Heavy Precip Drowns King Fire

Drenching rains have doused the King Fire and brought much needed relief to the Lake Tahoe Region. The fire, which has been burning since September 13, is now 87% contained. Higher elevations around Tahoe also received their first snowfall of the year with 4 inches reported at Squaw Valley.

rain in squaw

The first round of rain hit Squaw Valley on Thursday, September 25.

Fresh snow on Saturday morning.

Fresh snow on Saturday morning.

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King Fire threatens Tahoe Basin

King Fire as seen from Kings Beach on September 18, 2014.

King Fire as seen from Kings Beach.

Thursday, September 18, 2014
The King Fire, which began over the weekend near Pollock Pines, CA has now exceeded 70,000 acres in size and entered into Placer County. Boosted by strong southwest winds, the fire more than doubled in size overnight Wednesday and is now reportedly only 12 miles from Tahoe City. Heavy smoke and ash poured into Squaw Valley by noon today. The fire is 5% contained and has nearly 4,000 firefighters on the scene. East winds are predicted for Friday which should help reverse the current track of the fire.

Squaw Valley at 1pm Thursday, September 18.

Squaw Valley at 1pm Thursday, September 18.

KT 22 on Thursday, September 18.

KT 22 on Thursday, September 18.

KT 22 on September 7.

KT 22 on September 7.

Smoke from King Fire on Wednesday, September 17.

Smoke from King Fire on Wednesday, September 17.

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RIP C2

Cornice II zone in fairly low snow.

Cornice II zone in fairly low snow. Photo: Scott Gaffney

The Cornice II Chair at Squaw Valley was officially retired when the lift was dismantled and hauled away last week. The chair rarely spun in the last decade since the Headwall Express serves the same terrain and more, making C2 virtually obsolete. Practicality aside, C2 epitomized the slow, spectator friendly lifts that helped define Squaw’s reputation for rowdy terrain. The lift crept up the right side of C2 Bowl which is littered with cliff hucks, steeps and protected north facing powder stashes. C2 unloaded skiers at the bottom of the Light Towers ridge which could also be easily viewed from the chair. C2 allowed you to study your line before skiing it and look for zones that were still untracked. Cornice II Bowl will probably look better aesthetically without the decrepit chairline but we won’t forget the lift that was almost as fun to ride as it was to ski.

Sikorsky pulls C2 on May 23, 2014 from Nut Hut Studios on Vimeo.

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A blast from the past…Hot Dog 30th Anniversary Party

David Naughton and John Patrick Reger stand off in a classic scene from Hot Dog.

David Naughton and John Patrick Reger stand off in a classic scene from Hot Dog.


Matt Reardon and The Squaw Valley Institute hosted a festive evening celebrating the 30th anniversary of the classic ski film Hot Dog, which was filmed at Squaw Valley during the winter of 1983. Many cast members from the movie were in attendance including David Naughton, Frank Koppala, James Saito, John Reger, Lynne Wieland and director Mike Marvin. Tahoe based cast members and stunt skiers Debbie Dutton, Robbie Huntoon, Mark Vance and George Theobald were also on hand. The night began with a Q & A session with the cast followed by a screening of the film and then an 80’s dance party. Audience participation during the movie felt like the Rocky Horror Picture Show with people chanting classic one liners in unison and boisterously booing antagonist Rudy and the Rudettes. The cast reflected on what it was like to be a part of the movie and delighted the audience by quoting lines from the movie. It was a truly memorable reunion for a film that has meant so much to so many who live here.

Hot Dog cast members answer questions from the audience at the 30th anniversary party.

Hot Dog cast members answer questions from the audience at the 30th anniversary party.


Actors Frank Koppala, David Naughton and director Mike Marvin.

Lynne Wieland, Frank Koppala, David Naughton and director Mike Marvin.


Uncle E auctions off one of the original story boards from the movie.

Uncle E auctions off one of the original storyboards from the movie.


Alpine Meadows resident George Theobald was one of the few cast members who both acted and skied in the movie.

Alpine Meadows resident George Theobald was one of the few cast members who both acted and skied in the movie.


Harkin Banks (Patrick Houser - blue jacket) gets introduced to Slasher (George Theobald - blue/yellow jacket) and the Rat Pack.

Harkin Banks (Patrick Houser – blue jacket) gets introduced to Slasher (George Theobald – blue/yellow jacket) and the Rat Pack.

Hometown heroes Robbie Huntoon and Debbie Dutton.  Robbie was the stunt skier for Harkin Banks and Debbie was the stunt skier for Sylvia.

Hometown heroes Robbie Huntoon and Debbie Dutton. Robbie was the stunt skier for Harkin Banks and Debbie was the stunt skier for Sylvia.

David Naughton and John Reger at Hot Dog Anniversary Party from Nut Hut Studios on Vimeo.

Powder Magazine coverage of Hot Dog 30th Anniversary including link to the movie

SBDC Hot Dog Film Review from April 2011

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Mt. Shasta sets up early

Mt. Shasta on April 12, 2014.

Mt. Shasta on April 11, 2014.


Ski mountaineers often head to Mt. Shasta in June and July for great weather and long ski descents. After this season’s far below average snowfall and early onset of warm weather, there is no better time to head up to Mt. Shasta than right now. We visited Shasta the weekend of April 12 and were not disappointed. It’s easy to see how many consider Mt. Shasta a spiritual epicenter of the planet. With it’s massive vertical relief and limitless ski lines, Mt. Shasta may just be the epicenter of the backcountry ski world as well.

Kyle O'Neal, Robb Gaffney and his 13 year old son Noah bridge the gap between Red Banks and Misery Hill.

Kyle O’Neal, Robb Gaffney and Noah Gaffney bridge the gap between Red Banks and Misery Hill on the upper flanks of Mt. Shasta.


Whitney Glacier as seen from the top of Misery Hill.

Whitney Glacier as seen from the top of Misery Hill.


The summit plateau.

The summit plateau.


Kyle O'Neal slays April corn on Mt. Shasta.

Kyle O’Neal slays April corn on Mt. Shasta.


The West Face of Mt. Shasta as seen from Hidden Valley.

The West Face of Mt. Shasta as seen from Hidden Valley.


The alluring yet mysterious southeast face of Mt. Shasta as seen from McLoud.

The alluring yet mysterious southeast face of Mt. Shasta as seen from McCloud.

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Let the good times roll

Kyle O'Neal slarves the West Shore backcountry on March 31.

Kyle O’Neal slarves the West Shore backcountry on March 31.


Today was the third great ski day in a row. Sunday’s bluebird pow day was followed by an incoming storm on Monday. Tuesday was a mix of more snow with intermittent bursts of sunshine. Higher elevations along the Sierra Crest have received nearly six feet of snow in the last week. It may be April fools but the ski conditions are no joke.

Setting the track on March 31.

Setting the track on March 31.


Skier: Kyle O'Neal

Skier: Kyle O’Neal


Rob McCormick takes a walk.

Rob McCormick takes a walk on the Sierra Crest as Monday’s storm moves in.

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Winter shows up

KT22 on Sunday, March 30.

KT22 on Sunday, March 30.

We should have known that all you need to do to make it snow is schedule a Pain McShlonkey Classic. Winter finally showed up in full force this weekend along with festivities for the 4th annual Shane McConkey tribute.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Legacy Gala.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Legacy Gala.

Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow

Silverado

Silverado

Men's snowlerblade Chinese Downhill Chamption Mat Jackson.

Men’s Snowlerblade Chinese Downhill Champion Mat Jackson.

Palisades.

Palisades.

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It’s Time to Get Ill! The 2014 Pain McShlonkey Classic!

4th Annual Pain McSchlonkey Classic | SHORTER Official Trailer from Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows on Vimeo.

2014 PMS Event Schedule

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Mt. Shasta Conditions Report

If you are wondering what the weather has been doing at Mt. Shasta check out this report courtesy of Shasta Mountain Guides. Looks like prime spring conditions shaping up in Northern California.
Mt. Shasta conditions on March 4, 2014

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Singin’ in the rain

We can’t seem to get a storm to stay snow this year. Heavy snow Friday morning felt like winter but turned to rain by mid day. Squaw and Alpine had great conditions and huge crowds on Saturday. Sunday was heavy, wet and rainy again. The region continued to get much needed precipitation in the form of more rain this week. Higher elevations have been getting some creamy snow.

Alpine Meadows on March 1, 2014.

Alpine Meadows on March 1, 2014.


Susan McCormick drops into Alpine Meadows sidecountry.

Susan McCormick drops into Alpine Meadows sidecountry last Saturday.

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