Squaw and Alpine Meadows Announce a Pilot Study to Determine Possibility of Backcountry Access Gates

Management staff working closely with United States Forest Service toward development of plan and policy

[Olympic Valley, CA] December 2, 2011 – Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are announcing a new pilot study to determine the possibility of creating backcountry access gates permitting on-snow travel between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. During the 2011-12 winter operating season Squaw and Alpine Meadows management, ski patrols from both resorts, and the US Forest Service will begin a pilot study to investigate the possibility of creating several backcountry access gates permitting travel between Squaw and Alpine Meadows. If successful, the pilot study would result in a policy which could permit skiers and riders with specialized backcountry training and equipment to access the wilderness land connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

“We will be working with closely with our partner, the United States Forest Service, to conduct the pilot study,” said Andy Wirth, CEO of both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. “With the safety of our guests and our team members as our primary concern, we will be doing our due diligence to determine whether or not backcountry access between Squaw and Alpine Meadows is a possibility.”

Since Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows joined under common ownership this fall, both resorts can be accessed on one lift ticket or season pass for the 2011-12 winter season. Shuttles will run constantly between Squaw and Alpine Meadows this winter, providing convenient and quick access between the two resorts.

The boundary management policies of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will remain much the same as they have in previous years. With the exception of the conditions dependent pilot study, Squaw Valley’s boundary will remain closed as it has in prior years. The Alpine Meadows Ski Area boundary will be managed as it has been in the past. The project will include route selection, potential issues relating to backcountry access during in-bounds closures, search and rescue issues, and interface with private land and wilderness areas.

The goal of the pilot study will be to determine whether or not feasible locations for backcountry access gates exist – and if so, where the best locations would be in terms of topography and exposure. The pilot study will be launched when adequate snow conditions have been reached.

About Squaw Valley

Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is internationally renowned for legendary terrain that spans 3,600 skiable acres, six peaks and 30 chairlifts, and ranges from an expansive mountaintop beginner area to unrivaled expert steeps, trees and bowls. Off the mountain, families relax in The Village at Squaw Valley around the cozy fire pits or enjoy a host of restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries. Guests can stay in one of The Village at Squaw Valley’s one, two or three bedroom suites, each with a fireplace, kitchen and balcony, for the ultimate ski-in/ski-out lodging experience. More details are available at www.squaw.com.

 

About Alpine Meadows

Ranked as a top winter resort by SKI Magazine, Alpine Meadows is known for its abundant and varied skiable terrain, family-friendly atmosphere, and innovative children’s ski and snowboard programs. Alpine’s seven powder bowls, summit-to-base groomed slopes, and authentic hospitality are among the many attributes that have made the resort a favorite of the local community and visitors alike. Alpine Meadows offers skiers and riders access to more than 100 trails across 2,400 skiable acres serviced by 14 lifts. With its high annual snowfall, the resort boasts one of Tahoe’s longest skiing and boarding seasons, which this past season, along with Squaw Valley, ran through July 4th. For more information, please see www.skialpine.com.

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows recently joined forces, bringing the two ski resorts under common ownership. Skiers and riders can now access 6,000 skiable acres, 44 lifts and 270+ trails at Squaw and Alpine Meadows on the Tahoe Super Pass or any lift ticket.