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Following a very wet 36 hours, we achieved the opening goals we set yesterday and got every lift that we expected today, thanks to the hard work of our ops teams. Seriously, it is hard work out there: So many people are out there digging chairlifts out by hand after spending the early morning hours digging their vehicles and homes out first. Our snowpack is very saturated with water and heavy, which can also make things difficult for our grooming machines. We truly have no clear days in the forecast to recover from this wet weather event, so we appreciate your patience.
This morning before 6 o’clock, we made the decision to close lift operations and base lodges for the day. This decision was made due to extremely high avalanche danger at both mountains and the flooding that was taking place on Olympic Valley Rd and Alpine Meadows Rd. Snow levels were higher than we were hoping for: rain fell up to 8,500 feet (above the Gold Coast area) throughout the night. Where we did get snow, it was about 7 inches, before the rain began. Tomorrow, we are going to attempt to open several lifts at both mountains. You should expect that ALL lifts will be delayed, maybe even significantly delayed, depending on how much snow we get overnight.
Tahoe is buried, and there are no signs of the snow slowing down. Today, (Thursday, March 9th) the first band of a two-part atmospheric river weather event moves into the Sierra region. This first Thursday-through-Saturday storm will bring more snow, but it also is expected to deliver rainfall that could lead to flooding. The powdery snow that fell recently (more than 100 inches in the first 9 days of March) is very light in density, which means it can be more difficult for our Ski Patrol teams to trigger planned avalanches, as they do across both mountains each time we have significant snowfall. With rain or heavy and wet snow falling on top of this lightweight snowpack, we expect that avalanche danger will increase significantly.
Silverado may be the most coveted terrain at Palisades Tahoe. Spanning a square mile and lined with iconic shoots and steeps that only the most advanced skiers and snowboarders can hit, it’s no secret that prepping this area for opening is a huge task. After a big snowfall, you might assume that Ski Patrol is the first to head back into this area, but in fact, it is a snowcat that plows through first — literally.
It feels surreal to even write this out: We have received more than 140 inches of snow on our upper mountains in the past 8 days. We are BURIED in every sense of the word. A lot of our seasoned team members have been saying that this is one of the most intense storm cycles in recent memory — and more snow is on the way. As you can imagine, there are significant challenges that come with digging out from a storm like this, not just on our mountains but also on our roadways and in our local towns. We are so appreciative of everyone’s patience, and we thank you for understanding that safety always has to come first.
Today (Tuesday, February 28th), both Palisades and Alpine were closed. Over the past 24 hours, we have received up to 3.5 feet of snow on our mountains. The snow continues to fall today, with several more feet of snow expected by Wednesday morning. Out on the hill, we have had very limited access due to low visibility and avalanche conditions. For these reasons, we chose to prioritize the safety of our employees and our guests today. Throughout the day, teams continued to work on snow safety and maintaining access to key areas, and that work will continue tonight.
With more than 20 inches of snow falling in the past 24 hours, we are in the full swing of a storm cycle that will continue through Saturday morning. The Stifel Palisades Tahoe cup and surrounding events are still happening! There will be a few schedule changes, and some chairlifts and terrain will be affected by both the event and the weather.
The Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup, a stop on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour, will be at Palisades Tahoe from February 24th – 26th. This is an exciting major event to host at our mountain, and the course is currently being built on Red Dog. So much goes into building a race course — this is NOT just a run-of-the-mill grooming task. You should expect closures on both Red Dog and Exhibition throughout the week.
After doing a haul rope splice on Red Dog, that chairlift has re-opened to the public as of this morning. We also popped Gold Coast park earlier this week with a three-pack of sizeable jumps. With 100% of our terrain open and more snow in the forecast, we are stoked at how this season is going. Today we’ll be sharing some behind-the-scenes information on this week’s haul rope splice, but looking ahead, expect to see some updates related to how we are preparing for the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup, a stop on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour.
Thanks to the more than 14 feet of snow we’ve received so far in January, we officially have 100% of our terrain open. That’s terrain, not lifts — Alpine Bowl Chair is our one chairlift that has had a long-term mechanical issue with no estimated opening date at this time, unfortunately. Looking ahead, we have a small snowstorm in the forecast for the weekend, with some wind impacts expected. Starting on Monday, we will be closing Red Dog for at least 2 days while we re-splice the haul rope.