It’s 9am and a pleasant 28 degrees at the base of Squaw Valley USA, no smokes in my pocket, I have my sunglasses on and by the looks of things, I’m on a mission from God; a mission to find every inch of terrain that my skis will take me through. The season is finally in swing but I find myself comparing the conditions to what they were last year and I long for a snow base in the triple digits again.
In the crisp morning air, riding the lift to the top of Red Dog, I feel alive again! Refreshed and ready to take on anything that the Squaw has to offer. 80% of the resort is reported open now and I’m looking forward to stretching my legs a bit. Two weeks earlier I skied with a meager 25% of the terrain open and was pleasantly surprised to find Shirley Lake and her five runs open and beckoning. This week I was looking forward to riding my way through KT-22 and Granite Chief most of all. My good friend the Chief is still very bumpy and he’s not inviting the weak hearted. Venture into this back area and expect only to find a few brave souls and a rough ride. It was well worth the challenge and a great workout in cranking the steeps, turns and drops. There are some hidden sweet spots, ripe for the picking for those willing to venture in.
As I rode the lift up Emigrant, one run away from some much needed refreshments at the Oasis, I was anticipating the quick steep before dropping across the skidder trail from the Far East Express to Shirley Lake and beyond, I notice the only thing missing is more snow. The path down emigrant is funneled down very tight and I found a few rocks hidden in the funnel as I went blazing through. Some of my favorite runs on the south side of the resort are littered with bushes and trees but I’m on a mission, they will not stop me!
I’ll be back again this weekend and the next as I make my way from the East Bay area to the snow covered hills because I just can’t help myself. I’m a snow junkie just like you. I just can’t get enough and the hills are calling our name. If you see me, stop me and say hello! You’ll know me by my new pair of Head skis.