Squaw Valley Ski Holdings (SVSH) President and CEO Andy Wirth, and land owner Troy Caldwell, have announced that four years of effort have paid off in an agreement to build a base-to-base gondola between two regions. Caldwell’s White Wolf property spans 460 acres between the top of KT-22 to Alpine Meadows’ base. Both men feel this development will be a major game-changer, perhaps beyond Tahoe and California, into North America.
Gondola to connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows
In the plan, 6,000 acres of skiing will be combined/connected into one massive experience. The gondola development breaks out into three segments:
- Segment A – will stretch from the base of Squaw Valley near Cushing’s Pond to the top of the KT-22 ridge
- Segment B – will run from the ridge over Caldwell’s property, to Barstool Lake on U.S. Forest Service land
- Segment C – will take skiers from Barstool Lake to the bottom of Alpine Meadows (the exact location is still to be determined)
Loading and off-loading will be allowed at each segment. The gondola is designed to be bi-directional and will operate in a continuous loop. If one were to travel base-to-base, the distance would be two miles, and the time it would take would be approximately 14 minutes. Up to 1,400 skiers per hour can be carried. This figure is substantially less than Squaw’s Funitel, but it’s being done intentionally for both accessibility and environmental reasons. There will be minimal impact on wetlands, and the towers will be helicoptered in and be built almost exclusively on granite. The gondola will be lower to the ground, but far west of Caldwell’s property, to minimize scenic impacts of hikers on Five Lakes Trail.
This is a big story for our area, and one that reads even better: it’s been revealed that the gondola design is accessible to skiers and riders of all abilities. Also, overall vehicular emissions will be reduced, as guests will be able to choose a gondola ride instead of a vehicle. Caldwell and Wirth feel that this development will make this conjoined ski resort on par with Whistler Blackcomb, which is North America’s largest ski resort.
For the full story on this exciting development, please visit Moonshine Ink’s page at http://moonshineink.com/news/two-mountains-one-gondola