We won’t soon forget 2/26/11. The best snow of the year along with the longest lines of the year.
Here at UnofficialNetworks, we are confident that almost every powder skiing Squaw junkie, pass holders and ticket holders alike, is frustrated with what happened at Squaw on storm days this winter.
The winter of 2010/11 was host to countless epic powder days and a oodles of epic lift lines at Squaw Valley. The focal point was on weekends when the number of daily skier visits at Squaw was going up over 8,000 and there were only 4 chairs open: KT-22, Squaw Creek, Red Dog, & Far East. This occurs when high winds close the upper mountain lifts, including the Funitel, and force every skier to chose from one the 4 chairs at the bottom.
Some quick math here: 8,000 skiers + 4 chairs = the worst lines you’ve ever even contemplated.
I’m talking 1 hour long KT lines, 40 minute Red Dog Lines, and even 25 minute Far East lines. In a word, preposterous.
Why do we have so many skiers at Squaw now? Simple. It’s the cheaper passes. Are they gonna raise prices next year? Nope, they actually lowered them. A Gold Pass is now $699 versus $899 last year. Which is great for skiers and riders, but, something has got to give. Namely, your sanity on a storm day.
Video from 2/26/11, when the lift lines were at their worst but the snow was at its best. I only got 3 runs in about 4 hours on this day.
We have been facebooking, emailing, texting, AND even directly talking with skiers and riders from Squaw all season. Here are the most prominent solutions being thrown out there:
#1 – Open Cornice 2 on storm days. Especially weekend storm days.
This would open up more intermediate and advanced terrain. Give skiers/riders more terrain overall on a storm day. And, most importantly, this will relieve some of the lift line traffic that has been plaguing the other 4 chairs. We are pretty sure that this is what Alex built Cornice 2 for.
#2 – Replace Red Dog with a high speed quad.
A high speed quad at Red Dog seems to be a no brainer and would greatly reduce the wait and lift line size at Red Dog on Squaw storm days.
#3 – Run Olympic Lady Chair on Storm Days.
Squaw does do this now on occasion. Considering how much money they are making on storm days when the majority of the mountain is closed and tickets are still full price, we think they should have this open every storm day, especially on weekend storm days.
#4 – What is your suggestion? Please write in the comment box below what other solutions you think are appropriate for mitigating Squaw storm day lift lines. How can we spread the traffic out and get people smiling on busy storm days again?
Lets have an open brainstorm here and see what other solutions exist as well as which solutions make the most sense to us.