Squallywood - Part 1
…Oh, who are we kidding – Squaw Valley, gentle? Hardly. An extreme skier’s paradise, Squaw Valley has been the subject of countless ski movies. Ever growing is the following of hardcore skiers trying to cut their teeth on the steep pitches of the Palisades, Granite Chief, Headwall, the Fingers – you get the idea. Looking at the rocky faces and exposed lines from the chairlift, the word “intimidation” comes to mind. You may have been standing atop the Palisades and slid your tips over the edge, only to feel a “puckering” sensation that sent you fleeing for the lodge and warm cup of comfort. You are not alone. The good news is, Squaw Valley has a lot to offer a wide range of skiers and snowboarders, looking to explore the “coolest terrain known to man”. Due to some of the improvements that the resort has made, you can still enjoy this wonderful mountain without the fear of coming to terms with your maker.
(Don't look down!)
Improvement #1: The new base to base gondola from Squaw Valley USA to Alpine Meadows. This will not be a ski in ski out sort of deal, but you will be able to easily access both resorts and see some truly magnificent views along the way. Alpine Meadows has a ton of great terrain and has an amazing local feel.
(Fairwell old monolithic '80s hair style)
Improvement #2: A new Siberia chair. The Siberia quad was one of the first detachable high speed four person chairlift in the USA. It was built in 1985. Like the mullets, jean shorts, and frizzy hair of the ‘80s, this lift has gone out of style. As you can imagine, it is old, slower than the new lifts, and incredibly unreliable. Being stuck for an hour on this lift was not only terrifying, but incredibly frustrating; especially when you watch all of the fresh tracks that were supposed to be yours being churned into moguls before your very eyes. Luckily, it has been dumped for a newer model – a 6 person, high speed chairlift that will whisk you to the base of the Palisades so you can climb up and come screaming down in record time!
With these new features, everyone will be able to enjoy Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows with a renewed sense of vigor and thrill. You will be able to watch some crazy locals “sending it” off cliffs that you originally thought were fit only for people wearing a parachute. Don’t be intimidated by the locals screaming and heckling each other on the lift but embrace the joy that is this special place and keep your eyes open, for you never know when you will see something truly extraordinary.