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Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows to be connected with a base to base gondola - Page 2

post #31 of 56

Considering the top map also shows Far East where Headwall is and the no-longer there Cornice II - I'm wondering how accurate it is.

 

Unofficial Alpine did a little more digging: http://unofficialalpine.com/?p=8380

post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

Considering the top map also shows Far East where Headwall is and the no-longer there Cornice II - I'm wondering how accurate it is.

 

Unofficial Alpine did a little more digging: http://unofficialalpine.com/?p=8380

 

Seems like the top map might be accurate, but doesn't indicate the wilderness boundary. From that article, is DOES appear that part of the Caldwell property is also part of the wilderness area. I wonder if he realized that prior to this?

 

And how official is the wilderness boundary? Would it have been surveyed and actually denoted/recorded properly? Or are the maps they're using just approximations?

post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

And how official is the wilderness boundary? Would it have been surveyed and actually denoted/recorded properly? Or are the maps they're using just approximations?

 

I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.  I think the bigger issue might be that lift towers and stations are not supposed to be visible from the wilderness either, although I'm wondering if they can plant trees to shield them.

post #34 of 56

Sierra Watch and Squaw are getting into it on Facebook.  :popcorn

 

Anyway, here's what Squaw says and it sounds reasonable enough...

 

post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

Here's an interesting article from Skiing History last December. Tells about how Troy Caldwell acquired the land. Apparently the accountant who answered the phone for Squaw Valley Ski Corp. said they didn't want to buy the parcel since the rent was so cheap. Cushing didn't know about that call till later after it had been sold.

 

"A White Wolf's Tale"

https://www.skiinghistory.org/news/white-wolf%E2%80%99s-tale

Depending on which version you hear about,...That's been old news for some time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

Sierra Watch is claiming that the gondola link crosses over the Granite Chief Wilderness.  This should be interesting.

 

Another way I could see them connecting is to replace Red Dog with a gondola and then from the top of Snow King run it across Caldwell's property on the backside of the KT ridge, maybe.  Which might make it more wind protected, actually, although having to remove your skis every time for Red Dog might be annoying and create a cluster at the top.  They could also create a base station between Red Dog and KT and then replace Olympic Lady and run it through there, I suppose.

Just read the FB Comments.  I like how Squaw is handling the questions and not deleting them. 

Something tells me that KSL isn't stupid enough to move forward on something like this without having ironed out all the kinks, or without anticipating a few extra kinks. 

post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Just read the FB Comments.  I like how Squaw is handling the questions and not deleting them. 

Something tells me that KSL isn't stupid enough to move forward on something like this without having ironed out all the kinks, or without anticipating a few extra kinks. 

 

Agreed.  I asked them about the whole visibility issue from the wilderness.

 

post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

Sierra Watch is claiming that the gondola link crosses over the Granite Chief Wilderness.  This should be interesting.

 

Another way I could see them connecting is to replace Red Dog with a gondola and then from the top of Snow King run it across Caldwell's property on the backside of the KT ridge, maybe.  Which might make it more wind protected, actually, although having to remove your skis every time for Red Dog might be annoying and create a cluster at the top.  They could also create a base station between Red Dog and KT and then replace Olympic Lady and run it through there, I suppose.


No, no, no, no for replacing Olympic Lady. Just spin it more often!

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJQIV View Post
 


No, no, no, no for replacing Olympic Lady. Just spin it more often!

 

That's kind of my point.  If it was a connector link between resorts, it would spin pretty much all the time!  Anyway, I was just kind of rambling... I think they'll be able to get their current plan approved.

post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

 
Here's an interesting article from Skiing History last December. Tells about how Troy Caldwell acquired the land. Apparently the accountant who answered the phone for Squaw Valley Ski Corp. said they didn't want to buy the parcel since the rent was so cheap. Cushing didn't know about that call till later after it had been sold.

"A White Wolf's Tale"
https://www.skiinghistory.org/news/white-wolf%E2%80%99s-tale
Depending on which version you hear about,...That's been old news for some time.

I would think since it happened in 1989.
In other news... The Mets won the World Series!
.... that was 1986.
post #40 of 56

Here's Andy Wirth and Troy Caldwell discussing the project on the radio earlier today.  I think they handled it well and didn't dodge any questions.

 

https://soundcloud.com/truckee-tahoe-radio/andy-wirth-and-troy-caldwell-squaw-valley-alpine-meadows-base-to-base-gondola

post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


I would think since it happened in 1989.
In other news... The Mets won the World Series!
.... that was 1986.

 

And in a (partially, sorta, kinda) ski movie no less...

post #42 of 56
There is no concrete plan yet and if this is going to happen is a very good thing. Even if they replace KT, it will be OK. KT is iconic because of its terrain, the rude uphill is just another chair. I personally care about the downhill part, and if they get me up that ridge, I'll be happy, whether it's on the chair or a gondola. I don't think they will replace the existing chair though, that would just perpetuate the powder day problems. A gondola with a midstation on the ridge will be great. The almost certain connection to the real estate plans is not so great. I'll wait and see.
post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

There is no concrete plan yet and if this is going to happen is a very good thing. Even if they replace KT, it will be OK. KT is iconic because of its terrain, the rude uphill is just another chair. I personally care about the downhill part, and if they get me up that ridge, I'll be happy, whether it's on the chair or a gondola. I don't think they will replace the existing chair though, that would just perpetuate the powder day problems. A gondola with a midstation on the ridge will be great. The almost certain connection to the real estate plans is not so great. I'll wait and see.

 

Replacing KT with a MUCH lower capacity gondola would be a nightmare both from a PR standpoint and from a logistical uphill traffic standpoint.  KT's capacity is over 4k per hour and this gondola is 1200 - 1400 per hour, I believe.  What an absolute disaster that would be.  They aren't stupid.

 

Anyway, a lot of people are really down on this whole thing but I think it'll be fine and I must admit I look forward to riding it.  That they are upgrading Siberia this summer makes me a bit less annoyed by their priorities... now they just need to take care of Red Dog (and Hot Wheels) and the way Squawlpine operates as a mountain will be hugely improved.

post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

Sierra Watch is claiming that the gondola link crosses over the Granite Chief Wilderness.  This should be interesting.

 

Another way I could see them connecting is to replace Red Dog with a gondola and then from the top of Snow King run it across Caldwell's property on the backside of the KT ridge, maybe.  Which might make it more wind protected, actually, although having to remove your skis every time for Red Dog might be annoying and create a cluster at the top.  They could also create a base station between Red Dog and KT and then replace Olympic Lady and run it through there, I suppose.


How about between Olympic Lady and Red Dog (i.e., Red Dog Ridge)?

post #45 of 56
I don't know why a gondola cannot be run at a higher capacity than an old 4-pack chair. Gondolas are also much more weather-proof than chairlifts.

I would be careful with assigning deep philanthropic meaning to the company actions. I am sure they are much better off replacing aging chair lifts than dealing with an accident. This is probably why they are replacing Sibo, the current capacity is more than adequate.
post #46 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I don't know why a gondola cannot be run at a higher capacity than an old 4-pack chair. Gondolas are also much more weather-proof than chairlifts.

I would be careful with assigning deep philanthropic meaning to the company actions. I am sure they are much better off replacing aging chair lifts than dealing with an accident. This is probably why they are replacing Sibo, the current capacity is more than adequate.

 

Because the gondola is going to run lower with fewer lift towers, etc. - listen the radio interview above where they explain the capacity.

 

I don't think anyone was assigning philanthropic meaning to lift replacements.  It's always a business decision.

post #47 of 56
By the way, where did you get the over 4Kpph capacity number for kt22? Squaw page has it as 2.1Kpph. I thought the standard capacity for quads rarely if ever exceeds 2.4 Kpph. Maybe they misspoke in the radio interview. KT surely does not feel like a 4Kpph lift on powder days.

I don't get the argument of gondolas running lower with fewer lift towers. A typical gondola cabin takes at least 8 people, maybe more. A mid-resort Gondola in Kitzbuhel has four rows of seats, it's almost like a mini-tram. You can pack a lot of people into gondolas and I'm sure the cables can take the weight. The limiting factor really is that a gondola needs a much bigger station, because people cannot unload as quickly as from the chair. Actually the people loading and unloading speed may be the fundamental limiting factor that determines ultimate lift capacity.
post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJQIV View Post


No, no, no, no for replacing Olympic Lady. Just spin it more often!

Replacing Oly Lady is a pipe dream. When was the last time you've been on that ridge? There is no space there for anything other than the top station of a fixed grip chair, and a short unloading ramp so a modern detachable chair is out if the question.
post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

By the way, where did you get the over 4Kpph capacity number for kt22? Squaw page has it as 2.1Kpph. I thought the standard capacity for quads rarely if ever exceeds 2.4 Kpph. Maybe they misspoke in the radio interview. KT surely does not feel like a 4Kpph lift on powder days.

I don't get the argument of gondolas running lower with fewer lift towers. A typical gondola cabin takes at least 8 people, maybe more. A mid-resort Gondola in Kitzbuhel has four rows of seats, it's almost like a mini-tram. You can pack a lot of people into gondolas and I'm sure the cables can take the weight. The limiting factor really is that a gondola needs a much bigger station, because people cannot unload as quickly as from the chair. Actually the people loading and unloading speed may be the fundamental limiting factor that determines ultimate lift capacity.

 

I may have mistyped 4 instead of 2.1 or maybe that's what they said in the radio interview, I can't remember.  Either way, removing a higher capacity lift that is already overwhelmed would be both stupid and unnecessary.  I don't think there's any point in discussing it further because no one has proposed that and it's a tinfoil hat type of concern.

 

The main argument for the lower capacity gondola running lower with fewer lift towers has to do with the wilderness zone nearby and trying to meet NEPA / CEQA requirements.  It should also be able to run in higher winds than say, the Funitel.  I'm as critical as anyone of KSL around here, but they've clearly taken the time to think this through.

post #50 of 56
Yes, as a colleague once said: it's importan to have numbers, but having the right numbers is more important.

Indeed the whole discussion is pointless until we have more details and a concrete plan, or at least an evaluation by a quasi-independent party. I respect Andy Wirth but his interview is hardly a source of unbiased information. Se we just wait and see.
post #51 of 56

One upside to the gondola I think many haven't considered: if Squaw is marketing this thing heavily, it would certainly increase the odds of Alpine Meadows opening early again or at least earlier than it has the last few years (December 10 - 12-ish).  They don't want to lure tourists with the connection and have them get there in late November or early December only to have Alpine closed when there's plenty of snow on the ground.  It might stay open later in the season too.

post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I don't get the argument of gondolas running lower with fewer lift towers.

Because that's not the argument.

As I understand it, all else being equal, the number of towers, their height, and weight capacity on the cable are all interrelated. It sounds like they're going to put less weight on the cable in order to allow shorter and fewer towers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Actually the people loading and unloading speed may be the fundamental limiting factor that determines ultimate lift capacity.

No, it is the fundamental limiting factor. A high speed quad typically has the approximately the same uphill capacity as a fixed grip; the ride itself just gets faster. But you can't really load people onto a fixed grip lift wider than a four pack, and even that is rare. High speed detachable carry more skiers per chair, on average.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

One upside to the gondola I think many haven't considered: if Squaw is marketing this thing heavily, it would certainly increase the odds of Alpine Meadows opening early again or at least earlier than it has the last few years (December 10 - 12-ish).  They don't want to lure tourists with the connection and have them get there in late November or early December only to have Alpine closed when there's plenty of snow on the ground.  It might stay open later in the season too.
Theoretically, I guess,the marketing rationale could lead them to open Alpine earlier.

Up until this year, Alpine has always stayed open later than Squaw during the brief co-ownership era. But in those years, the storm patterns resulted in snowpack too thin to ski to Squaw's base, but thick enough to ski to Alpine's. This year, Alpine shut when it became impossible to ski to the base. Squaw has been able to stay open because you can get to the base with your skis off.
post #53 of 56

Unofficial Squaw is reporting the Cushing pond is being drained. This fits perfectly with the base to base plan but sure seems premature.

post #54 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawBrat View Post
 

Unofficial Squaw is reporting the Cushing pond is being drained. This fits perfectly with the base to base plan but sure seems premature.

 

This was debunked, btw.

post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

 

This was debunked, btw.

 

By whom?

post #56 of 56

By someone who would know, posting on Facebook...

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