I'm beginning to realize that many people consider Alta just another ski area, like Park City or Brian Head

In the 1970’s my local library in Whittier California had a book titled, The 25 Best Ski Areas in North America, published by the New York Times. The opening sentence for the Alta entry stated; “Alta Utah has the worlds finest lift serviced skiing, and that is a conservative statement”. About a year later I was attending the U, with an Alta season pass ($135).

UDOT, Alta Ski Lifts Company, and the Snowbird ski conglomerate (or whatever they are called), all promote the grotesque and obscene placement of twenty 200 foot towers right up the heart of the canyon. They should be ashamed. More people, more more more, to some, that’s a good thing, all else be damned. Zion Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon can only accommodate a finite number of people. Alta, as I saw stated in a video about Interlodge about a year ago, is uniquely wonderful. To many it’s a sacred and hallowed place. My run there currently spans 50 consecutive years, and I haven’t lived in Utah for decades.

I was recently at a high school football stadium which featured several light towers surrounding the field, they seemed pretty damn tall. Using crude trigonometry approximation, I was surprised and sad to learn they were about half the height of the proposed Little Cottonwood gondola towers.

A side note, Alta’s privately owned lodges are against this boondoggle.

The book Skiing in Utah, A History (copyright 1980), concludes the chapter about Alta with the following; “Some will shed a tear, but most will not understand why”.

I can relate a little bit to how river runner/author Edward Abbey felt in the early 60’s at the construction of Glen Canyon dam, thus flooding the Cathedral in the Desert. How ironic that Lake Powell is now reverting to “dead pool”. Similarly, maybe some Little Cottonwood Canyon Monkey Wrenching is in order.


To the Utefans.net web site manager, you might want to remove “pro sports” from the optional tags drop down menu. Unfortunately men’s D-I football and basketball are now in fact full fledged unadulterated professional sports. Pretend if you want, but these two teams no longer represent the Ute tribe or the University of Utah or “student athletes”, they represent the Almighty Dollar.

Since it will be taxpayer funded it should be free for everyone to ride like the gondola from town to the village at Telluride.

Skiing has changed so much since I grew up skiing Snowbird. This is the first season in several years that I won’t be buying a season pass. A few years ago my son and I drove to Pine Creek Ski Area outside Cokeville, WY. One lift, about 50 car capacity in the parking lot. It’s the way skiing used to be. I think I’ll just hit the small places from now on, Beaver Mountain, Pine Creek, etc.

1 Like

I get the angst, but the problem is “pushing more tin” on roadways up these canyons is an engineering and environmental disaster waiting to happen. Ok, the existing traffic is an ongoing disaster. Choosing the least impactful option for transitioning from “pushing tin” to “moving people” would tend to be a more prudential option.

The truth is the gondola ropeway is that option. Now i do not support the use of taxpayer dollars to build and operate it; but before you simply discount the idea, I would suggest looking at the currently operating ropeway in Yuzawa, Japan as a reference. “Dragondola” has been operating since 2001 and it connects the Mt. Naeba and Mitsumata Ski Areas. Is about a four mile long trip one way, and has some of the best views you will ever see while riding it. The Japanese Government made the builders of the ropeway build to minimize the footprint, meaning workers had to pack in, or have airlifted in by helicopter, the materials to build each tower along the ropeway. The private company operating Dragondola had to post a huge environmental impact bond as well, meaning if they ever abandon the ropeway, the government will have the money needed to remove the ropeway and restore the pathway. I have ridden Dragondola several times over the years of visits to Yuzawa; and if private enterprise wants to follow what the builders of Dragondola did, I know I am OK with it.

For those who want to not have to Google it…Enjoy Niigata - Dragondola

1 Like

As someone who uses the rest of the canyon far more than the resorts I’m kind of hoping it gets a lot of those people off those trails.

What is happening in the canyons due to the resorts is unsustainable and has already made them almost useless. I feel like I’m at Disneyland on many trails these days.

1 Like

Yeah, it’s hard to comprehend how many people are crowding the trails in BCC & LCC these days. Just 5 or 6 years ago the parking lots at the trailheads had about 20% of the amount of cars they have now. There are still a lot of uncrowded trails left in the Wasatch, it just takes some effort to find them.