This fall, I spoke with Troy Caldwell about wether or not KSL was talking to him about connecting Squaw & Alpine via his beloved White Wolf . He informed me that they were. In an exclusive interview, Troy gave me the details on how he & KSL (the owner of both Squaw & Alpine) planned on executing the dream of connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. He told me how he wanted to stay involved and didn’t want to be simply bought out. Squaw/Alpine CONNECT “On Track” | *UPDATE* with Troy Caldwell | USA’s Biggest Ski Resort by 2022? | Unofficial Networks

Squaw/Alpine CONNECT “On Track” | *UPDATE* with Troy Caldwell | USA’s Biggest Ski Resort by 2022?

Squaw/Alpine CONNECT “On Track” | *UPDATE* with Troy Caldwell | USA’s Biggest Ski Resort by 2022?

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Squaw/Alpine CONNECT “On Track” | *UPDATE* with Troy Caldwell | USA’s Biggest Ski Resort by 2022?

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Troy Caldwell and White Wolf

This fall, I spoke with Troy Caldwell about wether or not KSL was talking to him about connecting Squaw & Alpine via his beloved White Wolf .  He informed me that they were.  In an exclusive interview, Troy laid out  the details of how he & KSL (the owner of both Squaw & Alpine) planned on executing the dream of connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.   He told me how he wanted to stay involved and didn’t want to be simply bought out.

We also spoke of how long it would take for Squaw and Alpine to be legitimately connected via ski lifts.  Realistic permitting processes and construction had us looking a completion date somewhere around 2022.

Squaw = blue. Alpine = Red. White Wolf = purple (the color of royalty). This is how the biggest ski resort in the USA will look in the 2020s

WHITE WOLF DEATILS:

  • 460 acres
  • Purchased by Troy in 1990 from Southern Pacific Railroad for $350,000
  • Includes 75 acres of Squaw Valley ski resort that includes the upper half of the Olympic Lady chair and the top third of the KT-22 chair.

I spoke with Troy once again today about where all this exciting Squaw/Alpine connection stuff stands.  Troy let me know that things are moving along as planned:

“To be honest, not much has changed since we last talked [in December].  We’re still in the process of negotiating the details of the final plan.”” – Troy

“Squaw is treating me great and it’s fun working with those guys.” – Troy

The most important aspects of this update are that things are moving along as planned and that negotiations have not broken down between Troy and KSL.  Negotiations are continuing to take place, the plan is still to connect Squaw & Alpine via White Wolf, and that America’s biggest ski resort is still on track.

Some of the White Wolf terrain we’re drooling about. photo: Travis Ganong

TROY’S WHITE WOLF DREAM: 

  • A small high-end ski resort
  • Gondola & 3 ski lifts
  • Mid mountain hotel
  • Small village complete with ice skating rink
  • Troy understands that all of the above may not come to fruition, but this is his grand vision for White Wolf

I think we’re all more than just a little excited about the possibility of not only skiing between Squaw & Alpine, but finally getting to sink our teeth into White Wolf’s forbidden terrain for the first time.

Thanks again to Troy for chatting with me and always being completely transparent about this entire process.  We’re looking forward to checking in again in the fall.

POTENTIAL TIMEFRAME:

1 year or so to reach agreement between KSL & Troy

+

7 years of permit acquisition

+

2-3 years of construction

=

In about 10-11 years we could see Squaw + Alpine + White Wolf

=

One combined ski zone = Over 6,000 acres = Biggest ski resort in the USA

This puts the completion date somewhere near 2022…which is also the year that Andy Wirth and the Lake Tahoe Winter Olympic Exploratory Committee is trying to get the Olympics back to Lake Tahoe.  Wouldn’t look bad to have the largest ski resort in the USA for that bid, would it?

 The original interview from December, 2011:

Some of the incredible terrain at White Wolf. photo: travis ganong

The threat of Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows connecting and creating the largest ski resort in the USA has been talked about since Alpine Meadows opened in 1961. Alpine is just on the other side of the ridge from Squaw and they’re only separated by a small zone called “White Wolf.”

White Wolf is 460 acres of convoluted alpine terrain that is owned by one Troy Caldwell. Troy is a former U.S. Ski Team member, construction contractor, and all around solid person.

Troy bought White Wolf in 1990 from the Southern Pacific Railroad and was instantly greeted by a frenzy of lawsuits from Squaw Valley that lasted over 15 years. Troy survived the legal lashing and the two eventually settled their differences. But the connection of Alpine & Squaw never happened.

WHITE WOLF DEATILS:

  • 460 acres
  • Purchased by Troy in 1990 from Southern Pacific Railroad for $350,000
  • Includes 75 acres of Squaw Valley ski resort that includes the upper half of the Olympic Lady chair and the top third of the KT-22 chair.

Troy Caldwell at White Wolf. photo: seth lightcap

In 2010 Squaw Valley was sold to a private equity firm named KSL Capital Partners. KSL wasted no time in acquiring Alpine Meadows in 2011. Their obvious next move is to team up with White Wolf and connect Squaw & Alpine.

What we all want to know is:

Is KSL working with Troy to gain access to White Wolf and build the Squaw/Alpine connect?

The answer is YES. Troy and KSL have already begun negotiations. I interviewed Troy this past Friday to gather the latest details on the situation.

“We wanna work with the KSL boys” – Troy Caldwell

Troy and KSL have been discussing how they can make the White Wolf connect work and what each party aims to gain out of the deal.

“I told ‘em that I don’t wanna take a phat check and go away” – Troy

Troy wants to remain an integral part of the creation, development, and management of the White Wolf ski area. The vision he is working out with KSL involves him staying on board with White Wolf and making the White Wolf ski area not only a connect between Alpine & Squaw, but it’s own entity with it’s own attractions.

“In the planning world I’m on top of the world right now and there are no tracks in front of me and I’m the one who gets to help lay the tracks. And that’s a good feeling.” – Troy

Squaw in blue. White Wolf in purple. Alpine in red. Voila, the biggest ski area in the US of A.

 

“We’re trying to synchronize dreams” – Troy

 

TROY’S WHITE WOLF DREAM: 

  • A small high-end ski resort
  • Gondola & 3 ski lifts
  • Mid mountain hotel
  • Small village complete with ice skating rink
  • Troy understands that all of the above may not come to fruition, but this is his grand vision for White Wolf

Troy just got back from 2 weeks of traveling all over the American West visiting the best ski resorts in the land and studying their layouts to aid in the development of his White Wolf. He visited Jackson, Vail, Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, Beaver Creek, Steamboat, Grand Targhee, & Big Sky. KSL footed the bill for that on-site research and “treated us like kings and queens.”

One more reason Troy fits right in around here. He lit himself on fire and did ski stunts for the 1974 ski movie “Children of the Morning” (this shot is his buddy, “Rocket” Ralph Bertoli, doing the fire thing as well)

By now, the reader is fully understanding that yes, White Wolf will connect Squaw and Alpine making the largest ski resort in the USA. Well, how soon?

“In the next year or so we are gonna make our battle plan. We are hoping to keep some flexibility in that battle plan. As the world turns we will be able to turn with it. It’s good to have that flexibility because things are going to change.” -Troy

Once Troy and KSL hash out their agreement in the next year or so, they’ll start the business of acquiring the proper permits to make White Wolf into a ski area. Troy estimates this process to take somewhere in the range of 6-7 years if everything goes smoothly. Homewood ski resort (on the west shore of Lake Tahoe) is currently going through the process of acquiring similar permits and is facing the same timeframe.

In 2004 Troy installed 17 lift towers into White Wolf that end at the top of KT-22. photo: seth lightcap

POTENTIAL TIMEFRAME:

 

1 year or so to reach agreement between KSL & Troy

+

7 years of permit acquisition

+

2-3 years of construction

=

In about 10-11 years we could see Squaw + Alpine + White Wolf

=

One combined ski zone = Over 6,000 acres = Biggest ski resort in the USA

Terrain at White Wolf. photo: seth lightcap

For Northern Californians, the prospect of Squaw & Alpine connecting has always been a distant, intangible, nebulous dream. That dream has now morphed into a blunt reality that can no longer be ignored. Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will connect. They will connect because of our local boy Troy Caldwell and his powerful vision of what will soon be White Wolf ski area.

“We’re looking to be a little bit different from the rest of the world. We’re gonna be a little bit special.” – Troy Caldwell

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