Opening Day Update

Category: Operations Blog

New Opening Day at squaw valley alpine meadows is Nov 23 (weather/conditions permitting)

We're eager to kick off the 2016-17 winter season and while we've been preparing for an early opening between Nov 11 - 18,  Mother Nature hasn't been delivering cold temperatures to the region. After looking at the 10-day forecast, we have moved our scheduled opening date to November 23, 2016 weather and conditions permitting. Our team is ready to kick off the season earlier if the weather cooperates. 

“Setting an early opening date assured that we are fully prepared for the 2016-17 season, and we have already seen some impressive snowfall totals. Our staff has done an incredible job gearing up for the season and, with help from Mother Nature, we look forward to opening the lifts on November 23 as conditions allow.” - Andy Wirth, president & CEO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

See how our team is getting the mountain ready to kick off this winter season... 

Snowmaking Prep

"When it gets cold, we will be ready." - Evan, snowmaking supervisor

With over $1 million invested in snowmaking for this winter, our team is ready to fire up the system whenever mother nature gives us the OK. Our teams are working around the clock to prepare for winter and turning on the guns at every opportunity. 

"While warm temps continue to prevent any production, we are using this time to familiarize new team members with the mountain as well as continuing repairs/improvements. Fine tuning of the system is continuing, with all eyes on next week for some snowmaking temperatures." - Evan Nielsen, Snowmaking Supervisor 

Ski Patrol Annual Training

Our patrol team is doing their annual training to get ready for the start of the winter. The team goes over CPR, medical, incident reporting and of course, avalanche dog training. 

Smoother (and better) snow surfaces with Grooming Machine Maintenance

Winch cats allow our grooming teams to access steeper terrain and that means superior groomed surfaces

This summer we invested in 2 new winch cats, but what does that mean for you as a skier or snowboarder? Winch cats allow our grooming teams to access steeper terrain and that means superior groomed surfaces for you. Remember last season when we were able to groom top rated runs like Tower 16 in Silverado Zone, Headwall Face in Headwall Zone and Women's Downhill in KT-22 Zone? That was all thanks to our team, winch cats and Mother Nature providing the "white gold."

The team is working on getting all of our machines ready for the start of winter by performing routine maintenance like making sure the till (that's the part that provides the grooved surface in the snow) and the plow (the part that pushes snow around) are all ready for big snow. 

Routine Lift Maintenance is in our Blood

"We're not just laying around and waiting. We've been working on projects all summer and every day up until we open." - Chris W, Director of Lift Maintenance

Regular lift maintenance is a part of our DNA here at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. "We're fortunate that we have the manpower and capital to make regular upgrades and maintain our lift systems to the highest of standards," says Chris Woo, Director of Lift Maintenance. We're doing the standard, routine maintenance, but we also worked on a few key projects this summer/fall...like a major structural tension system for Granite Chief. To a skier and snowboarder, you won't notice a thing, but to our team this means a much more simple and efficient system. Squaw One got an upgrade too - new electronic controls and supervision, lift tension and brake system. Still looks the same to you and me, but our team knows this will be a game changer for this winter. 

"We're progressive and stay ahead of the curve compared to other resorts out there. We maintain the highest standard in the industry," says Chris

New Avalanche mitigation Technology Installation

4 new "Gazex" systems being installed

You might have heard of the "Gazex" or maybe you've seen it as you ski by it on the top of Headwall Face. We installed this avalanche mitigation equipment last winter and we loved it so much, we decided to get 4 more. The Gazex Inertia Exploder is a remotely controlled avalanche mitigation system that uses propane gas and oxygen to create a blast, triggering controlled avalanches before they become a hazard. Pretty neat, huh?

What this means for us skiers and riders (and our Patrol Team) is this equipment could decrease delays in lift openings and increase efficiency of patrol opening areas of the mountain. The counterweights were installed today via helicopter and will be ready for fire on opening day.