As a long-time Truckee/Tahoe local, a 16 year passholder to Alpine Meadows, including the last 5 at Squaw Valley, it hurts me to write this.
Mother Nature has blessed us with one of the biggest winters on record. In fact, it’s still snowing. But here is the problem, the ski resorts are closed. All of them…except for little Donner Ski Ranch, which is operating weekends until the snow runs out.
I know I am not the only one in a mountain town that plans their life around skiing. Sure I could go hike, and will do so when the motivation strikes..but I pay for a pass each year! In fact, these days I pay for passes to both Alpine and Squaw. I feel it’s in the ski resorts best interests to keep passholders happy. It’s the norm for ski areas to open as soon as they can, sometimes with one strip of white on low angle slope. But to close when the coverage and conditions are all-time?
When there are drought years, then it’s a short season. But in the epic season of 2010-2011, there is not one Tahoe ski resort embracing the white gold that has fallen from the ski. Do any of those corporate executives have the heart of a true skier? Apparently not.
Alpine Meadows Mid Mountain, June 2, 2011. Photo courtesy of Dr Robb Gaffney.
I don’t buy into the philosophy that there is no interest and resorts will lose money. I don’t agree that by staying open, ski resorts are going to lose business. Last weekend at Squaw Valley, I waited in 20 minute lift lines. The interest is obviously there.
KT-22 Line Up, Squaw Valley USA. May 29, 2011. Photo courtesy of Unofficial Squaw.
I have never seen this much snow on the mountain and it not be open, ever. In some years, the ski resorts make snow to supplement coverage, so why are they closed now?
Squaw Valley USA, June 2, 2011. Photo by Mountain Rider’s Alliance.
With more snow in the forecast, I plea for some ski area executive to find his or her own “soul of a skier”, sac up, and run the lifts!
Gary Jeong is an unemployed television production director and lives in Truckee, California with his dog Tiberius. He skis as much as he can, especially being out of work at the moment.