Silverado – Palisades Tahoe, CA

Top drive-tension terminal.
Last tower before the top.
Upper part of the line.
Middle section of the line.
Tall combo tower.
First few towers.
Bottom station with lots of sheaves right off the bat.
Fixed return.
Bottom bullwheel.
Riding up the line.
Breakover towers.
Arriving at the drive.
Top station overview.
Counterweight next to Solitude.

18 thoughts on “Silverado – Palisades Tahoe, CA

  1. julestheshiba May 30, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    This lifts operating schedule is hilarious. In the past years it could not be opened because of lack of snow and Squaw kept promising it would open. Then this year they would not open it because of an abundance of snow and in the same fashion Sqauw promised it would open but it only opened for a short time.


  2. Maxwell Uguccioni January 30, 2019 / 9:04 pm

    Where was lost lake located?


    • somebody January 31, 2019 / 10:00 pm

      Parallel to what now is squaw one express. Except it was on the other side of what is now the headwall express.


      • Jake May 8, 2020 / 3:54 pm

        Wasn’t Cornice I parallel to what is now Squaw One Express?


        • Somebody May 8, 2020 / 4:21 pm

          Lost Lake replaced Cornice 1.


  3. AvocadoAndy January 30, 2019 / 9:23 pm

    That’s a really interesting bottom terminal. Also a bit ironic to name a lift “silverado” but paint everything black.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maxwell July 11, 2019 / 7:45 pm

    This and Squaw One Express are the only two lifts at squaw valley with footrests.


  5. julestheshiba January 16, 2020 / 2:08 pm

    you know that I have just realised that I think the top of lost lake is still there. you can still see what appears to be the top of a yan lift right where it ended. I always thought it was the top of cornice 1 but it always seemed to high up to be that lift.


  6. Somebody April 25, 2020 / 4:03 pm

    Squaw needs to do a better job of getting this lift running. Most of the terrain is similar to west KT yet this lift probably on average only runs 10 days a year.


    • Enumclaw kid April 25, 2020 / 6:27 pm

      Saw this blog post a couple of years ago explaining the operational issues:

      Key graf:

      “Oregon Trail is essential to opening Silverado terrain. Just like every lift at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, we need access to construct a road to the lower terminal that permits snowcat access for medical emergencies. Only a few team members can cut this road due to the complexity of navigating this difficult terrain. First off, we have to wait until there is sufficient snow depth and density, before the road can be built over this extremely rocky area for the snow to settle otherwise it has no consistency. It’s been sitting for a while and we knew this was our chance to get in there start building the road and have. Second, the path beneath the Iron Curtain, and between the Creek and the lower terminal, are very steep, exposed, rocky and prone to avalanches.”


      • Somebody April 25, 2020 / 8:57 pm

        Why don’t they build a cat road directly from the bottom of silverado to the main base area? This seems a lot less rocky/narrow than building it to the top of the triple chairs.

        Another option would be building a snowcat road out of manmade snow.

        Economically though, the only way either of those would be worth it is if Silverado gained a reputation in the skiing community (similar to KT and headwall). They might not want to take the risk of making the investment. For now though, we’ll keep having this weird “open every other year” schedule.


        • Cameron Halmrast April 25, 2020 / 10:07 pm

          Squaw Valley is located on private land and the territory below may not be owned by Alterra.


        • Somebody April 25, 2020 / 11:07 pm

          Ah, forgot about that. Perhaps they could lease the land (as its undeveloped and there’s no current road access), but it still probably kills off my idea.

          Ok, so what about setting up a cat road up the ski run “land bridge”? According to google earth it has a maximum slope of about 27 degrees (can’t a cat climb that?) and at least at first glance it appears less rocky than oregon trail.


        • Somebody October 22, 2020 / 3:31 pm

          Interesting thing I noticed today. The base to Silverado is actually a summer trail that Alterra throws on the summer trail map…

          Wonder if they’d be allowed to build a cat road there.


  7. Somebody April 26, 2020 / 9:13 pm

    If they did somehow manage to get this lift running 40-50 days a season, it’d be nice if they also replaced it with a used detachable (since Alterra has a lot of those). Ride time on the triple on paper should be 9 minutes but in reality it’s more like 11 or 12.

    Obviously it’s a pipe dream, but you never know.


  8. Truckee Local October 22, 2020 / 10:33 pm

    Re Somebody’s cat track to Silverado idea, that would be tough. Shirley Canyon is steep and rocky and there is a stream running through it. (It’s an incredibly popular summer hike because of the waterfalls.) Even a cat track would require quite a bit of excavation and grading. Also, I’m not sure the topography at the base would let a cat track get back to Squaw’s base area without going uphill.


    • Somebody February 1, 2021 / 3:10 pm

      Looking at it, it seems that you could build a traverse without going uphill from the bottom of Silverado to the Shirley Canyon trailhead. I feel like that could be easier to manage than the existing cat-road from Silverado to Solitude. Granted, I’m not sure if this is usually the bottleneck that prevents Silverado from opening or if it’s snow quantity, but if solving this would get the terrain open more, it’d be really cool.


  9. Brendo Anderson June 22, 2021 / 2:51 pm

    Cornice I was one of the coolest old-school lifts it was built over a frothy creek which meandered between its lower towers, making for an exhilarating ride. It was the fastest feed to the fabled Cornice II and was built in the same year by the same manufacturer in the early 60’s (’63?). It was a top drive and Cornice II was a bottom drive. Cornice I had a length of 4300′ and vertical of 600′. Cornice II had a length of just 3700′ and vertical of 1350′!! Very steep… only Olympic Lady was steeper you could reach back and tap the cable with your pole.


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