2023 Season Charges Forward While Completing Swift Repair in West Bowl

Snow Reporter
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Update: FEB 4, 2023

2023 is off to a bang and Mother Nature sure has been keeping us on our toes. With record breaking snowfall for our comeback season, this has already been one for the books + we are only at the halfway point in the season.

We were put to the test with 100MPH+ winds knocking off communication lines in West Bowl, but we are no strangers to a challenge, and thrilled to announce WEST BOWL IS BACK.  

This means 100% of the mountain is open, giving every level skier or snowboarder access to just the vibe you are seeking from lapping sun-kissed groomers in West Bowl or off Grandview, to enjoying solitude on the Backside, or turning it up in the Playgrounds or Huckleberry Canyon, we’ve got something for everyone. 

Punxsutawney Phil has spoken — calling for 6 more weeks of winter, so come on’ up, spend time with your Sierra fam + rack up your days on the hill. There is only one chance to be a part of a comeback season, so are you going to hear about it, or be the one to tell the story? 

Update: JAN 29, 2023
The beautiful thing about operating a ski resort is working in nature’s elements- there's sun, snow, rain, and sometimes, a little wind.  
This season we’ve been blessed with a lineup of storms allowing us to open top-to-bottom skiing in December + break records in January — and this week the rope was dropped on the Huckleberry Gates, the earliest opening in over 3 years
This break in the storms this week was replaced with high winds. Monday January 23, strong easterly winds were pulled in and rare triple digit wind speeds were clocked around the mountain. West Bowl Express + Puma’s communication lines sustained significant damage which has resulted in West Bowl’s closure while these communication lines are replaced.  
Our crew are no strangers to a challenge, having done this just  a few times over the summer replacing 14 communication lines from the Caldor Fire. They’ll use the knowledge gained to complete repairs + get West Bowl back online so you can continue to experience some of the most talked about terrain in the Tahoe basin!   

What happened in West Bowl? 

On Monday January 23, easterly winds in excess of 100 MPH caused damage to communication lines on West Bowl Express and Puma affecting West Bowl’s ability to remain open. All 13 trails in West Bowl will be closed until communication lines are replaced. 

Why are communication lines important?  

Communication lines carry the data signals from each tower's safety and operating circuitry, as well as phone lines between the base, summit and mountain dispatch, and run down the middle of the lift.  
West Bowl Express and Puma’s communication lines were recently repaired this summer after damage sustained from the Caldor Fire, however these will need to be replaced again prior to reopening. 

What is the plan for repairs? 

Assessments are almost complete, some supplies have arrived, with more on the way, and the lift maintenance and mountain operations crews are getting to work. The plan of operations is to transfer the communication spool and equipment to West Bowl which will then be threaded over the lift frame of the tower head. The line must be manually threaded requiring our crew to move it in sections from top to bottom. A laborious task but if anyone can do it, it's our team.
[Image: New communication line being staged at the top of West Bowl Express on a Viking sled]   
 [Image: Communication line being threaded over the lift frame of the tower head]   
[Image: Crew pulling new communication line through tower down the run]   


When will West Bowl Reopen? 

An exact reopening date has not been set, but guests can receive status updates by following our Snow Reporting Blog, follow us on social ( Instagram , Facebook , Twitter ) + sign up for our email newsletter on our website to stay in tune. 
In the meantime, slide down sun-kissed groomers on The Backside, cruise long laps off Grandview, soar on small booters to 65-foot kickers in 4 of our Playgrounds or take your thrill seeking to the next level on Huckleberry Canyon’s expert terrain with views of Big Blue. Sierra will rise again + there is plenty of terrain and events  to keep the good times rollin’! 
A big THANK YOU to our maintenance teams for round-the-clock work, including getting help from our friends from around the lake to come lend a hand. Please be sure to give them a high five if you seem out n’ about!  
[Image: Sierra mtn + lift ops + a few helping hands from neighboring resorts getting the job done]