Alpine Meadows offers visitors some of North America’s most celebrated terrain, both on – and off – the trails. Favored for its seven powder bowls, summit-to-base groomed trails, and panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Alpine Meadows is best known for its relaxed, welcoming vibe.
Alpine's inviting atmosphere was indeed the forefathers' vision for the mountain. Alpine Meadows opened for skiing on December 28,1961, not even a year after the winter Olympics were hosted at Lake Tahoe. Many of the spectators who attended the downhill ski competitions at Squaw Valley were from the San Francisco area. One group of visitors in particular spied the mountain range. This was no ordinary group; they were business movers and shakers who loved to ski in what happened to be the ski boom in North America.
The terrain beckoned the ski adventurers with its pristine bowls and undulating tree lines. This haven was so inviting that the San Francisco investors collaborated to explore this unchartered territory.
With skis and snowshoes underfoot and touring poles in hand, they set out to tour this new area that would become Alpine Meadows.
Alpine Meadows was built out of pure passion and love of the sport of sking. Many who were a part of this labor of love parted ways with their very high profile careers to create the resort: Peter Klaussen, a former Polaroid executive; John Reily, former treasurer of the Carnation Company; Rovert P. McCulloch of McCulloch chain saws; Nick Badami, co-founder of BVD; George Hart, director of First National Bank; and many more. To the talented businessmen whose efforts created Alpine Meadows, the project was a labor of love.
Although the group enjoyed the excitement and high-profile glamour of Squaw Valley and the historic winter Olympics of 1960, their intention for Alpine Meadows was to open a ski area that would carry a quiet air and a casual atmosphere. Their hopes were that Alpine Meadows would be an inviting alternative to the many families who were interested in visiting the mountains from San Francisco during what was a boom in winter sports. The group's timing was perfect: many Olympians who competed in 1960 jumped on the bandwagon in support of opening Alpine Meadows; and many of those Olympians still ski at Alpine today (now with grandchildren in tow).
Alpine Meadows opened on Christmas Eve, 1961 - and indeed proved popular among familes and children; Olympians; and adventurers. In fact, many people who skied on opening day at Alpine Meadows still ski here today (including Alpine's general manager!); and many of the descendents of Alpine's visionaries ski the mountain with their children and grandchildren.