Wasatch Environmental Update for December 9, 2018
By John Worlock, Member of Save Our Canyons
Alta Ski Resort’s Recent Endeavors
Alta, for a long time the true skiers’ favorite Wasatch skiing destination, has recently fallen into new management, with a more eye-on-the-profit motivation.
First, she proposed a tram to the top of the iconic Mt Baldy, inviting lift-served skiers to experience the exciting drop off from that peak that was for years the reward for muscle-powered enthusiasts of Alta’s powder skiing. She justifies the tram across the face of Mt Baldy on the argument that it was the least intrusive of the alternatives, leaving out the alternative of not going there at all.
More recently, Alta has demonstrated her desire to maintain the ambition to spread the resort into the nearby Grizzly Gulch, across the creek from her main base. This ambition has brought her into sharp conflict with the Central Wasatch Commission, the organization that is working toward writing the congressional legislation that will celebrate and lock in the achievements of the Mountain Accord. Mountain Accord, you might remember, was the agreement that was the result of many years’ negotiations among the many stake-holders interested in the future of the Central Wasatch. They were all of the governmental, commercial, recreational and environmental organizations that you can imagine.
The Central Wasatch Commission has, wisely, decided to separate Alta from the legislation, on the grounds that the original agreement offered Alta some compensatory lands in exchange for her questionable development into Grizzly Gulch, which Alta now refuses to relinquish.
Since then, she has been campaigning on blogs and other social media, trying to organize public outcry opposing the decision of the Central Wasatch Commission to remove Alta from the legislation that will, as we said, celebrate and lock in the achievements of the Mountain Accord.
We’ve read a lot of the to and fro on the internet as skiers have praised Alta for her special skiing and criticized her for her turn toward commercialism.
We hope, perhaps ridiculously, that Alta will see the error of her ways, and rejoin the other lovers to the Wasatch, supporting federal legislation that will make the Central Wasatch a shining example of cooperative management of its many functions, as well as its special beauty and yes, even solitude.