Skiing at Squaw Valley provided for wildly swinging emotions from disappointed in the morning to happy and satisfied in the afternoon. Two words sum up the divergent experiences: ice and slush!
Morning = ice The morning conditions were about as awful as it gets with a solid sheet of ice covering virtually everything. It was so slick that the ice was glistening in the sunlight everywhere and it looked like a scene from Antarctica. I could have used my crampons on some slopes! We found a small gully with windswept snow to get a few turns of powder for a couple hours. We were dejected and disappointed at this point, but there was a glimmer of hope when we skied down to the lower slopes where the groomed runs were starting to soften in the warm spring sunshine.
Afternoon = slush We took a lunch break hoping more of the slope would soften. Indeed, as temperatures warmed in the early afternoon we found ourselves skiing some fun technical runs with slushy moguls and steeper terrain on the famous KT-22 Express. We enjoyed the good spring skiing conditions (coverage was good) for the entire afternoon until KT-22 closed at 4 pm. I really enjoyed the skiing in the afternoon as I was able to get into a rhythm, tackle some slopes, and get a workout.
It was great to get a taste of Squaw and I need to return to ski the Palisades, Granite Chief, and other options off KT-22 that remained icy throughout the day. The big question is whether the Sierra will receive one more dump this season. Indications are that a significant snow is possible late next week, but if this does not materialize, the ski season is essentially finished.