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Resort Review: Squaw Valley

The Team March 3rd, 2011

John Henwood travelled with Ski Independence in February 2011, here is a review of his stay:

At the approach to Squaw Valley the Olympic rings are proudly displayed alongside a plinth on which the eternal flame that epitomises sporting achievement permanently flickers. At first one could be forgiven for thinking that the Winter Olympics were a recent event here, but no fewer than thirteen Olympiads have come and gone since that flame was ignited for the 1960 games.

There is a sense that Squaw Valley is living and trading on former glory, a feeling that is perpetuated with photographic displays of those games and the remnants of last year’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the event. It is a rather odd phenomenon because Squaw Valley has plenty to recommend it today and there is surely no need to continue promoting the past when there is so much to enjoy in the present.

CP Photo/COC

Canada's Anne Heggtveit (centre) celebrates her gold medal win in the slalom ski event at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics.

Let’s start with access. Squaw Valley is one of a ring of ski resorts that surround Lake Tahoe, which lays half in Nevada, half in California; it is about six miles west of Tahoe City. An easy 45 minute journey from Reno airport in all but the most difficult of conditions (when it can take up to half an hour longer) the roads are good, well signed and kept open through the severest of winters. Of course that’s the last lap of a long journey from the UK, which for us involved a ten-hour flight to San Francisco, some marking time and then an hour flight on to Reno.

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