Bear Causes Temporary Closure at Palisades Tahoe

Skiers at Palisades Tahoe were left bewildered on Sunday, April 7th, 2024, after receiving a notification from the resort’s mobile app announcing the temporary closure of the ‘Granite Chief’ lift.

Despite ideal spring skiing conditions, the decision was made by Palisades Tahoe Mountain Manager Jimmy King after he spotted this bear near the lift’s peak:

The bear was observed “looking curiously at people and the garbage bin at the top.” Erring on the side of caution, King promptly closed both the Granite Chief and nearby Emigrant Lifts. Ski patrol then conducted a thorough sweep of the area to ensure the safety of skiers and the bear itself, leading to the extended closure of both lifts for the remainder of the day.

While it is the resort’s standard policy to close terrain in the presence of wildlife, the situation was particularly concerning due to a tag observed on the bear’s ear. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife routinely captures, tags, relocates, and manages “problem” bears in the Lake Tahoe area.

Ski patroller Zach Williams captured a photo of the bear investigating signage at the top of the Granite Chief lift, further highlighting the unusual encounter.

Despite the inconvenience to skiers on what was a busy day at the resort, with prime spring skiing conditions and the Winter Wondergrass music festival in full swing, Palisades Tahoe’s priority remained safety. Granite Chief reopened the following day, April 8th, 2024.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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