El Nino is here

Category: Operations Blog

El Nino storms have arrived and we couldn't be happier. We've already received 13" in 24 hours (since January 5) and it's expected to snow A LOT today/tonight. Yesterday, majority of the upper mountain at Squaw Valley was closed with the exception of the Funitel, Shirley and Gold Coast. We'd like to point out why these lifts did not open yesterday and why they are closed today. 

  1. We're in a HUGE storm cycle. As many of you know, whenever a storm moves into town, high winds are pretty much guaranteed. Gusts are reaching 60 mph on the ridge. Notes from the field: There are periods of complete white out conditions on KT-22. 
  2. Winds were significant yesterday morning, which prohibited our teams from riding lifts and performing snow safety on their regular routes. We we were able to get Funitel, Gold Coast and Shirley open, but due to high avalanche danger and white out conditions, we closed those lifts at 1:28pm. 
  3. Once the terrain is open on the upper mountain, we can not throw explosives where our guests are skiing i.e. Headwall (positioned right above above Mountain Run) and Siberia (positioned right above Gold Coast)
  4. SAFETY is extremely important to our mountains and teams. It was snowing as hard as 2" an hour yesterday - accompany that with white out conditions and wind, and it makes for some tough conditions for our teams to not only perform snow safety, but even for our guests to ski terrain safely. 

We're at the mercy of Mother Nature, and right now, we're very happy that she is blanketing us with more snow! Enjoy your fresh turns today and we'll see you tomorrow for more.