Squaw today was filled with deep turns and a pretty big scare for everyone with a large avalanche triggered above the fingers.  Everyone enjoyed an early KT opening, with some very, very deep and bottomless powder and Red Dog/Squaw Creek remained ripping well into the afternoon.

The conditions:

Red Dog/Squaw Creek

  • Bottomless pow
  • Moderate crowds but lines moved well
  • Near zero visibility in the afternoon
  • Along with exceptional rates of snowfall

The Avalanche on KT-22

  • Crown height appeared to be around 3 feet
  • Triggered by two snowboarders cutting into closed terrain
  • 1 Big Mountain team member was pulled from the KT chair (due to wind vacuum caused by the cascade of snow)
  • Patrol was amazingly quick to respond, on scene in under one minute
  • 1 injury and fortunately no deaths
  • The area had been bombed earlier that morning

We are extremely fortunate that no one was lost in the incident.  A huge thanks to the Squaw Valley Ski Patrol for their hard work in getting everything open, and for their exceptionally quick response (on scene in under a minute, avalanche rescue dogs on scene in under 5 minutes) as well as a huge thanks to the Squaw Valley Ski Team who turned out in mass to help with the coarse search.  Please remember folks, when patrol puts up a closed sign its there for a reason…to protect you and those around you.  This is a valuable less that we must not forget, peoples lives were jeopardized today as a result of poaching a closed zone.  If see a closure, especially in the midst of a storm, its there for a reason.

On a happier note, things are expected to go blue tomorrow!  That’s right, with well over 3 feet of storm totals we are going to have a powder bonanza tomorrow for Christmas Eve.  The skiing is schedule to be deep, soft, and epic!  Bring out the big sticks ladies and gents, things are going to be DEEP!!

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