Forums Splitboard Talk Forum I admire JJ and POW but…..
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  • #784073
    830 Posts

    this article really irks me.
    Whether it’s holding snow safety meetings at Snowbird or as he does in this article promoting the organization “Ski Utah”, he really does a disservice to the local backcountry community who seem to be doing everything right when it comes to climate change. Unfortunately, I think articles like this just add legitemacy to these organizations/resorts and promote their cause.

    For those of you who don’t know Ski Utah is a powerful organization that represents the 14 resorts in Utah. Currently their primary focus, among other expansion proposals, is pushing through plans for a mega resort that would essentially eliminate access to some of the most highly utilized/iconic backcountry zones in the Wasatch. While resorts like Snowbird hope to place lifts and develop the tops of some of the most iconic 11footers in the Wasatch. All this despite overwhelming opposition from locals across the board since propositions like these only really benefit the resorts. Ironically, if these proposals go through TGR wouldn’t have access to the same places they take their athletes to dig pits and hone their snow safety skills. I admire everything he has accomplished but it would be nice to see athletes use their platform to focus more on the conservation of these places. While I believe climate change is a serious issue, the greater issue for me and my peers is access to these mountains. These are the places I hope to take my kids to teach them the ways of the mountains, build kickers, etc. Anyways, maybe these are unrealistic expectations for these athletes as they have to put food on their tables and make their living “traveling the globe” and you can’t always have your cake and eat it too.

    I’ve made a point to join local conservation organizations like and as well as be an active participant in the by attending meetings, participating in surveys, etc. It would be awesome to organize/unite the splitboard community in these endeavors. One of the most powerful moments I had concerning this issue was a conversation I had with a US forest service representative who basically said when it comes to public lands it really doesn’t matter where you live, your voice is important. If you live in Colorado, Wisconsin, etc., your input in these matters are just as valued as the locals who live there as these are your lands too. Any interest out there in organizing a group of splitters to take on issues like this? Am I missing the boat here? Not bagging on anyone here just pointing out what is probably unintended consequences as well some hypocrisies while killing some time before the snow starts to fall:)

    Take care.

    1448 Posts

    Hey Nic

    Good to see your post. While I generally agree with what you’ve written, I’ve become far more extreme in my own views. I’ve come to the point of view that despite having good intentions, those who profit from nature while lobbying to support it, are at best their own worst enemy. Driving hordes of like minded folks out into the undeveloped hills to save nature seems pretty absurd when you think about it.

    We really are loving things to death; perhaps not in terms of development, but certainly in terms of quality of experience and the experience of the creatures whose homes we venture into. Imagine if everyone who goes to resorts, suddenly decided the BC was the place to be ( oh wait….)

    What I mean is, while we go forth under our own power, leave no trace, etc., our very presence in the numbers I’ve seen in recent years has created an altogether anti-aesthetic, anti-natural state. I’d wager that much of the increase in back country visitors are people who equally frequent the resorts.

    More often than not, I’ve seen an almost a club vibe in the forests. Huge groups of people trail running, hiking, touring, droning, whatever. The serenity and beauty seems to have become secondary to social validation and personal promotion. Same shit as seen at resorts. Happily or sadly the back country belongs to all of us, so we are and will be the undoing much of what we love regardless of what the resorts do.

    And as far as the resorts and POW go, well the resorts interests lie in selling/leasing real estate with wintery scenery. It should be clear to anyone who has looked at lift ticket prices that they have no interest in promoting skiing/riding to the general public, it’s become just accouterments to those who can pay to play. If you believe any of their press, well….

    Anyways now that I’ve shit in everyone cheerios, have a nice day. I feel like my very presence on this forum, social media, etc. makes me a just as much a hypocrite as anyone.

    Maybe I’ll see you off the beaten path some day.


    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
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    624 Posts

    Guys I know what you mean. Ski Utah is a marketing tool for resort income that has not recognized the value of backcountry snow sports and is entirely behind making as much terrain lift served as possible for the sake of a new marketing claim every year. They are stuck in the NEW, LARGER, BETTER mentality, while not recognizing that most traveling Utah customers come here instead of Colorado for the not as big, not as crowded value and easier access.

    The thought that POW meeting with resort management and then resort management influencing state leaders who in turn could (or would) affect energy policy is laughable. The domestic decline in coal is a result of stricter federal emission standards requiring expensive upgrades to coal burning power plants coupled with abundant and cheap natural gas.

    This coal will still be burnt it will just be exported to markets with lower emission standards. Products with value find markets, that’s it. While our local air and water will benefit, the net carbon emissions probably won’t change until burning natural gas in place of coal becomes the economic choice in the larger developing nations.

    Snurfer, check out the table on page 14 of the UAC annual report, it says it all.

    Click to access AnnualReport2014-15.pdf

    I don’t think the mainstreaming of splits isn’t much of an impact though, I think the turning point was the dynafit binding and light pebax ski boots and the flood of online information (followed by TGR, matchstick movies, etc. and excellent avalanche education and forecasting). It’s not just JJ’s effect that one has to go deeper, further, earlier (in the a.m. and before as much settlement to have your own slice. You can night-surf famous breaks with a dozen people out, it could be much worse.

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