Squaw Valley, CA Plans To OPEN Silverado Next Week

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Silverado from the air. photo: points north heli
Silverado from the air. photo: points north heli

Silverado is one of best lifts and best zones at Squaw Valley, CA and Squaw is talking about opening it next week.  Silverado has not yet opened this season.

This lift offers up about 500 acres of challenging, techy terrain below High Camp.  The famous China Wall has been the location of at lest 2 Freeride World Tour events in the past.

Lines like The Drifter, The Spigot, Frogs & Toads, Gotts, and the classic backflip off the tram building freak out, scare, and challenge even the best skiers and riders (see Squallywood The Book).

The Backy off the tram building, The Drifter, and Gotts are 3 of my favorite lines at Squaw.

Miles Clark throwing a Shane McConkey tribute backflip off the Tram building into Silverado. photo: hank devre'
Miles Clark throwing a Shane McConkey tribute backflip off the Tram building into Silverado in March 2011. photo: hank devre’


by Squaw Valley

Operations Update, February 1, 2017

Lots of questions on Silverado, but there is not much to share, unfortunately due to the ongoing investigation from last week. Our patrol team and mountain operations teams are working to get back into their normal routine after the loss of our dear friend, Joe Zuiches. We ask that you are patient with our teams as we get back to normalcy.

What we can tell you is if our teams have stockpiled materials in Silverado in order to be prepared to reset boundaries, perform control work and mark hazards after this storm cycle that is moving in today and through the weekend. The Oregon Trail will also need to be recut (see below how this is the key to Silverado), so we believe Silverado will be on the schedule early of next week. We can’t put a specific date on it just yet, but we can tell you we are prepared to get this coveted terrain open as soon as weather and conditions allow.

Oregon Trail is the Key to Unlocking Silverado

Oregon Trail is essential to opening Silverado terrain. Just like every lift at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, we need access to construct a road to the lower terminal that permits snowcat access for medical emergencies. Only a few team members can cut this road due to the complexity of navigating this difficult terrain. First off, we have to wait until there is sufficient snow depth and density, before the road can be built over this extremely rocky area for the snow to settle otherwise it has no consistency. It’s been sitting for a while and we knew this was our chance to get in there start building the road and have. Second, the path beneath the Iron Curtain, and between the Creek and the lower terminal, are very steep, exposed, rocky and prone to avalanches. After the road is built, and a ramp is constructed at the lower terminal in order to allow loading and lift use, Patrol can complete control work, then begin setting up boundaries and marking hazards off. This set up typically takes a day due to extreme terrain and vastness of this zone.

Freeride World Tour in Silverado. photo: freeride world tour
Freeride World Tour in Silverado. photo: freeride world tour

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6 thoughts on “Squaw Valley, CA Plans To OPEN Silverado Next Week

  1. With the season lift, and trail operation this season, having so many areas closed, I been forced to ski at flat star where they at least they open the mountain.
    When Alex, and Nancy were in charge Squaw lifts, and runs would be open “snow permitting”.
    There have been so many powder days this season where the terrain has not been open.
    Everyone is talking about it, and wondering…what is going on?
    Squaw has had a status as one of the premier ski resorts in the US, I hate to see them lose this.
    It’s a big snow season, but there have been big snow years before, what’s up??
    Is it more important to construct as many condominiums as possible, or give the faithful Squaw skiers access to one of the best mountains in the US?

  2. Good job Squaw Valley! you managed to keep us out of Silverado for the entire Powder season! Now it’s raining and then is going to ice over will make it super dangerous so unlikely it will ever open this season. This is just further evidence that all the problems we’re facing this year are due to corporate decisions to understaff the mountain for adequate ski operation.

  3. As soon as weather and conditions allow? They allowed for access 2 weeks ago when JT and Warren Miller were shooting in there–the road was in and the lift was spinning. Both weather and conditions allowed for it this past week again when they put the road in.

    But it’s cool, Squaw Valley. We’ll just wait until a rain event with 9,000ft snow levels. Then, yeah, go crazy. Open that shit.

    And they wonder why people are mad about operations. Jesus.

  4. with rain in the forecast for tuesday it seems like it will be tough to get it open safely… cant wait to ski it though!

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