With opening day scheduled for Friday, November 16, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is counting down the days to the start of the ski and ride season and the official winter debut of the new Ikon Pass, which offers access to 34 destinations around the globe. Ikon Pass destinations span three continents, four Canadian provinces, and 12 states, with four in California alone: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort. From renovations at the Alpine Meadows Base Lodge to major strides in sustainability that impact the entire region, the resort continues its pursuit of creating extraordinary experiences while protecting the region’s legendary mountains and natural environment.
The introduction of new events, activities and ski and snowboard school programs will continue to enhance the guest experience, while the resort also celebrates a historic milestone: the 50th anniversary of the Aerial Tram.
- Ikon Pass debuts in its first full season with access to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and 34 iconic destinations around the world
- $1.4 Million in Renovations at Alpine Meadows Base Lodge
- Resort will be powered by 100% renewable electricity starting Dec. 1
Enhancements & Milestones
$1.4 Million in Renovations at Alpine Meadows Base Lodge
The Alps-inspired Alpine Meadows Base Lodge will re-open for winter 2018-19 with $1.4 million in renovations. The renovated food court and expanded marketplace will offer house-made breakfast burritos and fresh pastries, a large selection of grab-and-go salads, snacks, and a self-serve barista bar will feature espresso, cappuccino and lattes from Santa Cruz’s Verve Coffee Roasters. All new outdoor furniture will outfit the deck at Alpine Meadows so guests can soak up the sun and enjoy the expanded cocktail service offered by Stoked Oak. Last Chair Bar will open into the main lodge space to offer additional bar seating, and a cozy new family seating area is adjacent to the grand fireplace. Finally, three new large TVs and tall beer garden-style tables at Alpine Bar welcome the sports bar crowd.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Signs On for Green Tariff and Celebrates Transition to 100% Renewable Electricity starting December 1, 2018
Beginning December 1, 2018, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ electricity will be purchased from Liberty Utilities’ nearby solar generation plant in Luning, Nevada, making the resort’s electricity supply 100% renewable. In July 2018, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved Liberty Utilities’ application for a Green Tariff, creating an economy where local customers can purchase renewable electricity for their homes or businesses at a nominal price per kilowatt hour, the proceeds of which Liberty Utilities uses to develop new renewable energy projects. By signing on to the Green Tariff, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will become Liberty’s largest Green Tariff customer, contributing approximately $325,000 in additional dollars on its electric bill in the first year to help accelerate the transition to affordable renewable energy sources for the utility’s 49,000 customers in the region. The Green Tariff is available to all Liberty Utilities customers and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will continue to advocate for its adoption within the larger community.
With this change, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will reduce its total annual carbon footprint, including fuels and other sources unrelated to the power grid, from 13,078 metric tons to an estimated 6,682 metric tons – a 49 percent reduction, which is equivalent to the emissions generated by the annual electrical use of 959 homes.
Expanded POW Carpool Parking at Squaw Valley
In 2016, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows partnered with Protect Our Winters to offer free premium “POW Parking” to reward guests who elect to carpool to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, with a goal to reduce traffic and the resort’s carbon footprint. Guest participation in the program has increased annually, and for the 2018-19 season Squaw Valley will quadruple the size of its POW Parking area. POW Parking is available at no cost for vehicles with three or more people and is located at a prime location directly north of The Village at Squaw Valley. The POW Parking area will also be available for paid parking for non-carpool vehicles, with all spaces available on a first come, first served basis.
Expanded Snowmaking at Alpine Meadows
The snowmaking system at Alpine Meadows will have three new state-of-the-art fan guns and increased automation. Automatic air and temperature sensors on each fan gun allow snowmakers to determine the best time to make the best snow and remotely control the quality and quantity of snow, from powder to heavy base-setting snow. Snowmaking will be expanded in the Subway beginner area, allowing this critical teaching area to open earlier in the season. The Subway area is home to Achieve Tahoe, a local non-profit adaptive sports program that provides year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, including snowsports instruction to children and adults with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities. With expanded snowmaking in the area, Achieve Tahoe guests and instructors will have more consistent conditions and access to the Subway chairlift and teaching terrain. Additionally, guests parked in the lower Alpine Meadows parking lot near the Subway area will have more efficient access to the Alpine Meadows base area via Subway chair.
The Squaw Valley Aerial Tram Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Christmas Day 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Squaw Valley Aerial Tram, originally known as The Cable Car. When it opened in 1968 it was the largest aerial tram in the world and, to this day, marks a feat of modern engineering. Called the “The Monster” by the crew that installed it, the tram rises 2,000 vertical feet and is comprised of miles of cable, two 140 and 40-foot tall towers built into rugged terrain, and complex electrical and mechanical systems. Five thousand yards of cement and 500 tons of steel were used to build the lower terminal alone. Fabricated by Garaventa in Austria, the tram components were transported by barge down the Rhine river in Europe and loaded onto three ships bound for San Francisco, where they were trucked over Donner Summit to Squaw Valley. The mountain manager at the time, Hans Burkhart, oversaw every aspect of the tram’s construction and worked tirelessly with his crew to complete the project in time to open for the Christmas holiday. Today, the Aerial Tram has been modernized with state-of-the-art cabins and electrical systems, with routine service and upgrades performed by a group of operators who received specialized training, including overseas with the manufacturer.
Ski & Snowboard School
Pop-Up Private Lessons
For skiers and snowboarders looking for a quick refresh on their technique, the new Pop-Up private lesson offers on-demand instruction by the hour. Guests will connect with a certified professional Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows instructor at the top of the Funitel at Squaw Valley or at the base of Alpine Meadows and hit the snow for one-on-one instruction and priority lift line access. Lessons are available after 10am on a walk-up basis only. The Pop-Up private lesson is $119 per person, per hour and $49 to add a maximum of one additional learner.
Burton Riglet Parks & “Rivets” Snowboard Lessons for Younger Shredders
Embracing demand for snowboard instruction for kids under five, kids lessons will now have access to Burton Riglet Parks at the designated kids learning areas at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The parks utilize terrain-based features, easy to use equipment and learning tools to introduce young kids to snowboarding. Instructors trained by the Burton Resort Team use guided discovery and play to welcome new generations to the sport. Simultaneously, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will introduce a Rivets group lesson for snowboarders ages three and four, complimenting the existing Grommets snowboard lessons for ages five through seven.
Events & Activities
Sunset Happy Hour at High Camp at Squaw Valley
The scenic Aerial Tram will be open late on select days this season, welcoming families and friends to converge and take in the setting sun and stunning views of Lake Tahoe as the tram rises 2,000 feet to High Camp. Sunset photo opportunities abound in the warmth of the newly renovated Terrace Restaurant & Bar or al fresco on the Observation Deck. Sunset Happy Hour guests can enjoy deals on appetizers and drinks like the warming KT Coffee or the hard-charging Local’s Lemonade.
The SnoVentures Activity Zone will come alive at night with Disco Tubing for the whole family on holidays and other select times during the season. Families can spin, slide and speed down the snow tubing lanes to vibrant DJ tunes as the night is illuminated with colorful lights and lasers splashed on the mountainside.
AIReal Yoga at Wanderlust Yoga Studio
It isn’t just the Aerial Tram that gets you into the air at Squaw Valley this year--Wanderlust Yoga Studio in The Village at Squaw Valley has added an introductory “AIReal Yoga™” class to their schedule. Using a smooth fabric hammock that hangs at hip height and swivels freely, AIReal Yoga enables class participants to deepen stretches, correct alignment, and safely perform inversions. AIReal Yoga at Wanderlust Squaw Valley is based on the Hatha Yoga style and is great for all levels of adult yogis. With no flipping or risky performance art, AIReal Yoga is the first and only form of aerial yoga recognized by the Yoga Alliance. Advanced registration is recommended for this adults only class as spots are limited.
Exploring the Mountain
Free Mountain Tours at Squaw Valley
Intermediate to advanced level skiing and snowboarding guests who are new to Squaw Valley can take advantage of a free two-hour mountain tour offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, as well as holidays. Experienced mountain hosts will guide an introductory tour of Squaw Valley’s vast terrain, geared toward the skill level of the group. Squaw Valley history and folklore will come to life as the tour host shares stories that date back to the resort’s founding in 1949. The free mountain tours at Squaw Valley will kick off on Friday, December 14.
Easy-to-use Ski & Snowboard Progression Plans
New progression plans for beginner and intermediate skiers and riders will be printed in the portable resort trail map as well as on the large trail map signs at key locations at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The plans show an easy step-by-step progression of trails and lifts for a first time beginner, beginner and intermediate skier or rider, and include questions to help guests gauge which runs they should take on next. The progression plans are intended to welcome those who are unfamiliar with the terrain and serve as a guide to a fun experience that makes the most of the day.
Stone Paper Trail Maps
Trail maps will now be printed on stone paper, made from 85% recycled content (waste calcium carbonate). The new maps are waterproof and tear-resistant, and will outperform regular paper in all conditions a guest may experience, while also being a high quality, high resolution keepsake that will last for years. Guests are encouraged to reuse the map as much as possible, and recycle them when no longer needed. Choosing stone paper over regular paper for the 2018-19 season will save 170 trees and 136,000 gallons of water.