Squaw Valley ski resort is considered the home of extreme skiing in America. It is the perfect place for free-riders and expert skiers. Despite being an impeccable location for intermediate and expert skiers, the resort also offers activities suitable for families and beginner skiers.
The resort is well-connected thanks to the 42 different lifts that include 2xgondolas and trams, 5x high-speed sixes, 1xquad chairs, 5xhigh-speed quads, 12xtriple chairs, 10x Double Chairs, and 7xT-Bars. These lifts help skiers get easy access to different slopes and the terrain parks.
The combined area of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows has over 6000 acres of skiable terrain and 270+ runs with the longest run measuring 3.2 miles long. It gets plenty of snow in winter right at the start of the season. But any difference in the quality and quantity of snow is covered by its modern snowmaking machines.
The Squaw Valley Ski Resort is one of the top-rated ski resorts for experts and freeride skiers. Overall the resort ranks at number 4 in North America.
The resort became a popular spot for extreme skiers in 1984 when an American filmmaker Warren Miller taped Scot Schmidt’s 100-foot jump from Palisades. Since then, the jump known as the “Schmidtiots” was born to challenge any expert skier.
The snow conditions at the resort are exceptional because of its high altitude. The snow’s depth and density allow expert thrill-seekers to try new stunts and tricks. That’s why every powder hound’s dreams are fulfilled on a ski holiday in Squaw Valley.
Skiable Terrain in Squaw Valley
Skiing in Squaw Valley is different from every other resort in the U.S. because of the versatility of the pistes. The resort has massive powder bowls perfect for intermediate, expert and even beginners. The ski slopes are marked green, blue, red and mostly black for expert and advanced skiers.
The skiable terrain is easily accessible by the modern lift system. The lifts are marked by different territories including beginners, intermediate and experts. Each lift is designed to take the skiers to their designated slopes.
The highest elevation point at Squaw measures 9,050 feet. The sky-piercing peaks and massive bowls are treeless and the lower areas are wooded. From the expansive flat bowls to the steep runs at the KT-22 area for the experts, skiers and snowboarders have a lot of variety when it comes to the slopes and pistes.
The resort also offers an opportunity for Night Skiing for those who want to ski under floodlights. They can do so by skiing on the massive 3.2-kilometer mountain run. The Riviera halfpipe and terrain park are open in the evening. The Riviera chairlift gives easy access to the terrain park and the Night Ski slope.
Squaw Valley Skiable Terrain for Beginners
Squaw Valley offers plenty of slopes for beginners too. Several green marked pistes are located on the upper mountain overlooking Lake Tahoe, giving beginners great views while learning to ski. The beginner area has five easy chairlifts too with expansive and gentle nursery slopes.
The learning area at the Papoose is located in the lower mountain range at 6,200 feet. This area adds more terrain to the beginner area. The newly added two surface lifts give more access because they are located near the Far East Center.
Squaw Valley Skiable Terrain for Intermediate Skiers
One of the highlights for intermediate skiers and snowboarders is the 3.2-mile long Mountain Run. The Run allows skiers to reach high cruising speeds from the top of the mountain as they rush downhill to the base of the resort.
With the remarkable Lake Tahoe as the backdrop, skiing on the blue marked pistes is a real treat for intermediate skiers. Skiers can try the massive Siberia Bowl having several blue pistes located on the upper section of the mountain. Even though the Siberia Bowl is suitable for intermediate skiers, the steep slopes may still require some practice.
Easy blue marked pistes are also located near the Red Dog and Squaw Creek. Skiers can then head to the expansive powder-filled bowls of the Gold Coast and the more popular blue marked slopes at the Shirley Lake. These areas are accessible by the Funitel and the Squaw One Express.
Squaw Valley Skiable Terrain for Experts
KT-22 is the Mecca for expert and advanced skiers who love extreme skiing in Squaw Valley. Most of the skiable area of the resort is dedicated to expert skiers.
Advanced skiers and snowboarders have a lot of expert terrain options including Headwall, Granite Chief, Broken Arrow and the Silverado Bowl. The hardest skiable area is the Moseley’s Run, a terrain of massive bumps and steep slopes.
Some of the slopes near the KT-22 are double diamond blacks with giant bumps and steep slopes on the monstrous powder-filled bowls. Most of the terrain in the area is tough enough to test the endurance skills of some of the most experienced skiers and snowboarders.
Other expert terrains at the Squaw Valley ski resort are Poulsen’s Gully, Headwall, Broken Arrow, and Granite Chief. These areas have abundant snow to keep thrill-seeking skiers occupied. Corniche II and Broken Arrow on the other hand have steeper pistes filled with chutes, gullies and powder-packed stashes.