Local Religion Saves The Chamois Bar @ Squaw Valley

Miles Clark | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Le Chamoix and her religious followers
Le Chamois and her religious followers

If everything goes down the way KSL/Squaw intends it too (and it likely will considering KSLs current bank roll and power), we are soon going to be accompanied by the “Largest Ski Resort in the USA” with a 101.5 acre village at it’s base.  That village will be sprawling and tall.  It’ll have a state-of-the-art 132,000-square foot aquatic center, 1,000 pristine residential units, high-end shops, manicured walking paths, a beautifully restored Squaw creek, and one funky old little red bar called Le Chamois.  And it will stick out like a sore thumb.

{Le Chamois opened in 1969 and has been legendary ever since.}

How is it that everything else non-new at Squaw Valley’s base is scheduled for demolition (including the legendary Olympic House) and the Chamois will be saved?  Local religion, that’s how.  KSL has been studying the local population and they’ve deduced that if they keep the Chammy, they can pretty much do whatever else they want.  And it’s true, isn’t it?

Le Chamoix ' aved'
See that little red box in there…on the right?  Le Chamois’ future home among giants.  Better afternoon sun at least.  photo:  moonshine ink

I think we’d all be more than just a little outraged if the Chammy was demolished and replaced with an Under Armor store or Euro Snack.  But, if they annihilate the Olympic House, the Squaw Valley Sport Shop, the old ticket booths, who cares?  There just isn’t the same socioreligious connection.

Humans are intensely social creatures.  Social interactions dictate everything we do.  The social experiences we’ve had at the Chamois and even the experiences in the future that we haven’t had yet are too valuable to go without.

That time you and your buddies had the best day ever at Squaw….  Where did you go to celebrate the day and relive the glory and wipe-outs?  You went to the Chammy.  If you’re a local, you’ve spent birthdays, halloweens, christmases, St. Patty’s days, Easters, wedding receptions, memorial days, baby showers, and New Years at Le Chamois.  It’s your holy ground.

This is how the village looks now...
This is how the village looks now…

Disconnecting Squaw enthusiasts from their Chammy would be a terrible idea for anyone’s business.  Just imagining the outrage and pickets and protests and drastic measures is frightening.  KSL/Squaw has no doubt gone through these same visualizations and they’ve genuinely struck fear in their hearts.  Even Andy Wirth wears a “Save the Chammy” sticker on his car.

This is how the Squaw village will look in the fuure.  photo:  moonshine ink
This is how the Squaw village will look in the fuure. photo: moonshine ink

The real reason that the Chammy will be saved is you.  The bizarre socioreligious community here at Squaw Valley made up of locals and avid Sacramento, Reno, & Bay Area die-hards is strong.  We are going to keep our one truly sacred building, and we are going to keep it and perhaps nothing else.  Le Chamois has very likely secured it’s place in the future, albeit awkwardly sandwiched between progress and history.


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11 thoughts on “Local Religion Saves The Chamois Bar @ Squaw Valley

  1. Well if Andy has a sticker it must live on forever!
    Who is K$L’s chief smoke blower? HA HA HA
    Some morning you will show up and it will be gone
    in the middle of the night. Baltimore Colts Style.

  2. Miles – Thank you for your eloquent and thoughtful prose…you clearly have a deep understanding of what the Chamois means to our community. I loved the article and was really touched by how special the Chamois really is to so many people. We hope to keep the dream alive as long as possible.
    Cheers to you! Please come and introduce yourself next time you come in so we can say thanks in person.

    1. Thanks Katja, ok, I’ll swing by for sure. Broke my knee cap in Japan in Feb, and Im not in Tahoe anymore this season, so it won’t be until next season. Feel free to shoot me an email anytime: snowbrains1@gmail.com. thanks again.

  3. I’m still not convinced it’ll stay. Sure hope so tho. where else do we go? It’s like we’re hiding back there. the kt deck is right out in the open! they’ll all see us!!

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