The Base to Base Gondola ride opens at Palisades Tahoe in Lake Tahoe.
It was a momentous day for Palisades Tahoe on Saturday, December 17th. After more than 70 years of dreaming about connecting two legendary valleys, the Base to Base Gondola opened to the public for the first time. After a full day of operations that included giveaways, free mountain tours from The North Face Mountain Guides, and live music at our snow beaches, the Base to Base celebration finished off with a huge concert. Aluna and Dillon Francis performed — for free — and we wrapped it all up with an unforgettable fireworks display.
3…2…1… Take Off!
A new Gondola Experience in Lake Tahoe
After a speech from Dee Byrne, the President and COO of Palisades Tahoe, and some introductions from Palisades Tahoe athlete Jonny Moseley, we held a cider toast to the new Gondola, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Once the ribbon was cut and the Gondola was ready to go, the gates opened early at 8:50am. People were EAGER to get their first ride in, lining up all the way down the new Gondola Plaza. Big smiles and laughter abounded, and there was no shortage of folks filming their entry onto this long-awaited journey. At long last, the terrain of Palisades and Alpine were connected by a scenic Gondola ride.
Photos by Ryan Salm
Views For Days
This is a whole new way to see KT-22, and it is the first overhead glimpse at the privately-owned White Wolf property that separates Palisades and Alpine. The 2.4-mile journey was especially stunning on Saturday morning as a beautiful inversion had formed over Lake Tahoe. This means that riders of the Base to Base Gondola (and many other lifts at Palisades Tahoe) were above the cloud line, looking down at a socked-in Tahoe basin on a stunning sunny day.
Photos by Ryan Salm
A Concert To Remember
Aluna opened up the evening with a free set that started at 3:30pm. The Funitel soared overheard as the sun started to sink and the crowd filled in. With the Tram Face as a backdrop, complete with a light show displaying the Palisades Tahoe logo, Dillon Francis took the stage at dusk and played into the night.
The whole Launch Celebration was topped off with an epic fireworks celebration that soared above the Base to Base Gondola. It was a fitting end to something that has been in the works for so long. A feat like the Base to Base Gondola truly deserved this sendoff!
Did you miss the Grand Opening Party? Watch a recap here.
The Base to Base Gondola is a unique lift in that it can operate as one singular lift from Palisades to Alpine and back and can also operate as two independent lifts, taking guests from either base area to the KT Mid-Station. There are only five other lifts in North America with this feature. On Saturday, the Base to Base Gondola operated as two separate lifts, allowing guests to get out at the top of KT-22 and take in the sights before re-loading and heading down to Alpine.
This week, the Gondola is closed while crews and the lift manufacturer (Leitner Poma) finalize the “interconnect” piece that will allow the lift to operate as one continuous lift. The plan is to have the Gondola open as soon as possible — hopefully this coming weekend.
Soon, we’ll have a new Sightseeing ticket as well, which gives you access to the Funitel, the Aerial Tram, AND the scenic Gondola ride. When the Gondola re-opens, it will operate from 9am-4pm daily in the winter, weather and conditions permitting.