Squaw Valley, CA Report: Private Powder Day on Palisades, Granite Chief Peak, Headwall!

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from January 22nd, 2020

Brought to you by Squaw Alpine

Squaw Valley ski resort in California reported 5″ of new snow this morning.

That snow came with big wind and warmer temperatures so we knew we needed to get high and hope the wind had buffed things out.

It had.

But not everywhere.

Tram Face today. image: snowbrains

We ran straight to Granite Chief and the snow wasn’t great up there – wet, funky, punchy, grabby, off-putting.

After one run, I ditched my friends for Headwall and it was the right call.

The winds on Headwall had smoothed things out, left steep zones soft, and even delivered a few landings for one to huck oneself into.

Silverado. image: snowbrains

I was pumped.

It was just me.

No one was skiing Headwall and the skiing was great.

The Andy Hays stretching it out. image: snowbrains

Heck, no one was skiing Squaw at all today.

The place was empty.

It felt like a private ski resort today…

Headwall wind-buff. image: snowbrains

I skied line after line in untouched snow off Headwall until I’d skied everything I wanted to ski there.

I met up with the boys again and we did a Broken Arrow lap whilst waiting for Granite Chief Peak to open.

Broken Arrow was gorgeous but the snow was cooked (expected due to south face and late in day) and grabby.

The Palisades. image: snowbrains

I lost my group in the descent but got word that the Palisades were going to open with Main Chute and Extra Chute seeing their season debuts.

I ran up the Palisades and Extra Chute was immaculate.

It was so good I had to run back up for another.

Unknown ripping Headwall Face. image: snowbrains

Then, on to Granite Chief Peak after meeting up with the legendary Paul Cotter on the Palisades.

I was tired.

Real tired.

Broken Arrow. image: snowbrains

I dragged up the peak and didn’t have the guts nor energy for Patrol Chute and opted for a neat little double drop next to Smooth Air.

I was extremely satisfied and barely able to ski my exhausted butt down the mountain.

What an incredibly amazing day.

Granite Chief trees. image: snowbrains

I had so much damn fun today.

No lift lines at all, fun/fast snow, everything open, good friends, big California sunshine.

Thanks much Squaw Valley Pro Ski Patrol!

Tram Face. image: snowbrains


image: squaw, 1/22/20


image: noaa, 1/22/20


Extra Chute and my track. image: snowbrains
Main Chute was open but so gnarly no one dropped it…. image: snowbrains
I found a Ski-Gee today! My first ever Sk-Gee!!! image: snowbrains
Apres Tea. image: snowbrains

Related Articles

One thought on “Squaw Valley, CA Report: Private Powder Day on Palisades, Granite Chief Peak, Headwall!

Got an opinion? Let us know...