Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have been linked by ownership for a while, but soon they may be connected by a gondola.
Placer County supervisors have given approval to a plan to build an eight-passenger gondola that will run from the between the bases of the two Tahoe-area resorts. A decision by the U.S. Forest Service, which has jurisdiction over some of the land that the lift will cross on the Alpine Meadows side, is still needed before construction begins.
Alterra Mountain Co., the parent company for the resorts, says the new lift will cut down on traffic in the area by eliminating the need to drive or take a shuttle on the six miles of roadway between the resorts.
Plans call for the gondola to go from the base of Red Dog chair at Squaw Valley to the base area of Alpine Meadows in 13-16 minutes – with 33 towers in the 2.2 miles between base terminals. There will be two midway terminals, one near the base of the KT-22 Express on the Squaw side, and another about halfway to the Alpine base. Lift capacity would approximately be 1,400 people per hour in both directions.
Since taking over the two California ski and snowboard areas in 2018, Alterra has put the resorts under its Ikon Pass and begun to spend the $17 million it pledged to upgrade and link the two distinctly different mountains. Squaw is known for its cliffy steeps and glades, while Alpine boasts big powder bowls.