Base to Base II – Palisades Tahoe, CA This lift connected Alpine Meadows to the KT-22 summit in 2022. Most of the line traverses the private White Wolf property with no public skiing allowed underneath. View up White Wolf. An angle station redirects the line a few degrees at the bottom of White Wolf. Alpine mid-station. Doors do not open at the mid-station although that could change in the future. Tower 24 next to the angle station. View leaving the mid-station. T26. The section between the Alpine base lodge and White Wolf angle station is essentially flat. Tower 27. The lift traverses Alpine’s parking lots near the base lodge. Descending into the Alpine mid-station. This station is built into an avalanche-resistant building. Ascending toward KT-22. Five Lakes Trail area. A six section splice tower. Nearing the summit of KT-22 with the half finished White Wolf lift on the right. View back down the line. Breakover towers. View from the summit. Top station. T16. Cabins can either turn around here or continue to the Palisades Village depending on operational needs. Side view of a cabin ascending White Wolf. Inside the KT-22 station in turnaround mode. Loading area at Alpine Meadows. Loading area. Cabin storage facility. Lift line over the parking lots. Lift line thread over the base lodge. Drive station overview. Side view of the Alpine station. Station seen from above. The entire lift seen from above. Parking lot segment. Another view of the terminal at Alpine. White Wolf section. Mid-station. This building has enough room for all this section’s cabins. Drive terminal and operator house at Alpine. Tower 29. Cabin 19. Carrier with solar panels and ski racks. Passing over the Alpine snowmaking pond. One cabin in the flat section with others in the steep section behind. A cabin headed toward Olympic Valley. Combo assemblies on tower 28. Cabin 43 of 96. A tower and cabin. Brand new cabins passing near the Alpine base lodge. Unloading area at the summit. Return terminal with connection to the first section. Angle station overview. Top station near the KT-22 summit. Side view of the top terminal. Towers near the unfinished White Wolf lift. Station at Alpine Meadows. Tower 33 and the drive station. Sigma Diamond cabins in the Alpine station. View from the station plaza at Alpine. Cabins over the lodge. View toward White Wolf. Two Diamond cabins. Sections of the lift are very high off the ground. Share this:EmailTwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading...
Who built the White Wolf Lift, when was the lift built, and why was it abandoned
Troy Caldwell bought the land and tried to build a lift for a new private ski area. Southern Pacific sold him a massive tract that also included a good portion of Squaw Valley’s KT-22 area (apparently all of Olympic lady and a good chunk of the KT lift). So for a brief time, he was also Squaw’s landlord, in a sense.
Squaw plus a couple HOA’s in the area effectively launched a legal war against Caldwell. Lift construction began in spite of this, but it was an uphill battle, with other hurdles including the Great Recession and various regulations and restrictions.
The roadblocks weren’t ~all~ about anti-competitive neighbors and money and NIMBY homeowners. A modern ski resort requires highly trained ski patrollers and snow management teams to make steep terrain safe for the general public. When you do get hurt, a battalion of patrollers is typically just a few minutes away from arriving at the scene (provided you can make them aware). In lieu of having any of that, White Wolf has been limited to a small set of day skiers, and there seems to be requirements around avy training and guides.
I imagine, particularly now that the gondola is built, Palisades is not particularly axed on cooperating to get that terrain open. It faces almost due South, and does not provide direct, downhill access to the Alpine Meadows base.
This is probably the first time a lot of the public will probably have ever seen the abandoned White Wolf towers up close.
On the drive into AM, the lower section can be seen from the road without Troy coming after you
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The fact they are going to close this lift at 4 pm and then run the Mountaineer shuttle between the base areas until 10 pm everyday is so ridiculous. It may be a part of their operating agreement in order to build this thing in the first place, in which case their hands are tied, but regardless, it is such a waste of money to have to continue to maintain shuttle buses after building this. Not to mention gondola transit is greener, requires less labor, is more reliable, etc.
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It was part of their agreement to only run it until 4 for sound/environmental reasons. Mountaineer shuttles aren’t operated by them per se, they are a free shuttle that I believe they subsidize, so I don’t think they have to handle the maintenance of the shuttles.
The Mountaineer is operated by a venture between Palisades Tahoe, homeowners associations at both Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows, and lodging properties in the area. I don’t see many auto shops or maintenance facilities scattered amongst the homes and hotels, so it is safe to assume Palisades Tahoe either does this work as either their full or partial share of the operation.
As I said before, I am not blaming the resort for this arrangement. I am simply pointing out the ridiculous nature of it, as shuttle buses are both noisier and less environmentally friendly than a gondola.
So was the White Wolf angle station forced by Caldwell as a potential loading point? It seems like a massive, expensive structure for a turn that could have been done without detaching the cabins like the bend towers at Alta.
Also, the ski racks are too thin for most modern skis. The lifty told me the wrong racks were ordered…
Thinks the alignment was more dictated by the whole environmental thing than Caldwell.
It was always the extent to have two independent operating systems that could be connected. Which is probably a good idea. Able to run independently for various reasons including emergency evacuation.
The lift already has a slight angle station at White Wolf.
Pretty ugly profile, big up and down lift would have 2 angle stations for a single Drive.
Think in a straight line it would be different. Heavenly Gondola 12,149′ slope, @ 1800 hp. Base to Base 12,747′ slope, two 800 hp. drives.
Sounds like somebody dropped the ball on the ski racks.
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Left out the fact that Heavenly is a top and drive and Base to Base are bottom drives. Top drives are way more efficient and require less tension.
Can anyone explain how they have only two drives despite 4 stations? Wouldn’t the section between the two mid stations need its own drive?
On the Palisades side the haul rope turns around at the station at the top of KT22.
On the Alpine side the haul rope travels through the angle station you can’t load or unload at and turns around at the station at the top of KT22.
The best way to think about it is, (i) one bottom drive gondola from the bottom of Palisades to the top of KT-22, and (ii) one bottom drive gondola from the bottom of Alpine to top of KT-22, with a midstation in the middle. This midstation has a double grooved bull-wheel like Treeline Cirque so its not powered.
The Palisades side has a bottom Drive and a return bullwheel at the top station. The Alpine side has a bottom drive with a angle station that has a decelerator/accelerator straight thru system. It too has a return bullwheel at the top station.
Each system can run independently or can be connected at the top terminal. Connected, the cabins from Palisades can pass
through and continue on to the Alpine side. And the Alpine side can do the same.
I understand the the finally got the interconnect system finished and tested this afternoon.
So should be able to go from Palisades to Alpine and back tomorrow??