Skiing the Truckee Ski Hill

truckee ski hillI’ve eyed the north-facing gladded lines just south of West River Street for years. Recently, tracks have been laid down after big storms. On the drive back to Sierra Meadows, after a crowded day at Squaw, I think about taking a day to ski those lines myself. Yesterday we got eight inches and the time was right. I started from the top of Rainbow Street in Sierra Meadows. The summit terminal of the old Poma lift (the oldest ski lift in California) is located next to a water tank at the top of an access road above Rainbow. The Poma lift line down to the Cottonwood restaurant is not that steep (but pointing it on old wooden skis with no edges probably felt like it!), so I navigated skiers left across a meadow to access the steeper terrain facing West River Street. Here the slope steepens to around 34-degrees. Looking down at the Truckee River and West River Street, I dropped into the fresh eight inches. Though I could still feel the scratch below, the turns were fresh and the total vertical – from the top of the Poma to the Meadow by the Truckee River – was 400 feet. From there it’s a short skin or hike back to the Cottonwood. Laps here should be even better after the next big storm. -Rob McCormick

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