Rome wasn’t built in a day and such is the case with anything that is grand. Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, two magnificent ski resorts that stand side by side in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at North Lake Tahoe are no exception. They rank top notch on the world stage and have gained global acclaim as spectacular skiing destinations. But it was a long and arduous road to get there and a labor of love for sure. None of it could have been realized had it not been for the pioneers, their tireless work, endless risks, grit and creativity. Visionaries — the likes of Alex Cushing, Wayne Poulsen and John Reily — in whose minds the dreams were born, were the conductors of a new era in the skiing industry and provided the springboard for success.
Eddy Starr Ancinas, author of “Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows — Tales from Two Valleys,” shares with us a comprehensive account and timeline of the historical events. She delivers intimate details of each resort from its inception and in doing so exposes a rich history that includes joyous victories, tragic happenings, exhilarating moments and even a few miracles to save the day. Ancinas, a pioneer in her own right, holds firsthand knowledge since she has experienced it. She met and fell in love with her husband during the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics where she worked as a volunteer. He was a downhill racer and a member of the Argentine Olympic Ski Team. Later they opened a ski shop in Alpine Meadows, where they lived up close and personal with the movers and shakers in the area. Ancinas delivers compelling behind-the-scenes stories from a front-row perspective in her book “Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows – Tales from Two Valleys.”
Like many other imposing projects, it all started from humble beginnings. Who knew that Squaw Valley could snag the spot for the Winter Olympics in 1960? Most gamblers would have bet against it. Squaw Valley delivered in spite of the odds, but not without a few breath-holding moments. You’ll learn of the strategies, struggles and successes. You’ll hear about the rivalry, competition and friendships between the moguls who were the driving forces behind Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. Avalanches, floods, fires and chairlift mishaps are a few of the harrowing tales to be told. Stories that expose reputation concerns, financial struggles, safety factors and even a roof that caved in due to improper snow load will keep you turning the pages.
“Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows – Tales from Two Valleys” is a good read if you love Lake Tahoe history. You will find it appealing and delight in the details. It is a paperback with a glossy pictorial front cover. Inside is a generous display of black-and-white photographs as well as maps and architectural drawings that bring the stories to life.