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No More Choosing Either Squaw Valley Or Alpine Meadows -- Ski Both From The Newly Approved Base-To-Base Gondola

It would seem that a long-time dream for the operators of Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows is finally going to come true. The mountains are going to get a lift that connects the base of both hills, alleviating the need to either choose between them or having to get off the hill to go back to the car to go between them.

Proposed New Gondola - Credit: SquawValley/Alpine Meadows
"After successfully obtaining preliminary approval from the Tahoe National Forest earlier this year, the unanimous approval by the Placer County Board of Supervisors represents one of the last crucial steps towards connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. This base-to-base gondola connection will tremendously enhance the skier experience, uniting our 6,000 acres of terrain without the need for a car. Moreover, the chosen alignment arrived at through this long and detailed process is the most environmentally favorable plan and is also the alignment which is located furthest away from the Wilderness boundary. I’d like to thank all of the staff of the many agencies involved in the comprehensive study and review of this project – their tireless effort ensured that the best possible project moved forward. I’d also like to thank the thousands of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows skiers and riders who signed petitions in support."
- Ron Cohen, President and COO, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

As you can see from the map above, the proposed lift is going to run right from one base area to the other, passing through two mid-stations on the way. 
The lift, which is being called California Express, will be an 8-person capacity gondola, moving up 1,400 skiers/riders per hour. The lift will stretch across 33 new lift towers, covering just over two miles and the ride will take about 16 minutes.
When the go-ahead to begin construction is given, the construction time will only by approximately 2.5 months and involve the use of helicopters so no new roads or pathways will have to be built. This is to minimize the environmental impact the new lift will have, which, according to Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows website, will be absolutely minimal.

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