How these two valleys—so close geographically yet so distant philosophically—survived avalanches, fires, floods, lift accidents, economic ups and downs, ski trends, public opinion, good and bad management; and how the corporatization of both sides of the mountain inevitably joined them as one is a story about the people who lived and made history in both valleys.
SQUAW VALLEY AND ALPINE MEADOWS:
Tales From Two Valleys 70th Anniversary Edition
In the rugged High Sierra at the north end of Lake Tahoe, California, two adjacent valleys lie protected by high peaks to the west and separated by a massive ridge. The story of how these two remote valleys became two (now one) of the best-known ski areas in North America, begins with their discoveries by two visionaries: Wayne Poulsen, a young ski competitor from Reno, who first saw the potential in Squaw Valley while fishing there as a boy in 1931, and John Reily, a Los Angeles businessman who came to Squaw Valley in 1955, and saw from the top of the KT22 ski lift a pristine valley to the south.
A Glimpse at the Behind-the-Scenes Stories…
» The visionaries and entrepreneurs whose love for the mountains drove them to extraordinary feats in the growth and development of these two high Sierra valleys.
» How the publicity stunt to garner attention for Alex Cushing’s troubled and unknown ski area resulted in a successful bid for the 1960 Olympics (remembered as “the best Olympics ever”), catapulting Squaw Valley on to the world stage.
» Don Wolter’s rarely-seen black and white photos which capture the beauty of Alpine Meadows before development and are an album of Alpine’s pioneer families.
» The story of the collapse of the iconic Blythe Arena begins with the manager’s early discovery of bowed cables and snapping wires. As his fears mount, he is forced to make tough decisions with potentially dire consequences.
» How a young couple’s dream of building a small hotel on “a little corner” of Southern Pacific land in Alpine Meadows resulted in their owning 640 acres between these two valleys—a story still unfolding as a “base to base” Gondola will pass over this property, linking the two ski areas.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword, by Edie Thys Morgan
1. Men Who Love Mountains
Poulsen and His Valley
John Reily and His Valley
Alex Cushing and His Ski Area
2. Snow Jobs
Why Not Squaw?
3. The Valley Next Door
A Great Location
4. Big Dreams
Reily on a Roll
Nightmare to Olympic Dream
After the Games
Over the Mountains and through the Woods
Up at the Cornice
Altered Dream for Alpine
5. The Sixties
First Tracks at Alpine
Ski School Stories
Managing the Moguls
Hans Burkhart: A Man of Many Ski Lifts
Leave It to Reily
6. Slippery Slopes and Different Folks
Twin Peaks Estate
Post Olympic Blues
Squaw for Sale?
The Next Great Idea—
A U.S. Olympic Training Center?
7. Three Tragedies, Two Fantasies and a Work in Progress
A Ski Circus
How to Buy an Olympic Village
Blyth Arena Down
The Day the Mountain Came Down
A White Wolf’s Tale
8. Law, Love and Land
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Damn the Torpedoes
The Bear Goes Over the Mountain
Mighty Mites to Champions
Snurfing to Squallywood
Reily’s Last Stand at Twin Peaks
Wendt and the 150-Acre Parking Lot
An End and a Beginning
About the Author
What People Are Saying…
…a great read, full of success and failure, dreams achieved and smashed, elation and tears. And the story is not over, but the period you covered will probably be the most exciting, because it was a virginal landscape, with many strong-willed would-be players with different, opposing visions on what should be drawn on the unmarked palette.
—Tom Corcoran, 1958 & 1960 U.S. Olympic Ski Team member and U.S. Ski Hall of Famer
‘Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows’ unfolds with one-of-a-kind tales…what makes this telling of the tales unique is that Ancinas lived those decades alongside many of the characters she writes about so colorfully.
—Jackie Ginley, Moonshine Ink magazine
…finally got time to sit down a fully read it. (of course when I first got it I looked to see the chapter on How to Buy an Olympic Village). I really enjoyed finding out so much more about the history of both areas. I knew some of the principal players via some contact, but it was so interesting to learn, for example, about Peter Klaussen’s history with both areas, I knew Peter and Joan but never knew the details that you brought out in your book. Great fun to read.
—Phil Carville, Developer, Olympic Village Inn
Publication Date: October 7, 2019
A Great Holiday Gift for Yourself and Your Ski-Loving Friends
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