Last 24 Hr
Last 48 Hr
Last 72 Hr
The first lifts to open are usually the Red Dog and KT-22 lifts. “KT” is the most coveted, and people line up at 6:30 a.m. to be the first to reach The Fingers, which are amazing when covered in deep snow but sketchy once skied out. Nose to Fingers is considered one of the best gets on the mountain. Access Nose by skiing looker’s right of the KT-22 lift towers. The Fingers are a band of rocks about mid-way down the mountain. To avoid the charge up KT-22, take the Red Dog lift instead. Its terrain is less skied but equally as challenging without the crowds. Poulson’s Gulley, to skiers right of the lift towers, and Heidi’s Rock are favorite steep and deep runs from Red Dog. Heidi’s Rock requires a short hike and is reached by disembarking toward Red Dog Ridge. If the snow falls all day, head back to KT, which provides so much expert terrain that it hardly matters where you go because there are so many premier lines. The Funitel (don’t call it a gondola!) will typically open next. Ride it to High Camp and ski down to the Siberia Express lift, which whisks you to the ridgeline and the top of Siberia Bowl. On big snow days, the lifts typically open from looker’s left to right, with Granite Chief often last to open. Granite Chief is located on the far boundary to looker’s right, and it provides a bevy of unnamed runs and expert terrain where the crowds are often minimal, perfect for an afternoon expedition on a powder day.
Groomers and Family:
Squaw can look intimidating to beginners due to the steep terrain right out of the village. The High Camp Cable Car, also called the Tram, rises up and over the Tram Face, virtually unskiable terrain where Squaw holds an extreme competition yearly for the world’s elite. But don’t be fooled: there are fantastic beginner runs located at mid-mountain. Take a leap of faith and ride the tram to High Camp, where four lifts offer mellow groomed beginner and intermediate trails. The payoff is extraordinary lake views, as well as the feeling that you are high in the mountains and away from the run-of-the-mill lower-mountain slopes that most resorts provide for newbies. High Camp is a mountaintop meadow tucked between high peaks where experts can get an adrenaline fix before meeting up with less skilled family members for lunch. High Camp has a swimming pool and skating rink as well as outdoor seating, providing an inspiring setting for all ability levels. For young children, the Papoose beginner’s area is on the far eastern side of the parking lot beside the tubing and snow play area. This is the learning ground for first-timers, completely un-intimidating and with free hot chocolate. For intermediates, Squaw Creek lift offers uncrowded runs and beautiful lake views, with groomers that loop down to the Resort at Squaw Creek on far looker’s left of the resort. Squaw Creek offers classic American skiing, with trails cut through the trees—something you don’t get much of in the wide-open expanses of Squaw. Upper-mountain intermediate terrain is accessed by the Shirley Lake Express, a fast six pack lift perfect for doing laps. The Gold Coast six pack lift provides advanced intermediate runs. Round out the day with some laps on the Solitude lift, which drops down from High Camp into groomed and ungroomed intermediate runs, glades and tree islands.
In the past, Squaw had fewer park offerings than other big resorts. After all, Squaw’s terrain makes it one big playground for experimentation and free riding. But the new owners have investing significant dollars and effort into their parks. To create a comfortable scene, the resort is also adding benches to all its parks and atop key chairlifts for snowboarders to strap in and chill.
New in 2012, Squaw released a map that details how to ski the whole mountain, part of the ownership’s commitment to making this revered destination more welcoming to newcomers. For skiers who like to hike, Squaw has bountiful options. Granite Peak, accessed via Granite Chief, is the resort’s highest point at just over 9,000 feet so it loads well on powder days and offers lots of hidden stashes days after a storm. Hidden Bowl features steep wide open terrain and tree shots, making this area prime for exploration. The Palisades chutes are some of the most infamous “Squallywood” terrain, featured in countless ski films. If you go big here, lots of chairlift riders will be watching and cheering. Access Palisades via the Siberia Express, but be prepared to handle a cornice drop. Lesser skilled skiers should stick to the easiest of the Palisades chutes, National Chute to looker’s left. Named for Olympian Jonny Mosely, Mosely’s Run is a severely steep bump run that Jonny credits with giving him the skills to handle the world’s toughest moguls competitions. Squaw will never win any awards for its tree skiing—there simply isn’t that much due to the mountain’s vast open expanses—but those who seek a forested environment should head to the Squaw Creek and Red Dog lifts, as well as the lower sections of Granite Chief.
Projected Opening Ski Season: 11/21/2012
Projected Closing Ski Season: 05/29/2013
Projected Days Open: 188
Days Open Last Year: 195
Years Open: 64
Average Snowfall: 450"
Pros: Good Terrain
Cons: Can't access terrain because they don't run lifts
Pros: great terrain
Cons: I feel ripped off
Pros: Big, beautiful
Cons: Pricey, poor snowmaking, not for beginners
Cons: Crowds, "Vail effect"
Sqauw Valley, Sqaw Valley, Squa Valley, Squa Vallly, Squa Vally, Squaw Valle, Squaw Valley U.S.A., Squaw Vally, Squaw Vlley, Squaw-Valley, Squawvalley
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