The winter that seemed never-ending in the Sierra isn’t going away soon at Squaw Valley.
The site of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, which received more than 714 inches of snow between October and May, announced recently that will it stay open as long as possible, maybe even into early autumn — or later.
“To many of our guests, the idea of summer skiing and riding is a novelty,” said Squaw president and CEO Andy Wirth, ” but with the season we’ve had . . . we can provide a surface for skiing and riding that guests will want to enjoy not just once but weekend after weekend.”
“We are in the business of skiing,” he added, “. . . and engaging creative solutions to take advantage of this historic snow year is an irresistible proposition,”
Squaw, which like the rest of the Sierra was pummeled by 10 “atmospheric river” storms this past winter (the average is around three or four annually), resulting in the wettest winter on record, currently has a nearly 20-foot snowpack on the more sheltered areas of the resort. This is allowing the resort to remain open on a daily basis until the end of May; after that, Squaw will operate on weekends through June until July 4.
Saturdays on Shirley
After Independence Day has come and gone, Squaw says it will operate the Shirley Lake lift, whose runs face northwest and therefore are bit less affected by the sun, on Saturdays until there is no more snow to ski or snowboard on. Squaw plans to move snow around the mountain to maintain a rideable pack on the Shirley Lake runs.
Skiers and snowboarders who wish to ride on lift-serviced runs in mid- to late-summer for the first time in Lake Tahoe-area history will access Shirley Lake via the tram to High Camp, whence they will have to hike less than half a mile to the open runs.