At long last, Silverado will be opening tomorrow, Saturday, January 21st, thanks to a humungous effort from our operations teams and the blessing of clear skies. After an additional 9 inches of snow on Wednesday night, which brings our January snow total to over 14 feet, the weather looks clear for more than a week. This is our first big break in storms since mid-December. We have been taking advantage of the sunshine to dig out and try to get ahead once again. We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty excited to have some Lake Tahoe sunshine back this week.
The photo above was taken by Craig Patterson at sunrise on Silverado.
SILVERADO: Behind The Scenes
The Silverado area is one square mile, larger than many ski resorts. Silverado is not able to open until there is enough snowpack to build the Oregon Trail access road to the bottom of the lift, which sits at el. 6,808′. With no snowmaking in the zone, this typically requires an above-average amount of snowfall, which thankfully we have received! To get Silverado ready, we have to:
- Build the Oregon Trail access road
- Dig out the chairlift
- Get the chairlift turning and repair any issues that might arise (We hadn’t spun Silverado since the summertime, but thankfully nothing major popped up)
- Build the ramps at the top and bottom terminals
- Perform avalanche control
- Set resort boundary ropes
- Mark cliffs and obstacles
This video shows just how buried Silverado was when we first made it down there. Video taken by Palisades Mountain Manager Jimmy King on Tuesday, January 17th.
The sunshine is here to STAY – at least for a little bit. With cold temperatures in the forecast and no expected precipitation until at least the 28th, snow conditions should continue to be excellent. There could be some stronger wind gusts this weekend, particularly on Sunday, that could affect ridgeline lifts at either mountain. The winds this weekend are coming from the East, so you may see lifts like Granite and Emigrant affected, compared to the lifts that are more affected by our usual Southwest winds like Headwall or Summit.
Lift + Terrain Updates:
- Alpine Bowl Chair still does not have an estimated opening date. We are still waiting for parts to arrive.
- Belmont and Tiegel Terrain Parks have been rebuilt and re-opened today. Our crews have also been working on the Riviera boardercross course and will be starting on the Gold Coast park next week.
- In a few weeks, expect to see some terrain closures off of the Red Dog chairlift as we start to prep the Dog Face and Dog Leg course for the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup, a stop on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour. We’ll keep you updated on closures and give you some behind-the-scenes looks here.
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