We hit some fast, smooth groomers and found some great tree skiing before the races at the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup, making for a wonderful day at Palisades today.
This blog was written by Claire Weiss.
We came early to Palisades to get a parking spot because we knew it would be one of the most crowded weekends of the year: a powder day on top of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup!
At ~ 7 am, the Palisade Parking meter showed limited parking, but we were lucky to get a spot close to Far East. It was almost 2 hours before lifts started spinning and 4 hours before the first GS run, so we did a few laps before the race. We saw a long line at KT22 and ventured to Wa She Shu. It was cloudy but not cold.
The top of Headwall was foggy – we noticed that the chair wasn’t moving and a few people were waiting in line at the bottom of the lift (Headwall was briefly put on patrol hold).
Siberia and Granite Chief were closed, so we hopped on Big Blue and went straight to Shirley lake. At the top of the ridge, we noticed that the untracked snow was pretty packed and wind affected. Some people were struggling to turn in this untouched snow.
We did a couple of laps from Shirley Lake and decided to check on KT before the race. The groomers were excellent – smooth with a nice grip. The Hills run had little soft moguls, which we liked. On the way back to the base, we skied Sunnyside – its groomed part was great, but if you venture off piste, you’re greeted with cream cheese-like snow which wasn’t easy to turn in.
We were back at the base by 10:30. The sun was picking through the clouds, and the crowd was already cheering from the Grandstands. After the National Anthem, two F-16 flew over the resort, and the race started.
We watched the first 20+ racers and went for a few more laps. It was about 40ºF in the afternoon, and the snow at the base started to melt and was more like mashed potatoes.
Our favorite lift today was Shirley, where you could alternate between excellent groomers and moguls. Stick to the trees alongside the runs where the visibility is better and you won’t have that flat light like in the more open areas of the mountain.
Tomorrow will be a bit colder with some snow showers overnight and during the day. So, expect a few more inches of new snow tomorrow and packed highways and be sure to leave the house early to beat traffic for the second day of the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup!