Hittin' the summer ski scene at Squaw. (Squaw Valley/Facebook)
After one of the best snow season in recent times, a quartet of Western mountains will keep the lifts turning well into what should be the season for sun-bathing and surfing.
A pair of California behemoths – Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley – have grabbed the headlines with record long season. In the Sierra Nevada – where this season’s snowfall exceeded the total of the past four -- there’s still have so much snow on the ground that, despite summer-like temperatures, a good portion of the trails and slopes are still covered at both mountains.
Conditions are so good at Squaw Valley that officials haven’t announced a closing date. The latest announcements say the resort may be able to operate at least every Saturday — and perhaps Sunday — throughout the entire summer, continuing until the next season begins.
“This is uncharted territory,” said CEO Andy Wirth, noting the resort has only been open on July 4 three times in 50 years.
Skiers and riders who venture up to Squaw Valley will find a variety of trails and lifts open, depending upon conditions and manpower.
Same at Mammoth, except they expect to be open daily into August – and perhaps beyond. At the SoCal resort, the Main Lodge area has four lifts and several dozen trails listed as open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Scenic rides on the Panorama Gondola begin June 17, but mountain biking will be limited because of so much snow.
Up north, Mt. Bachelor will reopen July 2-4 with the Sunrise and Summit lifts spinning from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those Northwest skiers and snowboarders who can’t quite shake their carvin’ jones yet.
Always a leader in season length, Oregon’s Timberline is set to operate until the fall on the Palmer Snowfields. Public skiers and riders will mix with various racing camps that reserve the slope during the summer.