Images courtesy of @Palisades Tahoe
Olympic Valley Intermediate Itinerary
Olympic Valley Intermediate Itinerary - Snow King, Shirley Lake, Solitude, Emigrant, Siberia
Trails: Beginner, Intermediate, Expert
Overview – Warm up on Snow King – Lap the Shirley Lake Groomers – Lunch @ High Camp – Solitude – Emigrant Face – Siberia – Return to Olympic Village – Après @ Le Chamois
1. 9-10:30AM – Warming up with incredible views of Lake Tahoe
From the base area, head up the Red Dog Triple and proceed to your left to follow Lake View. This groomer is one of Squaw's best early morning warm up runs and offers incredible views of Lake Tahoe.
When you've had enough of the groomers, look for Valley View or Montezuma's to your left off of Lake View. Both offer moderate slope angles and fairly small bumps. All of these runs funnel to the bottom of the Squaw Creek Resort and the Squaw Creek Lift. Load Squaw Creek and exit right. Proceed down Champs Elysees for a longer run that returns to the Main Base Area, or break off to the right when you reach Upper Dog Leg for a steeper groomed black.
2.10:30AM – Sightseeing from The Tram to the tree-lined runs of Shirley Lake
Once back in the base area, click out of your equipment and walk through the Village towards the Tram Building. (If you feel lost, look to the top of the massive cliff face that rises from the west edge of the village, and follow the haul rope cables that come down from the top of the cliff to the Tram Building.) Try to get a window position on the tram – the views are incredible. As the tram car crests over the cliff face below you, you'll notice the red tinted granite rock spires out the southern windows. This area was Walt Disney's inspiration for building the Thunder Mountain ride at Disney Land.
Warming up on Lake View
At the top of the tram, exit the building and head down the groomed path, Lupine, that follows the Bailey's Beach chair line. Keep following the groomed path, as it turns into Mountain Run, until you reach the bottom of Big Blue Express.
Take Big Blue up and then proceed straight to find yourself at one of Shirley Lake's 6 tree lined groomers. They all ski fairly similarly; we recommend Mariliac's and Tomlinson's for their length. Proceed down your choice until you reach the Shirley Lake Express. You can easily spend the next hour exploring the Shirley Lake Area.
When you're ready for a break and some lunch, head to High Camp. Located at the top of the tram, this is one of the best places for lunch with a view at Squaw Valley. Take Mule's Ear to the Mountain Meadow chair. From the top of Mountain Meadow, follow the ridge to the right to High Camp.
3. 12:15PM – Lunch with a breathtaking with of the Sierra's @ High Camp (see more on lunch options here)
There are two sit-down restaurant options at High Camp - The Terrace Restaurant and Granite Bistro. The The former offers the best views, but has a smaller menu selection than the Granite Bistro. The Bistro has indoor seating or options to dine on the large patio overlooking the pool. For grab and go, head to the High Camp Marketplace on the top level.
4. 1PM – Exploring Solitude and venturing off-piste with a modest pitch
After lunch, its time to make your way over to Solitude. From High Camp, load the chair at the top of Big Blue and follow the ridge towards the top of the Solitude Lift.
Solitude has significantly fewer groomed options than Shirley Lake, but it maintains a modest pitch and is ideal for the intermediate, off-piste skier. Spend the next hour exploring Solitude while always watching for hazard markings and cliff signs. The slope angle here caters to the intermediate, but does have a number of quick steep pitches and granite ledge drops. Ski Patrol does a great job of alerting skiers to these hazards with markings, but the intermediate skier should still always stay vigilant as to what type of terrain they are skiing towards. For trail choices we recommend Reuters and The Freeway. The intermediate skier should then look to slowly work their way into the off-piste terrain that separates the two.
5. 2:30PM – Skiing the Sierra Crest on the Emigrant Face
It is now time to head to Emigrant! From the top of Solitude take Poppy, Lupine, and then upper Mountain Run to return to the Big Blue Express. Exit Big Blue and head left to Ramp Run and follow it to the base of the Emigrant Chair. Take Emigrant to the top and be sure to take some pictures of the view. (Fun Fact – the top of this chair is on the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. As the snow melts, all of the water on the West facing slopes will flow into California, while all the water on the East facing slopes will flow into Nevada.)
From here proceed either down Monument Ridge or Emigrant Face. Monument Ridge is a groomed cat track while Emigrant Face is a steeper and sometimes off piste slope. Multiple laps are merited.
6. 3:15PM – Conquering Siberia Face and returning to the Base
From the bottom of the Emigrant chair, head down Easy Slider until you reach the Siberia Express. On your way up, notice the steep groomed Siberia Bowl to your left. If this black diamond is within your ability level, feel free to head left from the top of the lift and proceed down it. If not, head right off the lift and down Ridge Run.
Cruising down Mountain Run
From the ridge, take Killy's to enter the bowl. If you've done the face, be sure to check out any combination of Newport, Groove Tube, Yellow Trail or Siberia Lift Line. After a few runs, Patrol should be starting their sweep and will be ushering guests down.
If your legs are tired or you are a lower end intermediate skier, it's best to head over to the Gold Coast Lodge and download the Funitel to the Village. Mountain Run is the main exit off of the mountain and is usually very chopped up or slick by the end of the day. However, if you still have a little left in the tank proceed down Mountain Run. This long winding trail will take you through the heart of Squaw Valley and is a great way to end your day!
Congratulations on your epic day and conquering the majority of Squaw's Blue terrain! For some hard earned pizza and beer, head to Le Chamois or check out our Après Guide for all of the info you need to maximize your fun off of the hill.
FOR SQUAW'S GNARLIEST TERRAIN