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Alpine Meadows not ready to surrender to summer season

Just as we were all ready to put the skis and snowboards away, along comes Alpine Meadows sandbagging the other resorts by announcing that the resort will be staying open thorough June on weekends.

After the end of this month, Alpine will run the six-pack Summit chair Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No word on the price of lift tickets, but who cares when you can ski in June.

Next question as yet unanswered is the closing date for Mammoth Mountain west of here. Reports are that the snowfall there wasn’t up to the usual massive levels, so the resort may not be able to run through July 4 as it did last year (and the skiing was pretty darn good then).



Alpine will toss a Memorial Day Luau party, but obviously it won’t be the season closer as in the past.

Meanwhile, last word from Heavenly was that it will shut ‘er over the Memorial weekend. Too bad, there’s still some good snow up there, although there are brown patches here and there. The Ridge Run remains in excellent condition; Betty’s almost as good.




Squaw Valley will also close this weekend (barring any change in plans) with the Shirley Lake and Granite Chief chairs ticking along, plus the linking chair from Gold Coast to those two chairs.

As a footnote, Squaw is offering a free summer cable car pass to all who buy a 1999-2000 season pass. The cable car pass deal runs from June 1 through June 15. The pass will get you up to the ice rink, swimming pool and lagoon, lots of hiking trails, tennis courts and restaurants. (But don’t figure on hiking from the top of the Shirley Lake lift to the parking lot unless your knees are in excellent condition. It’s all downhill and demanding.)

Season pass rates at Squaw range from $1,125 for adult all times before July 15 to $1,445 after Sept. 1. Midweek for adult is $710 before July 15.

On Saturday, Squaw will hold its annual Lake Cushing Crossing with all kinds of contraptions trying to leap the “lake.” Sunday is the season pass holder party with the BBQ open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

MORE FROM SQUAW

While most resorts have said little about any expansion plans for next season, Squaw jumps in with the announcement of two new six-pack chair lifts. First, the old Headwall, Gold Coast and Mainline lifts will go (and later the Cornice II). The two new lifts will be the Headwall-Cornice II Express and the Gold Coast-Mainline Express.

The skiing itself “served by these two lifts will be immeasurably improved because of the new lines they will follow.” Alex Cushing writes, the new Headwall-Cornice II lift “will go to the top of the existing Headwall lift, giving it a vertical rise of 1,800 feet. We think this new behemoth may replace KT-22 as our signature lift.”

With chairs weighing 1,030 pounds each as contrasted to the old 425-pound chairs, the lift will be able to operate in 60 mph winds.

Not that it matters to most locals, but the Intrawest condo project for the Squaw parking lot is entangled in permit and financing problems and work won’t begin until 2001-02 at the earliest.

SALESMAN’S SAMPLE SALE

If you need gear, you might want to check the sale at 10531 Regency Circle in Truckee, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Clothing, skis and snowboards, demo stuff and accessories are available.

Last of the ski stuff. During the summer we’ll be switching to hiking and biking reports. And next week we’ll bring you the news about the new altimeter watch from Freestyle USA in Camarillo, Calif. Much advanced over the old Avocet, which is no longer in production.


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