Squaw Valley snowmaking manager gives early-season update | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley snowmaking manager gives early-season update

This week’s storm has dropped more than a foot and a half of snow at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, and while fresh powder is a welcome sight for crews on the two mountains, the resort will still be relying on its extensive snowmaking system to bolster snowpack and open more terrain.

“We’ve been dealing with some warmer than normal temperatures for October and November, with a pretty bad inversion here at Squaw where the temperatures stay cold only in the base area,” said Mark Meyer, snowmaking manager at Squaw Valley, ahead of this week’s storm.

“With the storms we also get colder temperatures, so it’s great,” he added. “We are able to make snow up here now at the top.”

The fresh snow allowed Squaw to begin spinning its Exhibition lift on Wednesday. Squaw also has First Venture, SnoVentures Carpet, and Tucker open, along with the Aerial Tram.

“Right now our main focus is Red Dog and Squaw Creek. It’s getting close, we’re getting there, but it’s still a ways off,” said Meyer on the terrain expected to open next. “We’re also working on Gold Coast … then after that we’ll work on Mountain Run. We’ve got to break these things up into sections and right now it’s our lower mountain (that) is our focus.”

Alpine Meadows is currently spinning its Kangaroo lift, which gives access to intermediate to beginner terrain.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ snowmaking teams are able to make use of more than 300 guns across the two mountains. During the past seven years, the resort has invested roughly $9 million in snowmaking.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.