Alta Explores New Lift on Flagstaff
KCPW public radio in Salt Lake City broke the story yesterday that Alta Ski Resort is exploring the option of putting a lift up the very popular Flagstaff Mountain which is across the street to the north from the current Wildcat lot.
Currently a very popular backcountry skiing destination and somewhat of a right of passage for those seeking to access the immediate backcountry here in the Wasatch, the ridge up Flagstaff could at some point in the near future be void of the many switchbacks from ascending skiers and in it's place rope lines and moguls. Not to mention an access road which would likely need to ascend to the peak.
It's not that this terrain is so impressive, which is really isn't comparatively speaking. That's not to say I personally haven't enjoyed many a powder run on it's south facing aspect where a proposed lift would go.
It's that this route is likely the 2nd or 3rd most popular backcountry skin track in the Wasatch which accesses prime north facing aspects like Days, Main Days, Holy Toledo, Toledo Bowl, Jaws, and Silver Fork to name a few in the immediate vicinity.
Citing concerns of avalanche control in lieu of Homeland Security wanting to be rid of avalanche guns that launch artillery into the snowpack, this lift would not really give the resort that much advantage from a terrain stand point but as long time local backcountry skier and Backcountry.com Athlete Andrew McClean states,
"...it would be very devastating for the backcountry skiers."I would agree entirely.
As you can imagine the message boards have lit up with nearly 10 pages at TetonGravity.com and 7 pages deep with comments on TelemarkTips.com
I imagine there will come a time for some public opinion. I hope that the backcountry skiers both in Utah and from all around who understand how this lift could detrimentally affect the already crowded Wasatch wouldn't wait until that time arrives. - Alta contact us
--all images taken by Kendall Card are of or on the south face of Flagstaff
Labels: Backcountry Skiing2 comments