Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One Wasatch

So today Ski Utah had a big press conference about linking up the 7 Central Wasatch Resorts by connecting them via new lifts and existing connections called One Wasatch.  This has been talked about for many years. However there are many issues that I have with the plan.  First and foremost Ski Utah and the resorts sweep under the rug that if you snowboard you will not be able to utilize the connection since two of the resorts that make up the Interconnect do not allow snowboarding.  How can they claim this is good for Utah and our tourism when over 60% of families participate in both disciplines?  They are making the Wasatch even more exclusive when they should be more inclusive! I doubt we are really going to attract out of State tourists to come to a place where most can not even utilize the Interconnect system because they snowboard or have family and friends that snowboard?  Also currently you can backcountry snowboard and ski on the areas between Alta and Brighton.  Grizzly Gulch, Patsy Marley and Michigan City would now not only be closed to backountry use but to snowboarding as well since Alta would annex these areas.  Also access to Wolverine Cirque will be closed from the Little Cottonwood side. The plan calls for 6 new lifts (3 lifts at Alta) and 1000 acres of ski terrain that is currently accessed via the backcountry. This means even more of the limited space in the Wasatch will be closed to those that enjoy snowboarding. I do not think taking more areas away from snowboarding is a good thing for Utah.  This is unacceptable!

RIP, this zone outside Alta will be closed to backcountry and snowboard access.  

RIP Patsy Marley to snowboarding and backcountry access!

Wonder how access to Wolverine Cirque will be affected?
I have a lot invested in living in the Wasatch.  I just feel like we are taking a step backwards in the future of our mountains and recreation.  There was a time I could catch frequent buses to the ski resorts from my home in Cottonwood Heights.  I still do not understand why 20 years later there are even less transportation options for me?  20 years later even more of the Wasatch is doomed to be closed off to snowboarding! This is a huge step in the wrong direction.  There is a lot of talk of mimicking a European Model for Central Wasatch Resorts.  Last time I checked those models had car free canyons with lots of public transportation and those areas are all open to snowboarding.  I think One Wasatch falls short of this vision.

Do I think having one pass and one lift system thoughtfully connecting Central Wasatch Resorts makes sense? Yes I do.  But currently with the lack of real viable public transportation and Utah's archaic no snowboarding policies I just can not support this initiative at this time.

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