Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Community For and By Skiers

Imagine this, a time when skiing at ski areas becomes too expensive for people to put up with it any longer. People take to the mountains and hike to ski until they tire. With ski areas out of business a void is there for a new industry, one remarkably similar to one of old, ski areas for skiers.

What a novel concept, ski areas for skiers for the purpose of skiing. No lattes, no second homes and no staking claim, instead ski areas for everyone. We shouldn’t have to tolerate what is packaged for mass consumption, tourism and the dollar have nearly killed our sport. The pampering must stop!

If ski areas were limited to a simple lift, with no grooming and no snowmaking to speak of, no concessions, no hotel accommodation, no ski school and no ski patrol, a cap on daily numbers and perhaps a volunteer outdoor leadership program we would be onto something. A hut trip is all we want, lets keep it that way and minimize!

When will we decide that enough is enough and take back our sport, our passion, our way of life? Don’t listen, yell, we are being robbed of a community! Now is the time, the current and ever balanced house of cards won't stand forever!

Help support Utah Backcountry Skiing with a purchase from...!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Whats next for the Wasatch? Cough, Cough

With another dry year in tow and high pressure dominating the west our inversion friend is back, rearing his ugly face for all to see. Change is tuff here in Utah, left wing problems are hard to grasp by the right majority. It seems that at the rate we are going, with air quality in the valley seemingly only worsening by the day, that change will only come when the majority physically stop breathing. It is a sad tale indeed, Salt Lake City currently has particulate levels in the air more than three times the acceptable federal limit and the state still fails to make an effort to comply.

During busy ski days in the cottonwood canyons, particularly Little Cottonwood Canyon, the canyons become choked with traffic, so much so that cars are often at a dead stop, sitting in no stopping areas underneath avalanche paths. Public transport by bus exists but most folks drive due to the ease of doing so.

No politician wants to be the guys to take away freedoms and spend more money. But in some instances this may be the only way to solve our problems. Over 50% of our pollution comes from the cars we drive every day yet no one seems to be driving any less. Ski resorts want people to be able to drive to their mountains to make it as easy possible for people to come up and avoid having skiers go elsewhere.

OK, listen up folks, here is the solution to all of our problems: Dramatically expand the public transportation system along the Wasatch Front, including the alignment of a train loop up Little Cottonwood Canyon and continuing on through Mt Wolverine to Brighton and again under ground to Park City, Kimbal Junction and back to Salt Lake City passing under Parleys summit. Inner-connect, done. To help encourage use and help pay for the project the state should tax gasoline and diesel to a greater extent, and during periods of inversion and poor air quality tax fuel at even greater rate and limit the fuel that can be sold at all.

Many Utahans hardly have any ground to gripe if fuel costs were to rise as the right wing norm of fashionably driving massive fuel guzzling trucks shows people here are willing to pay more to get around anyway. Right now the outdoor retailers show is happening here in Salt Lake, as it usually does each winter.

This year everyone here to see the new products of the outdoor industry are being treated to the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day courtesy of the sheer complacency to local officials. At some point the economy will start to suffer due to these attitudes and lack of action. Alternatively, the Wasatch Front could be an example for the rest of the country to follow if major initiatives are followed.

If you don’t believe mans impact on the environment, come here to Salt Lake during the inversion and you can see first hand what comes out of your tail-pipe!

Help support Utah Backcountry Skiing with a purchase from...!

Friday, August 10, 2012

MRA, Helping to Save Skiing!

The Mountain Riders Alliance is gaining momentum. What? Who? Well, they are the guys who are trying to bring skiing back into the hands of skiers and away from the corporate money mongers who have largely made the sport less accessible for the masses while trying to make billions from the sale of McMansions and a generally McShitty skiing experience!

If you are in the know, and as a passionate skier reading this blog I know that you are, the idea of skiing powder excites you, the idea of skiing something steep may fill your dreams, and the thought of letting your kids roam about with reckless and carefree abandon in an environment you likely found on the slopes  20,30, or 40+ years ago seems like the only logical way.

Mountain Riders Alliance, or MRA, is trying to open, develop and promote skiing areas where the sale of real estate is a non-factor in the cost of your lift ticket, where you can ski where you feel you can ski, and where you can know the person beside you has the same ideals for the direction of the sport. Ski "resorts" have bastardized the sport, MRA is taking it back for the people who love it most. COMMUNITY BASED SKIING, whoever would have thought?!!!

MRA has several projects on the radar with the two most active projects Manitoba Mountain, Alaska and Mt. Abram, Maine the focus of the most attention at current. Check MRA out here: MRA for life!

MRA is in the process of raising money, if you feel that you share similar ideals and want to make a difference for our sport please consider a donation here: support MRA It doesn't have to be much if you don't have a lot to give, and in fact it is a great way to get some sweet merchandise to look good and promote the cause in the process.

MRA is the future of skiing, if you haven't heard of it.. well you sure as hell have now. Check out their site in detail and at the very least feel good about yourself if you share similar values with the sport of skiing, the environment and raising a community that encourages skiing with an open mind where everyone can enjoy it if they please.

Help support Utah Backcountry Skiing with a purchase from...!