Operations Update: February 15-16

Category: Operations Blog

Today's Overview: February 15, 2017

Today Squaw Valley geared up to spin 25 lifts including the much anticipated Silverado! Winds picked up this morning in front of the incoming storms, so Emigrant, Granite Chief, Bailey's Beach and Belmont started the day on wind hold. As winds increased, Headwall was put on wind hold at 11:40am and Silverado closed at 12pm. Gusts clocked in as high as 73mph according to the NOAA wind sensor located at the Squaw Summit.

Over at Alpine Meadows, 13 lifts were running today. The winds were gusty at times, but it was a fun day to cruise groomers before the snow moves in.

Silverado Opened

Silverado opened for the first time this season today! Skiers and riders were able to access the zone via Gates 7 & 8 starting at 9:30am, and then Ski Patrol opened Gate 6 at 10:45am. A HUGE thanks to all of our operations crews for their hard work in getting the zone open and letting us ride some of Squaw Valley's most coveted terrain.  

On Silverado Chair. Photo: Trevor Kekke
Ski Patrollers riding up Silverado. Photo: Colin Darcy

Snow Moves in Tomorrow

Winter weather is on it's way back and staying a while. The next storm cycle moves in early Thursday morning. It may start with rain at some elevations, but snow levels are forecasted to drop throughout the day tomorrow. Snow is expected to start piling up through Thursday of next week!

Weather Update from BA @ 7:28am 

First Storm: Thursday a fast moving storm moves through with precip falling from around 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Snow levels start around 8000 feet and fall below the base by midday. Winds will gust to 80 mph on the mountain tops. We could see 1-3 inches at the base by evening, and 3-7 inches on the mountain.

2nd Storm: Friday the next storm moves in but is moving in to our South. That should bring down wind gusts to about half of Thursdays speeds. The snow should return in the afternoon and last into Friday night. By Saturday morning we could see 3-6 inches at the base, and 6-10 inches on the mountain.

The Weekend: We may have a break between storms for most of the weekend. There may be some scattered showers around, but only very light accumulations. Highs will be in the 30's. Winds should be breezy up top around 30-40 mph.

3rd, 4th, 5th Storm: Sunday night the next series of storms begin to move in. We could see several waves of precip Monday through Wednesday night, with almost continuous snowfall. Snow levels may creep up to 7000 feet Monday before falling below the base the rest of the period. Winds will be strong with these storms with ridge gusts in excess of 100 mph. We could see 2-3 feet of additional snowfall Sunday night through Monday night, and then an additional 1-2+ feet Tuesday and Wednesday.

Storms Move Out Thursday: The storms should end by Thursday but then a cold front moving down from the North could bring light snow next Friday.


​Tomorrow we anticipate high winds that may affect operations. Lift projections for tomorrow are based on the forecasted winds, elaborated below in NOAA’s Weather Discussion. If winds do subside, we are prepared with staff to open any chairs not on the projection. 

"Late tonight-Thursday: First storm in the series is still on track to begin impacting the Sierra and western Nevada late tonight. Upper level winds will increase significantly tonight with ridge winds easily picking up to around 80-90 MPH by Thursday morning."

As always, please check our lift & trail status page and app for updates in the morning and throughout the day. 

Squaw Valley Scheduled Lifts for Thursday, Feb 16:
  • Exhibition
  • Far East
  • Funitel
  • KT-22
  • Red Dog
  • Squaw Creek
  • Aerial Tram
  • Bailey's Beach
  • Belmont
  • Big Blue
  • Gold Coast
  • Shirley Lake
  • Siberia
  • Solitude
  • Mountain Meadow
  • Squaw Kids Carpets (Murphy, Wylee, Boon)
  • First Venture
  • Tucker Carpet
  • SnoVentures Carpet
Alpine Meadows Scheduled Lifts for Thursday, Feb 16:
  • Summit
  • Hot Wheels
  • Kangaroo
  • Meadow
  • Roundhouse
  • Sherwood
  • Lakeview
  • Scott
  • Alpine Bowl
  • Subway
  • Yellow
  • Big Carpet
  • Little Carpet

Other Resources

Road, Weather, Real-Time resort Information

CalTrans Road Conditions

Always check road conditions before visiting Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. 


Real-Time Resort Information