Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA Opens Today, a Day Earlier Than Planned

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Squaw Valley, california, opening day
Squaw Creek will be open on November 24. Photo taken yesterday by Kate Abraham / SVAM

The time has finally come to strap back on our boards and hit the slopes – the 2020/21 winter season at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will kick off today! The snowmaking, grooming, and operations teams have made the most of November snowfall and snowmaking temperatures, allowing for an opening day one day earlier than planned.

The resort will open with five chairlifts, one magic carpet, and two terrain parks open across both mountains, accessing beginner and intermediate terrain.

An opening day first, Alpine Meadows will start the season by spinning Treeline Cirque open to the mid-station and Roundhouse chairlift. These lifts will provide wide, intermediate runs and access to the Tiegel Terrain park with 6-8 features. Squaw Valley will open with the Red Dog, Squaw Creek, and Exhibition chairlifts, with access to a variety of intermediate terrain and views of Lake Tahoe! In the SnoVentures area, a magic carpet will access beginner terrain along with four terrain park features.

Squaw Valley, alpine meadows, california, opening day
The Tiegel Terrain Park at Alpine Meadows will have 6-8 features ready to rip for Opening Day. Photo: Joey Miller / SVAM

On their website, the resort details what you can expect on opening day, and throughout the season:

How Things Will Look Different This Opening Day

With the safety of our guests, employees, and community as a top priority, we are excited to welcome you back to our mountains–with new updated policies. The resort has invested $1 million in COVID-19 safety equipment and will be requiring guests to physically distance and wear a face covering of two or more layers. Guests can find detailed information about COVID-19 policies and practices on the 2020-21 Winter Experience page and ten things they need to know on the resort blog. Downloading the Squaw Alpine app and enabling notifications is the best way to get fast and accurate information on lift openings, new snow, and terrain.  Here are a few key things you need to know:

1. Face Coverings Are Required

You will need to wear a face-covering with two or more layers indoors and outdoors where distancing can’t be achieved. This can be the same 2+ layer mask you’ve been wearing to the grocery store or if you want to wear a neck gaiter for warmth, make sure that it has two layers of fabric or is folded to make two layers. You can check the CDC website for more detailed information on how to select and wear your face covering this winter.

Face coverings are required everywhere indoors, throughout the Village, parking lots, shuttle busses, lift lines, and on the chairlift… pretty much every place you can be except while you are skiing and riding. If you need a mask, many of our local shops sell them.

2. Lift Lines Will Look Longer Because of Social Distancing

Don’t be surprised if you see a longer line at the bottom of Red Dog or Treeline Cirque. We’ll be loading chairs at reduced capacities and we’ll be rearranging our lift mazes to have wider, longer lanes and adding signage to encourage social distancing. Remember to give a ski’s length of distance between you and your neighbors. You’ll still get to ski, so be patient with us as we work through this process.

3. Chairlifts Will Be Loaded Differently

Guests will be asked to self-group with people who are within their party. Lift attendants will not actively work to fill chairs, and will not require guests to ride a chairlift with people they do not know.

4. Food Will Be Grab-And-Go and Must Be Eaten Outdoors

Yes, you can still grab a bite to eat during and after your ski day. But it’ll look a little different this year, with more outdoor dining, more grab-and-go options, and more people posting up at their cars with a brought-from-home picnic. Make a plan ahead of time: Pack a cooler and some blankets in your car, check out our restaurants that offer online ordering, or wear an extra layer to dine outside.

This week, these restaurants will be serving to-go food and drinks:

  • Oh! Burger:  10am-3:30pm daily
  • Rocker:  11am-9pm daily
  • Starbucks: 7 am-5 pm daily
  • MTN Roots Food Truck: 8 am-2 pm Friday-Monday. Currently located in the Village between Rocker and the Funitel
  • Auld Dubliner: 11 am-9 pm Thursday-Monday
  • Fireside Pizza Company: 12-8 pm Friday-Tuesday
  • Tremigo Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar: 11 am-9 pm Tuesday-Sunday
  • Meadows Cafe: 8:30 am-4 pm daily

5. Show Up With Your Season Pass

This season, we’re eliminating walk-up lift tickets sold at the window. So be sure to bring your season pass in order to go straight to the lift. We are currently offering limited midweek lift tickets available starting after January 4. Guests who book a ski or snowboard school lesson, rentals or demos, or book lodging at The Village at Squaw Valley will have priority access to tickets and will be able to book tickets prior to January 4.

Mammoth or Squaw
Squaw Valley’s trail map. Credit: Squaw Valley

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One thought on “Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA Opens Today, a Day Earlier Than Planned

  1. Good luck w all that
    Squaw’s lifts run ridiculously slower than any other mountain.
    Oh right squaw built the new Red dog 6 pack lift in 2011 remember….uh not slowest fixed grip triple chair ever….
    Oh boy

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