Alpine to Squaw Tour

  Cathy near Alpine Meadows
Cathy Bianco out of bounds near Alpine Meadows
This is the shortest link of the 24 tours in the series. It is a good tour for one of those days when you want to sleep in late (and have two cars available for a shuttle). In good conditions, this tour could be done in only a few hours. You can make it last longer by putting down your pack and carving turns down some of those slopes on your way up to Five Lakes.

This tour starts just short of the Alpine Meadows resort parking lot. The side-road about 100 yards before an "Alpine Meadows Resort, Elevation 6830'" sign would probably be a good place to start, or somewhere left of there, above the parking lot. Going right up the middle of the valley used to be the recommended route, but now, some guy who owns a chunk of property there has installed his own private ski lift up the backside of KT-22, and he is likely to be hanging out there in wintertime, enforcing his property rights. You can get around his property by staying on the steeper slopes above the Alpine Meadows parking lot, climbing that to a notch about 800' above the parking, and then traversing north to Five Lakes.

  Cathy at Five Lakes
Cathy Bianco descends into Five Lakes
The Sierra Club destroyed their old Bradley Hut near Five Lakes a few years ago, as this area is now protected as wilderness (the new Bradley Hut is a few miles north in the Pole Creek drainage). Anyway, when you've had enough solitude, just head north over the low saddle to the west of KT-22. Enter the resort and ski down to the base of Squaw via ski runs.

There is abundant day-parking at both Alpine and Squaw ski resorts. You probably don't want to make it obvious that you are parking there for backcountry skiing.

Another possible approach to skiing this terrain would be to do it the other direction, from Squaw to Alpine, via the same general route. Basically, you'd drop into Five Lakes by going out of bounds off of Sun Bowl from Cornice II chair, or out back off of the Saddle from KT-22. The advantage is that, instead of taking 2 or 3 hours, it might take, like, 20 minutes, since once you leave Squaw Valley slopes, it's all downhill to Alpine's parking lot (if you do it right). The disadvantage is that, aside from the fact that you'd need to buy a Squaw Valley lift ticket, you'd be skiing out-of-bounds, which I believe is against the rules for you as a Squaw customer, and consequently also illegal. (Actually, skiing into Squaw from the backcountry, as this page describes, is probably also illegal, but as long as you aren't trying to use their lifts, the ski patrol isn't likely to have a problem with it.)

 Previous Tour  Ski Tour Index  Next Tour

General info and disclaimer about backcountry skiing

Go to Home Page