What’s new: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows to debut new chairlift, more ways to explore the mountain
After a historic 2018-19 season that spanned nine calendar months, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is scheduled to open for the upcoming winter season on Nov. 15, weather and conditions permitting.
This season the resort will introduce a number of features including a new lift, new events, and new dining and bar options.
Alpine Meadows will introduce the new Treeline Cirque chairlift, which is a $10 million detachable, high-speed quad chair that will take skiers from the base area to Sherwood Ridge in roughly five minutes. The lift will also have a mid-station for access to Alpine Meadows’ low-to-intermediate terrain. From the top of the lift skiers and riders can take on the frontside of the mountain, or drop into the back bowls of Sherwood.
“The protected alignment of Treeline Cirque makes it favorable in high winds and inclement weather,” Liesl Hepburn, public relations director for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, said in an email to the Sun. “And the rapid access from the base area will dramatically improve the skier experience for a wide range of ability levels.”
New food, drink offerings
This season at Squaw Valley, the resort will unveil a restored 1970s era tram cabin, which has been transformed into the Tram Car Bar. The bar will be located on the Olympic House deck.
The resort will also debut a new Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, which will be operated by the owners of the Auld Dubliner. The restaurant will be located in The Village at Squaw Valley and will be open for the 2019-20 season. The name of the restaurant and further details will be released at a later time, according to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
Exploring the mountain
Alpenglow Expeditions will introduce two new winter activities at the resort this season.
The local mountain-guide service will lead half-day snowshoe tours through Shirley Canyon beginning in December. The three-hour tours will leave The Village at Squaw Valley on weekends at 10:30 a.m.
Also new, Alpenglow Expeditions will take skiers and riders on quick backcountry trips during weekends at 11:30 a.m. Guided tours will take groups through the area’s boundary, entering the backcountry via permission from Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. The single-run tours will give guests a taste of skiing on untracked powder in the backcountry of the Tram Ridge zone, beyond Broken Arrow. All skiers and riders will be equipped with avalanche rescue equipment, according to the resort.
“We’re able to ski in the Tram Ridge zone down into Shirley Canyon floating down slopes of various steepness through playful terrain,” said Alpenglow Expeditions in a news release. “Near the bottom, we make a hard right and use the last bit of vertical to get back to the trailhead. From here we pop off our skis or boards, and in 10 minutes or less we’re back in the Village.”
Visit http://www.alpenglowexpeditions.com for more information.
Another option for guests at the resort will be the North Face Mountain Guides program, which will expand with a new half-day offering to complement the existing full day option. The North Face Mountain Guides, which began operations in 2014, take groups of up to four skiers and riders to some of the resort’s most coveted terrain, secret stashes and hidden groomers. The program also gives skiers and riders priority lift line access, making it ideal for big powder days.
Getting to the mountain
The Mountaineer app-based shuttle service will return for its second season, and will get underway on Dec. 13.
In its first year at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, more than 81,000 passengers made use of the app, according to the resort, which removed roughly 20,000 vehicle trips from access roads in Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
The app can be downloaded through iTunes or Google Play. From there, guests can summon one of the resorts eight, four-wheel drive, dog-friendly vans, which seat up to nine guests and come equipped with ski and snowboard racks. The app provides free transportation for residents and guests within Squaw or Alpine. Mountaineer can be used to go anywhere within each valley, and to travel between the two mountains, the resort offers the Squaw Alpine Express.
New this year, Mountaineer will offer extended hours in Squaw Valley, lasting until 10 p.m. daily. There will be extended holiday services in Alpine Meadows as well. Additionally, two vehicles were added to meet demand and reduce wait times.
The service will run until April 12.
Leap of Love
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will celebrate leap day, Feb. 29, with a collective mountaintop wedding.
Up to 50 couples will get married or renew their vows at the High Camp Upper Observation Deck.
Moguls National Championships
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will be home to this year’s U.S. Freestyle Moguls National Championships on March 19-22.
The competition will bring in the top mogul skiers from around the nation for moguls and dual moguls events.
The championships will be held on Red Dog trail at Squaw Valley. Among those expected to compete are Olympians and World Championship medalists Jaelin Kauf, Tess Johnson, and Brad Wilson.
This season, $1 from every sale of 2019-20 Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows signature beanies will go toward the Shane McConkey Foundation, a local non-profit organization that supports kids, wildlife and the environment. McConkey, who died in 2009 while executing a ski-BASE jump in Italy, was a legendary winter sports athlete based at Squaw.
This year’s beanie features a scaled rendering of the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows mountains, with the silhouette of the eagle statue that sits atop KT-22 in honor of McConkey’s legacy. Beanies are available at locations across the resort as well as at the online logo store.
For more information on Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows events for the upcoming winter season, visit SquawAlpine.com.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com.
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