For years, skiers and riders have been forced to make a tough decision: ski and ride the world class steeps, glades and groomers of Squaw Valley, or choose the down-home vibe and powder-filled bowls of Alpine Meadows. But what if you didn’t have to make that decision? What if you could explore the wide range of terrain that both mountains offer without having to choose one over the other?
That dream is now closer than ever to becoming a reality, as Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC has announced plans to create a gondola connecting the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski areas.
Subject to approval, THE BASE-TO-BASE GONDOLA WILL FULFILL A LONG-HELD VISION TO CONNECT THE TWO MOUNTAINS, PROVIDING SKIERS AND RIDERS WITH ACCESS TO MOVE FREELY BETWEEN THE TERRAIN OF BOTH MOUNTAINS ON A SINGLE PASS OR LIFT TICKET.
The connection will dramatically improve the ski and snowboard experience at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows.
The project will be undertaken with the highest level of environmental stewardship, limiting the number of gondola towers to maintain the scenic beauty of the area and reducing vehicle traffic between the two mountains.
The project further secures Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows' position as a leading destination ski resort at a national level.
Increased destination tourism supports local business, and benefits the entire community with a positive economic impact.
“Connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows is something skiers and snowboarders both who live here and who visit have dreamed of for decades. We are excited to have reached a new milestone in the effort to bring that dream to fruition, and are moving forward with plans to provide our guests with a seamless way to experience both of these incredible mountains.”
Throughout the history of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, it has been a common dream of the resort owners and guests alike to freely ski between the two mountains.
Connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows by gondola will enhance the skiing experience at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, providing easy, uninterrupted access to the unique and varied terrain of both these mountains for beginners and experts alike, all with a single lift ticket or pass. The gondola will eliminate the 15-minute drive currently required to get from one mountain to the other, in turn reducing vehicle traffic.
In addition, the gondola will further Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows’ position as a leading destination resort in North America.
While the specific lift type is yet to be determined, a gondola is currently being considered as the most likely option.
The lift would require two base terminals and two mid-stations. The Alpine Meadows base terminal would be located on National Forest Service (NFS) lands adjacent to the Alpine Meadows base lodge. The Alpine Meadows mid-station would be located on NFS lands near The Buttress. The Squaw Valley mid-station would be located on private lands along the ridgeline southwest of the KT-22 top terminal. The Squaw Valley base terminal would be located on private lands between the bottom terminals of the KT-22 and Squaw One express lifts. Review the full plan and project maps
The potential gondola is made possible by a partnership between Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC (SVSH) and Troy Caldwell, owner of the land that the gondola would pass through.
SVSH will work with SE Group, a resort planning and design consultant, to develop plans for the project.
The timing of this project is dependent on Placer County Planning Commission and US Forest Service approval, therefore it is not currently possible to predict an opening date for the gondola.
See the Project Timeline for more details.
Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and Troy Caldwell will work with mountain planning company, SE Group, to design and construct the gondola connection using the most environmentally friendly methods possible. The current connection plan calls for the minimization of the number of gondola towers in an effort to reduce the environmental and visual impact of the connection, as well as maintain the scenic beauty of the area.
In addition, the gondola will reduce vehicle traffic by eliminating the short drive that is currently required between base areas.
“The plan itself will be executed with incredible care and concern for our environment, and with the intention of taking cars off the road, effectively reducing vehicle travel between the two mountains.”
Agreement reached between Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC and land-owner Troy Caldwell
Developing a project plan for submission to the county planning commission
County commission will prepare an environmental analysis and open to public input
If approved we begin the planning of the construction phase
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