Location: Sierra Crest – Squaw Valley, CA
Duration: 2.5 – 4 hours from Hwy 89
Elevation Change: 2,328′ – from 6,020′ to 8,348′
Map of General Route:
Visible from the Squaw Valley parking lot, and also near the 7-11 on Highway 89, this hidden backcountry treasure has been skied by locals for decades. You’re often the only people on the upper half of the mountain, while hordes of Squaw and Alpine Meadows skiers have no clue what you’re up to right next door. This long, mellow ski tour usually starts from Highway 89, two miles north of Squaw Valley Road. After an hour of low-angle snow-covered road, you’ll begin a moderate 1,500’ climb to a beautiful east-facing bowl. The top small round summit gives you a real “king of the mountain” feel. It’s a long way to go honestly from hwy 89. I almost always go up from Squaw Valley, on the north side of the Olympic Village Inn. The terrain is steep and complex, and finding a good route is not for beginners if the local track isn’t in. If you parked in Squaw, You’ll have to come back up most of the vert after dropping the 1000′ east bowl, but it goes easy. Go with a guide from Alpineskills.com or Alpenglowexpeditions.com
I’ve heard the lower and more obvious peak you see from the Squaw Valley Chairlifts to be called Gold Peak. This has some nice south facing corn to ski and can be joined with an east bowl descent on neighboring silver Peak. I almost prefer skiing this one to bang out a nice hike as it’s more direct and a “summit” feeling for sure.