The California Express is a proposed gondola that would connect Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows. The project is currently pending approval by public agencies. If it is approved, the gondola could be installed and ready to go as soon as the 2019-20 ski season.
Squaw Valley Press Release:
By: Sam Kieckhefer
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows Eyes 2019-20 Winter Season for Opening of California Express Gondola
Guests and Community can Help Realize Long-Held Dream of Connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows
[Olympic Valley, Calif.] Oct. 25, 2017 – Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows formally announced its plan to install a base-to-base gondola connecting The Village at Squaw Valley and the base area at Alpine Meadows today. The freshly branded “California Express” gondola is targeted to open ahead of the 2019-20 winter season. The connection of these two great mountains will realize the long-held dream of the pioneers who brought the sport of skiing and the 1960 Winter Olympics to Squaw Valley nearly 60 years ago.
The proposed connection is currently under a joint agency review and assessment with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and Placer County. With help and support from the local community and loyal resort guests, once it is open, the gondola will finally offer skiers and snowboarders a cohesive, seamless ski and ride experience that includes access to the 6,000 combined acres of incredible terrain at both mountains without use of a car, and additional lift access to the top of the KT ridge.
“With the connection of two of California’s most iconic mountains via a gondola offering spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada, we wanted a name that was fitting and had a clear association with California,” said Andy Wirth, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Naming the gondola the ‘California Express’ was a natural choice. Especially since California, more widely known for its beaches than mountains, also offers some of North America’s most abundant snowfall, stunning scenery, and world-class ski and snowboard terrain.”
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is committed to ensuring the gondola is sensitive to the environment, native habitat, and nearby public lands when it is built. To this end, the design plan for the California Express prioritizes environmental sustainability at every step. This includes:
- Protecting and preserving all identified critical habitats;
- Avoiding crossing into the Granite Chief wilderness boundary;
- Reducing car and shuttle traffic between the two mountains that impacts guests, residents and employees;
- Minimizing visual impacts by limiting the number and height of gondola towers to maintain the scenic beauty of the area; and
- Eliminating the need to construct access roads by using helicopters and overland crews for construction.
Pending approval by public agencies, the resort believes it can make the California Express a reality in time for the 2019-20 winter season. Residents and resort guests can voice their active support for the California Express to make this long-held dream reality.
To learn more about the California Express and how to help make it happen in time for the 2019-20 winter season, visit squawalpine.com/gondola.
What do you think? Will this proposed gondola benefit skiers & riders at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA? Let them know, voice your opinion here.