{At 6am this morning, it was 45 F at 8,200 feet at Squaw Valley.  The high forecasted today in Lake Tahoe is 62 F.}

Rumors have been floating around about Squaw Valley closing until large storms come and give Squaw its first real snowfall of the season or until snowmaking temperatures return to Lake Tahoe.  I don’t think Squaw could possibly close considering the fact that KSL is doing everything they can to make Squaw popular, that they have pledged $50 million in improvements, and that they recently fundraised $3 billion.

Squaw/KSL has the means to do what they have to do to keep Squaw open with a “rainy day fund” is fat, supple, and ample.  Closing would be bad for the community, bad for Tahoe business, bad for Squaw, & bad.  

This graph:  temperatures at 6,200 feet at Squaw Valley.  

graph of temps at squaw

Squaw Valley Temperatures the past 48 hours.  Only 9 hours below freezing.  Noaa.gov

Yet, there is one factor that good intentions and even money can’t control:  the weather.  Squaw has a reported 12” base that we all know is much thinner than that in many places on our only two open runs.  Combine that 12” base with highs in the 50s and 60s for at least 10 days and what do you get?  You get melting snow and lots of it.

Lows will be in the twenties at night, but it may not be enough hours per night to perform snowmaking.  Even if they can make snow, it may not be be effective against the temperature onslaught.

This scenario isn’t totally unheard of.  Mount Ashland in Oregon just closed until more snow arrives.

“Mt. Ashland is temporarily closing until the ski area receives enough snow to be able to reopen the ski slopes. Only four inches of snow fell at the ski area during an unusually warm and dry December that affected the entire western region of the U.S.” – Mount Ashland ski area officials, Monday.

Lake Tahoe Forecast from weather.com

no snow at squaw

Squaw Valley today

 

Nobody wants to see Squaw close, and I’m confident that they’ll be able to stay open.  But, this forecast is daunting and would make any ski resort CEO, ice, or snow crystal sweat.

What are Squaw’s options?  

Will Squaw have to close for a bit?

When is that first big storm coming to Squaw? (throw your guess in here)

Luckily, Starship Zebulon has got our back with what to do in Tahoe when it’s warm and sunny and nice out.  There are options and vehicles towards happiness despite the heat and lack of snow.

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58 Comments

  1. OB says:

    La Nina clearly dissaproves of the Squaw / Alpine merger. Forget about burning skis — burn the merger documents

    Reply
  2. bbx004 says:

    As long as La Chamoix is still open…isn’t that all that really matters? :)

    Reply
  3. Steve K. says:

    This is BAD.

    Even if it starts snowing after the 10 day forecast it is still going to take weeks of non stop snow to get terrain open.

    what to do? what to do?

    Reply
  4. Andrew Whiteford says:

    If you guys shovel off the mountain bike trails, I’ll buy a ticket.

    Reply
  5. Sean Fowler says:

    I feel that the snow gods are punishing me for finally buying pontoons!

    Reply
  6. Grump says:

    Time to come to grip with a season of no silverado. Not a chance they open it this year.

    Reply
  7. tyler says:

    the curse of Alex Cushing

    Reply
  8. Kevin says:

    La nina ya right more like “La none year”. Oh well the MTB trails in Reno are looking good or perhaps a round of Golf anyone?

    Reply
  9. Whistler says:

    haha I’m way sicker than you Squaw

    Reply
  10. Anonymous says:

    Skiing was surprisingly good today at squaw! And the snowmaking that they have done on red dog and squaw creek is a solid few feet deep and isnt going anywhere. And there was fresh man-made snow in a few spots that helped freshen things up. Why don’t you get out of the office and actually go skiing and enjoy what we have! It’s amazing how good I is considering 0 inches of snow in December and a month of above freezing daytime temps. Winter will come…

    Reply
  11. 707 says:

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that after Jan 17th the storms start to come in n after the 10 day forecast cold weather moves in,we can only hope n see what happens

    Reply
  12. skidown says:

    Of course this “rumor” totally ignores the FACT that Squaw have said they will NOT CLOSE

    Reply
    • sucks to be you says:

      I can say I’m going to be a millionaire, but that doesn’t make it a fact. They gave a forward looking statement. There’s always risk in predicting the future, especially when weather’s involved.

      Reply
  13. Ed says:

    the old squaw that everyone loves so would surely be closed by now. kudos to ksl for keeping at it. that said another couple weeks of juneuary and they will have no choice.

    Reply
  14. Rufus Bluejeans says:

    i no longer care about the environment, can we go back to seeding the clouds?

    Reply
    • RichE says:

      gonna need some clouds to seed first

      Reply
      • Andy H says:

        This is why Squaw ACTUALLY bought Alpine. They are utilizing Alpine as a snow blocker. NO snow means more business in the village which is all KSL cares about. They are using what used to be the snow salters to vacume the moistuer out of the sky. They are then stockpiling it underground to be used later when they build their super mega village hotel resort. From what I hear Troy Caldwell might be involved.

        Reply
        • Rufus Bluejeans says:

          god damn, this is exactly what I’ve been afraid of, but i didn’t want to say it because of all the nay sayers on this site

          Reply
  15. SquawBear says:

    Anybody know Squaw’s policy on refunding season passes if I haven’t registered my college pass or picked it up?

    Reply
  16. BOB says:

    KSL just had Karma hit them hard

    Reply
  17. Charlie says:

    You all can complain about it but I agree with Ed. Any year before this one Squaw would have been closed for a long time now.

    Onto other business: if you don’t like the skiing right now, don’t ski and don’t complain about it. Nobody can control the weather. My advice: ski in the mornings at ski at Squaw (not Alpine). Alpine is apparently getting super rocky on their runs and Squaw still has smooth runs. KSL is shoving a hell of a lot of resources at the resort and we should all be happy for what we have. If you don’t like it, go to Northstar. And I think we all know that nobody here wants to go to Northstar.

    Reply
  18. skier says:

    Go skiing somwhere that had good snowmaking in Nov & Dec – like Diamond Peak or Northstar

    Reply
  19. Skiing was really fun at Squaw today. The quality of the snow made the runs stay smooth and rock free all day. Skied a bit at alpine as well and the inversion up high over there is wrecking havoc on the snow. Its super thin and rocks are everywhere. Alpine will most likely have to close Summit in the next few days and more after that. Squaw has a huge advantage because the inversion is keeping temps cold at night on red dog and SC, and the snow isnt melting because of the northern exposure of those areas. And the crowds are gone so you can open it up! Its super fun! If you love to ski its worth checking out!

    Reply
    • Jeah says:

      U have to say that u sell out

      Reply
      • Keepin' it real says:

        If that’s the real Travis then Jeah better bow down and apologize. You couldn’t even stand on a World Cup course let alone ski it. STFU and move on!
        Travis, I think you meant “wreaking” not “wrecking”.

        Reply
  20. HatinHayter says:

    Hahaha. Move to a real resort. Skiing pow in jackson all day

    Reply
    • donner summit skier says:

      I love how Jackson is trying to get their digs in… yea kick us while we are down. When do you close for the season again? No matter how much snow you get?

      Reply
  21. Andy wirthless says:

    I love how there isnt even freedom of speech on this shithole website… I posted a comment earlier that Karma is a bitch and Andy Wirth isnt welcome in tahoe but obviously thats not allowed to be said… otherwise it just gets removed…

    Reply
  22. Justpc says:

    Squaw management and operations should be applauded for working miracles. They have worked hard to give us remarkably good skiing when nature is doing everything possible to keep this from happening. I appreciate the village makeover, new merchants and refreshing employee morale and genuinely positive attitudes. Squaw’s makeover has not gone unappreciated and I am looking forward to supporting their effort to continually improve.

    Keep up the good work Squaw and don’t let the few naysayers get in the way.

    Reply
    • Charlie says:

      Amen to that. Stay positive.

      Reply
    • Andy H says:

      I’m with you…I sure am glad we’ve spent money on fake fire pits and new ticket windows instead of snowmaking infrastructure.

      Just because the employees are smiling at you does not mean that their morale is high…

      Reply
  23. DHsushi says:

    Miles, the scenario is pretty unheard of when talking about ski areas that in fact do have snowmaking. Mt Ashland, which you compared to squaw, is also a not-for profit ski area that has two slow double chairlifts from the 1950′s that cover 90% of the resort. They have zero snowmaking and opened with natural snow.
    Squaw snowmaking= a joke

    Reply
  24. A big water storage area and modern snow making saved Mt Buller from fires in their summer of 06/07. Apart from saving capital items like lifts and hotels from fires, the upgraded recycle plant saved their bottom line in winter!

    Reply
  25. Tommy John says:

    Miles you are almost as big of a Ass as Andy…almost.

    Reply
  26. Jumbo says:

    The skiing in Sun Valley is excellent.

    Reply
  27. ZeBod says:

    I heard that Squaw has blown through it’s water allotment, and will be closing shortly as they cannot make any more snow. Has anyone else heard this?

    Reply
    • Veruca Salt says:

      Heard the same of Alpine.. but their water storage pond is visible and haven’t been up since xmas… Squaw has super limited water so there could be some truth to it.

      Reply
      • justbob says:

        According to an employee at Alpine Springs Water, which supplies water to Alpine there are no limits on the water for snowmaking there. They will however get stuck with a substantial water bill.

        Reply
  28. Nick says:

    Squaw posted on their FB that they will not be closing.

    Reply
  29. Nick says:

    Squaw Valley
    You all know we are open, right? 7 days a week. Period. And we are making as much snow as we can as often as we can. Comments keep popping up that make me think not everyone realizes this. So, just to be clear, we are OPEN and, though the terrain is limited, it has been super fun to carve up the corduroy. So get off the couch or off that desk chair and come on out for some sunny turns. In fact, that’s such a good idea, I’m going to get out of my own desk chair and make some turns. See you out there.
    Like · · Reshare · 19 hours ago ·

    /\ Facebook post from SV

    Reply
  30. Andy Wirth says:

    squaw valley rules!!

    Reply
  31. raj says:

    HJomewood is closing Monday-Thursday until further snowfalls, but Fridays and weekends they’ll open. There’s even a new cruise from Round Hill on Friday, Saturday & Sunday = $99 return includes a lift pass. Sweet – I think I’ll be bored at Heavenly otherwise .

    Reply
  32. Bryce Bennett says:

    Since you guys are being so negative… I’m just gunna say Europe is waist deep right now…. sorry, was that mean?

    Reply
  33. gayper killer says:

    good year to go off to college in LA. not missing much. very depressing though haha

    Reply
  34. Mancuso's gold? says:

    Thanks Snowmakers and groomers! Red Dog and Resort are pretty long runs, with good vert. Slow down and make some turns, you get more time on the snow instead of the lifts. Any truth to rumors of a photo/film shoot going on in Squaw. I hear there are backflips done on postage stamps? Anyone, anyone, unofficial? Buller?………..

    Reply
  35. Anonymous says:

    Props to Squaw and employees for doing their best in some dire conditions.
    Having low priced meals available to employees at various outlets also helps cushion the blow of limited employment.
    What a messed up season, who could’ve predicted so much snow last year and so little this? Possible change late next week?? Let’s hope.

    Hatinhayter, just keep your low-life, negative energy up there, and when Jackson closes at end of March like last year, don’t come sniffing around here like you had to last year,,,

    Reply
  36. Anonymous says:

    Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.

    Reply

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