Rock climbing comes to Squaw Valley | SierraSun.com

Rock climbing comes to Squaw Valley

Sitting inside the Aerial Tram at Squaw Valley as it begins its ascent over the roughly 1,000-foot tall Tram Face, it's easy to wonder what it would be like to get out and climb one of the resort's most iconic features.

This fall, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and North Lake Tahoe area-based guide service, Alpenglow Expeditions, will make climbing Tram Face a reality, with the installation of a Via Ferrata route along the south shoulder of the face, allowing climbers of all abilities a chance to explore high alpine terrain while taking in unmatched views of the surrounding area.

"We constantly look for new and exciting opportunities for adventurous families and groups of friends to explore our unique mountain environment," said Kyle Crezee, director of activities at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, in a press release. "The Alpenglow Expeditions team has shown the highest level of professionalism and service with their lift-accessed backcountry ski tours, and working with them to provide an incredible summer adventure with Via Ferrata is an exciting next step."

Via Ferrata, an Italian term meaning Iron Road, is a protected climbing route with permanent steel anchors and cables that allow participants to be safely connected to the rock at all times. Each climb will be led by Alpenglow Expeditions' experienced team of American Mountain Guide Association trained guides, who will teach participants how to navigate the rock face while introducing basic climbing techniques.

"Our Via Ferrata routes will let adventurers of all skill levels experience the exhilaration of a real climb," said Alpenglow Expeditions CEO, Adrian Ballinger in a statement. "Best of all, entire families, regardless of experience, can take part in the same climb — and share the same breathtaking views of Squaw Valley and the Lake Tahoe region."

Work on the first of two routes up Tram Face is scheduled to begin soon with guided ascents expected to begin in September of this year, marking the first time Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has offered rock climbing to its guests.

Recommended Stories For You

"There's nothing now, so this will be in a league of its own," said Public Relations Coordinator Sam Kieckhefer. "It's very exciting."

The second route will likely open later in the fall, according to Kieckhefer.

Upon completion, the Via Ferrata at Squaw Valley will be the first in the Lake Tahoe area and will open up one-of-a-kind access to one of California's most iconic rock faces.

Starting this fall, Alpenglow Expeditions plans to offer full-day and half-day guided Via Ferrata tours. No climbing experience is necessary, but basic hiking fitness is recommended.

For more information about the Tahoe Via Ferrata and to book your adventure, visit tahoevia.com or call Alpenglow Expeditions at 877-873-5376.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.