Squaw Valley, CA

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45 thoughts on “Squaw Valley, CA

  1. Duncan N. March 22, 2018 / 9:12 am

    Where did the pulse run?

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    • Jordan Smith March 22, 2018 / 9:35 am

      Between High Camp and Gold Coast.

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  2. Carson August 7, 2018 / 10:29 am

    A yan gondola I didn’t know they had one here! I thought only at keystone and the Qmc Tran at June. The one yan double here also from 1968! Would of been cool to see since it was one of the first!

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    • Cameron Halmrast August 7, 2018 / 5:58 pm

      Yan built a few gondolas, but only one remains which is located at the water park in Denver, Colorado which was relocated from Circus Circus, Las Vegas. The other gondola which was never a real gondola was built at the Yan facility in Carson when Yan was developing its detachable technology.

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      • Billy B August 7, 2018 / 8:57 pm

        Peter has some pictures of that last remaining “Yandola” on this site (link below). Although called a gondola, this lift is essentially a jig-back tram with two groups of gondola cabins instead of two tram cabins, much like the new Royal Gorge Gondola in Colorado. Was one of the last Lift Engineering lifts built and was basically a one-off concept with mostly unique parts. A really interesting system with towers built into waterslides, a very large yet classic “yanbox” drive terminal, and much more!

        https://liftblog.com/funhouse-express-water-world-co/

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    • julestheshiba January 16, 2020 / 1:16 pm

      there is still the Belmont Lift there and it is still there. Plus I don’t think it will be removed any time soon because it mostly only serves a small terrain park.

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  3. New England Chairlifts And Skiing August 25, 2018 / 6:59 pm

    From what I read, the old Newport Double was sold to a Zipline tour in Namibia. The Mainline Double was sold to another small area around, but it’s yet to be completed.

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  4. carson February 4, 2019 / 3:32 pm

    did the pulse lift sell

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  5. snowbasinlocal12894 February 4, 2019 / 9:27 pm

    Where is the pulse jigback double chairlift with the chairs rotated 90 degrees?

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    • skiz January 16, 2020 / 1:24 pm

      This tram formed of several connected sideways facing doubles was enginered
      by Bob Heron for the 1960 Winter Olympics.

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  6. Somebody February 12, 2019 / 7:49 pm

    Just skied Squaw for a week, here is my analysis on what needs change in their lift system:

    Squaw Creek- should be upgraded to HSQ (with bubbles?)
    Red dog- should be upgraded to HSQ or low capacity HSS
    Squaw one- should be run from 9am-10am to get people out of the village during the morning rush
    Emigrant- should be upgraded to HSQ
    Granite Chief- should be upgraded to HSQ
    Olympic Lady/Broken arrow/Belmont- should be run more often or just removed
    Silverado- should be run more

    Rest of the lifts are fine. Obviously California express should be built to link alpine meadows. This could provide as enough backup for KT that Olympic Lady is no longer needed and a KT capacity upgrade isn’t needed.

    While I’m at it, might as well give my opinion on alpine:
    Hot wheels- should be upgraded to HSQ that continues to Sherwood ridge, with a midstation where the lift currently ends. Allow the bottom section to run alone in high winds.
    Scott- should eventually be upgraded to a FGQ
    Alpine bowl- should be upgraded to a triple (or a longer HSQ replacing both it and the yellow chair)

    Finally, Either:
    Alpine bowl- should be extended to Ward Peak
    or
    A new lift should go up on the backside starting near the top of sherwood and terminating on Ward Peak.

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    • Jake April 1, 2020 / 4:00 pm

      If you add that many HSQ on that resort, it would get skied out way too fast. It gets skied out fast already as it is. The only chair there that needs to be upgraded is Red Dog. Ole Lady and B Arrow are for relieving stress in the lift lines when it is busy. Besides that, the terrain both of those chairs serve are easily accessible. Even though they run rarely, they do serve a key purpose on that mountain.
      Having a gondola/chair that connects squaw to alpine is not practical, unethical, and would be damaging to Olympic Valley’s eco system.

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    • skitheeast April 1, 2020 / 8:51 pm

      I agree with your Squaw Creek, Red Dog, Squaw One, Emigrant, and Granite Chief assessments. The whole High Camp beginner complex should be reorganized and streamlined to provide a better experience. Olympic Lady is simply a backup and has no use except when the upper mountain is closed due to high winds or the crowds are insane on a holiday weekend, but perhaps it will go when California Express is eventually installed. Personally, I also wish they ran Broken Arrow more often as well. Silverado is often difficult to run because it needs a large base and its bottom terminal sits at a low elevation. I think Scott is fine for now, but I do agree Alpine Bowl should be upgraded and extended to Ward Peak (although I would leave Yellow in place and just make Alpine accessible from Sherwood and Treeline Cirque with intermediate runs). You got your wish with Hot Wheels.

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    • sunshine April 23, 2020 / 1:20 pm

      Do you have these pictures somewhere else? The links that you put for C2 do not work anymore.

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  7. Maxwell Uguccioni May 2, 2019 / 10:17 pm

    Why does squaw valley hate footrests? I only see them on Squaw One Express and Silverado.

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    • Tommy Boy May 3, 2019 / 7:52 am

      It may have something to do with kids sitting too far forward in an attempt to put skis on the footrests and falling off of chairlifts.Just a theory but it may be the reason if I remember correctly.

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    • Donald Reif September 2, 2019 / 9:59 pm

      Headwall used to have them, and the Siberia six-pack had them when first constructed, only to have the footrests cut short to just the handles by opening day.

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    • snowbasinlocal12894 October 26, 2019 / 7:30 am

      Interesting, didnt know they had 2 pulse lifts. I guess Leitner-Poma wasnt the first to turn a lift using canted tower sheaves on one massive tower. I was looking for the old pulse lift where the double chairs would face sideways.

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      • Donald Reif October 26, 2019 / 8:38 am

        The Squaw pulse was more of a jigback lift.

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  8. Joshua October 13, 2019 / 8:08 pm

    when is the new california express going to be built? It has already been approved.

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    • Peter Landsman October 13, 2019 / 8:14 pm

      The Forest Service has not issued a final record of decision yet, only a draft. There is also a lawsuit seeking to stop the project.

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  9. Joshua October 24, 2019 / 10:35 pm

    When do you think this gondola will be complete then? I remember that Squaw Valley said that it would be completed by 2019 2020 ski season but that probably won’t happen.

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  10. ALEX October 25, 2019 / 8:59 am

    My 2 cents but unless the plaintiffs can get a judge to give them an injunction to block the project (which I find hard to believe they will be able to) I bet it gets installed next summer. They are already working on the retaining walls on the Alpine side preparing for it.

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  11. julestheshiba January 30, 2020 / 6:50 pm

    I believe you can see the top of the old Lost Lake lift in the pictures of Headwall.

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  12. julestheshiba February 17, 2020 / 3:00 pm

    you know I have been wondering something about Squaws Yan lifts. If you look at the lifting frames on the majority of their towers they are neither the classic Yan Y frames or the frame less towers (aside from the few Y frames on broken arrow and emigrant). I noticed that Alpine Meadows does not have lifting frames on any of its Yans exept for scott and that is a Garaventa/Yan. I am wondering if these unusual lifting frames are modifications made by Squaws lift ops at some point or were made by some other lift manufacture.

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  13. Kirk February 17, 2020 / 5:13 pm

    Lifting frames by Squaw and local tramway engineer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • julestheshiba February 17, 2020 / 5:22 pm

      I wonder why emigrant for example has some yan lifting frames but the rest are the local design, do you think that some of emigrants towers were reused, same for broken arrow?

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      • New England Chairlifts & Skiing February 17, 2020 / 7:33 pm

        I think the lifting frames are doppelmayr.

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  14. Kirk February 17, 2020 / 5:48 pm

    Emigrant has a little bit of everything. The original lift might have been a Hunsinger or Miner Denver? Think there a couple of original towers with Yan tops on them. Then Yan modification and Triple Chair. Think the cross arm with the Yan lifting has Doppelmayr 4T – 4D on it.

    Broken Arrow lift was relocated. Used to be a top Drive lift. Can’t remember which lift it was off hand.

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    • Alex February 17, 2020 / 9:08 pm

      Broken Arrow is the old Shirley Lake lift before it was replaced by a HSQ in 1986.

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  15. jake April 1, 2020 / 4:09 pm

    They need to bring C2 back. I suggest they replace Red Dog with a HSQ and use the old Red Dog lift for the new Cornice II lift. C2 was always a great storm day chair, because it could run in storms while Headwall would have to be on wind hold. Plus having a C2 chair would further increase the Squallywood feel of Squaw by having a chair closer to the Squallywood lines. Having another chair running on a storm powder day would really help the stress in the KT lift line. They have enough towers and supplies from the Red Dog chair to make that move smooth and efficient.

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    • Somebody April 23, 2020 / 8:52 pm

      I think this one’s too optimistic unfortunately. Red Dog is a 1989 alpha so it probably will be re-located to a more useful/essential place (perhaps another alterra resort entirely). Even if they did find a cheap lift to install on C2, it would only be used on crowded storm days when headwall can’t operate but C2 theoretically could. That’s a very unique scenario that isn’t very common. Even under that scenario, it’d be fairly likely that people would opt to lap Squaw Creek or Red Dog instead of going through the hassle of accessing C2. Overall, it’s probably not worth the installation or maintenance costs for Squaw to re-install Cornice 2. Now that the old lift is gone, I’d say it’s unlikely we’ll see a lift there again.

      A far better possible lift for to solve KT lines would be a surface lift from the bottom of gold coast chair to the top of headwall. It would run a line similar to where newport ran, but it would be far more useful as it would access all of headwall’s trails. This is a far better option than bringing back C2 (cheaper, better in the wind, accesses more trails) but would have the drawback of splitting chicken/north bowl.

      Speaking of surface lifts, when broken arrow needs to be replaced it should be replaced with a surface lift starting slightly lower than the current double chair. The current profile has too many downhill sections to be replaced with a surface lift, but starting even just a few hundred feet lower would make it work.

      I’d also like to see Squaw possibly expand at some point with new terrain. There’s a lot of good terrain just outside the area boundary, and there’s a bunch of places where a fixed grip or even surface lift would provide excellent skiing. Considering the amount of environmentalist push-back against Squaw in the past though, this one is probably a pipe dream.

      Completely unrelated side note, but Silverado and Oly lady should be ran more often. Silverado exclusively accesses some of the best expert terrain on the planet and Oly lady was literally designed to relieve KT.

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      • Jake April 27, 2020 / 3:57 pm

        I have to disagree with you on the surface lift from Gold Coast to the top of Headwall. While it may be cheaper and better in wind, it defiantly would not offer more trails. Having that would also be even more monotonous then installing a new C2. It would also be less aesthetically pleasing to do that as well.
        Olympic Lady and C2 had the same design-to relieve KT and Headwall. It just makes sense if Red Dog was a highspeed quad, and the old Red dog chair became C2. That would create so much more flow on powder days, holidays, and storm days. The surface lift wouldn’t be used as a storm lift, because it would be considered an upper mountain lift, which is mostly closed on storm days.

        As for Silverado, not only does it require a lot of snow for it to be open, but it’s altitude is pretty low. With those factors combined, Silverado cannot run frequently.

        With it being 2020, wouldn’t most Alterra resorts have updated lifts? If so, then the old Red Dog chair wouldn’t really be needed at other resorts.

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        • Somebody April 27, 2020 / 5:49 pm

          “The surface lift wouldn’t be used as a storm lift, because it would be considered an upper mountain lift, which is mostly closed on storm days.”

          Surface lifts are far more wind resistant than chairlifts. The idea would be that if the funitel is running, that lift can run too. It doesn’t matter if it’s upper mountain, it matters if it is wind resistant enough.

          “With it being 2020, wouldn’t most Alterra resorts have updated lifts? If so, then the old Red Dog chair wouldn’t really be needed at other resorts.”

          June Mountain CA is owned by Alterra and the only out of base lift there is a 1960 riblet/yan frankenlift.

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  16. Somebody April 24, 2020 / 12:08 am

    Squaw did an incredible job of fixing the high-camp/gold coast area. It went from being a jumbled mess of lifts (half of which were useless) to just making sense. My only criticism is that Siberia, Emigrant and Big Blue make Gold Coast a bit redundant (the only thing Gold Coast does that the other two don’t is serve two beginner runs). Outside of that, Siberia, Emigrant and Big blue are just better. Siberia and emigrant service more terrain and Big Blue gets you to high camp or the backside quicker.

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    • sunshine April 27, 2020 / 3:24 pm

      I can see why you would think that. However, Squaw’s main park is the same location where Goldcoast is. You take Gold Coast out, then that park is a pain to get to. I do agree that Squaw did a fantastic job cleaning up the beginner area.

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