Sugar Bowl is open! Basically, Nob Hill for beginners and the main intermediate trails off Christmas Tree and Mt. Lincoln. But it’s a start. The basic Sugar Bowl day pass reduced from $82 to $72 for now.
Squaw will be opening up intermediate trails off Exhibition, Red Dog and Squaw Creek and Gold Coast throughout the day, plus the base area learn-to-ski lifts. Mountain Run is NOT open. Though the snow is very light powder I recommend rock skis and keeping your eyes open as there’s minimal base. It’s also damn cold!
As of Saturday morning Squaw reports 15″ inches at the top, 6″ at the base. Alpine Meadows reports 14″ at the base. Though both upper Squaw and lower Alpine report equivalent bases around 21″ Squaw will likely reopen Sunday after the storm passes but Alpine won’t open for the season until Friday, Dec. 13. How auspicious!
The thing is, Alpine seems to be better situated to trap scanty early season snow than Squaw yet is clearly the poor stepchild regarding operations budgets.
Discounts are still available for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze passes till Dec. 16. After that they all go up by approximately $150.
The storm is dropping less snow than predicted, about 1-2″ at Upper Squaw and Donner Summit. But’s a cold one!
The rundown on the available skiing for the near future is:
Boreal: an intermediate terrain park and one intermediate run to the top. Snow play and their Woodward indoor facility are also going.
Squaw: the 1st-time beginner runs at the base, and for intermediates it’s one run off of Gold Coast and Exhibition.
Heavenly: for intermediates Upper Big Dipper, Upper California Trail and Tamarack Return. Access from the Village Gondola.
Kirkwood: one or two intermediate runs off Solitude char.
Mt. Rose: Closed through Tuesday.
The scant snowfall means little Thanksgiving skiing and boarding but that the major peaks and signature high elevation trails are effectively closed to the average hiker and cyclist.
However, there’s still some good summertime stuff open in Tahoe Donner. The pleasant and mostly flat hiking/cycling loops in the Euer Valley are clear from the trailhead at the end of Alder Creek Drive.
Tahoe’s easiest hike/bike ride with ridge and summit views, from the Glacier Way trailhead along Donner Ridge to Hawk’s Peak, is also mostly clear or with less than 1″ on the south/east-facing slopes. Official, updated trail maps here.
Boreal has its intermediate lift to the top of the ridge open for the weekend, with decently deep, but not wide coverage. A shorter lift serving the terrain park is also open.
It’s official, Highways 4 over Ebbets Pass, 108 over Sonora Pass, and 120 through Yosemite have just closed, hopefully for the winter.
Boreal is open, though with just one or two short beginner lifts halfway to the top going. Mammoth is also open, with Facelift and 2 others providing some longer intermediate groomed skiing.
Snow levels at 7000′ are a little high now to help Boreal much. Bryan Alleghretto‘s OpenSnow forecast is calling for snow levels to drop through several small waves by Thursday, with anywhere from 6-12 inches total, depending on altitude. Perhaps by the weekend with snowmaking Boreal will be open to the top. Check before you go and invest in the gas and the ticket.
Check out general lake tahoe weather, road and snow conditions.
Just for the record, here’s rundown of the most reliable.
Weather and Snow Forecasts
Not exactly what they mean by evolution in action…
There’s a surprisingly in-depth Sacramento Bee article about the ongoing bear wars in Incline Village with Ann Bryant as usual in the thick of it. Personally, I think the Bear League’s de facto attitude that bears can be omnipresent and safe neighborhood pets is naive and the belief that a bear invading an occupied home is not a threat downright scary. However the real issue is why Incline is so slow to mandate bear-proof garbage enclosures. That’s been the policy here in Tahoe Donner for almost a decade with virtually no resistance from property owners when it was first proposed. They’re really not that expensive given the many other high costs of mountain property ownership and Incline is a bit more affluent than TD.
The northern Sierra Nevada’s premier harvest festival, The Tahoe Donner Fall Festival, has arrived! This year it’s Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10am-5pm at the Northwoods Clubhouse, 11509 Northwoods Blvd., right next to the intersection of Northwoods and Northwoods. Note this is unaffected by the government shutdown.
It will feature a beer garden with local craft beers for the adults, an elaborate playground with rides and climbing wall for the kids, a magic show, and several live acts. Featured is The Sneaky Creatures, a “mischievous, alt-gypsy sextet combining swing, rock, jazz and Dixieland funk” Hmmm.
There will be pumpkin patch featuring a cornocupia of pumpkins. Of course the public is invited, with admission $15 for an unlimited ticket (beer not included) and $1 per individual ticket.
The Truckee Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring its annual series of Donner Pass history hikes Saturday, Oct. 7. There are 7 to chose from, varying in difficulty, exploring the Donner Party and California Trail routes and sites as well as simply visiting some pleasant, little-known mountain lakes.
Full event info is here.