Operations Update: Feb 22-23

Category: Operations Blog

Overview of Today's Operations: February 22, 2017

We were thrilled to wake up to blue skies! With 4 feet of snow in 48 hours on the upper mountain, which we haven't been able to access due to winds peaking at 199mph, we had a lot of snow to dig out and a few surprises when our teams were finally able to access lifts on the ridgelines. While we had limited operations, really fun powder turns were had.

Squaw Valley

Today was the first look at our upper mountain since the 193mph ripped along on the ridges. Here's a look into some of the challenges we faced:

Little to no clearance on KT-22 this morning. It took a few machines (and employees) to get clearance for skiers and riders to load the chairlift. At first, we could only load 2-3 people due to weight on the line. Photo: Will Paden, Director of Avalanche Control

Once the chair opened, teams went back to complete the digout so we could load 4 skiers and riders on KT-22. Photo: Will Paden, Director of Avalanche Control 

Groomers and lift mechanics discovered Siberia's bottom terminal was completely buried and got right to work...

This was the scene for majority of lifts on the upper mountain this morning. Photo: Will Paden, Director of Avalanche Control

High winds from Feb 20-21 blew the Emigrant chairline right off the towers. Headwall also had a severe derailment. 

Other Challenges at Squaw Valley not photographed:

  • Mountain Run took a lot longer to open than we had originally thought due to a lot of moving water. "Had to make sure it was tight and properly marked" - Jimmy King, Mountain Manager at Squaw Valley 
  • Granite and Silverado are completely buried and have very little clearance on the chairline. Will take some time to dig these lifts out.
  • Tree fell down near tower 6 on Gold Coast. We will begin to clear that out tomorrow.
  • Shirley is still partially buried at the bottom, but should be cleared out by tomorrow.
Alpine Meadows

Today was also the first look at our upper mountain lifts since the 199mph ripped along on the ridges. Here's a look into some of the challenges we faced:

Summit was completely frozen over. Lift maintenance had a pretty difficult time with frozen sheaves and heavy snow buildup. Fortunately, the intense winds did not destroy the lift. After knocking off ice and snow and putting on chairs, Summit started spinning around 3pm. Control work is complete, so we are scheduled for a 9am opening. Photo: Jeff Fillinger, Patroller

Snow and ice were caked into chairs on Scott. Patrol and lift ops turned the chair on the slowest speed to whack ice amd snow off to get Scott open today. Photo: Jeff Fillinger, Patroller

Other Challenges at Alpine Meadows not photographed:

  • Didn't make it to Lakeview and Sherwood today, but Patrol was able to load Summit when it started to spin at 3pm to assess conditions and the work that is needed to open these areas.
  • Alpine Bowl Chair will be late due to significant snowfall, but it's on the schedule for tomorrow.

Weather Outlook

"Tranquil weather" moving in

"Considering recent weather, the next few days will be wonderfully tranquil for northeast CA and western NV. A weak upper disturbance will be moving through the larger-scale trough over the West through Thursday. Isolated to scattered rain and higher elevation snow showers (above 2000-3000 feet in northern CA, lower near coast) are developing this afternoon in California north of Highway 50 with daytime heating and unstable atmospheric profiles ahead of the disturbance. Isolated to scattered snow showers will work into the northern Sierra and western Great Basin this evening into Thursday." - NOAA Weather Discussion

Projected Operations for Tomorrow, February 23 

Tomorrow we anticipate more digging out lifts and lift terminals, but should be a lot smoother than today. As always, please tune into our app, the lift & grooming status page and our Mountain Ops Twitter feed

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