- January 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm #579538TaylorParticipant
Snowboarders sue to ride with skiers at Alta resort
By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15 2014 6:18 p.m. MST
SALT LAKE CITY — Snowboarders have wanted to “free” Alta for years.
On Wednesday, four of them and a group called Wasatch Equality dropped a federal lawsuit on the Little Cottonwood Canyon resort, challenging its longstanding skiers-only policy.
A lawyer for the snowboarders said that because of Alta Ski Area’s arrangement with the U.S. Forest Service, it must comply with the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Forest Service is also named as defendant.
“Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the United States that does not allow snowboarding, and Alta is the only one of these resorts that is operated on public land controlled by the Forest Service,” said Jonathan Schofield, an attorney with Parr Brown Gee and Loveless.
The ban excludes a “particular class of individuals from use and enjoyment of public land based on irrational discrimination against snowboarders,” he said.
It pits those who stand sideways on a single “snowboard” against those who stand forward on “skis,” creating hostility and divisiveness, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.
Plaintiff Drew Hicken said there is no reason skiing and snowboarding can’t coexist.
“We feel that it is time for Alta to let go of outdated prejudices that perpetuate a skier versus snowboarder mentality and allow everyone, regardless of whether they are skiers or snowboarders, to share the mountain together,” he said.
An Alta spokeswoman said the resort wants to gather more information before commenting on the lawsuit.
One out-of-state skier coming off the mountain Wednesday says Alta is for skiers.
“It’s the only place left. Give it to ’em. Snowboarders go anywhere else you want to go, but leave Alta for the skiers,” Kevin Hurley said. “Where we live, we gotta deal with snowboarders, and we’d rather deal with skiers.”
Snowboarders have a reputation, deserved or not, for riding reckless and without regard for others on the mountain.
Diane Harrington, who snowboards and skis, called the lawsuit a “good idea.”
“I think it should be figured out in the courts. I think it’s OK that Alta restricts use of the lift, but I don’t think it’s fair that they keep people off (U.S.) Forest Service property,” she said. “Our taxes pay for it equally. It’s almost like discrimination of sorts.”
In 1986, Beaver Mountain, Brighton and Park West (now The Canyons) were the only Utah resorts that allowed snowboarders on their chairlifts. Since then, all but Alta and Deer Valley have followed suit. Mad River Glen in Vermont is the third American resort that doesn’t permit snowboarding.
By 1990, most major ski areas around the country allowed snowboarding, which became one of the fastest-growing winter sports.
Alta has not always prohibited snowboarding, according to the lawsuit. It allowed snowboarders to ride its chairlifts in the early 1980s, and Hicken and another plaintiff Richard Varga were among some of the first snowboarders at Alta.
But by the mid ’80s, Alta “summarily” decided it would no longer allow snowboarders to access its terrain or ride its lifts, the lawsuit says. The policy was borne of “animus” or hostility toward snowboarders.
Alta operates under a Forest Service permit that states the public lands “shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes,” according to the lawsuit. The ski area covers 2,130 acres — 1,802 acres or 85 percent of which is on public land.
@sun_rocketJanuary 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm #674436HansGLudwigParticipant
Because snowboarders are totally a class of people. And even if boarders went there to ski, the lift ops at Alta can smell the their side-slipping tendencies and deny them access. Knuckledraggers!
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http://splitboard.com/activity-2/January 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm #674437802smugglerParticipant
Put a leash on that monkey board!
Fuck Alta. And fuck anybody that carries a predjudice in any case. (I guess I just hater hated).
It’s about time America pulls their head out of their asses and stop with the predjudice and join the rest of the developed world.
This is a good place to start. :thumpsup:
Skiers are funny because they get upset when snowboarders call them biggots…But when it comes right down to it, the word clearly defines their attitude in this situation. Accept your wrong double plankers and let us move on with this.
Oh yea, poo on MRG too, who is currently closed because they have no snow, meh.January 16, 2014 at 9:14 pm #674438ieismParticipant
Monoskiers are even worse. They are bigots AND reckless. Also people who play guitar should be banned from Alta. Because WE don’t like guitars.
http://flatlandsplitfest.com/January 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm #674439wasatchfreeride84093Participant
:nononno: since when is joining snowboarding with the government good ?
Besides, I am sick of perpetuating a skier vs snowboarder conflictJanuary 16, 2014 at 11:12 pm #674440HansGLudwigParticipant
^^^ This. :clap:
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http://splitboard.com/activity-2/January 16, 2014 at 11:37 pm #674441UTAHParticipant
You always here people say Alta why do you care it sucks anyways too flat…..yadayadaya. Bull it’s an incredibly sick mtn at the very top of a sick canyon that at the very least accesses some of the sickest BC terrain. All of our resorts have runs that are flat, Alta is no different and they all have traverses too. This would be a great thing for snowboarders and splitboarders alike. At the heart of it all is the discussion that needs to be had, how do you justify the exclusion of snowboarders on PUBLIC LAND. It’s a crazy only in Utah thing. Deer Valley and some other resort are the only ones who do this and their on private land. Alta is also quietly making plans for expansion into adjacent private mining lands that they’ve used their profits from public lands to acquire. This would be very bad for splitters, snowshoers, bcskiers, etc. I once asked a forest service person who spoke at a Wasatch Planning Committee how they justified heli skiing in such a densely populated spot so close to the the main canyon highways, knowing it only benefitted a few while negatively affecting so many others experience. Those of which are primarily the locals who pay the local taxes and are invested in their mtns. I thought his response was interesting, he said to the effect they/he/Forrest Service have to consider the needs of all the people across the nation that includes the New Yorker who wants to come to Utah and go heli skiing because this is National Forrest. Seems like they’ve forgotten the needs of their local snowboarders who wants to access their public lands. I hope the judge chooses to…. “SUPPORT HIS LOCAL(all snowboarders really) SNOWBOARDERS”. :headbang:January 17, 2014 at 12:34 am #674442maniacdaveParticipant
Fuckitall, go put in an uptrack & leave this petty ass bullshit behind.
That was PontusJanuary 17, 2014 at 3:03 am #674443prior_riderParticipant
Love it! I have often wondered how they can be exclusive when this is public land. The other two resorts are private and I don’t really have any problem with it, but if you are operating on our land, you need to provide access.January 17, 2014 at 3:15 am #674444saignParticipant
Alta’s a joke.
I bet if David Goatnuts (or whatever the fuck that duchebags name is) was in Utah, he’d ski there.
Although the first place I ever rode was Green Valley Big Air in the San Bernadino mtns. No skiers allowed. The whole thing had hips and jumps littered all over the place, and a rope tow for the pipe.
I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
I used to say the only good ski is a brewski, now I use em on the way up…
I still feel animosity toward skiers, even though I know and tour with some that are cool….but lets face it, skiing sucks and they all just wish they were cool enough to snowboard 😆January 17, 2014 at 4:09 am #674445TaylorParticipant
I’m 51% glad and 49% ambivalent about this.
Like plaintiffs, I started riding in the early 80s. I had beer bottles thrown at me for riding a snowboard. What kind of asshole does something like that? The Alta and U.S. Forest Service snowboarder-discrimination policy is a living legacy of that history; it’s hard to ignore. And it’s on federal public land that I and we pay for in each of our paychecks.
On the other hand, it’s petty. It’s recreation. And it’s a ski area; rats in a too-small cage. Let them have their hateful little chairlift circus. This is precisely why we have uptracks to serene powder fields.
That said, the legal complaint is an interesting read. It tells a concise history and clinically examines the culture of snowboarder disdain that underlies the U.S. Forest Service’s and Alta’s policy. It’s a cathartic read.
[V]arious individuals contacted the General Manager of Alta at the time, Chic Morton, to discuss the possibility of opening Alta for snowboarding. Mr. Morton responded to these requests by declaring that “anyone who uses the words rip, tear, or shred will never be welcome at Alta” (a reference to the vocabulary used by snowboarders at the time). On another occasion, Mr. Morton stated that “as long as [he was] alive snowboarders will never be allowed at Alta.” at 16.
It goes on and on.
@sun_rocketJanuary 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm #674446shredgnarParticipant
I could really care less, but hearing skiers bitch and moan about it for years would be nice. Beating them in the courtroom sure would be cool too. All these punk ass snowboarders grew up and got smart enough to take it to court and win.
I might even make the trip out to Alta to ride if they are forced to open to snowboarders. I’d do the falling leaf down every run just to sanctimoniously spread the snowboard stank upon their mountain. Fucking dorks.January 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm #674447CascadEaganParticipant
Has anyone ever gotten on the alta lifts in split/tour mode and then assembled and ridden down in board mode?
I would really enjoy seeing some snowboarding at alta this winter, especially with all the attention these blue blood, old school, elitists are getting.
Maybe a coordinated split board attack on alta?January 17, 2014 at 6:44 pm #674448spicoli11Participant
Free da clownwire movement. SnooooozzzzzeeeeJanuary 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm #674449Scooby2Participant
Cascade, it has all been done and done again for the suit as well. Next headline will be Alta requires approval for more lifts and terrain to handle burgeoning skier and boarder numbers. I will take my little boarders 7 and 10 up to the albion side occasionally if they open.January 17, 2014 at 9:51 pm #674450TEXParticipant
I once asked a forest service person who spoke at a Wasatch Planning Committee how they justified heli skiing in such a densely populated spot so close to the the main canyon highways, knowing it only benefitted a few while negatively affecting so many others experience. Those of which are primarily the locals who pay the local taxes and are invested in their mtns. I thought his response was interesting, he said to the effect they/he/Forrest Service have to consider the needs of all the people across the nation that includes the New Yorker who wants to come to Utah and go heli skiing because this is National Forrest. Seems like they’ve forgotten the needs of their local snowboarders who wants to access their public lands
The Forest Service guy was right. They are National Public lands.
They are supported through federal taxes and user fees.
So to me the guy in New jersey Kicking down 120K a year for 20 years and paying 15-20K in Federal taxes every year has a whole lot more right to be there than the 22 year old living in his Subbie who spent 4 years working at McDonalds that grew up in Sandy
Edit to add: we agree on the Heliskiing though. The Wasatch is way too small for thatJanuary 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm #674451greg.doctorParticipant
+1 for legalizing it.
I’ve been to Alta a number of times back when I skied and I can say it is indeed a kick ass mountain. Seeing as I hardly ever ride in UT, access to a new mountain is not my main motive. I’m just sick of the skier vs. boarder war. If there was a snowboarder only mountain, I would be all for allowing skiers. The rivalry is dumb…if any given one of us chose to ski we’d have a blast (eventually) and if any skiers chose to snowboard they’d have a fun too.January 18, 2014 at 2:22 am #674452SplitinbendParticipant
This made me want to go there the first day it opens to snowboarders just to say fuck you.
[youtube:g803yty1]YwWDMAEYe5c[/youtube:g803yty1]January 18, 2014 at 2:49 am #674453MeetHeadParticipant
I tour pretty regularly along the backside of Alta and have been tempted to drop in a time or two. But it’s hard to justify riding tracked out bowls when there’s so much good stuff on the other side.
I think making uptracks would get you escorted off the mountain by patrol. However, there are plenty of backcountry access points with some nice touring along the way. Some from LCC and some from BCC (Brighton and Solitude).
A coordinated drop in would be a lot of fun. Especially on the weekend.January 18, 2014 at 7:54 am #674454nordicbordnParticipant
i would participate in something like that. i can see it now..
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