Today marks the 150th day of operations during the 2020/21 season, and we are stoked to be the only resort in Lake Tahoe still open for skiing & riding! Staying open is part of our commitment to our dedicated skiers and riders, and is one of the many reasons we are known as The Spring Skiing Capital. While we’ve been targeting a May 31 closing date, below-average snowfall and warm and dry conditions mean we will likely close earlier. Here are the latest updates on what to expect.
Operations At Squaw Valley
Red Dog and Squaw Creek are quickly losing snow in key areas. We’ve been farming, pushing and winching snow every day to cover numerous weak points, but we know the season’s end is near for the Snow King area. As a result, both of these chairs will likely close after this weekend, and we’ll immediately turn our attention to a major maintenance project for the Squaw Creek chair.
KT-22 and Headwall are also nearing the end of their season due to diminishing snowpack. As of Wednesday morning, the Saddle Road no longer had enough snow coverage for snowmobiles and snowcats to safely access the tops of KT and Headwall. We need access in order to safely operate, and so our operations teams spent the morning conducting hill safety and plowing a snowcat road into the East Face summer road. Once this alternative access road burns out too, both lifts will have to close for the season. This could be as early as next week. We’ll keep doing what we can to hold them, but the sun is getting warmer and the season is getting later.
Mountain Run is the only springtime route for skiers and riders to travel down from the upper mountain to the base without having to download via the Funitel. At this time, the lowest snowpack on Mountain Run exists in the middle of the run, starting from the base of Headwall up the trail. While crews are currently able to farm snow from other areas in order to maintain Mountain Run, eventually those snow sources will run out and the trail will close. As we get closer to losing Mountain Run, we’ll assess all of the factors and make decisions about whether we can continue to operate the upper mountain in a download-only scenario.
Upper Mountain lifts including Siberia, Shirley Lake and Gold Coast remain open with good coverage and fantastic spring skiing conditions. We expect south-facing terrain, including the High Camp area (Belmont, Bailey’s Beach, and Mountain Meadow) to burn out first, and that will likely happen soon. North and east-facing terrain still features good coverage, and everyone from world-class athletes to your coolest aunt and uncle has been having a fantastic time at the Spring Skiing Capital.
Operations at Alpine Meadows
While several lifts at Alpine Meadows are now closed for the season, there is still solid coverage and great spring skiing on the upper mountain off Summit. After this weekend we plan to continue spinning Summit while it remains skiable to the base, possibly into mid-May.
Exact closure dates for both mountains will depend on upcoming weather, how quickly the snowpack in key areas melts out, how many people continue to show up, and changing mountain conditions, all of which are assessed on a daily basis. Be sure to check the lift & grooming status on our website, mobile app, and @squawalpineops Twitter account for the latest updates on what’s open. The Spring Skiing Capital is still going strong as we move past day #150 of the season, so get out and enjoy the spring conditions while they last and keep an eye on the upcoming storm!