El Niño dumped 20 inches of snow on Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows in 24 hours, but instead of heralding an epic day for skiers, avalanche conditions closed Alpine Meadows for the day and kept most of Squaw Valley on hold. In addition, an avalanche Thursday morning closed Alpine Meadows Road and buried two cars, with resort employees having to be removed by firefighters.
Eventually, parts of Squaw Valley were able to open in the afternoon.
Red Dog, Squaw Creek, Far East, First Venture scheduled to open at 1:30pm #squawlifts— Squaw Alpine Mtn Ops (@squawalpineops) February 18, 2016
According to reports from Unofficial Alpine, parts of the Promised Land area and the Face at Alpine Meadows both slid. And Alpine Meadows wasn't the only Tahoe resort to face closures or holds because of the conditions. Heavenly saw delays, holds and closures. Diamond Peak's Crystal Express had a delay and multiple lifts at Kirkwood started late.
The unfortunate conditions weren't restricted to Lake Tahoe, either. Steamboat Resort in Colorado faced lift closures during the day before canceling night skiing and a happy hour at mid-mountain. All lifts were on hold for a time at Jackson Hole because of high winds and the upper mountain was shut down early.
There's still hope, however, that the stormy conditions causing holds and delays eventually bring storms and unhindered powder days across the West.
· The Right Decision Is Not Always the Easy One [Unofficial Alpine]
· Avalanche Danger Shuts Down Sierra Ski Resorts [CBS SF Bay Area]
· El Niño is Back As Latest Snow Storm Hits California Today [Curbed Ski]
· One New York Ski Area Was Colder Than Antarctica This Past Weekend [Curbed Ski]
· Living in Tahoe Costs 10 Times More Than the National Average [Curbed Ski]