When the main lots are filled by 8:30 AM on a non-holiday weekend, it’s going to be a busy day around Alpine Meadows. But we already knew that, as we ran into serious traffic along West River Street in Truckee at 7:30 AM. The lots were completely full at both Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley shortly after 10 AM. Did that stop people from coming? No, when we left around 1:00 PM today, the traffic coming into Squaw Valley was still backed up for several miles on Highway 89 toward Truckee. Roseville, we have a problem, if you know what I mean.
Just how many freakin’ passes did these guys sell this year? – Mark at UnofficialAlpine.com
Employees must have been directed to mention that there were several special events on the schedule at Alpine Meadows today, as they all mentioned it right away. Races were held on Kangaroo and Yellow, while the big mountain competition continued on High Yellow. You may have noticed where kids’ racing is involved, the whole family comes along, even the grandparents that might take one run and then hang out in the lodge the remainder of the day. Yeah, the lodge and food services were all a madhouse today. Somebody was raking in the dough today for sure.
Now all of that is off my chest, let’s talk about the skiing. With the mountain at 120% open (alternative facts), there was plenty of space to spread out today. If you knew where to look, it was easy to just avoid lift lines and people. Unfortunately, we won’t be sharing those locations with you. You have to get creative yourself. We did head right to Sherwood this morning and stayed only until Jim arrived to do line control, indicating it was time to move on. After that, we didn’t stand in a line the rest of the day, and had some runs completely to ourselves. You could completely forget it was a very busy day until you rounded the corner anywhere near the lodge or the Summit lift and said “Holy ^&*@”.
North facing pitches are still nice and chalky winter snow. We even managed to find some short patches of powder turns today with zero hiking. The groomers were also totally on point today and very fun for ripping big arcs, as long as you stayed away from the main runs. Some of those runs looked just as busy as Highway 80 will look tomorrow evening.
As some other people have pointed out, we have reached a tipping point in Tahoe. The carrying capacity is routinely being exceeded…not just on holiday weekends, but every weekend. Something needs to change. You can’t just keep selling a million season passes and then turning people away and telling them “Sorry, the park is closed.”