It has been an incredible snowy week at Palisades Tahoe. Mother nature has delivered an astounding 39 inches of snow on our upper mountain in the past 7 days. That’s more than THREE FEET! For the past few blogs, we’ve been saying that we planned to open lower mountain for Opening Day, but that “snow could change our plans.” Well, snow has most definitely changed our plans. Not only will we be opening 4 days early, but we’ll be opening with upper mountain terrain at Palisades.
WINTER STORM RECAP
- From Sunday night into Monday morning, we saw 3 inches of snow in the base area and 8 on our upper mountains.
- By Monday evening, whiteout conditions on the mountain were no joke, bringing us more than 2 FEET of snow overnight!
- A serious dump of snowfall came on Tuesday, giving us 18 inches on the upper mountains overnight.
- Base depth totals are now resting at 22 inches at the Palisades base, 24 inches at the Alpine base, and 39 inches on the upper mountains.
A huge shoutout to our operations and snow removal teams. Big storms always require a ton of manual labor, and we have all hands on deck out here getting prepped for winter. Photos by Blake Kessler.
OPENING DAY UPDATES
Thanks to more than 3 feet of snow on our upper mountains, we are changing our plans. We will be opening four days early on November 18th, with the Funitel, Gold Coast, and Snoventures chairlifts running. Our operating hours will be 9am-4pm, as usual, and we plan to be open daily for the winter season, weather & conditions permitting.
What lifts will be open? What trails will open? Will there be park features?
Gold Coast and Snoventures chairlifts will be open. The Funitel will also be running to access the upper mountain, but Mountain Run will NOT be open. The main Gold Coast run will be open, as will the main Snoventures run. There likely will not be terrain park features on Opening Day, but we hope to add a few by Thanksgiving.
What will the operating hours be?
In line with our usual winter operations, we will be open from 9am-4pm. We plan to stay open daily, expanding terrain as conditions allow.
Why are you opening the upper mountain? Will the lower mountain open?
We are super grateful for all of this natural snowfall that will allow us to pivot to focusing on the upper mountain! We have 39 inches of snow on the upper mountain, which is a decent amount more than in our base areas. We will still need a few days to get enough snow at the Gold Coast ramp before we are ready to operate, so expect our snowmaking teams to be out there working in cold temps. In fact, they’re firing up the snowmaking guns right now as we write this blog. Once Gold Coast has a solid base, we will start to turn our attention to Mountain Run, and will continue our efforts on Resort Chair.
Why isn’t Resort Chair opening?
The main reason we can’t open Resort Chair yet is snowfall. Our upper mountain area is better poised to start operations, and we will need a significant amount of snowmaking work to be finished by Resort Chair in order to open it. We plan to get this chair open as soon as we can when snow conditions allow. Even if Red Dog isn’t open yet, we will have a shuttle service running between the chairlift and The Village. Our snowmaking teams will be spending a lot of time at Resort Chair over the coming weeks.
When will the Aerial Tram open?
We plan to open the Aerial Tram for sightseeing on November 23rd. We do not have an ETA for when ski access will be allowed for the Aerial Tram, but it is likely that the beginner area (Bailey’s Beach, Mountain Meadow, etc) will open first.
Why aren’t you opening earlier? The 18th is far away!
We have quite a bit of work to do to get this mountain ready! This snowfall, while significant, is very light in density. Right now, our grooming team is up on hill “track packing,” or driving machines over each run with no tiller down, in order to consolidate the snow and build a dense base layer. Track packing is happening all up and down Gold Coast, a little bit in the beginner area at the top of the Aerial Tram, and over toward Resort Chair. Additionally, we still need to make some snow to have a solid base. We have a few days of cold temperatures coming up that should help address this need.
Will rentals and lessons be open? Will Snowtubing open?
The main rental shop in The Village at Palisades Tahoe will be open. We are still determining whether or not we will have a lesson offering for Opening Day. However, we expect that Palisades Kids will not open until November 22nd. We are aiming to have Snowtubing open by Thanksgiving as well.
When will Alpine open?
As of right now, our target date to open Alpine is November 22nd, weather and conditions permitting. We are aiming to open with Treeline Cirque and, depending on how snowmaking goes over the next week or so, we will try to add Roundhouse as well. The long-range temperature forecast has higher temps than last week, but we will make snow anytime we can.
Recently, we continue to have great snow production on Weasel thanks to cold temperatures at night. We have to finish moving some equipment up to the newly-renovated Chalet this weekend, but then we will turn up the dial on snowmaking on Tiegel.
When is Silverado going to open?
We know you’re going to ask this, so we’re putting this FAQ in here: Silverado is not opening yet, y’all. We don’t have an ETA.
BE READY FOR OPENING DAY
Bring your Pass or Pack with you. If you forget it, we can print a new one for you at our Ticket & Pass Office in The Village at Palisades Tahoe.
Get your gear tuned up. Our main rental shop will be open starting on November 18th. You can drop off your gear at any time and pick from one of our many tuning + repair packages.
Set up Resort Charge on your Pass or Pack. Want to use your pass or pack like a credit card? It is super easy to link your account to your pass and simply scan it at any Palisades Tahoe-owned location as payment.
Use our ticket kiosks to print your lift tickets. If you’re visiting with a single-day lift ticket, there’s no need to visit the Ticket & Pass Office. You can use one of our self-service kiosks in the Funitel Plaza to print your tickets yourself.
HOW CAN I STAY UP-TO-DATE WITH OPERATIONS THIS SEASON?
We’ll arm you with all the information you need to plan the perfect ski day any day this winter. Bookmark these pages:
Not wanting to check the website constantly? Try these other methods:
- Follow our Mountain Operations Twitter account
- Sign up for the Palisades Tahoe Ski & Ride Report
- Download the Palisades Tahoe App
ONE LAST THING…
While all of these changes are super exciting, everything new at this mountain is custom-built, and this is the highest number of projects we’ve ever tackled in a single year. Managing the infrastructure properly will take patience and work. We will keep these blogs going to keep you updated as often as we can, and we welcome your curiosity and questions.
Do you have any requests for this season’s Operations Blogs? Topics you’d like to see covered or information you think is missing? Send us an email at email@example.com with your feedback.