lower you are, the more likely spring is to take its toll. So far, we're not off to a roaring start on the snowpack, so you should probably check back in in a couple of months. But what Dino said about lack of liftlines by then, which means that Gold Coast should be fair game, and certain lines off Shirley Lake. But it also means that laps on Solitude could keep you entertained for hours.

One other option, assuming they're still spinning Silverado and have recently groomed the Tram Bowl, would be to have your cousin ski that while you take the steeps. Tram Bowl is black, but it's a relatively wide and shallow groomer, with a runout at the end, and if it's been groomed, he can probably graduate to it for the final day.

Regardless, assuming that you will have 'net access during your trip, you'll want to review the grooming map each morning. It tells you which runs have been groomed and which lifts are expected to run, all in a nice little package.
post #7 of 10

Tram Bowl

If you hit Tram Bowl, be sure that you head skier's right; skier's left can get you cliffed out.
post #8 of 10
I guess I don't think of skier's left as Tram Bowl/Landbridge, but as McKinney's and the like.

Which reminds me to pass on some information I posted in a different thread in these forums a while back...
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
Be warned that Squaw is not a very user-friendly mountain, however. For one thing, they don't actually have trail maps, but what they call a "mountain map" -- primarily a map of the lifts, without run names. And the run names are rarely posted, so even if you know them, they don't often help. A company named DNA Aerials in Sausalito put out a poster almost a decade ago with the trail names, and Squaw lets you look at it on their website, but only in sections. Skimaps.com has it in all its glory, however.
Aaah, but it looks like they took it down. Bummer.
post #9 of 10


Yeah, I admit the concept of the "left" v. "right" around there is less important than "be aware" before you plunge concept. When in doubt take a safe route down & scout your next run from the chair on the way up. Most stuff at Squaw is in your face...
post #10 of 10
Yup - watch out for the little orange "cliff" signs too - they don't lie. There are spots at Squaw that always make me feel like a JONG/gaper .
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