Alpine Meadows turns 50 years old

It’s a beautiful weekend for being outdoors, including skiing. Here’s a feature on Alpine Meadows turning 50 from Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

ALPINE MEADOWS IS CELEBRATING its golden anniversary with the best snowpack since it opened on Christmas Eve 1961, just after Lake Tahoe hosted the Winter Olympics.

Skiers and boarders are tackling the slopes with a 13-foot snowpack — one of the deepest in the world.

Located six miles northwest of Tahoe City, Alpine is known for its panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and its relaxed, welcoming vibe. Its 2,400 patrolled acres of ski terrain runs the gamut from seven open bowls to gentle, top-to-bottom groomed slopes.

“Alpine is like the girl next door who removes her glasses and shakes loose her hair at the end of the movie to reveal a hidden beauty,” says Ski magazine. “It may be one of the best medium-sized resorts in America.”

Alpine Meadows also has a storied history and is part of the Sierra Nevada Geotourism map guide, celebrating the Sierra as a world-class destination.

Though its founders enjoyed the glamour of Squaw Valley, their idea was to open a ski area that would carry a quiet air and casual atmosphere. The group’s timing was perfect: Olympians who competed in 1960 jumped on the bandwagon in support of Alpine Meadows.

Many of the Olympians and descendents of Alpine’s founders still ski the mountain with their children and grandchildren.

Alpine now has 100 designated runs and 13 chair lifts, including a high-speed, six-passenger chair. This year it became the first U.S. resort to offer the latest technology in chair lift safety systems for children — a magnet that helps hold them secure while they ride up the mountain.

The ski resort also is upgrading its après ski amenities. It is redesigning outdoor seating at its base lodge, including a 7,500-square-foot sundeck and a new fire-pit.

For more information visit SkiAlpine.com

SNOWCAT DINING

Alpine Meadows is the first Tahoe resort that offers guests a trip in a snowcat to a mid-mountain chalet for a private dinner or après ski party with friends and gourmet fare.

Groups of 10 to 30 can experience the old-Tahoe hospitality and charm of the chalet, tucked into a valley upslope of the day lodge. Inside the chalet, guests can lounge and visit with friends beside a warm fireplace.

The four-course dinner menu includes items such as cheese fondue, warm goat cheese salad, filet mignon or seared salmon with sauteed spinach and a chocolate torte.

Individual trips are available Feb. 14 and March 12, and groups can book an advance trip any time with advance notice.

(Ski photo credit: Jonathan Selkowitz)

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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