Operations Update: March 26, 2018
After 227″ of snow this month, our second biggest March snowfall on record, I explored the possibility of opening terrain in Silverado this morning. The key to opening this zone is completing a road from the base of Solitude to the base of Silverado, commonly known as the Oregon Trail. Without this road, emergency medical response to the base of Silverado is not possible and therefore we cannot safely open the terrain or the lift.
Following the first big storm in March, I took our best machine as far as I could make it along the Oregon Trail before running into terrain challenges due to low snow levels. This attempt, I could only make it as far as Van Dykes Chutes, about 1/3 of the road and roughly 7,500′ in elevation. The complexity of the terrain in this area, with large boulders, open creeks and steep, exposed sections required more snow.
This morning I made a second attempt to complete the road to the base terminal of Silverado. This time I made it further along the Oregon Trail to just below the Iron Curtain. The elevation at this point is approximately 7,200′, meaning this area saw mostly rain from this past week’s storm. Low snow pack at this point on the road stopped me from moving further. Again, large boulders and exposed creeks made it impossible to get the machine past this point, which is approximately 2/3 of the way to the base terminal.
As long-time Squaw skiers and riders know, Silverado is very complex and challenging terrain. We love opening this zone on the mountain but unfortunately, some seasons just do not make that possible. If we see a big April storm, we will certainly make another attempt at opening this terrain.