Sierra snow causing concerns about Tevis Cup ride

By: Journal Staff Report
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With one measurement showing 22 inches of snow had fallen at Squaw Valley by Thursday afternoon, Tevis Cup riders will start the endurance ride in Auburn instead of Robie Park in Truckee. The ride – which was switched to Oct. 8 from July 16 because of deep snow in the Sierra that had lingered through a cooler-than-usual spring – is slated to start at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning. It will begin at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. Riders will then travel to the Chicken Hawk checkpoint, which is about 38 miles outside of Auburn and just before Michigan Bluff, and then turn around and head back to the start. Tevis riders were being told Thursday not to try to enter the Robie Equestrian Park in Truckee because their vehicles and trailers could end up blocking the road and hamper efforts to clear away snow. And ride organizers were meeting throughout Thursday afternoon to decide on a course of action for the weekend. The snow was creating ski conditions but a Squaw Valley USA ski resort spokesman said Thursday that there are no plans to open runs earlier than the targeted opening day of Nov. 23. The resort’s Amelia Richmond said the resort was the recipient of a foot of snow during an initial storm Wednesday. Squaw Valley received another 10-12 inches of snow overnight and it was still snowing Thursday afternoon, she said. But there are no plans to open the resort ahead of schedule, Richmond said. Richmond said that the spate of snow was unusual. Last year’s first snowfall of the season Oct. 25 was considered early, she said. “It’s exciting for us and it’s good because it’s getting people excited for winter,” Richmond said.