Palisades Tahoe, CA Operations Update For Sunday, March 12: The Never-Ending Storm Cycle

Miles Clark | | Industry NewsIndustry News

Operations Update: The Never-Ending Storm Cycle + Sunday Expectations

Following a very wet 36 hours, we achieved the opening goals we set yesterday and got every lift that we expected today, thanks to the hard work of our ops teams. Seriously, it is hard work out there: So many people are out there digging chairlifts out by hand after spending the early morning hours digging their vehicles and homes out first. Our snowpack is very saturated with water and heavy, which can also make things difficult for our grooming machines. We truly have no clear days in the forecast to recover from this wet weather event, so we appreciate your patience.

Photo above: Trying to get into the KT Patrol Shack this morning. Taken by Pat Plexico.


In our base areas, expect a mix of rain and snow through tomorrow night. Above 7,000 ft. we should see all snow but it will be thick and wet. By Sunday night, we could see snow totals of:

  • 12-18 inches at the base.
  • 17-23 inches at mid-mountain elevations.
  • 21-27 inches on the upper mountain above 8,000 feet.

It is also going to be windy throughout these next few days, so even if we are able to dig out upper mountain or ridgeline lifts and get some running, winds could then impact their operation.

Another large (and wet) storm cycle is moving in from Monday to Wednesday. By Wednesday morning, we could see snow totals of:

  • 7-13 inches at the base.
  • 13-24 inches at mid-mountain elevations.
  • 24-34 inches on the upper mountain above 8,000 feet.

The Coin Op Patrol Shack buried at Palisades. Photos: Nick McMahon, Palisades Grooming


Our groomed trail offering will be very limited throughout this storm cycle. Our grooming crews are focused on maintaining key arteries, chairlift ramps, and crucial runs. We have so much snow that overhead clearance is also becoming an issue in some areas for our snowcats. We appreciate your understanding as we work through this.

Additionally, we want to emphasize that snow levels have been unpredictable throughout the past few days. They will continue to be unpredictable through Wednesday. Our plans may change based on the amount of snow we get. We often do not know what to expect until we arrive in the early morning and see what the storm has done.


  • We hope to have the same chairlifts tomorrow as we did today: RoundhouseTreeline CirqueSherwoodSubway, and Meadow. We will add other chairlifts if conditions allow.
  • We had a power issue earlier today that affected Roundhouse and Treeline Cirque, but we expect it to be resolved tomorrow.


  • Tomorrow we plan to run Resort Chair, First VenturesFar EastRed DogExhibitionKT-22, the FunitelGold CoastShirleySolitudeBig BlueMountain MeadowBailey’s Beach, and the Aerial Tram. Our upper lift maintenance teams have been out there all day breaking chairlifts free from ice.
  • The Base to Base Gondola will be running from the Palisades side to the KT-22 mid-station only.
  • We have not touched HeadwallGranite Chief, or Emigrant. We do not expect to open these chairlifts tomorrow.


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