In a bit of a surprise announcement over the weekend, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows announced they are going to attempt to connect the two resort base areas with a high-speed gondola that would pass nearby the top station of KT-22 at Squaw, cross through the private area owned by Troy Caldwell known as White Wolf, and eventually end at the far side of the Alpine Meadows parking lot two miles later. Or at least that's what the route appears to be based on Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth's stick drawing in the sand at 1:37 in the video above.
The new gondola will bend twice and supposedly have a lower carrying capacity that a standard uphill gondola in order to minimize the infrastructure needs and environmental footprint. The gondola will also be able to operate in three distinct segments, meaning that Squaw skiers and riders could get off at the first bend station to access KT-22 terrain, or continue on to Barstool Lake on U.S. Forest Service land and get off there, or continue on all the way to the base of Alpine. Alpine skiers and riders will be able to do the process in reverse, although no one will be allowed to ski White Wolf's terrain. Moonshine Ink has more details on the particulars of the gondola's design.
This is all, of course, pending approval of the County Commission. When snow conditions have allowed it, skiers and snowboarders have been able to traverse on foot between the two ski areas during various points over the past several seasons.
Should the gondola happen?