Operations Update: January 22

Category: Operations Blog

As of this morning we have received over 20 FEET of snow this January and it's been snowing steadily and heavily throughout the day.  Let's take a look at how this winter weather affected operations today and what we can expect tomorrow. 

TODAY'S OPERATIONS, JANUARY 21

Alpine Meadows was closed today due to extremely high winds and unstable snow. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we did our best to protect the safety of our employees and guests.

Squaw Valley opened today with limited operations: Red Dog, Squaw Creek and Far East were spinning with very short lines. Our crews geared up to run KT-22 as well, but increasing winds and diminishing visibility inhibited our ability to safely run the lift. 

Weather Update as of 7:51am

Heavy Snow Continues

Heavy snow and very high winds expected today and the heavy snow will continue into tonight. We could see an additional 24-30 inches at the base by Monday morning, and up to 38 inches up top.

Monday the winds die down with gusts only expected to be around 30 mph up top.  Light snow showers should continue as a low drops South through CA.  The snow showers may linger into the evening.  We could see an additional 2-4 inches of snow before the storm completely clears out. - BA

From NOAA Weather Discussion (updated 2:46pm): "Winter warnings and advisories continue until 4 AM Monday morning. Even though snow rates will decrease after 4 AM, there is still potential for hazardous road conditions for the tomorrow morning commute, especially in the mountains. Please check road conditions before leaving home."

What's Next

We have received over 5 new feet of snow since Thursday, and heavy snowfall is forecasted to continue through the night. After significant snowfall, our mountain operations crews must go through the process of putting the ski area back in order. This includes a great deal of snow safety and control work, putting access roads back on the hills, digging out lifts and resetting ski area boundaries to ensure guests remain safely inbounds. This is a great undertaking and even with our full crews working, we anticipate delays tomorrow and into Tuesday. Please check our app and lift & trail status for the most up-to-date information. 

Operations for Tomorrow, January 23

At Squaw Valley, we plan to open the following lifts open at 9am: 

  • Squaw Creek
  • Red Dog
  • Carpets

And the following are anticipated to open around 10am:

  • Far East
  • KT-22

The upper mountain lifts are scheduled to open later in the day, possibly around noon:

  • Funitel
  • Tram
  • Gold Coast Express
  • Big Blue
  • Shirley Lake 
  • Broken Arrow

Depending on control work, we could also see Granite Chief and Solitude open tomorrow afternoon, but our crews will be able to better assess this in the morning. And with wind gusts as high as 150mph on the ridge during this storm, our mountain operations teams  have been unable to access the tops of Siberia and Headwall chairs. They will assess conditions at both chairs tomorrow when the winds have died down. 

At Alpine Meadows, ski patrol has been working all day today on avalanche control and will continue to work on their control routes at dawn tomorrow morning. With wind loading and unstable conditions, this process could take a while and all lift openings will likely be delayed. Check our app and website in the morning for real-time updates as our ski patrol assesses conditions. 

Stay Safe & Have Fun

With all the new snow, skiing and riding conditions will be incredible this week as we work to open more and more terrain. But please use caution on the slopes! Here are some deep snow tips to stay safe and have fun:

  • BUDDY UP, especially in any non-groomed/off-piste areas
  • Please ski with a friend and make sure you and your partner stay within viewing distance of each other at all times
  • Be aware and stay clear of tree wells

Check out more deep snow safety tips here.