Caldor Fire Update

Snow Reporter
Monday, September 13, 2021
general

 

Guest Frequently Asked Questions:

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. It is unlikely that we will open in 2021 - so we have set our sights on resuming operations in early 2022. 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. Can I still use my Powder Alliance perks?

A. All Play and Unlimited Season Passholders receive access to the Powder Alliance with their 2021/22 Sierra Season Pass. In addition, a few of our partners have extended your skiing privileges to include unlimited skiing Monday-Friday, non-holiday when you keep your pass! Holiday/Blackout days due apply + vary be resort, so check out the details on our season pass benefits page and start mapping out your winter road trip!

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 Sierra-at-Tahoe Competition Teams at teams@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.


 

Update: November 1, 2021

Holding the vision, trusting the process.

As resorts are spinning their first chairs for the 2021/22 winter season, the yearning to join them in this historic, early opening runs deep here at Sierra. And while we're stoked for our friends Mammoth Mountain, Palisades Tahoe + Boreal Mountain in this celebratory event, the daily grind to join the winter lineup continues at the place Where Play Reigns Free.

We have substantial work ahead of us before we are able to announce our opening day for this season, and it is unlikely that we will open in 2021 - so we have set our sights on resuming operations in early 2022. With a delayed start to the season, the recent snow is a strong reminder of what we are working toward and we will not stop until we are all making laps on Grandview. 

When we return to Play, we want each and every one of you to be part of building the future of Sierra. We are working on opportunities for you to leave your mark + forever be a part of our story. 


Update: October 24, 2021

Like a phoenix rising, we will emerge from the ashes to explore, learn, progress, connect, escape + most importantly, to shred every available inch of our beloved mountain with you all. 

The work continues daily - in the rain, through the snow but the glimpse of the "new" to come has us daydreaming of future turns down Lower Main, stomping tricks in The Playgrounds + discovering new lines on a powder day. It will be different. How different is still unknown.

We do know that the trails + area accessed by West Bowl Express will be inaccessible this season, as we restore that section of the mountain for seasons to come. We are dedicated to keeping you informed and at the forefront of all that we do, which is why we have added a FAQ (above). We will keep sharing answers as we learn them to all of your pressing questions and cannot wait to welcome you back to the place Where Play Reigns Free.


Update: October 13, 2021

Although we have been working nonstop—and will continue to—on plans to reopen the resort, we want to let you know that we are still uncertain as to how much terrain we will be able to open this year. The safety of our employees and guests continues to be our number one priority, and despite making progress every day and working together with our partners at the United States Forest Service, and with arborists, engineers and inspectors, we have big challenges ahead.

Detailed inspections of the entire resort have revealed that we will not be able to offer you the same ski experience you have come to expect from Sierra. The work ahead of us includes evaluating the damage to trees throughout the resort property, particularly those along ski trails and lift lines, and continuing to repair chairlifts that were impacted while simultaneously navigating global supply chain and shipping challenges that are slowing that progress.

We’re not giving up, nor are we backing down from the challenge. We want you to know what we know - our intention is to keep moving forward, and to open what we can, when we can to welcome you back to Sierra this season.

To our loyal Sierra-at-Tahoe Season Passholders:  please check your email for options related to your 2021/22 season pass.

We realize that it’s incredibly frustrating not to have all the answers, or to have a clearer picture of what the season may look like. Like you, we wish we did. On behalf of our entire team, we appreciate your patience, support and understanding as we work through this unprecedented situation.


Update: October 1, 2021

Since we shared our last update, we have been busy bringing experts to Sierra to evaluate and help us outline our plans to open the resort safely, and as soon as possible. Engineers, arborists, and representatives from the United States Forest Service have begun the detailed inspections necessary in this effort.

What we now know is that there is more damage to the resort than was initially thought. A significant number of trees were weakened by the fire, some of our chairlifts have sustained damage, and other infrastructure requires repair. Already, a tremendous amount of work has been done along Sierra-at-Tahoe Road to remove fire weakened trees, and engineers are making progress in the effort to repair affected lifts.

As we look ahead, there’s still work to be done on the mountain to remove fire weakened trees on trails and along chairlift lines, and we’re working in partnership with the USFS to do that. As we learn more about timelines related to the repairs that are in progress, fire damaged tree remediation, and what our operations may look like this winter, we will continue to keep you informed.

It is also important to know that the USFS forest closure order issued yesterday does not mean Sierra was closed for the season, rather the fire boundary is currently not safe for recreation and when there is adequate precipitation on the ground, they will issue a new order.

We also want you to be confident in knowing that our goals remain the same:  to put our employees back to work, to give you the high-quality ski and snowboard experience you’re accustomed to, and to adapt and persevere as we always have. The Sierra-at-Tahoe spirit is alive and well!

Thank you for your continued support and positivity.


Update: September 20, 2021

Our goal is to continue to share what we know -- and what we’re still learning -- with you as we continue to gather more information.

Unfortunately, the Caldor Fire is very much still active within the resort and surrounding areas, and fire crews and personnel are continuing fire suppression efforts in the region. To date, this has limited our opportunity to have experts at Sierra to fully assess all that needs to be done.

We understand Hwy 50 will reopen tomorrow, however the resort remains closed, as is the Eldorado National Forest. The US Forest Service has a security guard positioned at the entrance to the resort and is only admitting fire crews and personnel affiliated with PG&E, who are onsite working hard to restore power to all those who have been impacted along the Hwy 50 corridor.

Our partners at the USFS have begun to survey the situation on the ground at Sierra and as of today, have crews actively removing fire damaged trees along Sierra-at-Tahoe Road. We expect we will know more soon about the level of support they can provide within the resort boundary itself, as there are a significant number of fire damaged trees there too.

Although we have not yet inspected all of the lifts, we have been able to look at several of them. Nob Hill and Short Stuff have sustained damage to varying degrees. When the fire crews wrap up their work, we will be able to really get in and understand more about the level of repair needed and the timeline related to how quickly that can happen.

In the meantime, we are making every effort to not only assess the damage, but to do what we can to restore as much of our resort operations as possible prior to the start of the season.

On behalf of our entire Sierra-at-Tahoe team, we appreciate your patience and support. We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more and begin to develop a clearer picture of our operational plans for this season.

Sincerely,

Your friends at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort


September 13, 2021

To our passholders and friends,

On behalf of the entire Sierra-at-Tahoe team, I wanted to share with you what we currently know about the damage caused by the Caldor Fire at Sierra. I also want to assure you that while some things will look different, we are doing everything in our power to open, operate, and welcome you back for Sierra’s 75th season. 

As many of you have read or seen on the news, most of the resort’s structures remain intact. The fire did, however, destroy one of our maintenance shops, a surface lift used by beginner skiers, and caused significant tree damage that is visible along the access road into the resort and in various areas around the mountain.

Currently, Hwy 50 remains closed and fire crews and personnel are still on-site monitoring hot spots. We are already engaging experts and working closely with the USFS and other partners who are prepared to move quickly to complete a full inspection and assessment of the damage across the entire resort and help us with a plan to move forward. This includes a full evaluation of all of our lifts, buildings, power, and other infrastructure.

As the assessments get underway, we anticipate having more information to share with you in the next 30 days. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Safety is our number one priority, and we look forward to welcoming you and all of our employees back to Sierra this season.

Sincerely,

John Rice

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort General Manager