It’s hard to believe we’re even saying this, but the powers that be at Squaw are actually praying for…well, not for rain, exactly, but for the next snowstorm to hold off, at least till after the Audi Women’s FIS World Cup from March 9th through March 12th is over and the victors climb onto the podium: our cheers will be split between Mikaela Shiffrin, who’s on a hot streak this season, Lindsey Vonn, and local favorite Julia “Gold Medal” Mancuso.
Why? Lake Tahoe’s resorts have been dumped on so much this season that some key parts of the course—Squaw’s notorious Red Dog—are almost unrecognizable. Grooming crews have been hard at it, carving away the extra snow and packing down the slalom and giant slalom courses so that they look—and feel—the way the designers intended them. Of course, groomers usually have to fine-tune a course, but having to cart off two or three feet’s worth of snow—that’s a pleasant change. And one that we regular-Joe skiers will benefit from once the competition’s over.