It is with pride that I write this blog about Ali Kariotis, a Squaw Valley Freestyle Ski Team member. In Valmalenco, Italy, the FIS Junior World Freestyle competition came to an end with Ali Kariotis on top of the podium, champion on the dual slalom event. This was the 5th USA medal of the competition making it the most successful American representation at the event ever. Ali has been a long time member of the Squaw Valley Ski Teams, starting with the wonderful Mighty Mite program. In fact I was one of her coaches during her time in Mighty Mites. She was delight to ski with then as she loved to ski and be on the snow. She acceled at a young age and now is proving herself in a worldwide arena. Congrats Ali. Click here to read more.
Archive for March, 2012
Let the fun begin. The sun is shining and folks are gathering for all the fun of the Pain McShlonkey Classic weekend. On the schedule you will find an invite only fundraising Gala event tonight: theme is Moulin Rouge. Saturday morning kicks off with a Chinese Downhill on snowlerblades putting professionals against amateurs. Later in the day is the Big Mountain Snowlerblade Comp. The day finishes off with a few apres ski events and then and 80′s After Party. The whole weekend is in honor of our lost skier, friend and community member Shane McConkey. To learn more about the memory of Shane, the foundation created in his honor and this weekend’s events, just visit www.ShaneMcConkey.org. You can also take a look at Squaw’s website and check out the You Tube video.
It has been storming off and on for the last week. We have seen it all… huge light fluffly flakes, slushy wet flakes, sleet blowing sideways and rain. Luckily the storm ended with the light and fluffly snow we all love to ski. This weekend was packed. I heard multiple reports from friends from the bay area taking 6 to 7 hours to drive up with spin outs and stops over the summit. The parking lot and the lifts were packed Saturday morning, everyone ready for their piece of powder. It was definitely a day to ski with friends as the lines were long so you might as well catch up and the snow was sliding so gdod to be with a buddy. The ski patrol worked hard and got mostly everything open by the end of the day. Sunday was much less crowded on the slopes but the crowds were still big. It was a cold storm day so there were a lot of hot chocolate breaks happening. The skiing was still great but not as good as Saturday.
After a great weekend, many happy visitors hopped in their cars for the drive back down the hill. Around 4:30pm the line of cars from Truckee was just about to the Squaw stoplight. My sister and family tried to leave around 7pm and Highway 80 was closed. A lot of folks were stuck up here for the night. Speaking of being stuck, I was returning home around 8pm last night and could not make it to my house. There were pile ups of cars on both access roads stuck, smashed into each other and in the ditches. Crazy part was both pile ups included tow trucks who had been trying to help and joined in the mess. I parked at a neighbors house and walked.
Then comes Monday, ahhhhh! Headwall opened after a week of closure (i think). It was almost 2 feet in some places of light fluffy powder. The skies were bright blue, the parking lot full, the lines managable, everyone smiling, it was a good morning. What a little piece of paradise we have here in the Sierras.
Today was the blue bird powder day we have been waiting for all season. After two days of storms and lower mountain skiing, the sun came out this morning gloriously shining on Squaw Valley and the untouched powder of the upper mountain. Everyone and their brother and sister and all their friends were on the mountain today. The cars were a steady stream into the valley making the drive time from Tahoe City and Truckee 45 minutes and 1 hour respectively. By 11am the cars were parked down the main road to Eric Rd. (unforntunately many of those cars had parking tickets in their windshields).
And now for the ski report, it was about quality not quantity. I only had a short window of time this morning and planned to get a few great runs. As I got to the locker room, about 8:50am, KT and Red Dog were already loading and the Funitel line was longer than I have ever seen it. First run I headed for the skier packed powder on Chute 75. Nice and smooth, the snow was fabulous and the run empty. Next to the Funitel as the line had returned to normal, which broght me up the mountain for Siberia and the Reverse Traverse. Headwall had a late opening for the lif but the skiing was ready. I skied Sun Bowl and then the Horse Trails. The Sun Bowl was wind impacted but great after the first 10 turns, and Horse Trails was great. In fact I enjoyed it so much I went for another round and could still find untracked turns.
The crowds kept pouring in and I headed home about 11am to start my work day. I actually had a busy afternoon which included showing property. It is going to be a busy weekend.