Two of North Tahoe’s iconic ski resorts, Alpine Meadows, and Squaw Valley, have a long history with one another. Both resorts are so close together that they are visible from the other’s mountain. Learn more about Andy Wirth: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2014/09/andy-wirth-squaw-valley.aspx
Despite the close distance, these two ski resorts have been divided by different cultures and slopes. That is soon going to change. Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Alpine is planning open a gondola to connect both resorts together. Although, this news comes alongside a controversial push to expand Squaw Valley’s village.
Andy Wirth says in an op-ed published through Powder Magazine that “connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows is something skiers and snowboarders both who live here and who visit have dreamed of for decades” and promises that his group plans on “seeking with this announcement lots of community input and involvement.” He says the gondola project “originated with the founder of Squaw Valley, Wayne Poulsen’s vision decades ago” and its a goal he plans on fulfilling.
When asked about the resistance he has met from local skiers, afraid of the effect on he Granite Chief Wilderness Area and Five Lakes. Wirth, a wilderness ranger in his youth, points out the fact that his grandfather helped write the Wilderness Act of 1963, so he is well versed in the effect his construction would have and how to minimize it. Learn more about Andy Wirth: www.kcrw.com/people/andy-wirth
Andy Wirth also contributes a lot to various environmental and community service organizations in the local area. His grandfather and ranger background aside, Wirth is an interesting character on his own.
In 2013, he was injured in a skydiving accident. This near fatal disaster changes his perspective on life and led to the founding of the ‘Wounded Warrior’ Ironman Team. The team raises money for the Navy Seal Foundation. Wirth is a man that knows how to follow his dreams.
Following his near-fatal accident, he had to work hard to make a full recovery. This drive for success is what pushes Wirth forward in pursuing the goals of Wayne Poulsen, and many skiers and snowboarders around the world in creating a link between these two prestigious ski resorts.