Saturday, April 18, 2009

skiing: Squaw Valley lies about ski lifts

Here's Squaw Valley USA's lift map. Looks great, dozens of lifts. But if you visit Squaw Valley on a weekday, I guarantee many of those lifts will not be running. I never saw Olympic Lady, Cornice II, Newport, or Mainline run, and Searchlight/Exhibition only ran when the upper mountain was closed. Squaw One Express never ran. You could argue that all this terrain is reachable from other lifts, but as I wrote that stiffs intermediates who can't ski the black diamond runs down to Newport and Squaw One's terrain.

Squaw Valley Ski Corp only ran Solitude once when they thought Shirley Lake Express was broken, which is absolutely shameful; it's a big chunk of terrain that you can't reach from other lifts. Some weekdays they didn't run Far East Express, also cutting you off from skiing huge areas.

Squaw's cop-out "All operations are subject to weather conditions" is a lie. All the lifts I mention above were on "money hold" on weekdays throughout the 2008-2009 season, I paid $850 for a mid-week pass, run the damn lifts you cheap bastards.

To complete the list, Broken Arrow and Silverado rarely run but that terrain does get patchy coverage and ski patrol does have to close the lifts.

Squaw Valley USA is an amazing ski area, six peaks and long ridge lines crammed into one valley, but it's doing worse and worse in ski area ratings.

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