Squaw Valley USA (squallywood)
The Vitals- Vertical
2,850' Acres 4,000 Average Snowfall 450 inches
Video - 5-04-07 Chimney rock and North
Nissan Tram Face - Only North American stop of the Freeride World Tour
legend that is Squaw Valley is as much about the legends that created
it. The tenacity and perseverance of Alex Cushing. It was Scott Schmidt
that rewrote skiing history here, making it the hotbed of a new
movement in the 80's. Out of the hotbed came the likes of Shane
McConkey, Kent Krietler, Jamie Burge, and more. Squaw has created this
atmosphere with three things; snow, terrain, and a commitment to
unadulterated fun in the mountains. It's not just for winter any more
either. High Camp provides activities year round including the Olympic
Ice Pavilion, Shopping, Dining, and the (definitely not Olympic) Pool
Lagoon and spa. World class golf has a home in Olympic Valley at The
Resort at Squaw Creek. There's more. At the bottom is the Challenge Ropes Course, which makes for an excellent corporate team building adventure.
But lets face it. it's really all about the skiing. KT-22. Headwall.
Palisades Every resort has a Palisades. None like Squaw's. Granite
Chief. Broken Arrow. Schmidiots. Mainline. Each of these runs has been
in dozens of movies. The infamous "Chinese Downhill" of Hot Dog fame
started from the top of Siberia Bowl.
There are six peaks to Squaw Valley
King (7550') - Nice cruisers and some excellent powder stashes that
still produce long after KT has bumped out. This area has good northern
exposure to hold the powder but beware the low elevation. It can be all
rain when Granite Chief is all snow.
- KT-22 (8200')
- Fantastic advanced terrain from top to bottom. It's 2000' of fall
line vertical right back to the express chair. This area gets pounded
first and hardest on powder days.
- Squaw Peak
(8900') - Home of the Palisades, some of the ost famous ski terrain on
the planet. This peak is served by two express chairs (Siberia and
Headwall), each on one side of the palisades.
(8700') - Big blue cruisers from the top of the lifts down to Gold
Coast or off towards Shirley Lake. The steep powderfields of Silverado
could also be considered lower Emigrant.
Chief (9050') - Forms a bowl with steep, north facing chutes on one
side (best snow on the mountain), wide open south facing glades on the
other, and a fall line bump run down the middle.
Arrow (8020') - Has some great chutes with lots of interesting granite.
Provides a more interesting way down for experts at the end of the day
than Mountain Run.
Squaw has plenty
of terrain for almost every rider. Some would say the intermediate
runs, though plentiful, could be moreso to alleviate crowding. Here is
a general guide to where you will find your type of terrain at Squaw.
- There are two main areas for beginners. High Camp has a large, gentle
bowl with views of Lake Tahoe, and several beginners' lifts. It's nice
to get beginners up into the Alpine environs so they get a true feeling
for the sport. At other resorts, some folks never get past their first
day and think skiing happens in a parking lot. When conditions at High
Camp are less than favorable the lower mountain holds the Papoose
Learning Area, also with several lifts and abundant gentle terrain.
- Intermediates will find suitable terrain in the Snow King area as
well as the Shirley Lake and Emigrant Peak areas. The main problem
intermediates have at Squaw arises from the fact that much of the
intermediate terrain is used for everyone to get around the mountain,
making it overcrowded. Once you get to advanced intermediate, your
- Experts - Your options are pretty
much unlimited. All of Squaw's six peaks have expert terrain to some
extent. KT-22, Granite Chief, and Broken Arrow only offer expert
Crowds and parking can be very difficult at Squaw on holidays and high season weekends. Slopeside lodging
is the surefire way to combat this. With Intrawest in the fold, the
lodging at the base of the mountain has grown exponentially. The
luxurious Resort at Squaw Creek also provides slopeside lodging at the
base of Squaw Creek chair.