The snow is coming down so let’s take a little trip to Lake Tahoe. Sound good to me! As of this writing Squaw Valley has received 32-38″ in the last 24 hours, 56-62 in the last 48 hours, and the storm total is up to 82-96″. I always seem to get lucky when I’m out west but this is just unbelievable.
We left San Francisco at 10:15pm in the hopes that less traffic would be on the road since the storm was so big. It started off really well, but once vehicles were stopping on I-80 to put on snow chains the flow started to come to a halt. A three and a half hour trip took six hours and we got to Squaw Valley at 4:15am. It took another thirty minutes just to get the car up the road, into the driveway and our luggage into the house. At 6:00am we finally got to sleep and it was really just a power nap because the lifts open at 8:30am. That 7:30 alarm for me was like being a kid in a candy store because it’s not often that you get over seven feet of fresh snow in two days. It was going to be one of those epic powder days that you remember for a long time.
On our first chair up you could hear the avalanche cannons going off which always just adds to the excitement because you know there is some serious snow. Run number quickly got off to a rough start for Georgeanna because she fell in some deep stuff. I waited for five or ten minutes and didn’t see her so it was time to go. As they say, you don’t have friends on a powder day. If you have never experienced powder let alone a storm of this magnitude it’s somewhat indescribable. The feeling of just floating down a mountain with snow above your knees and hitting you in the face is what it’s all about.
Later in the day an area of the mountain opened called Granite Chief. We just happened to be right at the chair and waited for people to start loading. Everyone cheered because this lift hadn’t opened the entire storm so it was completely untouched terrain. On our run down the chair passes over a thirty foot rocky cliff section that I have thought about doing on prior trips but this was the day to actually consider it. Powder equals more courage so I stood over it, used people in the oncoming chairs as spotters to let me know where I could safely clear and just pointed it. Right when you jump you hear nothing, it just goes totally silent. You just have to focus on nailing the landing and trying to ride it out. Jumping is the easy part; it’s the landing where you can go wrong. I stomped it! When I rode it out you could hear everyone on the lifts cheering for me because they love to see people throwing caution to the wind and going for it. I had perma-grin that you just couldn’t whip off.
Went to: Blue Coyote – dinner in the village