After the Caldor Fire moved through Sierra-at-Tahoe near Tahoe, the ski resort’s management was elated that firefighters were able to save much of the damage to the lifts and lodges. Now, after a month of inspections at the resort, management has found significant damage to the slopes typically used by skiers and snowboarders.
The past month of inspections revealed varying damage to Nob Hill and Short Stuff chairlifts. On top of that, there’s a lot of damage done to the trees inside the resort’s boundaries. While Sierra-at-Tahoe officials have maintained their commitment to open as soon as possible, ongoing inspections put that into question.
“What we now know is that there is more damage to the resort than was initially thought,” said management in a statement. “A significant number of trees were weakened by the fire, some of our chairlifts have sustained damage, and other infrastructure requires repair.”
The ski resort sits within the Eldorado National Forest, which was mostly closed to visitors until further notice. That doesn’t mean that Sierra-at-Tahoe would stay closed for the season, as it’s likely they would receive and exemption if the slopes were deemed safe for skiers. The resort remains committed to reopening for the 2021-22 ski season, but there will be many hurdles to clear before that becomes a reality.
Here is the full statement from Sierra-at-Tahoe:
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.