Fall 2011 saw the merger of Squaw Valley with neighboring Alpine Meadows ski resort – a truly historic event that allows skiers and riders to experience 6,000 acres, 43 lifts and over 270 trails on one lift ticket or season pass. With the addition of Alpine Meadows to the Squaw Valley family – the resorts now enter year two of the Renaissance – a five-year plan now slated to bring nearly $70 million of innovative improvements to both resorts.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows announced nearly $24 million in capital improvements for the 2012-13 winter season. This year’s investment follows the $15 million in base area and on-mountain improvements from last winter (2011-12), bringing the total investment to more than $38 million, to date. The new projects for the upcoming season reflect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows’ continued dedication to creating a welcoming and extraordinary experience for guests. New projects for the upcoming ski and snowboard season include significant snowmaking improvements at both resorts; a new high-speed, six-passenger chairlift and improved High Camp beginner experience at Squaw; and a mile-long terrain park at Alpine Meadows.
New Big Blue Express, Six-Passenger Chairlift
The resort will install Big Blue Express, a new, high-speed six-pack chairlift, to replace the High Camp chairlift. The base terminal of Big Blue Express will start where the base of the High Camp lift was formerly located and will extend to the top of the Shirley Lake ridgeline – providing easy access to the Shirley Lake, Solitude and Granite Chief chairlifts. This new alignment will not only provide quicker and easier travel to Shirley Lake and beyond, but it will also give skiers and riders access to beginner and intermediate terrain that was previously inaccessible via the old High Camp chairlift. The new Park Pulley telecord, a modern day version of a tow lift, will be also installed to provide easy access to the Belmont terrain park and to eliminate traversing across the mountaintop meadow.
The Links double chairlift will be removed and replaced with a triple chairlift named Mountain Meadow, which will be realigned to bring skiers and riders up to the ridgeline near the top terminals of the Solitude and Silverado lifts. The primary purpose of this realignment is to provide a more suitable and accessible learning area with a better fall line for Squaw’s beginner skiers and riders.
These lift improvements combined with Squaw’s $2.6 million snowmaking improvements and grooming initiative will provide more efficient and convenient travel and flow on the upper mountain – and a better overall experience for skiers and riders this coming winter
Tahoe’s Only Mile-Long Terrain Park
With the recent partnership between Alpine Meadows and Snow Park Technologies (SPT), skiers and riders can look forward to continued terrain park improvements and an enhanced park experience throughout the winter season. Snow Park Technologies is renowned in the terrain park business with 15 years of experience designing parks for major resorts and events nationwide including the Dew Tour and Winter X Games.
One of the most exciting changes to the terrain park experience is the expansion of the medium and large park. The combined parks, from Terry’s Return to Dancefloor, will offer an entire mile-long park run making it the longest terrain park run in the Tahoe region. Also brand new this year, there will be a beginner progression park on Subway where lessons will be available. Guests eating out on the sundeck can enjoy the view of skiers and riders testing out their skills at a new base area jib arena. New jibs will be added this season, including four new beginner boxes, two intermediate boxes and four new snowmaking pipe jibs, increasing the park’s fleet to more than 60 jib features.