Squaw Valley Ski Resort

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Squaw Valley
The Village at Squaw Valley in July 2007
The Village at Squaw Valley in July 2007
LocationSquaw Peak
Placer County, California
Nearest cityTruckee, California
Reno, Nevada
Coordinates39°11′46″N 120°14′06″W / 39.196°N 120.235°W / 39.196; -120.235Coordinates: 39°11′46″N 120°14′06″W / 39.196°N 120.235°W / 39.196; -120.235
Vertical2,850 ft (870 m)
Top elevation9,050 ft (2,760 m)
Base elevation6,200 ft (1,890 m)
Skiable area4,000 acres (16.2 km2)
Runs177+
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg - 15% easiest
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg - 35% more difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg - 50% most difficult
Longest run3.2 miles (5.1 km)
Mountain Run
Lift system33
Lift capacity58,000 per hour
Terrain parks3
Snowfall450 in (1,140 cm)
Snowmakingyes
Night skiingyes
Web sitewww.squaw.com
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Squaw Valley
The Village at Squaw Valley in July 2007
The Village at Squaw Valley in July 2007
LocationSquaw Peak
Placer County, California
Nearest cityTruckee, California
Reno, Nevada
Coordinates39°11′46″N 120°14′06″W / 39.196°N 120.235°W / 39.196; -120.235Coordinates: 39°11′46″N 120°14′06″W / 39.196°N 120.235°W / 39.196; -120.235
Vertical2,850 ft (870 m)
Top elevation9,050 ft (2,760 m)
Base elevation6,200 ft (1,890 m)
Skiable area4,000 acres (16.2 km2)
Runs177+
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg - 15% easiest
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg - 35% more difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg - 50% most difficult
Longest run3.2 miles (5.1 km)
Mountain Run
Lift system33
Lift capacity58,000 per hour
Terrain parks3
Snowfall450 in (1,140 cm)
Snowmakingyes
Night skiingyes
Web sitewww.squaw.com
Alpine runs of the 1960 Winter Olympics

Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, California, is one of the largest ski areas in the United States, and was the host site of the entire 1960 Winter Olympics.[1] It is the second-largest ski area in Lake Tahoe after Heavenly, with 30 chairlifts, 3,600 acres (15 km2) and the only funitel in the U.S.[2] Since Squaw Valley joined forces with Alpine Meadows in 2012, the resorts offer joint access to 6,200 acres (25 km2), 43 lifts and over 270 trails.[3] The resort attracts approximately 600,000 skiers a year.[4]

Located west of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada with a base of 6,200 ft (1,890 m) and a skiable 3,600 acres (15 km2) across six peaks, the resort tops out at 9,050 ft (2,760 m) at Granite Chief.[5][6] Not far from Donner Pass, the area receives heavy maritime snowfall, frequently receiving 40 feet (12 m) or more in a winter.[7]

A scenic aerial tramway rises 2,000 ft (610 m) to High Camp at an elevation of 8,200 ft (2,500 m) above sea level. At High Camp, tourists have access to the facilities of Squaw Valley, including a pool, roller skating, dining, shopping, and high-altitude disk golf.

Squaw Valley is home to several annual summer events. The resort brings in accomplished yoga teachers and many well-known musical performers every July.[8] Summer also welcomes a wide array of concerts and beer and wine events including the Brews, Jazz and Funk Fest, Peaks and Paws and Bluesdays.

Andrew Wirth is the resort's current CEO.[9]

History[edit]

Base area in December 2006

Former University of Nevada star skier, Wayne Poulsen, purchased the first 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of Squaw Valley Ski Resort from the Southern Pacific Railroad.[10] Poulsen already had a history in the area: in 1931, he had placed third at an Olympic trials at Granlibakken in Tahoe City.[11] Shortly after, Poulsen met Harvard alumnus and trained lawyer Alex Cushing, who brought capital, political connections, and increased access to the project.[10] Cushing had fallen in love with Lake Tahoe after a visit to the Sierras in 1946.[11] After a disagreement over the resort's future, Cushing gained control of the project and became the chairman of Squaw Valley Ski Corporation. The resort opened in 1949, and Cushing remained its chairman until his death.[10]

Cushing modeled the resort after European ski destinations. He re-engineered the model of traditional U.S. ski resort by locating a swimming pool, ice rink, roller disco, and restaurants on the mountain instead of at the base. His designs also brought the most advanced lift technology to the U.S. for the first time.[10] When Squaw Valley opened, its Squaw One lift was deemed the longest double chairlift in the world.[11]

Squaw Valley's enormous success can be largely attributed to the visibility that came from hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics, a direct result of Cushing's effort and determination. During the planning stages of the 1960 Olympics, Innsbruck, Austria, was the leading choice for the Olympic site. In 1955, however, Cushing secured the bid after winning over the International Olympic Committee in Paris with a scale model of his planned Olympic site. The Winter Olympics in 1960 were the first to be televised live, making the games accessible to millions of viewers in real-time. The event signaled the rise of U.S. skiing to the level of world-famous European skiing, and Squaw Valley's preparedness for the games showed the international community that U.S. ski resorts offered world-class facilities.[10]

Squaw Valley also hosted the World Cup in 1969 with four technical events: slalom and giant slalom for both men and women.[12]

In 1978, Squaw Valley experienced one of the worst cable car accidents in history. On a stormy afternoon on April 15th, the Tram at Squaw Valley came off of one of its cables, dropped 75 feet (23 m) and then bounced back up, colliding with a cable which sheared through the car. Four people were killed and 31 injured. The weather was awful and the destroyed Tram hung in a very hard-to-reach location in hostile terrain. The survivors owe their lives to the Herculean rescue effort put forth by Squaw Valley staff and locals.[13]

Squaw Valley was purchased by KSL Capital Partners in November 2010.[14] A year later, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resort merged under the new umbrella leadership of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC. The new company operates as one, with joint lift tickets and single season passes for visitors and free shuttles between its locations, but preserves the individuality of the two resorts.[15]

Squaw Valley was designated a California Historical Landmark in 1960 during the Olympic Games. The area was dubbed the Pioneer Ski Area of America, commemorating 100 years of skiing in the Valley since it became the first U.S. location where organized skiing took place.[16]

Chairlifts[edit]

Aerial tram on its way
to High Camp

In general, the mountain is divided into the Lower Mountain, branching form the village at elev. 6,200' and the Upper Mountain, branching from the Gold Coast and High Camp mid-mountain lodges at elev. 8,200', keeping with Cushing's more European model. However, these divisions are entirely arbitrary as the entire resort flows continuously with runs and chairlifts throughout.

Lower mountain chairs (elev. 6200')[edit]

NameTypeVertical riseCapacity per hourGeneral terrain
Aerial TramTram1,886 ft (575 m)700Access to upper mtn.
Gold Coast FunitelFunitel1,742 ft (531 m)4,000Access to upper mtn.
First VentureFixed-grip triple98 ft (30 m)800Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
SnoVentures CarpetCarpet35 ft (11 m)2,400Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
TuckerCarpet15 ft (4.6 m)2,000Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
ExhibitionFixed-grip quad808 ft (246 m)1,636Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Far East ExpressDetachable six-pack960 ft (290 m)2,600Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Red DogFixed-grip triple1,239 ft (378 m)1,800Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Squaw CreekFixed-grip triple1,309 ft (399 m)700Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Squaw One ExpressDetachable quad1,660 ft (510 m)2,400Access to upper mtn.
KT-22 ExpressDetachable quad1,767 ft (539 m)2,100Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Olympic LadyFixed-grip double1,175 ft (358 m)1,100Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Cornice IIFixed-grip double1,248 ft (380 m)1,118Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
BoonCarpetSki trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Murphy and WileyCarpetSki trail rating symbol-green circle.svg

Upper mountain chairs (elev. 8200')[edit]

NameTypeVertical riseCapacity per hourGeneral terrain
Bailey's BeachFixed-grip triple95 ft (29 m)1,266Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
BelmontFixed-grip double75 ft (23 m)914Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
The PulleyRope towSki trail rating symbol-green circle.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Mountain MeadowFixed-grip triple222 ft (68 m)1,805Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
EmigrantFixed-grip triple761 ft (232 m)1,558Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Gold Coast ExpressDetachable six-pack563 ft (172 m)3,075Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Big Blue ExpressDetachable six-packSki trail rating symbol-green circle.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Shirley Lake ExpressDetachable six-pack717 ft (219 m)3,200Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Siberia ExpressDetachable quad916 ft (279 m)3,000Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
SolitudeFixed-grip triple660 ft (200 m)1,800Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg/Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Broken ArrowFixed-grip doubleExample1,200Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Granite ChiefFixed-grip triple999 ft (304 m)1,565Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Headwall ExpressDetachable six-pack1,750 ft (530 m)2,400Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
SilveradoFixed-grip triple1,371 ft (418 m)1,346Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg

Alpine Meadows merger[edit]

In September 2011, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort and Squaw Valley Ski Resort announced their intention to merge ownership. The merger united the two popular ski destinations under common management by Squaw’s Valley’s parent company, KSL Capital Partners, LLC. Alpine Meadow’s parent, JMA Ventures, holds a minority stake. The new umbrella entity for both resorts is known as Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC.[15] It has been discussed in the media that the new company Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC, will seek to eventually combine the two resorts into one mega resort through an agreement with a ski resort located on the mountain connecting Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley, called White Wolf Mountain.[17] This proposed combination is supported by White Wolf Mountain owner Troy Caldwell.[18] If connected via White Wolf, the combined ski area would be the largest resort in America with over 6,000 acres, only slightly smaller than Whistler Blackcomb in Canada at 8,100 acres.[19]

Lake Tahoe[edit]

A view of the North Bowl and Lake Tahoe from the top of headwall

The Lake Tahoe area is located on the border between California and Nevada.[20] The area centers around Lake Tahoe itself, the second deepest lake in the U.S. which was voted America’s “Best Lake” in 2012 by The USA Today.[21] Lake Tahoe is home to 18 ski resorts, including Squaw Valley.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Olympics". Olympics. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Lift World: Lift-Database - Funitels". Seilbahntechnik. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ Smith, Kelsey (September 27, 2011). "Set the rumors to rest - Squaw & Alpine merge". Transworld Business. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "About Squaw Valley". The Wanderlust Festival. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Granite Chief, CA". TopoQuest. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Mountain". Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Mountain Stats". Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Wanderlust Festival". The Wanderlust Festival. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ Pollock, Jennifer (February 17, 2011). "Squaw Valley's CEO, Andy Wirth, Looks Forward to New Era". 7x7 Magazine. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "History of Squaw Valley". Skibutlers. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "Lake Tahoe History". Ski Lake Tahoe. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Squaw Valley information". Triposo. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.moonshineink.com/sections/spot/30-years-later
  14. ^ Marino, Jonathan (November 24, 2010). "Squaw Valley Bought by KSL Capital Partners". Mergers & Acquisitions. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Reynolds, Christopher (September 28, 2011). "At Lake Tahoe's North Shore, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows come together". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Pioneer Ski Area of America, Squaw Valley (No. 724 California Historical Landmark)". Sierra Nevada Geotourism. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ Shueh, Jason and Renda, Matthew (November 3, 2011). "State of the Lake Tahoe ski industry: ‘This is our time'". North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  18. ^ Whiting, Sam (March 9, 2008). "Troy Caldwell's dream of an Alpine-to-Squaw route lives on at his White Wolf Mountain". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Whistler Blackcomb - Trailer Maps". Whistler Blackcomb. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Official Lake Tahoe Visitor Bureau". Visiting Lake Tahoe. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ Bly, Laura (August 10, 2012). "'Big Blue' Tahoe reigns as USA's best lake". USA Today. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Orbitz Insider Index Reveals Top 10 Ski Destinations for 2010". Orbitz. January 21, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]