Sunday, August 2, 2015

Running Squaw Valley: Emigrant Peak, July 30, 2015

Emigrant Peak, Squaw Valley Ca., July 30, 2015

Up early again to run but this time it was up Emigrant Peak from the Squaw Valley resort village, via the Shirley Canyon trail rather than the resort services roads. Shirley Canyon is just north of Squaw tram. Compared to the resort service roads I ran during Tuesday's run up Squaw Peak, Shirley Canyon is more challenging due to the 'bouldery' trail. Otherwise, both runs were similar in stats: just under eight miles round trip, and just under 3k vertical rise. 

Along the Shirley Canyon Trail on the way to High Camp and then Emigrant Peak.
This was a tough trail to run given all the granite boulders and big steps on the trail, but there were a few "easy" parts on the slabs of granite. Shirley Canyon is dressed with big, beautiful Red Cedars, Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine. It is beautiful country. I lost the trail on the way down, got too far north on a slab and which led me to a big drop-off, and, remembering this dead Cedar during the ascent, I relocated the trail from almost a quarter mile off route.

Emigrant Peak from Shirley Lake. Look hard and you'll see the Solitude Chair lift base terminal.

"High Camp" at Squaw Valley is a rats nest of chair lifts, trams, gondolas, swimming pool and skating rink. And all 2,000 feet above the resort base.

High Camp. It's so flat even Sasquatch could ski it. From here it's tough to believe you're nearly at the top of one of the toughest ski hills in America. On the left is the upper terminal of the Squaw tram, swimming pool and skating rink. The pointy peak on the right is the Eagle's Nest near the summit of the much talked about steeps of the KT-22 chairlift. 

Squaw Peak and the Palisades (ski runs through the cliffs) as seen from High Camp. The 1960 winter Olympics were held at Squaw Valley and the Men's Downhill started just right of the cliffs of Squaw Peak, the high point above. 

This is the summit of Emigrant Peak, view south towards Squaw Peak, washed out in the early morning sunshine.

From summit of Emigrant Peak, view north towards Granite Chief Peak.

The bull-dozed flat summit of Squaw Peak, from Emigrant Peak. The peak was leveled years ago to install an FAA radar facility (see my previous post). The platform on the right is the upper terminal of the Siberia Express chairlift, currently under re-construction. I've never seen a ski area build, tear-down, move and re-build chairlifts like Squaw Valley. During my two summit runs this week, I encountered numerous old chairlift tower foundations and old lift terminals (like the old Cornice chairlift). 

Shirley Lake reflecting Emigrant Peak (l) and Granite Chief (r).

One more reflection, but without the log.

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