Happy New Year! It's a New Year and I hope it brings a new start to the ski season. This has been a very unusual year so far, with December 2011 being one of the driest since weather records have been kept from back in the 1800s. As you can see from the snow depth chart, we are lagging way behind recent years for average snow depth in the Sierra Nevada, with only 1.4 inches on the ground, more than 95 percent below the average snow depth at this time last year. While this has been a challenge for the ski areas, snow making has saved the day for many. In a recent article in the Sac Bee, Amelia Richmond, a spokeswoman for Squaw Valley USA said "As of late last week, four of Squaw's 170 runs were open. Six of partner resort Alpine Meadow's 100 runs were open. (One lift ticket now pays for access to both.) Both resorts have taken advantage of good snow-making conditions, but it's not enough to replace a few feet of natural snow. We can't blow snow over the entire mountain," Richmond said. Richmond said the resort has chosen to focus its efforts on a handful of strategic runs to ensure opportunities for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders." I have to believe that the combination of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows under one lift ticket must be the best deal around considering the amount of snow making capability between the two. You'd have to travel a long way to find better conditions.
The long, long range charts more than 2 weeks out, what we call the "fantasy forecast" because they tend to change drastically as the time frame gets closer, is pointing to a major change in the pattern but we've seen this before. It's time to bid our time, have the "gratitude attitude" for what we do have, and hope this does turn out to be an "average" year as many predict. An "average" year in the northern Sierra Nevada's is a lot of snow and if we mange to play catch up it will come in major dumps.
In the mean time there's plenty to do, especially since it's Olympic Heritage Celebration Week. Here's a list of upcoming events:
Olympic Heritage Celebration Week ~ Opening Ceremonies, Ed Z Berg Sugar PIne Point State Park, West Shore, Lake TahoeDate: Jan 8, 2012 (Sun)
2:30-3:30 Join past Olympians and local dignitaries as we commemorate the official start of the Olympic Heritage Celebration events with the lighting of an Olympic caldron. The ceremony will take place in front of a ¼ scale replica of the Tower of Nations that stood at the entrance of Squaw Valley to welcome visitors to the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. This free event will be held near the campground entrance of Sugar Pine Point State Park. Hot cider and cookies will be provided.
Olympic Heritage Celebration Week ~ Historic Cross Country Ski Tour, Ed Z Berg Sugar PIne Point State Park, West Shore, Lake TahoeDate: Jan 8, 2012 (Sun)
12pm-2pm Dave Antonucci, author of “A Snowballs Chance: The Story of the 1960 Winter Olympics”, will lead Nordic skiers on a interpretive tour of the Olympic Ski Trails located at Sugar Pine Point State Park. This intermediate level 10 kilometer tour will take you to Olympic Meadows, the site of the Biathlon range with stops along the way where you will learn of about our fascinating snow heritage. This event is free but there is a charge for parking. Please wear layered clothing, bring water, energy snack and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
Olympic Heritage Celebration Week ~ Keeping the Flame Alive, Ed Z Berg Sugar PIne Point State Park, West Shore, Lake TahoeDate: Jan 7, (Sat) - Jan 15, 2012 (Sun)
During the winter of 1960 athletes from around the world came to Lake Tahoe to participate in the Winter Olympic Games. The biathlon and cross-country (XC) events of the V111 Winter Olympics were held in what is now Ed Z’Berg Sugar Pine Point State Park. A portion of the marked XC trails takes you on a loop through the heart of the men’s events where you travel with the spirit of the games on the trails of the biathlon and men’s events. Join park staff and our local business partners, as we continue to celebrate our snow heritage with a series of events designed to highlight what makes our region so special. This historic venue will come alive with the Olympic spirit as the public is invited to join us for a week of special events celebrating our Olympic Heritage.
Also a great film series not to miss:
Back in its 12th year, the Adventure Slide Show Series is where locals and athletes come together and tell stories of their incredible adventures in the mountains of the world. Many of these shows are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to meet and hear from incredible mountain loving athletes and travellers.All shows are free. Shows start at 7pm and all ages are welcome. The Plaza Bar is located in the Olympic House.
January 11 Eric Perlman Eric Perlman is a director, producer, Emmy-winning cameraman, editor, and composer producing international adventure films and commercials for more than 35 years. Eric is also a high energy Tahoe go-getter you've seen around on skis, rock, and trail. This slideshow will have you planning a trip late that evening so you can go touch some warm rock! The show is called "20 YEARS OF STONE---Evolution of modern climbing and the modern climbing movie." We will see if we can get him to show us some Tahoe climbing history, where he sat right in the middle since the 60's, climbing pretty much every day possible right through this very week!
I like that phrase," the gratitude attitude". Let's all be thankful for what we do have as we start a New Year. That doesn't mean we can't occasionally glance towards the sky and say a little prayer to the snow gods. Be sure to "Like" our Olympic Village Inn Facebook page for the latest insider news and events. Have a great week and a great year!