Squaw Valley skiers get extended season | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley skiers get extended season

The endless summer may've already been done, but this year Lake Tahoe skiers and snowboarders can look forward to a seemingly endless winter, as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows prepares to remain open indefinitely beyond the Fourth of July.

"We are in the business of skiing here at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, and engaging creative solutions to take advantage of this historic snow year is an irresistible proposition," said Squaw Valley Ski Holdings President and CEO Andy Wirth in a statement.

"To many of our guests, the idea of summer skiing and riding is a novelty, but with the season we've had here we can provide a surface for skiing and riding that guests will want to enjoy not just once, but weekend after weekend."

The resort plans to use what it calls "strategic movement of snow using grooming machines" to provide skiing and riding operations as long as conditions allow. No closing date has yet been scheduled.

Squaw Alpine is the only Lake Tahoe-area resort planning on remaining open after May this year, thanks to record snowfall totals.

According to the resort, 714 inches of snow fell at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows this past winter.

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The announcement comes just after researchers at the California Department of Water Resources declared the current water year the wettest on record for Northern California. Last month, the total amount of precipitation for the current water year surpassed the record set in 1983 of 88.5 inches.

"Although we broke the record for annual precipitation, the amount of snowpack in the Sierra (about 163 percent of normal through April 1, 2017) is much less than there was in 1983 (more than 227 percent of normal)" said U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologist Mike Dettinger in a statement.

But even though the snowfall record wasn't broken, the region is still benefitting from the most snowfall it has received in recent years.

Squaw Valley will continue to offer skiing and snowboarding seven days a week through May, on the weekends in June and from July 1-4.

The resort plans to operate the Shirley Lake Express chair on Saturdays for 2017-18 Tahoe Super Pass holders after July 4, and discounted daily lift tickets will also be available.

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at arhoades@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @akrhoades.