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Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows Interconnect Gets Clearance

Squaw-Alpine-Skis Skiers and riders will get to point 'em down at Squaw and Alpine much more often with new gondola. (Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows/Facebook)

A district court in Placer County has dismissed a lawsuit aimed to block construction of a gondola between California sister resorts Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows -- paving the way for the project to be built.

Both owned by Alterra Mountain Corp. and in the Ikon Pass, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows sit over a ridgeline from each other. Up until now, skiers and riders have to take a short ride to get from the steeps and glades at Squaw to the alpine bowls of Alpine. The eight-seat gondola is planned to run between the bases of each resort -- taking 16 minutes to cover two miles one-way. Plans call for a terminal at each base, and two mid-stations on each mountain where skiers and snowboarders can disembark and head downhill.

Proponents from the resorts touted that the connection would make 3,000 acres available to skiers and 'boarders on any day. Like many California resorts, traffic congestion is a problem, and the gondola is expected to reduce at least the base-to-base traffic.

To facilitate the dismissal, Alterra and Granite Chief Wilderness Protection League agreed to an adjusted route and preservation of private acreage to protect endangered species habitat near the gondola.

Construction is expected to take a couple of months, but management hasn't announced a starting date yet. Once built, it will only run in the winter season.

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