Alpine Meadows (ski resort)

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Alpine Meadows
Alpine Meadows is located in the United States
Alpine Meadows
Alpine Meadows
Location in the United States
LocationWard Peak
Tahoe National Forest, Placer County, California
Nearest cityTahoe City, Truckee
Coordinates39°09′50″N 120°14′20″W / 39.164°N 120.239°W / 39.164; -120.239Coordinates: 39°09′50″N 120°14′20″W / 39.164°N 120.239°W / 39.164; -120.239
Vertical1,802 ft (549 m)
Top elevation8,637 ft (2,633 m)
Base elevation6,835 ft (2,083 m)
Skiable area2,400 acres (9.7 km2)
Runs100 total
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg - 25% beginner
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg - 40% intermediate
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg - 35% advanced
Longest run3.4 miles (5.5 km)
Lift system13 lifts
Terrain parks6
Snowfall495 in (1,260 cm)
Snowmaking11 of 13 lifts

Alpine Meadows is a ski resort in the western United States, located in Alpine Meadows, California. Near the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, it offers 2,400 acres (9.7 km2) of skiable terrain, 13 different lifts, and a vertical drop of 1,802 feet (549 m).[1][2]

JMA Ventures, owner of the Homewood Mountain Resort on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, purchased Alpine Meadows from Powdr Corporation in July 2007.[3] In 2011, Alpine Meadows merged with the well-known neighboring ski resort and 1960 Olympic site, Squaw Valley. Ownership transferred largely to the umbrella company Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC. In 2018, this was merged into the Alterra Mountain Company. Today, the two resorts operate as one with a single-season pass and a connecting shuttle for visitors, the Squaw/Alpine Express, though each retains its distinct identity.[4]


Alpine Meadows opened 58 years ago in 1961. John Riley developed it initially as the Ward Peak Ski Resort, and had a vision to develop the terrain into a ski resort as an alternative to Squaw Valley.[5][6] With the help of Peter Klaussen and a number of families who pooled resources to develop the area, Alpine Meadows was founded in 1958 and opened in 1961. The idea for the resort was to focus more on the pleasure of skiing than business profit. It was thought that the idea for the resort came about after the resort’s founders visited Squaw Valley during the 1960 Olympics and noticed the potential of the adjacent terrain. Alpine Meadows opened for the 1961–62 season with three lifts.[6]

The resort made headlines 37 years ago in 1982 after an early spring avalanche hit its base area in the late afternoon of March 31 and killed seven. One survivor was buried for five days.[7][8][9][10][11]

Philanthropy and environmental activities[edit]

Alpine Meadows is heavily involved with the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee community. It supports a variety of non-profit organizations with the goal of contributing positively to the local community, particularly through education and environmental protection programs.[12]

The resort partners with the Disabled Sports USA Far West’s Program Center — DSUSA helps make skiing or snowboarding possible for anyone with physical, cognitive, or development disabilities.

Alpine Meadows is an advocate of environmental protection. It engages in projects supporting biodiesel fuel use, has implemented summer native-plant vegetation projects, and has incorporated many recycling programs into its operations. Alpine Meadows, along with Squaw Valley, supports the Truckee River Watershed Council, the Tahoe Fund and Friends of Squaw Creek as part of the company’s community giving through charitable donations or active participation.


  • Summit Express
  • Roundhouse Express
  • Hot Wheels Chair
  • Yellow Chair
  • Meadow Chair
  • Subway Chair
  • Kangaroo Chair
  • Alpine Bowl Chair (known as ABC)
  • Scott Chair
  • Lakeview Chair
  • Sherwood Express[13]
  • Kids Carpet (surface lift)
  • Adult Carpet (surface lift)

Movie location[edit]

Alpine Meadows was featured as the location of the fictional "Alpine College" in the movie Wild Wild Winter. Portions of the movie, including all exterior sequences, were filmed at the resort.[13] The 1966 Universal Pictures comedy was directed by Lennie Weinrib and starred Gary Clarke and Chris Noel.[14]

Jamaican ski team[edit]

Alpine Meadows is a partnership inspired by Errol Kerr, a resident of Truckee who has U.S. and Jamaican citizenship. Kerr represented Jamaica in the 2010 Winter Olympics.[15]

Squaw Valley merger and gondola controversies[edit]

In September 2011, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley Ski Resort merged under common management led by Squaw Valley’s parent company, KSL Capital Partners, LLC. Alpine Meadows’ parent, JMA Ventures, owns a smaller part. The new umbrella entity over both resorts will be known as Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC.[4] Squaw Valley Ski Holdings seeks to connect the two resorts with a “Base-to-Base” gondola. [16][17][18] It has been discussed in the media that the new company will seek to eventually combine the two resorts into one mega-resort through an agreement with a local property owner, Troy Caldwell, who owns the land connecting Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley - White Wolf Mountain.[19] If connected via White Wolf, the combined ski area would be the second-largest resort in North America, behind Whistler Blackcomb.[20] Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley offers visitors 6,000 skiable acres, eight peaks, 44 lifts, and over 270 trails.[4] Resort owners need permission from local land managers, including both Placer County and the Tahoe National Forest which are currently studying the proposed project’s environmental impacts.[21] A number of conservation organizations, including Sierra Watch and the Sierra Club, consider the proposed gondola a threat to Granite Chief Wilderness.[22][23][24]


  1. ^ "Alpine Meadows Ski Resort". Alpine Meadows. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  2. ^ "Alpine Meadows is just minutes away!". Tonopalo Resort. Archived from the original on 2013-12-07. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  3. ^ "Homewood buys Alpine Meadows". Ski Area Management. April 4, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Reynolds, Christopher (September 28, 2011). "At Lake Tahoe's North Shore, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows come together". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  5. ^ "Alpine Meadows". Go Tahoe North. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Lake Tahoe History". Ski Lake Tahoe. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  7. ^ William Oscar Johnson (19 April 1982). "Avalanche!". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 4 January 2019. (Original layout with photos: )
  8. ^ "Tragic Alpine Meadows Avalanche - March 31, 1982". Tahoetopia. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Killer avalanche buries ski resort". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. April 1, 1982. p. A1. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Alpine Meadows avalanche death toll climbs to six". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. April 2, 1982. p. 8. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Avalanche deaths now number six". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. UPI. April 2, 1982. p. A1. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Nonprofit partners". Alpine Meadows. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Alpine Meadows". Facebook. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  14. ^ "Wild Wild Winter (1966)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  15. ^ "The Jamaica Ski Team is at Lake Tahoe!". Alpine Meadows. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  16. ^ Gondola | Squaw Alpine
  17. ^ Moffit, Bob (April 15, 2015). "Squaw Valley - Alpine Meadows Gondola Project Progresses", Capitol Public Radio News.
  18. ^ Environmental Impact Statement, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Base to Base Gondola Project.
  19. ^ Shueh, Jason; Renda, Matthew (November 3, 2011). "State of the Lake Tahoe ski industry: 'This is our time'". North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. Archived from the original on April 28, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  20. ^ "Whistler Blackcomb - Trail Maps". Whistler Blackcomb. Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  21. ^ Fletcher, Ed (October 25, 2017). " Fast Squaw-to-Alpine gondola plan gains steam. Activists say it would mar ‘sacred ground’", The Sacramento Bee.
  22. ^ Moffitt, Mike (October 26, 2017). "Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows gondola connection by 2019?", The San Franicsco Chronicle
  23. ^ Martin, Hugo (April 16, 2015). "Conservation group opposes Tahoe-area ski resort gondola plan", The Los Angeles Times.
  24. ^ Moffit, Bob (April 16, 2015). "Conservation Group Opposes Gondola Project On Private Land", Capitol Public Radio News.

External links[edit]