A view of the trees this summer on Eastside prior to removal of the dead trees.

Back in August of 2021, Sierra-At-Tahoe in California was rattled by the Caldor Fire. Many of the trees that were a part of the skiable terrain were burnt, and they were unable to open for most of the 2021-22 season. Thanks to intense clearing efforts in the 2022 offseason, Sierra was able to reopen for a powder-filled 2022-23 season.

Last Friday, Sierra-At-Tahoe gave its latest update on the recovery process. The efforts are being led by the ski resort, El Dorado RCD, and the United States Forest Service.

Unfortunately, many trees have needed to be removed from the mountain. When wildfires occur, “beetles, disease impacts or stress” lead to delayed tree mortality across the affected forests. This unfortunately happened at Sierra, with the Western White Pine and Red Fir trees being most affected.

Work began for phase two of the restoration on July 1st. On August 7th, they began using a helicopter to transfer trees from hard-to-reach areas to a staging zone. By August 15th, 2.5 million gross board feet had been transferred to Tahoe Forest Products. They’ve been delivering 30-40 truckloads a day to Tahoe Forest Products, which is impressive considering a single log weighs 10,000 pounds. For the timber that’s not sellable, they’re chipping it and placing it across the mountain for insulation, which increases snow preservation during the early and late seasons.

With these steps being completed, Sierra is nearing the end of phase two of the recovery process, which will give guests the chance to experience the ‘newest terrain’ in the ski industry.

Here are the trails and glades that they’ve been focusing on for this offseason:

  • The eastern areas between Rerun + Castle. 
  • The eastern areas of Castle + Preacher’s Passion going towards the Grandview rope line. 
  • The backside (Huckleberry Canyon). 
  • The front side (Avalanche Bowl, areas around Chute + Main)

This second phase of restoration will allow skiers and riders next season to shred “new views, new lines, and bigger bowls. A video update from Sierra-At-Tahoe is below.

Image/Video Credits: Sierra-At-Tahoe

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