Squaw Valley, CA Report: Upper Mountain NOW OPEN After 19″ of Snow in Past Week

Galen Carrico | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
A sample of some of the untracked lines that were available late into the day on 12/18/2020 at Squaw Valley, CA. Photo Credit: Galen Carrico

Brought to you by Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows.

This report is from December 18th, 2020, at Squaw Valley, California.

After nearly 20 inches of fresh snow fell at Squaw Valley, California, this past week, the upper mountain that had been left mostly untouched this season was finally up for up grabs.  The snow had caked the upper mountain, and it was cold, plentiful, and about boot deep. There were many lines finally open and many turns to leave (or envy) all over the mountain. It was such an incredible Friday that I spent more time riding and less time shooting photos. The weather was perfect, and the snow was exactly what Tahoe has been waiting for since the season was cut short in March.

Caught a shot of this young ripper sending it off of the kicker underneath Siberia. Photo Credit: Galen Carrico and Mitch Milbauer.

People were sending it all over the resort on Friday. The snow stayed good in the shade and on the North-facing runs late into the afternoon since it stayed relatively cold. I watched some crews of young shredders sending it off of Kangaroo Kicker with everyone riding Sibo cheering them on. There were some backflips and one of the biggest daffies I’ve ever seen, harking it back to the classic extreme skiing days that have made Squaw Valley legendary. The Palisades were not yet open, but Ski Patrol did open up the Reverse Traverse, allowing some steep and deep turns down Headwall. I noticed some even made the trek to the lower reaches of KT’s West Face and the bottom of Moseley’s.

Checking out the Palisades from Siberia. Photo Credit: Galen Carrico
Some deep turns left at the bottom of Moseley’s with the crescent moon setting. Photo Credit: Galen Carrico

Siberia and Shirley Lake opened, allowing skiers and riders to spread out all over the mountain. The Funitel can transport seven people at a time, and it is standing-room-only. Big Blue and Gold Coast were also open along with Squaw One, Far East Express, Exhibition, Red Dog, and Squaw Creek. I noticed Belmont looked to open on Sunday, and the park was all set up for sunny days ahead. The lake’s views from the top of the mountain were incredible as the Sierra had a nice blanket of white after several storms hit the area during the last few weeks.

Getting some turn envy from the Funitel. Photo Credit: Galen Carrico

I heard from a few friends who went to Alpine on the morning of the 18th and Saturday the 19th, and the sentiment was the same: it was amazing to have the upper peaks open, and North-facing slopes held untracked snow in the morning and packed powder into the afternoon. Summit Six is now open, which leaves most of the front side of Alpine Meadows ready to shred.

Snow-covered trees near the bottom of Far East Express. Photo: Galen Carrico.

The forecast for the upcoming holidays was looking dry but has now trended towards a stormier outlook. There is a chance for a dusting of snow on Tuesday and/or Wednesday. Looking farther into the forecast, it appears we have an outside chance for a snowy Christmas in the Tahoe area. We shall see what happens with the weather, but there is plenty of snow and terrain open to get outside for some fun in the sun for now.


Weather Forecast and Snow numbers: 12/20/2020. Credit: https://www.squawalpine.com/mountain-information/snow-and-weather
Snow Forecast: 12/20/2020: https://www.squawalpine.com/mountain-information/snow-and-weather


One of the many young rippers at Squaw dropping into Siberia Bowl with Lake Tahoe in the background. Photo Credit: Galen Carrico
Some hero lines below KT. Photo Credit: Galen Carrico
A preview of KT. Perhaps another storm or two will get The Mothership turning. Photo: Galen Carrico

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