Sierra at Tahoe Aims to Open with Limited Terrain

As a winter storm heads for California, significant work remains before Sierra at Tahoe can open for the 2021/22 season. It was seven weeks ago the Caldor Fire tore through the majority of the resort’s drought-stricken terrain, damaging lifts and destroying millions of dollars of equipment. Most buildings were saved but Sierra now says extensive damage and supply chain challenges could mean a later than normal start to the season with limited terrain. Parts of the ski area won’t open at all this winter, including the entirety of West Bowl and its two chairlifts.

The season will likely include the Easy Rider Express, Tahoe King, Short Stuff and El Dorado. These lifts are currently undergoing repairs along with normal annual maintenance and inspections. Short Stuff’s fire-damaged haul rope has already been replaced with a spare rope from Mammoth Mountain installed with assistance from Palisades Tahoe. Another lift which needs a new rope, the Grandview Express, will remain out of service until a replacement arrives from Switzerland. “We are focused on making repairs and restoring Sierra to optimal condition, while simultaneously navigating global supply chain and shipping challenges for essential equipment and components,” read an update posted yesterday.

In addition to the West Bowl closure, many tree skiing areas will be off limits the 2021/22 season due to dangerous conditions. Sierra at Tahoe is offering passholders next season on top of this one should they choose to stick it out. This deal also includes a $50 rebate, which can optionally be donated to a fund for Sierra employees impacted by the fire. Resort owners will match $50 donations to make them $100. Passholders who choose not to take the two year season pass options can request a full refund.

“Our opening timeframe for the 2021/22 season is still unknown, as there is a tremendous amount of work to be done in order to offer you the quality ski experience you have come to expect from Sierra,” the resort told passholders. “We are hopeful to have more clarity on an estimated timeframe for opening the resort in the coming weeks.”

7 thoughts on “Sierra at Tahoe Aims to Open with Limited Terrain

  1. Calvin October 21, 2021 / 7:28 am

    How will skiers access El Dorado if Grandview or Tahoe Express are closed? Will there be cat service?

    Have they provided an estimate when the Grandview haul rope will arrive? The good news for that is it’s coming from Europe. East cost ports are less clogged than the west coast ports.

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      • Kirk October 21, 2021 / 7:55 am

        Nob Hill is down for the season. Have to get to El Dorado from Tahoe King.
        Short Stuff will get you out of the backside.

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  2. skitheeast October 21, 2021 / 11:29 am

    Absolutely devastating news for the mountain, especially given that this year is supposed to be a recovery year for resorts still reeling from the economic impacts of COVID. Also, that is an extremely generous season pass policy. Offering 2022-23 for free plus a $50 rebate is quite the proposal. Kudos to Alterra for sending a spare haul rope from Mammoth and having the Palisades Tahoe team over to help with all of the work. Maybe Vail can respond by offering Sierra passholders discounted day tickets or a subsidized Tahoe Value Pass?

    I am surprised Grandview Express needs a new haul rope, especially since the parallel Tahoe King is fine. Capacity will be absurdly low compared to usual with only four lifts, three of them being doubles, but something is better than nothing.

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    • Kirk October 21, 2021 / 4:31 pm

      Alterra is not as corporate as Vail is yet. Both Mammoth and Palisades still have some character. Rusty grew up in the Dave McCoy/Yan days.
      It would take 8 months and 45 signatures to get any help from Vail Corp.

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      • El Chapo October 22, 2021 / 12:24 pm

        Last year I skied an Alterra resort, Squaw Alpine, and a Vail resort, Heavenly, on subsequent days and the difference in resort and service culture was stark even when controlling for legacy infrastructure and terrain differences. It was like comparing a Mercedes (Alterra) to a Ford (Heavenly). Both will get you there but it will just be more fun in the Merc.

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