Snow report: Travis Ganong details conditions at Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows began spinning its Summit Express lift on Monday
Courtesy of Ben Arnst / Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

After more than 2 feet of snow fell at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows last weekend, the resort is set to open more terrain, including Squaw Valley’s KT-22 chair, which will begin spinning Wednesday for the first time this season.

Recent storms have pushed Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ snow totals at its upper mountain areas past 100 inches for the season. The resort didn’t hit the 100-inch benchmark until Jan. 6 last season.

Video courtesy of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

“It’s amazing. Winter is on here,” said professional skier Travis Ganong on skiing at Alpine Meadows on Monday after competing last weekend at Xfinity Birds of Prey in Beaver Creek, Colorado. “I was just out in Colorado and up in Lake Louise, Canada, and conditions are good out there, but here, it’s unbelievable. We have so much snow, and before the holidays, having this much snow is amazing — some of the best early season coverage I’ve ever seen.”

Squaw Valley has received 110 inches of snow at its upper mountain, thus far. The resort will begin spinning KT-22 tomorrow morning.

Video courtesy of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows has been hit with 105 inches of snow this season. The mountain began spinning Summit Express yesterday and will fire up Sherwood Express tomorrow, giving skiers and riders access to the back bowls for the first time this season. Guests can also hop on the new Treeline Cirque chairlift to reach backside terrain from the base area in roughly 5 minutes. Alpine Meadows will have a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new $11 million, high-speed, detachable quad chairlift on Saturday morning. The first 50 people will receive free yeti mugs, and signature beanies.

Vail operated resorts

The area’s three Vail operated resorts, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Northstar California Resort are planning on opening more terrain ahead of this weekend.

Each resort has received more than 4 feet of snow in December, with Kirkwood leading the way at more than 6 feet for the month.

Heavenly, which has received 109 inches of snow this season will open the California side of the resort tomorrow. Starting tomorrow, Heavenly will have more than 50 open trails and more than 1,200 skiable acres. Guests will have access to terrain off of the Canyon Express, Sky Express, Powderbowl Express, and Patsy’s chairlifts. The resort’s Aerial Tramway, and Gunbarrel Express will also open tomorrow.

Kirkwood leads the Truckee-Tahoe area resorts with 125 inches of snow for the season, and is planning on opening the mountain in its entirety on Friday. The resort will be the first in the Tahoe Basin to offer access to 100% of its skiable terrain.

Near Truckee, Northstar is at 110 inches of snow for the season, and will open additional terrain on Friday via the Tahoe Zephyr Express chairlift, and the resort’s Cross-Country, Telemark and Snowshoe Center. On Friday, the resort will also begin its daily tradition of tōst, a 2 p.m. champagne or apple cider toast at the area’s only ski up bar.

At Donner Summit

Sugar Bowl Resort has reached 103 inches of snowfall for the season. The resort is spinning nine lifts, giving access to 88 runs.

Boreal Mountain California picked up 18 inches of new snow from the recent storms, moving the resort’s season total to 92 inches. Boreal is spinning six of its eight lifts, providing guests access to 15 trails.

Soda Springs is up to 86 inches of snow for the season, and has all five of its lifts spinning, giving access to seven trails.

Donner Ski Ranch is set to open on Saturday, conditions permitting.

Tahoe Donner

Tahoe Donner is scheduled to open the downhill area on Friday, conditions permitting.

Tahoe Donner is reporting a base of 36 inches of snow, and plans on spinning Eagle Rock Chairlift, Snowbird Chairlift, and Caterpillar Conveyor on opening day.

The Cross-Country Ski Center reported a base of 26 inches, and already has a lot of advanced through beginner trails open.

Around the lake

On Tahoe’s West Shore, Homewood Mountain Resort opened for the season last week. The resort has received 73 inches of snow this season at its summit, and currently has four of its eight lifts spinning, giving access to 39 trails.

Also on the West Shore, Granlibakken Tahoe will open for weekend skiing on Friday. Daily sledding is also scheduled to begin on Friday.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort has received 61 inches of snow this season, and has four lifts spinning.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe was hit with 28 inches of fresh snow from recent storms, giving the resort a total of 119 inches for the season. Mt. Rose currently has five of its lifts spinning.

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