Squaw Valley ends ski and snowboard lift operations for 2016-17 season
The 2016-17 ski and snowboard season will go down as one of the best in recent memory, with many resorts holding out into the spring and summer months.
But on Saturday, July 15, it officially came to a close with the last remaining open resort, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, ending its lift operations.
After a historic run into the summer season, warming temperatures forced Squaw Valley to officially shutter its skiing operations, capping off a season in which it operated past July 4 for the first time in its history with a pair of Saturday riding sessions on July 8 and July 15.
The resort’s 200 days of skiing and snowboarding came as a result of a reported 728 inches of snow — the second most on record at Squaw. Records also fell during the season, according to a release from Squaw Valley, with January’s 228 inches of snow setting a resort record, which was then followed by February’s record-breaking 196 inches of snowfall.
“This season was one we will not soon forget,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Mother Nature dealt out her fair share of challenges, with snow totals, wind speeds and overall volatility of weather the likes of which have never been seen in the Sierra Nevada since ski areas have been in operation.
“The monumental snowpack, however, brought the historic opportunity to operate well into summer … our mountain operations team did a phenomenal job maintaining a fantastic snow surface, and we were able to offer beginner through advanced terrain, and even a large terrain park, right into July.”
The resort had aimed to continue lift operations into August, according to an email from Wirth, with plans of even delivering snow to bare patches via helicopter. But with summer temperatures climbing in the region, the snowpack has seen a rapid rate of melt, forcing the resort to end its skiing and snowboarding for the 2016-17 season.
Squaw Valley’s Aerial Tram will continue to operate daily through Sept. 4, from 10:40 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. The tram takes guests to the resort’s High Camp, which includes hiking trails, the Olympic Museum, dining, shopping, disc golf, and lawn games. The tram will also operate on Sept. 9-10, and Sept. 16-17.
The resort currently offers two packages for the Aerial Tram to High Camp which cost $25-30 for children ages 5-17, and $46-$55 for adults.
For more information or to purchase Aerial Tram passes visit squawalpine.com.