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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Skiers enjoyed sunny skies and spring conditions at Squaw and Alpine last weekend. Conditions should change as a series of storms is expected for the region beginning today.