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Last weekend we spent a day riding Squaw Valley's new Mountain Bike park.
With 2000' feet of vertical and some seriously rugged terrain there is a ton of potential here. At this time, however it is mostly unrealized.
First, there is only one DH trail at this time. True, it does split into two separate lines for a short while but the majority of the hill (90%) has only a single trail.
While there were some fun sections on the hill most of it felt rushed and unfinished. There were far too many random awkward corners, and very little flow. There were a couple of places that did work well and left you grinning but they passed all to quickly. I would have liked the trails to allow you to carry more speed, it seems they were designed to slow you down rather than encourage momentum.
Squaw has only had a short while to build trails as this is a new endeavor starting this summer. Give the short amount of build time I can understand why so much of the trail feels rushed and half finished.
IMO Squaw is risking alienating their future patrons by opening the park before it is ready and still charging full price for lift tickets. At nearly $40 per lift ticket they need to offer far more than what is currently available. The majority of riders we spoke with felt they paid too much and would not be returning any time soon. Several guys left after one run and headed for Northstar. I would say for $20 it might be worth checking out for a day.
Squaw also will need to work on improving lift access, the tram is not an efficient way to transport riders up the hill. It runs every 20 minutes and can be quite crowded. This could lead to long delays at bottom of the hill depending on how busy the resort is.
There were maybe a dozen riders on the hill while we were there, this helped keep the line moving briskly. I have heard that they are planning on changing this for next year, running a high speed quad with bike racks.
After spending a day riding at Squaw we were disappointed in what they have to offer now, but hopeful that they will invest the time and money to realize their potential.
Squaw could be world class, but they have a very long way to go to get there.

I shot some pov cam footage and edited a clip trying to show what Squaw has to offer. I used a bar mount that gives a good perspective, but unfortunately suffers from too much cam movement for quality video.

 

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Funny, I was just about to post the exact same thing.

I also tried Squaw this weekend, and was left rather unimpressed. I agree with everything that the op stated. The trails don't flow well and the corners seem randomly thrown together. There are berms, but it seems that all of them are built to force you to slow down. There is also quite a bit of uphill and pedaling involved over the course of the run.

I only did two runs total and then left for Northstar. I also think that Squaw should lower the lift ticket price for now, as the trails they currently have do not warrant a $40 ticket.

Apparently, the plan for next year is to run KT and Squaw 1; so hopefully the park will only get better. Also, one of the patroller's told me that Hacksaw's plan is to have a trail that is "better than A-Line". The terrain at Squaw is amazing, and with the right people building, Squaw has potential to be a great bike park. Right now however, I wouldn't ride there again.

I took a helmet cam video my first time down the trail as well.This is just the first part of GOAT trail(which is the best part of the trail on the mountain in my opinion). I am currently uploading the other 10 minutes or so.
 

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Here's the lower section of the trail. I cut out the switch back ski run section to keep it under 10 minutes. Make sure to watch in 720p.
 

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Thanks for posting videos guys, but...

I think I went deaf from novato kid's brakes! heheheh
 

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dstepper said:
Most of the country would be ecstatic to have that in there back yard regardless of cost. I believe that Northstar may have spoiled you guys.

Dean
Ha ha, true. CA people are spoiled.
 

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dstepper said:
Most of the country would be ecstatic to have that in there back yard regardless of cost. I believe that Northstar may have spoiled you guys.

Dean
This is true but Squaw has to do the math. You have N* right near your charging almost the same for a lift ticket with a whole mountain of great riding. Drop the price a bit and try to build up a following and build on it year by year.
 

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Dude is that one long run or a bunch of runs?
 

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Beaubien
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Thanks for the reviews and feedback. I think with so many trails to climb and or shuttle I wouldn't waste my time at Squaw even if the tickets were free. Come on one run! If I were to ride lifts for a day N* gets my money every time. Squaw should wake up.
 

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Woody Rush said:
Thanks for the reviews and feedback. I think with so many trails to climb and or shuttle I wouldn't waste my time at Squaw even if the tickets were free. Come on one run! If I were to ride lifts for a day N* gets my money every time. Squaw should wake up.
?? Except for the ticket price, I think Squaw is awake. This is a brand new park and they already announced that it will be very limited this year with much more expansion next year. Instead of bashing them maybe you should support thier efforts. From what I hear they have a good crew and are working hard to make an excellent park.

Feedback is definitely good for them so go ride it and let them hear it. I'm sure they already know where they stand but go ride it an give your input.

Spoiled by N*.? haha, good one.
 

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Holly cow! It looks like they have some absolutely amazing terrain out there! I'm excited for the next few years with what they build because the possibilities are there to make Northstar look like a little kids park. I won't go there until they build more trails, but hopefully next year i'll be splitting my time between there and the star. Ride on.
 

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Beaubien
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I'm not bashing them. I'm just saying my dollars are as limited as their terrain. An introductory price would be the only thing that MIGHT get me out there. Until then there are plenty of free trails around here. N* has a 3 pack for $99. Squaw should make it a 6 pack for that price if they want people to come.
 

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JefedelosJefes said:
Holly cow! It looks like they have some absolutely amazing terrain out there! I'm excited for the next few years with what they build because the possibilities are there to make Northstar look like a little kids park. I won't go there until they build more trails, but hopefully next year i'll be splitting my time between there and the star. Ride on.
Hell yeah they do. I can't wait.. been fishing and hiking around there for years

Wonder if they could ever link it up w/ Alpine meadows, ride back to the cabin would be nice..
 
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