Its Snowing! Last Season’s Shred Stoke @ Squawalpine

Casey Cane |

Its finally SNOWING! So why not a 2017/18 recap-mega-blog of ‘Skiing is FUN and ALWAYS WILL BE regardless of the conditions even if Winter takes its sweet time!’



The Report: Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows, California, USA – Early December 2017 to Late March 2018 (injured mid-April through end of May)

Remember, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is just 1 of 38 iconic destinations available on the Ikon Pass.


Chapter I: Early December 2017 – Just enough but stoke meter at high levels…



It was a slow start to the season in Tahoe but after a few inches of snow, things started to look more and more like Winter. Who would have thought that 4 inches of snow at Alpine Meadows would turn the mountain into a legitimate powder day! While waiting for the Summit Chair to open, I lapped the steep section under Roundhouse Chair and given the year so far, I was pleasantly surprised on the coverage. Once Summit Chair opened, I ventured over into Wolverine Bowl and eventually poked around the nooks and crannies of Alpine Bowl. Mini golf lines were in play and felt great to finally get some solid runs under my feet. The day finished with laps on Kangaroo with my 6 year old daughter and yes, I am still the faster skier.

The forecast called for cold temps for the foreseeable future, so the snowmaking was cranked full force in order to open more glorious groomed terrain.


First day views are always nice…

View of Alpine Meadows from Squaw Valley…

Early season means more runs with the kiddos…

Parker Cane – Squaw Valley, CA

She found some steeper chalky conditions over on Shirley Lake…

Parker laying it down – Squaw Valley, CA

A small storm rolled through overnight and coated Tram Face…

Tram Face – Squaw Valley, CA

And so we decided to roll over to Alpine Meadows…

Token grom – Alpine Meadows, CA

With the guns pumping, we lapped some Kangaroo…

Actually not a bad pitch – Kangaroo Chair

Lack of crowds helped the father and daughter team get back into ski shape…

Parker Cane – Alpine Meadows, CA

Summit Chair popped so I took a look around…

Keyhole off of Alpine Bowl Chair – Alpine Meadows, CA

Idiots Delight and Wolverine Bowl showed promise…

This is looking good! – Alpine Meadows, CA

Traversing into lower keyhole provided the goods…

Alpine Bowl – Alpine Meadows, CA

The next day we stayed at Squaw to change up the scenery…

Olympic Lady – Squaw Valley, CA

Mountain Run Mama finds some soft snow on the right side…

Mountain Run – Squaw Valley, CA

Ski season means HOT COCOA BREAKS!!!

Grom & Hot Cocoa = Happiness

Chapter II: Mid to Late December 2017 – still thin, still fun, still skiing…even some pow.




Well, the winter season was officially upon us and the snow gods were STILL taking their sweet time in supplying the Tahoe area with the likes of a much needed 10 foot storm.
However, in the meantime, the days leading up to Xmas actually skied quite well! With my 6 year old daughter again in tow, and of course with some ski team and instructor help, we ventured out to ski what Squaw and Alpine had to offer.

The first day was spent cruising top to bottom runs on the Mountain Run, Squaw Creek and lapping Red Dog Face via Far East Express. Albeit it was all man-made snow, given the cold nights, the snow quality was much better than expected. The rest of the day was spent primarily following Jamie Blair making Super-G turns over every type of snow surface.

The following two days were spent at Alpine Meadows exploring some immaculately groomed runs on Kangaroo to Summit Chair, and adventure skiing in Pete’s Peril, Wolverine Bowl and Alpine Bowl. The groomers were in mid-winter egdeable form and the offpiste yielded firmpack to mid-winter chalky conditions. The sun was shining, the air temp comfortable and the skiing was carvetastically chalky.

On our final day, back at Squaw, a fast moving winter storm dropped around 5 inches of overnight on the upper mountain. With old buddy Dave in tow, we lapped Hogsback, Reverse Traverse, the Slot and skied some beautiful cold smoke under perfectly blue skies. Hogsback ended up being the deepest turns of the day due to the wind machine working its transporting magic.


With my daughter at Mighty Mites, Dad got to cruise around the hill…

Mighty Mites – Squaw Valley, CA

Hard to beat sunshine, snow and stellar views…

Top of KT-22 and Lake Tahoe…

Jamie Blair and I decided to go a carving mission, with the first stop being Squaw Creek…

Jamie Blair – Squaw Creek Carving

Red Dog had signs of winter all around…

Red Dog – Squaw Valley

We ended up lapping Far East Express over and over to ski Red Dog Face…

Casey Cane – Red Dog Face

The next day, we got some untracked corduroy on Kangaroo…

Corduroy lines…

Who doesn’t like going fast and feeling your skis bend

Turn for the quad burn…

After poking around, I found some decent snow near Pete’s Peril, so I got aggressive for no reason…

Casey Cane – Alpine Meadows, CA

You see, the soft snow was landing right next to those trees…

Early season air time…

Higher sections of Alpine Bowl were open and some chalky conditions were found offpiste…

Slash for the quad burn…

Jamie Blair selling real estate while carving turns…

Jamie Blair is a beast of a skier…

Chalk skiers know the drill…get low and charge hard

Casey Cane skiing chalk…

She still can’t beat me…

Family ski racing…

Well look at that, another fast-moving overnight storm! WE’LL TAKE IT!

I spy new snow…

On the first runs, we lapped the wind-blown powder of Hogsback and then headed over to the Slot. Not disappointed.

Casey Cane finds untracked turns at Squaw Valley USA…

One of those scenarios that you didn’t expect when you went to sleep the night before…

Slot early season powder…

Old buddy Dave is a having a good time…

David Metres – Hogsback – Squaw Valley

Fun laps with skis strapped to our feet, YIPPIE!

POV capture of a moment of zen…

As usual, Jamie Blair skiing like there is no tomorrow…

Jamie Blair – The Slot

Under the Headwall Chair, Jamie grabs some frequent flier miles…

Jamie Blair tucked and tight…

Sign of the times…

Famous Siberia signage…

A few more Headwall laps and it was time to head to non-skiing portion of the Xmas season…

Jamie Blair charging down Headwall…

Flash forward to MLK weekend and still no new snow to be found…but you know I’m still going to enjoy myself!

Views from Emigrant Chair…

The Squaw Creek groomer was still holding up quite well…

Rare appearance of the wife shredding…

North face of Headwall held some steep chalk…

North face of Headwall – Squaw Valley

So skiing conditions weren’t ideal but they were perfect for taking this guy out for the first time EVER!

Embry Cane on his first day skiing…

18 months old and riding the carpet of magic…

Tunnel of fun – Squaw Valley

He’s sure looking the part…

Embry in the Moment (see what I did there?)

Chapter III: Mid-January thru Mid-February 2018 gave us just enough snow to open up KT-22 and we went for it…




The bad news is that we were still waiting for measurable snow
with only a handful of storms reaching the Sierra. However, the weather had been AMAZING and the snow on north facing slopes has been quite fantastic! With most of the upper mountain terrain open, there was JUST enough to keep you occupied for an entire day.

From January until mid- February, the highlight reel included the opening of Headwall and KT-22…finally allowing laps on steeper terrain. I still can’t believe the mountain operations team opened the Mothership on the thinnest snowpack imaginable but I wasn’t complaining. Even more surprising, as most people headed to Siberia or Shirley, the Olympic Lady zone opened up to provide solid turns without a soul around. However, It did get quite adventurous (dirt patches) at the Exhibition lift elevation but that only made life more interesting.

Current weather models were indicating cold storms for March…so I say BRING IT ON!


Early Ups to slay some piste? Why not?

Early morning views…

Headwall provided to most varied terrain…

California skiing be like…

Even found some CHALK…YEWWWW!

Casey Cane wearing ski boots…

Yup, it snowed a bit… SO THEY WENT AHEAD AND OPENED KT-22!

Need some snow bro…

Back with my ski model, Jamie finds some soft snow under Headwall…

Jamie Blair – a skier skiing

Shadows and some soft snow works for me…

Casey Cane in The Slot…

At least it’s starting to look a lot more like Winter…

Sunbowl to Twin Peaks…

Mr. Blair slashes a wall near The Slot…

Jamie Blair still skiing…

Early season conditions persist on Chute 75…

Chute 75 is fun…

Inversion layering in the Tahoe region…

Top of Olympic Lady and beyond…

Headwall and Hogsback holding onto some coverage…

Headwall and Hogsback…

Spying on Siberia Express…

Siberia express in February 2018…

Shirley Chutes begging for snow…

Shirley Chutes – Squaw Valley USA

Granite Chief Peak views aren’t too shabby…

Granite Chief Peak…

Hey look, I found some hidden chalk and made a snow-fall!

Feeling the flow…

Ski with your kids they say…

Offspring skiing stoke…

Olympic Lady zone finally opened and go figure, Jamie Blair showed up …

Jamie Blair in Oly Lady steeps…

Remember when patrol was warning people about the lower sections of KT? This is that day…

Jamie Blair scoping his line…

Nobody was skiing this, so I literally lapped it all day. Even grabbed from son early from Mighty Mites and took a couple laps…

Casey Cane chuting…

Skiing is always fun…

Casey Cane in low-tide extreme mode…

Chapter IV: Early March 2018 – Massive storms pummel the region and stoke meter at high levels…



FINALLY! The first mega storm hit the Tahoe region at the beginning of March and dropped anywhere from 3-7 feet of the white stuff. Traffic and road closures riddled the weekend warriors like myself, so thankfully, I took off work Monday and Tuesday to sample the fantastic remnants of the storm.

To get my fix, I spent Monday afternoon entirely on KT-22, sampling all open terrain from East to West, North and South. Sure, there’s still some areas that scream ‘low-tide,’ but hallelujah, what an improvement! On Tuesday, I played around on the Palisades, Upper Sun Bowl and then drove over to Alpine Meadows to hit the ridges and bowls with Nate Kushlan. Thankfully, we found untracked chutes in Keyhole and fluffy low-moisture snow in Estelle Bowl…all in glorious California sunshine.

Another massive storm hit the area around mid-March. My oldest and I decided to take a sick day and spend some time skiing some cut-up powder on ALL open areas of a mid-week quiet mountain.


Now that’s more like it Squaw Valley USA…

Now that’s California coverage…

All my favorite zones are finally starting to fill in…

Tip toeing down narrow channels…

Upper Sun Bowl views…

Lovely landscape of the Sierra…

And then a quick drive to Alpine Meadow to meet up with Nate…

Where’s Lake Tahoe?

Two-day old pockets of fluff in Keyhole…

Nate Kushlan slays a pow turn – Alpine Meadows, CA

We JUST had to wait until March for this…

Casey Cane trying to hide – Alpine Meadows, CA

Nate scopes some danger to avoid…

Alpine Bowl steeps…

Ahhhh, the infamous ridge to the Bowls at Alpine Meadows…

Do you drop now or keep going?

Yeah, we are partial to Estelle Bowl too …

Nate Kushlan in Estelle Bowl…

Just point it and turn…QUICKLY!

Casey Cane in a Moment – Estelle Bowl

Estelle Bowl is great because it has a few different routes off the top…

Casey Cane – Estelle Bowl – Alpine Meadows, CA

Estelle Bowl also has some airs…

Casey Cane, a skier born in California

The next morning it was time to play on KT-22…

Banana Chute – Squaw Valley, CA

By mid-March, the mountain was looking amazing…

Classic shot of The Fingers – Squaw Valley USA

And of course, The Palisades…

The Palisades – Squaw Valley, CA

Following the oldest kid down to Shirley Lake…

Holden Cane – Shirley Lake

Old Blue saying hello on a beautiful day…

Loving Lake Tahoe…

Some sunny steep spines on The Slot were in order …

The Slot on a sunny morning in March 2018…

Don’t underestimate the terrain under Red Dog …

Red Dog steeps – Squaw Valley

Olympic Lady looking nice in her new makeup…

Such a fun area – Olympic Lady

Squaw Creek has some tasty tree skiing as well…

Squaw Creek – Squaw Valley, CA

Bottom of Silverado never received the required snowpack, but we did get some token Broken Arrow laps before the snow melted…

After that, I headed to Haines, Alaska and then immediately sprained my left ankle like a boss…wasn’t until late May until I made some turns at Mammoth

BUT HEY, SQUAW AND ALPINE ARE OPEN…SO GET OUT THERE!


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