So are all the people from down the hill who were sick today leaving Tahoe now?
California/Nevada 2018-19 Tahoe Ski Resorts/Conditions/Meetups Thread....
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Yes @luliski . Self included!
So parking lots were full at Alpine & Squaw midMorning. Gave up on Alpine (they turned people away) Have no idea where their DeerPark overflow lot is. Kind of barged into the Squaw lot. Maybe this was good as Lakeview & Sherwood had power failures. Fixed quick on Sherwood but Lakewood was down much of the day.
My big question is where was everyone? They weren’t on the lifts. Saw no line on any lift, even Gold Coast or KT. 20 degF weather & medium strong wind.
(no wind holds on lifts at any point). Found powder on lower Mainline, skiers right off Olympic Lady. Especially on Silverado until they suddenly closed gates 1 - 5 for a serious patrol “rope rescue”
To open Olympic Lady today (good move) they said they had to close Belmont chair. Sounds like lack of manpower !
80 moved full speed. SV Rd & 89 were about 1/2 speed
From very heavy traffic.
Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
Today was awesome! It was ridiculously busy at opening bell. KT line went almost to the first Exhibition station. The gondola had a huge amorphous mass of humanity filling up all the space around it. Red dog line was big. Far East wasn't ready to load. Tram was down for maintenance. We weren't happy putting on our boots.
Carly, an instructor I've skied with before, ran past us and said hello. No, he couldn't take us as he was already scheduled. Hmmm, maybe we could get an instructor for line cuts. Off to the ski school! There was a line there. We waited through that to be told that their instructors were all stuck in traffic. They would call us when one arrived.
Walking to Red Dog, our only realistic line option, we went past the ski school meeting area. As I walked by I asked if there was an expert group that could get us line cuts. No, but if we would go with a snowboard instructor we could get cuts! Jeff was happy to take us. Crowd clusterf*ck dealt with.
KT to Red Dog Ridge. Totally untracked! Light and fluffy. Face shots galore. Steep floats. Incredible!
Another lap of the same. Olympic Lady opens. No line cuts but worth it! Olympic lady is the best chair - in the world!
Jeff looks at his phone, his watch and our panting exhausted tongues. "Silverado just opened and we can make the Tram if we hurry." OK!
Silverado was tracked out but Jeff knew some tricks. More laps of steep deep and fluffy!
Last run down was Tower 16 with more sweet powder. Thanks Jeff (and the Squaw Ski school) for a great morning.
Wildflour cookie and Gatorade for lunch and a couple laps on KT and Olympic Lady and I was spent. Magic day!
Now I just got back from Japow. This snow was as good. But Squaw's hill is better.
@Eleeski I’m seeing a pattern here. On powder days it’s a total zoo at opening bell for Squawpine. An hour or two later it clears out to short or no lines.
Either the powderhounds are done or people have time to spread out. Downside is powder is gone that fast ! Unless you know where to look.
A factor to consider is if Squaw is running most all lifts, like today,(Oly Lady ran !) they handle crowds very well.
Despite today's fantastic experience and @Philpug 's double scowl emojis, I will stand by my comment that Squaw was retarded yesterday.
They have (? had!) dorms on site for the workers. (Have the dorms become a school instead?) A resort needs people to make it work. Assuring that enough people are on site to operate is a corporate responsibility. House the workers where they can get to work! Especially in a weather dependent business - like a ski resort.
Certainly enough people were there (my son saw a crowded meeting early) to get something open at some time. They are a ski resort. This resort had a reputation for being the reliable place to ski in a storm (lower mountain only) until KSL - and now it's worse with Alterra.
Risk management is just that, management of risk. Risk elimination in an action sport like skiing is not possible or reasonable. The risk manager needs to be a skier with passion for the sport, not a bean counter or a paranoid CYA book reader.
If I were to design an aircraft to be "safe" and not ever break up in flight, I would overbuild the plane. It would be heavier, have less payload and be slower. Maybe you accept those tradeoffs. But the pilot trying to outrun a real world weather event with a real world load needing a plane that handles normally is put at risk by the "safer" design. An overly cautious risk management diminishes the long term viability of Squaw. Squaw might encompass the finest ski terrain in the world. Alterra has a responsibility to this incredible resort and the skiers who come here.
Squaw could and should have operated on some limited basis yesterday. Calling it prematurely in the morning might help the day trippers plans but so much of their business is from people planning months in advance to stay at Squaw while paying small fortunes to do so. Management screwed up royally. As the Squawpologist, I hope the damage wasn't critical.
John Webb likes this.
left alpine cabin at 815 took 45 min to get to parking which was unexpedted. Partially because although squaw road was completely plowed, was not chomped, so only space for 1lane up instead of the usual 2.
First run on far east about 910 or so. sooo good.
avoided the kt show, and went funi to emigrant to go straight to granite. rewarded with 4 runs getting fresh lines, whereas a weekend day wouldve gotten 2 max. More second cut lines or tree lines available but time to switch things up.
Then 3laps on Silverado gates 1 2 which had a few 1st cut lines, so soft bumps mostly and untracked or firstcut only here and there.
tower16 down for lunch which was soft bumps all the way down.
stayed on red dog ridge for 4 laps via olympic lady Still lots of high quality snow there no crust no thickness (and just about everywhere), still only cut once at 2pm, but legs say no more.
The lack of crowds vs weekend I think has to do with the patronage. Only powderhounds out today who often drive solo, shirley lake and other blue lifts were basically ski on. A good number who only want fresh lines or a specific jump so after first tracks, go traversing or hiking, so spread out and take awhile to do a lap. Also subtract out the weekend family groomer skiers and ski teams including the bigmtn freeride teams. The intermediate skiers that do come out and try powder also have no impact, because they fall over and take 5min to stand up every 10turns.
Despite the higher "skill" and stat that accidents happen on the blues, a remarkable number of injuries that I personally saw firsthand. Guy in landing on granite drop who had a ski come off and starting to retrieve it got absolutely clobbered by another skier who leaped before looking and target fixated right into him. Looked to be at least a broken arm and likely worse, absolutely grounds for a civil injury lawsuit. Another off of silverado head injury wo helmet. A third off silverado was fixed to the lift which was first time I saw then use that bracket and gear. And more sleds in silverado i saw in distance and patrol getting deployed, but did not see the scene.
In other news, Mt. Squaw has evolved into Squaw Ridge. zoom in to get true sense of scale.
Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
Eric - put a cork in it.
As Philpug said "Don't you think if they could have opened they would have?"
With respect to your above comments, you have no basis for your statements. I don't believe you are aware of all the dynamics and decisions that go into deciding if to open or not. Lots of resorts have "not opened" this season. This is not the first or last time this will happen.
i think they could have opened, but it would be a sh!tshow poor experience; producing more complainers and accusations of moneygrubbing of $150 for this?? versus not opening. so perhaps the lesser of 2 weevils instead of the pure they could've or couldn't have.
Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
I for one enjoy the perspective of @Eleeski, so I'd prefer he left the cork on the table
I don't know if he's aware of all, or even some, of the dynamics behind the decision. But perhaps that's the point - perhaps a little more transparency would help folks understand things better.
Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
I don't think that could help, because i think they were transparent and even posted photos of all the cleanup and what they were working on. Bombs were going off all day. The street where I was staying in alpine didn't get plowed until 3:30pm saturday because the plow broke. They were still working the roads basically all daylight hours..
Soooo, just like other "debates" about flatearth/chemtrails etc; it's more that some choose not to believe what is posted, no matter what is presented; extra transparency would be unconvincing, unless you could personally go observe the work.
PS. if you want to get into it head over to facebook and look at comments section for some of recent posts, ppl are never satisfied no matter what reason is given. Responding or engaging in any semblense of civil discourse doesnt work. Any response awakens and feeds fhe trolls and they pounce on it teeth bared. I used to read through all the discussions on any post from ns hv and kw, It takes the patience of the Dalai Lama to deal with the trolls, (in other words Coop). But as the internet has turned into a cesspool of ppl just wanting to show they are right or to have a hottake for attention and not about discourse, Vail gave up and now it seems the policy is to just delete such comments out.
For now squaw left the negative comments on updates up and even replied to many providing facts explaining and counterpointing misconceptions so there is your extra transparency. But that is going to just chew up their social media rep and its never good enough. They won't win this unwinnable game.
Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
A bit of a perspective to the last few messages: sure it was a big storm. But "Tahoe dumps" happen in Tahoe regularly, maybe not quite as big as this one, but certainly not far behind. And if your operations can't handle them to some degree, then it's your problem. Tahoe Donner streets were plowed by 6am on Sun. You cannot believe how much she&t the lifties at the TahoDonner ski area were giving Squaw, and they also got dumped on ( and according to BA more than Squaw). And they were fully staffed, lessons and all. Of course, Squaw is not TD, and yes it was a lot of snow. Ski Patrol are heros and I'm sure they worked their asses off all day and night, I bet most TD employees mostly live in TD and thus can take advantage of their plowing operation that kicks ass, etc, etc. I know. But Northstar opened, which confirmed that they are probably the best operated resort in Tahoe (yes, I am not usually a fan of the " flatstar"). But Eric does have a point, and he is a resident KSL apologist here, so when he is mad at KSL...The complaints about very lean operations have been persitent this year, so again there is a basis to Eric's point of view. Yes, if they could open they would have, yes, but that's not about willing, it's about being able, and if you are not able, then you have an operations capacity issue.
By the way a side benefit of staying closed was that instead of bombing the hell out of the snowpack, they let it settle and there were unusually few bombholes on the hill on Monday. That closure ended up being a huge gift to the locals, so hopefully Squaw got some good will there.
I think the core of this debate is how much are you going to pay people, how many are you going to have, and what extraordinary measures are you going to take to get them in place to get the mountain open.
N* has been grossly deficient at this over the last 5 yrs or so as wages have skyrocketed. I've railed at two GMs over this, to little effect. My impression is that Squalpine is not far behind. What @Philpug says is absolutely right and not debatable. However, its not unreasonable, especially for people like Eric with homes there, to think that perhaps they should employ more people (which might mean paying each more also) and take more measures to get them in place to do the job (like on-site housing, for example). No, they shouldn't open if they can't/not safe. Should they try harder? Probaby.
EDIT: Northstar's problem isn't so much getting the mountain ready, which, tbf, is a lot easier to open that Squaw, or even alpine. N*'s problem is getting people onto the mountain which can be real garbage.
As for I80 closure I will say this. A few pages back, I described going to Boreal (from Donner Lake) to pick up some friends on Saturday, around 3:30. WB was closed, but i sweet talked myself onto it. I may have made a mistake as there was literally 0 vis at times. A great deal of patience, calm, and experience got me there. It was closed and it should have been. I realize nobody is debating that. But what shocked me when returned to Donner Lake on EB is . . . it was just fine. Vis was hundreds of feet, can't say exactly. Steady line of traffic running 20-30mph safely and a few A**holes passing us impatiently on 1.5 lanes of HWY.
The difference was shocking. I can only assume it was due to the elevation differences and wind patterns.
Very good point. I was also intrigued, but I suppose all makes sense now, since the same goes for storm skiing, Sometimes a difference of 100ft this way or that and you get completely different vis due to the particular air and wind flows around the trees and terrain.
This one really pisses me off. One of the days, on 80 there was a spin out and they held traffic for a while. Long line of cars in a single lane with snow on each side. A few idiots thought we were just sitting there enjoying the scenery and went around us to the left over snow to get ahead. No way I'm letting people like that merge back in when we start moving.
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