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Tahoe Nugget #112:

2007 Tahoe Ski Season Terminated
May 5, 2007

The dysfunctional winter of 2006-07 is winding down and this Cinco De Mayo weekend represents the last days Squaw Valley will run its chairlifts for this season. It's a relatively early closure for this Tahoe resort that usually stays open until Memorial Day Weekend, but despite a series of late April snowstorms, a lack of snowpack and enthusiasm has convinced the resort to call it quits for the year.

More than 6 feet of snow have fallen in the upper elevations since the Easter holidays, but a snow survey on May 1 indicated that the snowpack along the 400-mile Sierra range was just 29% of normal, the lowest since 1988. Although we received only half our normal amount of precipitation this winter, the previous two years were wetter than average and California's reservoirs and aquifers are in good shape so water restrictions are unlikely this summer. If next winter is dry, however, the "D" word (drought) will be in all the headlines and mandatory water conservation measures will be implemented.

Yesterday I took a few runs at Squaw Valley to get a last look at the snow conditions in the high country. The day was winter-like with a late season storm just clearing out. Tomorrow, Sunday, will be a big party day at Squaw Valley with live music and crowds of skiers and boarders getting their last turns of the season. It should be sunny with temps in the 50s. Squaw Valley will reopen again in June and run a tram to the 8,200-foot level for concerts, hikes, bungee-jumping, ice skating, swimming and lots more fun stuff.

Photo #1: Fresh snow in May won't keep Squaw Valley open.
Photo #2: Swimming lagoon at 8,200 feet.
Photo #3: The lagoon water is heated, but I observed employees shoveling the freshly fallen snow into the water. Brrr!
Photo #4: Snowpack beginning to convert to water. Squaw Valley is part of the Truckee River watershed which supplies most of the water needed by Reno and Sparks.
Photo #5: Snow cover at the bottom of the mountain is getting thin.

Nugget #112 A Squaw May 4, 2007

Nugget #112 B Squaw swimming  lagoon May 2007

Nugget #112 C shoveling snow into lagoon

Nugget #112 D Sierra snowmelt May 07 Squaw

Nugget #112 E Caution Rocks at Squaw May 2007

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