Squaw Valley has opened a new gate which leads back to Silverado. It's not the Backcountry Gate we were hoping for but still nice. Here are some photos. Squaw Valley Opens New Gate | Oregon Trail | Unofficial Networks

Squaw Valley Opens New Gate | Oregon Trail

Squaw Valley Opens New Gate | Oregon Trail

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Squaw Valley Opens New Gate | Oregon Trail

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With all the whining, bullshit and unsubstantiated claims being thrown around the internet these past months, I found it time to write a “feel good” piece about one of the cooler things to happen at Squaw in quite some time. So before you hoist your “locals only” sail and set across your sea of bitterness, read this. It may bring a little stoke back into your life. It may improve your outlook on the recent sale and purchase of Squaw to KSL. It might even help you to remember why you love this place you call home…SQUAW!

This past Friday at Squaw Valley, something took place that I’m not certain, but I think hasn’t happened since the early 90’s. Squaw, under the direction and management of KSL, began entertaining the idea of opening new terrain. How you ask? By opening the Oregon Trail. Where is the Oregon Trail? It’s that Cat Track from the bottom of Solitude that connects to the bottom of Silverado. Who cares about a stupid Cat Track from nowhere to nowhere? You should! Why? Well…for several reasons.

One. The Oregon Trail is primarily a service road that gets machinery into the bottom of Silverado. Maybe, just maybe, if they start servicing this road on a more regular basis it will allow equipment and machines to get to the bottom of Silverado faster on powder days to dig the lift out.

Two. The Oregon Trail also runs parallel to the creek that divides the Smoothie from the current boundary. It also wraps around the backside of the Iron Curtain, cutting directly underneath some really cool terrain that is currently left in no mans land. For example, those really tight, short, but epic looking chutes that stare you in the face every time you ski the smoothie. Although this specific terrain is still out of bounds, we are certainly getting closer to it being an OPEN reality.

Don't let the high snow level fool you. This terrain is SICK!

Third. and in my mind incredible, is the simple idea that KSL is toying with the notion of expanding terrain. We all know what an amazing job AC did in creating this place. However, things were definitely stale at Squaw in recent years regarding change.

It is my understanding that today’s expansion was inclusive only of the Oregon Trail. However, lets keep our fingers crossed that it opens a bit more in this incredible play land in the future. Look, it was just a few weeks back that Unofficial posted an article {Take Back Our Mountain – Silverado Closed Weekdays} that started a media storm of bad publicity for this resort. Apparently from that, the public court of opinion voted and KSL listened. Not only has Silverado remained open through March, it’s now April and they’re expanding terrain. FREAKIN APRIL. EXPANDING TERRAIN. EPIC!

Looking across the canyon at Smoothies

So lets un-mast our sales for a minute, let the storm pass, and see where this wave of change takes us. It’s not all bad. Thanks for this one KSL. Thanks patrol for getting out there this weekend and letting us know what’s going on. Hopefully this is just the beginning of some positive and kick ass change this resort could use.

Words by, Rod Gazinya
Photos by, Tim Konrad

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