UPDATE: July 20, 2021
Update, 1:20pm: Five Lakes Trail is now open to the public.
The Five Lakes Trail is now closed for blasting work on lift towers near the trail, but will reopen as soon as blasting is completed later today. We will provide an update when the trail is open.
UPDATE: JULY 16, 2021
**All dates are subject to change. Construction activity is dependent on weather, conditions and logistics.
Update, 3:15 pm: Five Lakes Trail is now open to the public.
Five Lakes Trail will be closed the morning of July 16 for blasting and excavating work at lift towers near the trail. Work will likely conclude in the afternoon, at which time the trail will reopen. We will provide an update when the trail is open.
The Five Lakes Trail will close for a brief period next week, either July 19 or 20, for additional blasting at the lift towers. This closure will only take place for 1-2 hours. The CMS sign at the base of Alpine Meadows Road will be updated with the most current closure information, and trail closure signage and blockades will be placed and removed as needed.
UPDATE: July 7, 2021
**All dates are subject to change. Construction activity is dependent on weather, conditions and logistics.‘
Five Lakes Trail will be closed July 8 & 9 and July 12-15 for blasting and helicopter work. These are anticipated dates and we will be working hard to shorten or limit closures as much as possible. The CMS sign at the base of Alpine Meadows Road will be updated with the most current closure information, and trail closure signage and blockades will be placed and removed as needed.
In addition, guests, community and employees can expect noise due to concrete transportation and placement operations in the Squaw Valley base area.
UPDATE: June 25, 2021
Blasting work has concluded early, and Five Lakes Trail has been reopened.
UPDATE: June 24, 2021
Five Lakes Trail will be closed briefly tomorrow, June 25, from approximately 3-4:30 pm for blasting work. A helicopter has been rescheduled to pour concrete on tower 7 at Squaw Valley tomorrow, June 25.
UPDATE: June 21, 2021
The helicopter that was scheduled to pour concrete for tower 7 today has been canceled. The helicopter that was scheduled was requested to assist with firefighting efforts. We do not have a confirmed reschedule date at this time.
UPDATE: June 16, 2021
A helicopter is scheduled to pour concrete for a gondola tower at Squaw Valley on Monday, June 21.
On the Alpine Meadows side, excavation of the Alpine Meadows base terminal has begun.
UPDATE: June 15, 2021
A helicopter will be flying tomorrow, June 16, to service existing gazex installations at both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. This routine seasonal maintenance is unrelated to the construction of the base-to-base gondola.
Drilling and blasting on the gondola mid-station located on the KT-22 ridge is expected to begin on June 17. This work will last approximately 8-12 days. Hikers in the Five Lakes area can expect occasional noise and possible dust. No additional hiking trail closures are expected with this activity. Blasting will occur underground: sound and vibration are expected to be less than avalanche control tools like gazex or hand charges. Sound and vibration monitoring equipment will be used to ensure that blasting conforms to the approved requirements of the project.
**All dates are subject to change. Construction activity is dependent on weather, conditions
UPDATE: JUNE 10, 2021
A small section of the Western States Trail in Olympic Valley is now closed due to the construction of the base-to-base gondola. The closed section is located near where the trail crosses the KT-22 summer road. The closure is expected to last approximately 3-4 weeks. Hikers can get around the closed section by using the World Cup and Thunder Mountain hiking trails. Find the summer hiking map here.
UPDATE: JUNE 4, 2021
Helicopter work in the Five Lakes Trail area has concluded sooner than expected. Five Lakes Trail is open.
UPDATE: MAY 27, 2021
**All dates are subject to change. Construction activity is dependent on weather, conditions, and logistics.
A helicopter will be used to conduct tree removal on the Alpine Meadows side June 2-4. Five Lakes Trail will be closed June 2-4 and the Alpine Meadows base area will be closed to the public during that time as well. Homeowners will continue to have access to their homes via Chalet Road.
There will be some limited helicopter activity on the Squaw Valley side to drop off equipment during the same date range: June 2-4.
Excavation on towers 3, 4 and 5 is expected to begin this week or next. These towers are located uphill/south of the Squaw Valley base area.
Noise emanating from heavy construction activities, including helicopter flights, is prohibited on Sundays and Federal Holidays (including Memorial Day) and will only occur Monday – Friday, 6am-8pm and Saturdays, 8am-6pm.
UPDATE: MAY 20, 2021
**All dates are subject to change. Construction activity is dependent on weather, conditions, and logistics.
Repair work on the KT-22 summer road will begin on Monday, May 24, and work at the KT Midstation project site will commence when road work is complete.
Excavation on the Squaw Valley base terminal will begin on Wednesday, May 26. The Squaw Valley base terminal is located adjacent to the Funitel and Member’s Locker Room.
Excavation will begin at the Alpine Meadows base terminal on Friday, May 28. The Alpine Meadows base terminal is located at the southwest corner of the Alpine Meadows base lodge.
Impacts include noise from heavy machinery operating in these areas. Construction areas are closed to the public.
UPDATE: MAY 14, 2021
Tree cutting in the Five Lakes Trail area concluded sooner than expected. Five Lakes Trail is open.
UPDATE: MAY 12, 2021
The Five Lakes trail will be closed Thursday and Friday, May 13 & 14, for tree cutting. Here are some other hiking recommendations in the area.
UPDATE: MAY 7, 2021
On Monday, May 10, tree cutting will begin at the Alpine Meadows base area and the Caldwell property in Alpine Meadows. There will be noise from chainsaws and tree felling in these areas. Tree cutting areas will be closed to the public. Five Lakes Trail is not anticipated to be closed for this phase of work, stay tuned for additional updates.
UPDATE: MAY 5, 2021
Gondola Construction: What to Expect
We anticipate construction activities to begin soon on the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows base-to-base gondola. Construction activities will include (in approximate order) tree cutting, tree removal by helicopter, excavation & blasting, and building of terminals and towers. Our guests, staff and local residents can anticipate the following impacts due to these activities:
- Hiking trail closures: Five Lakes Trail and Western States Trail will experience intermittent closures throughout construction this summer. During closures, hikers are encouraged to use other trails, with nearby Shirley Canyon and Granite Chief trails in Olympic Valley as great alternatives. Hikers who ascend to High Camp during operating hours of the Aerial Tram can download for free.
Estimated hiking trail closure durations for Five Lakes Trail and Western States Trail: 12 days in May, 14 days in June, 10 days in July and five days in August.
We understand that these intermittent closures will be a real inconvenience to our local community and visitors, and will be communicating closures with access road signs, trailhead signs, the Squaw Alpine app and @Squawalpineops on twitter.
- Tree cutting: Nearly all tree cutting will take place on the Alpine Meadows side, relatively little tree cutting needs to happen on the Squaw Valley side. There will be noise from chainsaws and tree felling around the Alpine Meadows base area. The Tree cutting areas will be closed to the public.
- Excavation & blasting: Plan for noise from blasting and heavy machinery. Excavation areas will be closed to the public while work is ongoing.
- Helicopter flying: Plan for noise from helicopter flying.
- Parking: Areas of the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley parking lots will be closed for equipment and construction material staging. The most convenient parking areas will remain available.
- We do not anticipate any impacts to skiing and riding operations due to these construction activities.
We will provide updates as exact dates are confirmed. All construction activity will be dependent on weather, conditions, and logistics.
Noise emanating from construction activities, including helicopter flights, is prohibited on Sundays and Federal Holidays, and will only occur:
- Monday – Friday, 6am-8pm (during daylight savings time, summer)
- Monday – Friday, 7am-8pm (during standard time, fall)
- Saturdays, 8am-6pm. Helicopters may be used on Saturdays, as needed.
- Placer County’s Planning Director is authorized to waive these time frames based on special circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions.
Questions? Reach out to GondolaConstruction@squawalpine.com.
April 12, 2021 Update:
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is preparing for the construction of the base-to-base gondola connecting the two areas. This is a tremendously complex project, with four terminals spanning two ski areas, and our team will continue to work closely with Leitner-Poma on the planning and construction.
Will there be any construction impacts to ski operations?
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows plans to operate skiing and riding as conditions permit. We currently anticipate operating until the end of May, but much will depend on weather and snow conditions. Should there be any construction impacts to operations, we will communicate with skiers and riders about potential impacts that affect the spring season.
How long will construction take/When will the gondola open?
Construction timelines and opening date are dependent on weather, conditions and logistics.
Where will the gondola go?
The gondola will transport guests between The Village at Squaw Valley and the Alpine Meadows Base area. Guests will also have the option to disembark at the KT-22 mid station. There will be no onload/offload access for Squaw Alpine guests at the Alpine Meadows Mid-Station.
Does the gondola provide access to KT-22?
Yes, the gondola will add lift access to the top of the KT ridge at Squaw Valley from either base area, at the rate of 1,400 people per hour. KT-22 lift has an hourly capacity of 2,100.
Will it be possible to ski between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows once the gondola is installed?
No, the terrain at the two areas is not contiguous, and installation of the gondola will not open additional skiable terrain. Skiers and riders will be able to use the gondola to travel between the two mountains in about 16 minutes, instead of getting in their cars.
Will the gondola installation result in the addition of new terrain access between the two mountains?
The gondola will not add new terrain to the resort. Terrain that will be connected by the gondola is not contiguous.
What is the hourly capacity of the gondola?
The gondola will have the capacity to transport 1,400 people per hour in 8-passenger cabins.
How long will it take to get between the two mountains on the gondola?
The gondola ride is anticipated to take 16 minutes.
When will the gondola operate?
The gondola will operate during the winter season only, as late as April 30, when both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are open.