After the devastating Caldor Fire in 2021, Sierra-at-Tahoe remained closed through much of the 2021-22 season. While they did open for a 75th anniversary weekend on April 9th and 10th, they only opened the Rock Garden, Easy Rider Express, and the Slider Carpet lifts. Last Thursday, Sierra-at-Tahoe provided an encouraging update on how they are approaching this offseason. Their goal is relatively complex based on the circumstances: reopen their forty-six trail network for the 2022-23 season.
The command center for Sierra’s comeback effort is at the Aspen Café, which is typically home to their competitive teams. This is where they are conducting hourly meetings to execute the recovery process. Nearly one hundred workers are on the mountain, and many are living in tents and RVs in the parking lot to get as much done as possible before next winter starts.
The removal of damaged and downed trees from the Caldor Fire is a major goal for the next few months. The project is a collaboration between the United States Forest Service (USFS), El Dorado Resource Conservation District (RCD), Atlas Tree Company, and El Dorado Community Foundation. Atlas Tree Company is leading this campaign, as they are aiming to remove a stunning thirty to forty loads of trees a day. Trees that were within 150 feet of the path of the wildfire are being removed, and in the areas where trees weren’t affected, “chipping will occur to assist in insulating the ski trails to help maintain the snowpack during the season.” Currently, they are removing damaged trees from the Beaver and Marmot trails. They will be undergoing a phased restoration approach to each terrain pod and will begin at the West Bowl, which saw the most damage, and then move eastward. Sierra-at-Tahoe said that they’ll be keeping people frequently posted about the latest developments on their blog and social media pages.
Image/Video Credits: Sierra-at-Tahoe