Squaw and Alpine are working hard to find ways to connect the two mountains by permitting backcountry access gates for on-snow travel between the two mountains. The Management staff is working with the United States Forest Service to develop a plan and policy.
According to Andy Wirth, CEO of both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, “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.”
During the coming season, Squaw and Alpine management, ski patrols from both resorts and the US Forest Service will begin a pilot study to determine whether they will be able to open several backcountry access gates. The Pilot Study will be for “permitted” skiers and riders, who likely have formal avalanche training, equipment and backcountry experience, to access the wilderness land connecting the two resorts. The goal of the pilot study is to determine possible locations in terms of geography and exposure and will include route selection, determine issues during in-bound closures, search and rescue issues, and boundaries with private land and wilderness areas.
Squaw and Alpine Meadows will run under one lift ticket or season pass for the 2011/2012 Winter Season, and there will be shuttles constantly running between the two.
Squaw’s boundary management policies will remain closed like previous years, with the exception of the pilot study. The Alpine Meadows boundaries will be managed the same as in the past.