SAM Magazine—Olympic Valley, Calif., July 24, 2019—After years of environmental reviews, permit hearings, and opposition from conservation groups, the base-to-base gondola that will connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows was approved by Placer County officials. The gondola will begin at Squaw Valley, traverse over privately owned property, and end at the Alpine Meadows base area.
An environmental impact report released by Placer County and the U.S. Forest Service outlined four possible options for the gondola span. The approved option occupies the least amount of land and has the least environmental impact. The new lift will have two mid-stations along its 11,700-foot span, with roughly 20 percent of the project located on National Forest Lands. The eight-passenger gondola will have a capacity of 1,400 people per hour, and will only operate during the winter season.