Believe it or not, this is not a file photo from December. It was shot this morning — on April 25 — at Squaw Valley. (Squaw Valley photo by Hank DeVre)
By Jerry Rice
If April showers bring May flowers, what do April snowstorms bring? Skiers and snowboarders, of course.
Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Mammoth Mountain — the only California resorts still open for the winter season — are all reporting fresh snow. And lots of it.
Since the white stuff starting falling early this morning, Squaw and Alpine have received at least 16 inches, while Mammoth is close behind with about 15 inches. The snow is expected to continue well into the evening, bringing a welcome late-season thick blanket of fresh powder to the slopes at all three resorts.
Alpine Meadows will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays into May. Info: www.skialpine.com
Update: The last time Squaw Valley received this much snow in 24 hours in late April was in 2011. “As you can imagine, this amount of fresh snow is certainly a late-season treat for skiers and riders who are still thirsty for powder,” says Melissa Brouse, resort spokeswoman.
In celebration of Easter, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will both offer mountaintop services and Easter egg hunts for all ages on Sunday.
Squaw Valley’s annual on-mountain Easter egg hunt returns Sunday at 9 a.m. Skiers, riders and guests can search for candy-filled colored eggs that will be hidden on the mountain from Gold Coast to High Camp, as well as in The Village.
Alpine Meadows also will host an Easter egg hunt Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. Eggs stuffed with delicious treats will be hidden off Roundhouse chair for kids and families to scoop up on their way down the mountain. In addition, a large, golden egg will be hidden among the candy-filled eggs; the skier or rider who finds the golden egg will receive a free 2014-15 bronze season pass.
Both Easter egg hunts are open to the public, and free with a lift ticket or season pass. All ages are welcome to participate.
A free, non-denominational Easter service will be held at Squaw’s High Camp from 8-8:45 a.m. Visitors who do not plan to ski or ride can take the aerial tram to High Camp for free to attend the service as early as 7:30 a.m. In addition, the regularly scheduled, afternoon service will take place Sunday at the top of Big Blue Express. The service will begin at 1 p.m. and is open to skiers and riders with a lift ticket or season pass. Skiers and riders at Alpine Meadows also may attend a non-denominational mountaintop service at the top of Roundhouse Chair at 1 p.m. A lift ticket or season pass is required.
The 2014 Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival returns Saturday to Squaw Valley, giving kids and adults the opportunity to learn about recycling, composting, alternative energy, and sustainability through hands-on activities the whole family can enjoy. The free community event takes place in The Village at Squaw Valley from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At a diverse array of earth-friendly booths, participants can get dirty in the “composting zone,” explore new ways to recycle, learn about solar energy, and check out “EarthCapades” – a series of environmental presentations designed to teach viewers ways to protect and preserve Earth’s natural resources.
The free-admission event also boasts live music, raffle prizes, a dance presentation, “Trashion” show, and community recycling event to collect old or used household batteries.
There also will be free return bus service from the festival to North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Truckee. Information: http://tahoetruckeeearthday.com
TahoeTV edited a video showing a previous Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival. (Note: The date on the video is from last year.) >>>
Mammoth Mountain will have 100 percent of its terrain available for skiing and snowboarding this weekend. (Photo by Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain Ski Area)
By Jerry Rice
The calendar says “April,” but it’s looking a lot more like winter – finally – at Mammoth Mountain and resorts in the Lake Tahoe area.
Mammoth received 18 inches of fresh powder this week and more than 36 inches since March 26. At Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley’s seven-day snow total is 47 inches, and at Northstar California, about six miles north of of the lake, the resort welcomed 34 inches of new snow during the last several days – just in time for this weekend’s Spring It On! festival and pond skim contest.
“We’ve received so much fresh snow just before some of our most anticipated spring events, which means phenomenal skiing and riding and added excitement to this weekend’s festivities,” said Bill Rock, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Northstar.
Back at Mammoth, the new snow means a special on-mountain experience.
“Lift lines are typical for this time of the year, and skiers are able to spread out due to 100 percent of the terrain being open,” said Tim LeRoy, resort spokesman.
Squaw Valley’s recently renovated Olympic Museum at High Camp is open once again and features newly acquired Olympic memorabilia from the 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley, as well as a fresh new look.
The mountain-top Olympic Museum tells the story of the 1960 Winter Games – starting from the beginning with the Olympic proposal, to photos, videos and memorabilia from the historic Games. The 1960 Olympics transformed winter sports in the western U.S. and are notable as the first Winter Games to be fully televised, as well as the first to use a computer to tabulate scores.
Historical items new to the museum include the original vinyl recording of the music performed during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games at Squaw Valley, and the clock that hung in Blyth Arena during the 1960 Olympics.
Other mementos on display include: one of the original proposals for the Winter Games by Squaw Valley founder Alex Cushing, authentic Team USA uniforms from the 1960 Olympics, and a waitress uniform from the Olympic Village Lodge where the athletes dined during the Olympic Games – the first and only time in Olympic history all the athletes dined together under one roof. In addition, the museum has received a complete renovation that includes new paint, carpet, furniture and fixtures.
The Olympic Museum is located at the top of Aerial Tram at High Camp and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free with a lift ticket or Aerial Tram ticket. Click here for more information about Squaw Valley’s Olympic history.
After being MIA for too long this winter (at least in California), lots of fresh snow courtesy Mother Nature is falling on the slopes at resorts throughout the state. Today’s storm is the first of a three-storm series expected to roll through by Sunday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
We’ll update this post as reports from the resorts come in. >>>
4:15 p.m. Thursday …
Fresh photos from our friends at Mammoth Mountain, courtesy Mammoth Lakes Tourism. “With a foot and half of snow on the ground at Mammoth Mountain and several more feet expected through the weekend and early next week, best estimates put the snow total for this storm system at around 3 to 4 feet,” says spokesman Tim LeRoy.
“That would make this the biggest storm system to hit the Eastern Sierra in two years,” he adds, citing a report at Mammoth Weather.
On the Mammoth website, lodging specials included “stay three nights and get the fourth night free” and a lift and lodging package starting at $129 – both good for arrival dates through late May.
3:30 p.m. Thursday …
The winter storm sweeping through the Sierra Nevada brought 13 inches of fresh snow to Squaw Valley and 10 inches to Alpine Meadows by Thursday afternoon, with snow continuing to fall. Both resorts could see more than two feet of snow by Sunday night, with the possibility of even more snowfall through Wednesday.
Here’s what Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows looked like this morning. >>>
Mammoth Mountain received as much as 15 inches of new snow overnight. The forecast calls for another 3 to 5 inches tonight, and up to 17 inches more on Friday. Another 1 to 3 inches is possible on Saturday.
Noon Thursday …
Rachel Luna, our colleague at The Sun and Daily Bulletin, is on the prowl today for #ieweather photos and videos and took this shot at Snow Valley. >>>
It was almost lunchtime and Snow Valley hadn’t sold a single lift ticket all morning. The resort closed for the day at noon.
“Resort officials believe skiers & snowboarders are holding out for the snowstorm to come,” Luna reported via Twitter.
10 a.m. Thursday …
Mountain High is closed today, and operators are planning to re-opening the resort on Saturday morning. “We fully expect to reopen this weekend with hopes of remaining open all the way through Easter,” said a post on the resort’s website.
In the meantime, here are some other fast facts, according to the resort:
Mountain High has been open into May three times during the last 15 years.
The Women of Winter three-day camp is returning to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows on March 2-4. The camp is designed for intermediate to advanced women skiers and includes three full days of skiing, daily lunch, après ski events, and collaborative teaching for serious on-hill progression.
An innovative program, the Women of Wonder camp is specially designed to help women challenge themselves on the hill in a collaborative and supportive environment. The WOW program embraces a fun, fast-paced approach to ski instruction, allowing women to push themselves on Squaw and Alpine’s expansive terrain and pick up new skills, all while having a great time.
Off the hill, the camp also includes après ski events such as a wine and cheese social in The Village, and a guest speaker and social at Trilogy Spa.
The Women of Winter program is the result of over 35 years of contiguous women’s-specific ski programs at Squaw Valley, the first resort to offer female-specific ski lessons. In the early 1970s, Elissa Slanger, then a Squaw ski instructor, realized that the typical mechanical, and sometimes tyrannical, methods used to teach skiing terrified women and prevented them from exploring the sport and realizing their potential. From that realization, “Women’s Way,” the first women-specific ski program was born, pioneered by Elissa at Squaw Valley. Women of Winter is the latest development in women’s-specific ski programs at Squaw, offering a new, innovative, and most importantly, fun, approach to skiing.
The Women of Winter camp is available for intermediate to advanced women skiers, ages 13 and older. The camp is $536 without lift tickets, and $689 with lift tickets. Reservations are required. To book, call 530-452-4349 or email wow@Squaw.com.
We’ve been watching a lot of NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage – speed skating, slopestyle skiing, halfpipe, hockey – and have been wrapped up in much of it.
A few minutes ago, @NBCOlympics posted on Twitter the image above with course info on the downhill portion of the men’s super combined. The vertical drop of 3,205 feet caught our attention, and we thought it would be worth checking http://mountainvertical.com to see how the mountains near Sochi compare with the ski resorts in California. Here’s what we found:
The best U.S. match to the 3,205 vertical descent of the mountain where the Olympics competition is happening now is the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort – the area where the 1932 Winter Olympics took place.
This is what 68 inches of new snow looks like at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
By this weekend, the resorts plan to have 32 lifts and more than 100 runs available. Beginners will be able to ski from High Camp for the first time this season. In addition to jaw-dropping views, the green runs at High Camp are ideal for learning to turn.
The terrain parks also are being ramped up. There will be 27 features including seven small to medium jumps by Saturday in the Gold Coast Park. At Alpine Meadows, look for 16 features including three small jumps in Tiegel.
Here’s the line-up for lift openings:
• Granite Chief (today)
• Scott (today)
• Big Blue (today)
• Lakeview (Friday)
• KT-22 (by Saturday)
After going way too long without major snowfall from Mother Nature, the storm system that rolled through much of California at the end of last week left mountains coated in white.
In the Lake Tahoe area, Squaw Valley received 68 inches – more than 5 and a half feet – of snow while sister resort Alpine Meadows received 63 inches. The new snow has created a tremendous base at both resorts and will allow both mountains to open new terrain this week.
At Mammoth Mountain, the storm dropped more than 3 feet of fresh snow, bringing the base depth at the summit to 70 inches. The new snow will allow the resort to open 100 percent of the terrain this weekend for the first time this year.
In addition, Mammoth has some great deals:
The resort is selling 2-for-1 lift tickets. For more information, click here.
Mammoth is also offering free flights from LAX and San Diego when guests stay three or more nights at any of the Mammoth Lodging Collection properties.
To earn the free flights, reservations must be made by March 23 by calling 800-626-6684. Guests can stay through April 6.
Back in the Lake Tahoe area, Squaw Valley had 15 lifts operating today and Alpine Meadows had seven. Lifts slated to run this week for the first time this season include Solitude at Squaw Valley, and Scott and Lake View at Alpine Meadows. Siberia Express also is set to reopen at Squaw Valley starting Tuesday.
“The new snow was just what we needed to really get winter going here at Squaw and Alpine,” said Mike Livak, executive vice president for Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. “Thanks to the storm, we are now able to open new lifts so that our guests can truly experience the diverse terrain that these two mountains have to offer.”
Here’s what Squaw Valley is looking like with its fresh coat of snow. >>>