Welcome to the powder-covered peaks of Alta Ski Resort, where up until this day, a controversial ban on snowboarding has been in effect.
In this post, we’ll embark on a journey that will take us through the resort’s storied history and the policies that have shaped its identity. We’ll also dive into the controversy that surrounds the environmental impact of snowboarding, and the legal battles that ensued. Finally, we’ll offer tips and tricks for skiers visiting the resort so that they can truly make the most of their visit to this famous winter wonderland. Are you ready to uncover the controversial truth behind Alta Ski Resort’s snowboarding ban? Let’s hit the slopes!
The History of Alta Ski Resort and Its Policies
Alta Ski Resort opened its gates in 1939 and it was an instant success. The mountain became the playground of the wealthy and the elite, who flew in from all corners of the US and Europe to enjoy the perfect snow and the stunning views. For decades, skiing at Alta was almost a rite of passage for well-heeled Americans, and the resort became synonymous with luxury, exclusivity, and glamour.
Over the years, Alta Ski Resort developed a strict set of policies that governed every aspect of skiing on the mountain. These policies were designed to ensure the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of all skiers, and they covered everything from lift etiquette to dress codes. Alta became famous for its powder, and the resort was one of the first to implement strict avalanche control measures to ensure that skiers were safe on the mountain.
One of the policies that Alta has had in place since the beginning, and which has remained controversial to this day, is the ban on snowboarding. Despite the fact that snowboarding has become one of the most popular winter sports in the world over the past few decades, Alta has steadfastly refused to allow snowboarders on its slopes. The reasons behind this ban are complex and varied, and they have been the subject of much debate and discussion over the years.
The Alleged Environmental Impact of Snowboarding
Snowboarding is often seen as an alternative to skiing, but did you know it has been accused of causing environmental damage? Specifically, snowboarding can disrupt natural snow formations and reduce the amount of snow available for other winter sports. The carving and sliding movements of snowboarders can also damage vegetation on the mountain, disturbing the ecosystem even further.
Alta Ski Resort claims that they banned snowboarding in 1985 due to these environmental concerns. The resort believes that disallowing snowboards protects the delicate ecology and preserves the natural beauty of the mountain. Alta management claims that by maintaining a ski-only policy, they can control the impact of visitors on the mountain environment.
However, not everyone agrees with Alta’s stance. Some critics believe that the resort banned snowboarding not because of environmental concerns, but because of prejudice against snowboarders. Snowboarding was somewhat of a counterculture activity in the 1980s, and as such, it was not always widely accepted by the mainstream ski industry.
Regardless of the true motives behind the ban, it is clear that the environmental impact of snowboarding is still a hotly debated topic to this day. Whether you are a skier or a snowboarder, you can minimize your impact on the mountain environment by following proper practices such as staying on designated trails and respecting the surrounding landscape.
The Legal Battle Surrounding Alta’s Snowboarding Ban
In 2014, a group of snowboarders filed a federal lawsuit against Alta Ski Resort claiming that their ban on snowboarding was discriminatory and violated their constitutional rights. The lawsuit argued that the United States Forest Service, which manages the public land that Alta operates on, should not allow Alta to discriminate against snowboarders. However, in 2019, a judge ruled in favor of Alta, stating that the resort has the right to maintain its policy of prohibiting snowboarding. The judge also pointed out that Alta is only one of three ski resorts in the country that exclusively allows skiing, and that snowboarders have numerous other resorts to choose from. The decision was a blow to snowboarders who have long fought against Alta’s ban, but it reinforced the resort’s right to continue operating as it sees fit. Whether or not you agree with Alta’s ban, it’s clear that the resort has been successful in defending its policy in court.
Tips and Tricks for Skiers Visiting Alta
You might be disappointed to learn that snowboarding is not allowed at Alta Ski Resort. However, for those that love to ski, Alta offers some of the best skiing terrain in North America. Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your visit to Alta:
Arrive early: Parking at Alta can be difficult, especially on weekends and holidays. Plan to arrive early to secure a spot in one of the lots. There are also shuttle services available from nearby locations.
Check the weather: Alta is known for its heavy snowfall and unpredictable weather. Check the forecast and plan accordingly. Make sure to dress in layers and bring necessary gear like goggles, gloves, and a face mask.
Explore the mountain: Alta has over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, with plenty of options for skiers of all levels. Take time to explore the different areas of the mountain, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from locals or ski patrol.
Take a lesson: Even experienced skiers can benefit from taking a lesson at Alta. The resort offers private and group lessons, as well as clinics for specific skills like powder skiing or moguls.
Enjoy the views: Alta is situated in the heart of the Wasatch mountains, with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Take a break and soak in the scenery from one of the resort’s many scenic overlooks.
While you may have to leave your snowboard at home, a visit to Alta highlights just how incredible skiing can be. With its challenging terrain and stunning views, an adventure at Alta is truly unforgettable.