Sierra-at-Tahoe, CA

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16 thoughts on “Sierra-at-Tahoe, CA

  1. Mountaineer May 10, 2020 / 5:16 am

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think there are a few errors and missing details in this list (according to https://www.sierraattahoe.com/history-of-sierra/ and https://skimap.org/SkiAreas/view/525).
    – The two platters built by Yan in 1969 (if both were built by Yan?) were named Blazer and Chipmunk. I guess Puma is a typo and should mean Poma which was installed in 1946.
    – The Nob Hill double was installed in 1968. I think it’s the Hall double in the lower left corner and not a single or a Yan: https://skimap.org/data/525/244/1312934945.jpg
    – The Rock Garden double was Yan’s first chairlift, installed in 1970. This would match both the map above and Yan’s installation list.
    – Until 1974, Tahoe Queen is installed (mile-long, 1972, Yan) and one of the two platters gets replaced by a Yan double named Little Chipmunk (which brings us to this map: https://skimap.org/data/525/7/1274678193.jpg). For some reason, Blazer is named Pinto here. Blazer gets replaced by Yan’s Blue Jay double in 1976 (https://skimap.org/data/525/2200/1460926222.jpeg). There is one more beginner double chair listed in Yan’s records (installed in 1975), but it’s not mentioned in the history or shown on any map (sometimes a modification is listed as a new installation).
    – In 1978, Nob Hill (Hall?) gets replaced by Yan with a new double (not sure why it’s missing in the history). The other fixed-gripped lifts appear to be correct.
    – As for Yan’s HSQ: XTC replaces both beginner doubles in 1991 (and Rock Garden is shortened). The name “Easy Street” is not shown on the maps that are available online (https://skimap.org/data/525/2200/1448828736.jpeg, bot sure why TK is missing here). The HSQ replacing Cougar is named Slingshot and the term “Express” is not used in the names.
    – Nob Hill gets a new adjustable return terminal in 1975 (I guess they put in on top the old Hall terminal: https://skiliftblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/img_5083.jpg).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Landsman May 10, 2020 / 8:51 am

      Thanks for sorting all that out. Let me know if I modified anything wrong. It’s amazing how often the Yan installation history differs from the SAM surveys.

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      • Mountaineer May 10, 2020 / 9:13 am

        You’re welcome. You could still change a few entries:

        – Tahoe Queen was replaced by Sensation in 1989.
        – According to Sierra’s history, the Poma was built in 1946 and probably removed when Yan built the two platters (Chipmunk, which is now missing in your list, and Blazer – this name was used more often than Pinto). Chipmunk got replaced in 1974, Blazer one or two years later (Yan’s list says 1975, Sierra’s history 1976).

        The rest looks good, let’s hope it is correct now.

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        • Mountaineer May 10, 2020 / 9:51 am

          Not sure how to reply to your last comment, Peter. Maybe the 1964 Poma is the lower line in this map and pomalifts are Blazer and Chipmunk (https://skimap.org/data/525/244/1312934945.jpg)? So the first Puma/Poma was removed earlier.

          What installation history are you referring to? In the list I got (which is also not 100 % correct), it says “Poma #2” in 1969 (I was questioning that too in my first comment, but SAM lists two LE platters for both 1968 and 1969).

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  2. julestheshiba March 8, 2021 / 10:54 am

    If you look at abandoned ski areas in the Tahoe basin you can see there once were two right next to Sierra at Tahoe, this makes me wonder if they could ever get access to the old property and expand into those areas, the Echo Summit especially still has cut trails. If they could get access to both the old Echo Summit and Edelweiss resorts they could have a lot more terrain.

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    • nvskier March 8, 2021 / 2:07 pm

      The old Echo Summit/Nebelhorn ski area is now a sledding and snowplay resort called Adventure Mountain that seems to be extremely popular whenever I drive by so I imagine it may be challenging for Sierra to kick them out. Although there is great terrain separating them so it makes for an interesting thought experiment. I would love to see Sierra push that direction if they ever did expand. They could reasonably do it with just 3 chairs: a chair from the Echo Summit base to the top of Scout Peak, A chair from the bottom of Huckleberry Canyon up Scout Peak, and a chair from the bottom of Huckleberry Canyon back to the summit of Grandview. The main issue I see with it is that almost all of this terrain caters to advanced and expert skiers. That’s not a problem in itself, but if they were to open a whole new base area it would need to serve everyone to make sense. While not impossible, they would need to cut some sort of beginner/intermediate runs which would be expensive and likely tied up with environmental lawsuits but that’s a whole other can of worms.

      If they were to fully build out from Scout Peak with several more chairs down towards highway 50, they could pretty easily double the size of the resort. This could put them near the size of the big resorts like Squaw and Heavenly and move them from being just a low-key local resort to being on the level of some of the biggest destination resorts around. And that’s before we even get to Edelweiss.

      Edelweiss could be done with 2 lifts, although I think it would take 3 to really optimize it. There is already a maintenance road from lower West Bowl down to Sayles Canyon which separates West Bowl from Edelweiss. That would be a good place for the base of 2 lifts: one from there to the top of Edelweiss (Peak 8089), and one back to the top of West Bowl. Then all you would need is a lift from the Edelweiss base to the top of Peak 8089. An access trail could be cut back to the Edelweiss base from the Sayles Canyon lifts. It would be very flat but there is about a 350 foot vertical drop so it should be rideable. That plus the Echo Summit expansion would probably put them in the 5000 acre range and would definitely put them among the some of the top resorts in the US. The current infrastructure (highway, lodging, transit, staffing, etc.) in the area probably couldn’t handle that kind of load so it’s really a pipe dream but fun to speculate.

      On another note, the potential for those expansions could make them a good candidate for a future Alterra resort. It would fit their more skier-centric resort focus and easily put them far ahead of Vail’s competition in the region. I’ve heard there’s already interest from Alterra as it is along with discussions about Sugar Bowl and Mt. Rose as well but so far nothing has come of it.

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      • julestheshiba March 8, 2021 / 3:13 pm

        This was all fun speculation but another cool expansion would be if Alpine Meadows eventually expanded to the old powder bowl and created a small skiing community kind of like a deer valley type thing, that would be super cool but would never happen.

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        • pbropetech September 8, 2021 / 8:25 pm

          That too is fun speculation but this is the Sierra-at-Tahoe page, not the Alpine Meadows page.

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      • skitheeast March 8, 2021 / 3:15 pm

        Right before Alterra officially formed, the ownership group brought a number of high-profile ski resort owners to New York City for a meeting where they said, “Let us buy you. If not, let us partner with you.” Deer Valley and Mammoth Resorts sold, while a number of others chose to partner and form the Ikon Pass. I know Sugar Bowl and Sierra-at-Tahoe were two of the mountains invited, although both obviously chose to pass at the time. I am not sure if Mt. Rose was invited, but they would be a great addition.

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        • nvskier March 8, 2021 / 6:36 pm

          As it stands currently, I think Sierra would be the best addition to the Ikon Pass if Alterra had the choice. I think a Sugar Bowl or Mt. Rose addition may draw people away from Squaw/Alpine which could be counterproductive for them. They don’t currently have an option near South Lake Tahoe or anywhere between Alpine and Mammoth for that matter. Squaw/Alpine is well over an hour drive from SLT and Mammoth is around 3 hours away. Skiers coming to the Tahoe area almost always choose to stay in South Lake or North Lake and for the most part only ski the resorts on either end. Squaw/Alpine already competes pretty well against Northstar/Heavenly/Kirkwood so the addition of Sierra to Alterra would almost certainly blow Vail out of the water. Good news for us lift nerds since that may force Vail to actually invest in upgrades at their Tahoe resorts. On the flip side though, it may ruin Sierra’s low-key local resort status.

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      • julestheshiba March 8, 2021 / 6:56 pm

        I mean it definitely might push Vail to upgrade which would be super nice. I wish Homewood could afford to replace Ellis with an HSQ but that probably won’t happen anytime soon, unless they get bought out. Unfortunately this would also ruin their local feel.

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  3. ski man August 11, 2021 / 6:28 pm

    any pictures of the old Yan high speed quads here

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  4. Danny Bryant October 20, 2021 / 5:07 pm

    I looks it will be a tough year a Sierra due to the Caldor Fire: https://www.sierraattahoe.com/blog/general/caldor-fire-update/

    Q. What will be open this season?

    A. We are still conducting a thorough evaluation of Sierra’s lifts and trails to understand the full impact of the fire. That evaluation will determine what operations look like for opening the resort for the 2021/22 winter season. Repairs, routine yearly maintenance + annual inspections continue on Nob Hill, Short Stuff , El Dorado + Easy Rider Express, as well as mitigation for fire-damaged trees along ski trails accessed by these lifts. The operating status for individual trails accessed by each of these lifts is still unknown as they undergo inspection.

    Based on initial assessments, we do know that the trails and area accessed by West Bowl Express will be inaccessible this winter. In addition, many of the in-bound tree skiing areas, such as Jack’s + Avalanche Bowl, will likely be closed for the season.

    We will continue to share the details on specific trails and lifts so you can plan your Play moving forward.

    Q. What about Grandview Express?

    A. Grandview Express’ haul rope, which suspends the ski lift’s chairs, was damaged during the fire and a replacement cable is currently in production in Switzerland. Due to these challenges, Grandview Express will be delayed and we currently do not have an estimated date for allowing access to this lift. 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.

    Q. When will Sierra open for the 2021/22 season?

    A. 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. We are hopeful to have more clarity on an estimated timeframe for opening the resort in the coming weeks. Stay tuned on our social channels or sign up for our email updates to be in the know!

    Q. What is the Season Pass Recess program?

    A. This program protects your 2021/22 season pass to potentially give you access to both the 2021/22 and 2022/23 winter seasons – as soon as we are able to open parts or all of Sierra. When operations can resume, your pass will be valid immediately for use and for the entire 2022/23 winter season. We can’t wait to welcome you back, and explore the mountain in a whole new way with you. Alternatively, we will honor a refund for your season pass products, no questions asked.

    Q. How does the $50 Season Pass Rebate or Donate work?

    A. Doing right by our guests and employees is core to who we are at Sierra. By sticking with us as a loyal member of the Sierra fam through these uncertain times, you can get in on the action! With the Season Pass Recess program, you have the power to choose to receive either a one-time $50 rebate on your season pass for any inconvenience caused by these circumstances or elect to donate your $50 to assist employees affected by the fire. All donations of the $50 rebate will go directly to supporting our employees, and Sierra’s ownership will match the funds raised, dollar for dollar.

    Q: How do I make my selection to refund or recess my pass?

    A. Let us know which option you choose by filling out your Recess request here . All 2021/22 season passes purchased prior to November 30 qualify for the Recess Program. Still not sure which option to choose? No problem, you have through March 18, 2022 to decide. We hope this gives you peace of mind with more time to plan your Play.

    Q. How can I donate to Sierra?

    A. Continuing to be a season passholder or guest through 2022/23 is the most helpful way to show your support. If you would like to donate directly to employees affected, The Sierra Education Foundation has set up a Go Fund Me with 100% of donations going to support employees impacted by the fire.

    Q. Are there any volunteer opportunities to help?

    A. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to roll up their sleeves so we can all quickly return to our winter playground. Once evaluations of the mountain are complete, we look forward to engaging our Sierra Fam offering to help restore the resort.

    Q. Will Sierra be offering Competition, D-Team and the Rippers programs?

    A. Please contact Dan Healy, Director of Ski + Ride School, at DHealy@sierraattahoe.com to discuss available programs. Registration for these programs has not yet opened for the 2021/22 season, as we await inspection completion to determine resort operations.

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  5. Danny Bryant January 27, 2022 / 9:08 am

    Great news! Chairs are starting to be installed on Grandview Express! Kudos to the Sierra-at-Tahoe team to rising from the ashes of the Caldor Fire.

    https://www.sierraattahoe.com/live-cams/

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    • Danny Bryant January 27, 2022 / 9:22 am

      On the live cam just now, Tahoe King was operating (my guess for testing an/or maintenance). There is light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

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