As you may know, there is a heavy legal battle raging between Wasatch Equality and Alta Ski Resort to end the ban that prevents snowboarders from riding the resort’s lifts. The points to refute Alta’s argument are overwhelming and yet the resort has managed to file Motion to Dismiss against the case, to which Wasatch Equality has crafted a 53-page response to back its claim. Here Rick Alden of Wasatch Equality goes over what the Alta experience is like for snowboarders and provides further evidence for its archaic mindset and attitudes towards snowboarders.
Bjorn Leines interview coming soon…
From Wasatch Equality’s YouTube:
TOGETHER WE MOVE MOUNTAINS
In the early days of snowboarding, Alta Ski Area was one of the first resorts to open its lifts to young riders, but complaints against snowboarding and popular opinion at the time lead Alta management to ban the sport indefinitely.
Now, more than three decades later, Alta Ski Area is one of the only resorts in the country still refusing to accommodate the snowboard community, and the only resort doing so on public land.
Join Wasatch Equality in fighting to overturn Alta’s snowboarding ban.
June 2nd, 2014
The team at The Frendly Gathering Music Festival, led by pro snowboarders Jack Mitrani and Danny Davis, announced today its roster of event partners for the fourth annual event, taking place June 27-28 at Timber Ridge in Windham, Vermont. The Festival is presented by Burton Snowboards, who returns for its second year as presenters. Exclusive partners include Martin Guitars, Ben & Jerry’s and GoPro. Additional supporters include KIND, Klean Kanteen, lululemon and Love Your Brain.
Tucked away in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont, the fourth annual Frendly Gathering will be held at Timber Ridge, located in Windham. One of New England’s premier music festivals, The Frendly Gathering features a lineup of 30 musical acts ranging from rock and roll and bluegrass to folk, jam and electronic, combined with camping, yoga, skateboarding, hiking, inspiration and a big dose of “Frendship.” The event will be held June 27 and 28, with early arrival tickets available on June 26.
Burton Snowboards, the presenting sponsor of the event and longtime sponsor of Davis and Mitrani’s pro snowboarding careers, will provide festival goers with exclusive Burton giveaways and experiences. The first 250 festival goers who arrive early on Thursday, June 26 will receive a free Spring/Summer ‘14 Beeracuda, the company’s currently sold-out over-the-shoulder drink cooler. In addition, Burton’s Base Camp Tee Pee is the center for impromptu jam sessions, DIY crafts and cool games with more chances to win Burton gear.
Ben & Jerry’s will offer cups of free ice cream for festival goers throughout the weekend, and will host a photo booth to celebrate its No GMO campaign as the company transitions to non-GMO ingredient sources. Martin Guitars, makers of handcrafted acoustic guitars, will host jam sessions under the Martin tent and music-minded attendees will have the opportunity to win a customized Frendly Gathering Martin Collaboration guitar. Both Davis and Mitrani are official Martin Ambassadors.
Festival goers will also have the opportunity to browse product displays and samples on-site provided by GoPro, KIND snacks, Kleen Kanteen and Love Your Brain, the latter created by fellow Frendly Crew member and snowboarder Kevin Pearce. Lulu Lemon will support the Festival’s daily yoga sessions and provide yoga mats for attendees.
For the complete Frendly Gathering Music Festival schedule, including music lineup, camping details and ticket information, visit FrendlyGathering.com.
May 30th, 2014
Earn college credit this summer snowboarding in Argentina with SASS Global Travel and Sierra Nevada College
Let’s talk about one of the coolest ways to earn college credit this summer, ever. Through Sierra Nevada College and SASS Global Travel, students from any university can chase winter to the heart of the Argentinian Andes to take Freeriding 101 and avalanche safety courses, all taught by SNC faculty and coached by professionals. Yes, we’re saying the mountains are your classroom. From August 2-16, 2014, students stay on the SASS Argentina campus at Catedral Alta Patagonia, South America’s largest resort and learn from pro riders like Andrew Burns, Chris Coulter, Hana Beaman and a full coaching staff while getting diploma points and a complete Argentinian experience. Ditch the laptop, strap on your board instead. Get the full scoop below.
Press release from Sierra Nevada College and SASS Global Travel:
Students from any college can enroll and earn college credit this summer snowboarding while receiving internationally recognized certificates from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), led by the region’s foremost avalanche scientists and educators. Taking place in the Northern Patagonian town of San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina; the SASS Argentina program will host college students and professors as they ski and snowboard with South America’s largest guided backcountry program. Nicole Ferguson, Vice President for Sierra Nevada College was excited at the opportunity the new partnership presents: “This will allow students from any college to earn summer college credits with SNC while learning from avalanche safety professionals in real winter conditions… all while skiing or snowboarding and experiencing a new culture and language.”
SASS Argentina is a full service, big-mountain, backcountry, skiing and snowboarding camp for all ages. SASS takes advantage of the full-on winter conditions to experience powder in the middle of the North American summer. Operating from the base of Catedral Alta Patagonia, South America’s largest single resort, SASS boasts an all-star lineup of pro coaches and guides (including Garrett Russell, Robin van Gyn, Andrew Burns and Tahoe’s own Michelle Parker). Students will gain big-mountain experience and accomplish their goals while skiing or snowboarding in small guided groups, all while earning credits and developing avalanche safety skills.
Courses are offered during the first two weeks of the SASS Argentina program, from August 2nd to August 16, 2014. Program information and registration is available online.
May 21st, 2014
Coloradans rejoice, Aspen Skiing Company has announced that the top of Aspen Mountain will be open for skiing and riding on Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-26. With a base depth of 53 inches on top, the mountain will open with 21 runs and nearly 130 acres of intermediate and advanced terrain, served by the Ajax Express chairlift.
Skiing and riding will be from the 11,212-foot summit with uploading and downloading on the Silver Queen Gondola from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The gondola will be running from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. with last ride down at 4:30 p.m. for regular summer operations. The Ajax Express chairlift will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Sundeck restaurant and Ajax Tavern will be open for dining and beverages.
Aspen/Snowmass Premier and 6-and-under passholders ride free with their 2013-14 winter passes. All other Aspen/Snowmass passholders pay a discounted rate of $18. For non-passholders, skiing/riding tickets will be $36 per day for ages 13 and up. Children’s (age 4-12) tickets will be $24. Tickets will be sold at the Aspen Mountain ticket kiosk on Gondola Plaza from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sightseeing tickets will be available at 10% off; just $17 for one ride, or $26 for the Perfect Summer Package, which includes unlimited rides for the three- day weekend, plus a $10 lunch voucher at the Sundeck. Tickets can also be purchased at the Aspen Mountain ticket kiosk, online at www.aspensnowmass.com and over the phone by calling 970-923-1227.
Four-Mountain Sports, located at 520 E Durant Street, will be renting skis and snowboards at 50 percent off the daily rate and will be open for rentals from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aspen Mountain will be open for the summer on weekends through June 15. Aspen Mountain and Snowmass will open for daily summer operations beginning June 20.
May 21st, 2014
After what has been a three-year legal battle, a Utah district court ruled that Park City Mountain Resort failed to renew the lease of its ski terrain in 2011, and that the owners of the land, Talisker Mountain Inc., have the right to lease the land to a new operator.
When Talisker leased Canyons Resort to Vail Resorts last year, the deal stated that Vail Resorts would in turn take over the legal battle with Park City Mountain Resort, and have the opportunity to operate the ski area. In August, Talisker issued a formal eviction notice to PCMR which stated that PCMR must vacate the premises by the end of Labor Day weekend, although the resort operated as scheduled for the 2013/14 season while legal proceedings took place.
A statement from Talisker attorney John Lund states that “Talisker looks forward to bringing in Vail Resorts as its new tenant and operator of the terrain.”
On the flip side John Cumming, CEO of Powdr Corp., the former operator of PCMR, stated that “we will not walk away and allow a Vail takeover.”
The land at the base of PCMR is still private land, and Cumming informed the court last month that if they ruled against Powdr, he would prohibit access of the land to Vail Resorts, forcing all PCMR traffic to be routed through the neighboring Canyons Resort.
In addition, Alan L. Sullivan, attorney for PCMR, said “we are committed to ensuring that PCMR has its day in court so it can show that it acted responsibly and in good faith and that its right to use the lands at issue has been extended.”
Vail Resorts also released a statement that reads:
“Vail Resorts, Inc. announced that the Company is very pleased with the ruling today by the Third Judicial District Court of Summit County, Utah in Talisker’s favor on all matters relating to the expiration of the Park City Mountain Resort lease.”
Statement from John D. Cumming, CEO of Powdr:
We respect the Court’s decision but at the end of the day it doesn’t change the fact that Vail and PCMR can and must resolve this dispute. For that to happen, both parties will need to sit down at the table, negotiate in good faith, and come to a rational agreement. We are committed to doing exactly that, which is why we have made repeated offers to buy or lease the disputed property for an amount far in excess of market value. But let me be clear: we will not walk away and allow a Vail takeover.
To date, there has been no response to these offers. By picking up where Jack Bistricer and Talisker left off in demanding we sell PCMR at terms they dictate, Vail is demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of what this litigation could yield for them. That may explain their willingness to acquire the Canyons at a premium and its corresponding desire to get PCMR on the cheap, but it does not change the basic facts at issue: even if Vail ultimately prevails in this litigation, it cannot possibly operate a resort on the leased property. They do not own the adjacent lands and facilities that are essential for ski operations to take place. And they are not for sale.
Our community has become one of the world’s premier ski destinations because each of our three resorts – PCMR, Canyons, and Deer Valley – offers a unique ski experience, and because we compete with each other for guests. A Vail takeover would diminish what we collectively offer to guests. They may boast of their domination of other communities but that flies in the face of what has made Park City so successful.
We know this dispute has created uncertainty and tension within Park City. We remain hopeful that a rational resolution can be made. In the meantime, we are going to continue to do what we’ve done for the past 50 years: focus on delivering the best possible guest experience, make continued investments like Woodward Park City, and be a responsible part of a community that makes Park City an incredible place to work and live.
May 16th, 2014
Imagine being a GoPro athlete. All winter you travel the world competing at the X Games, the Olympics, Dew Tour, or you’re off filming a video part in the Alaskan backcountry or the streets of Helsinki. This week, GoPro invited its cast of ambassadors to attend the GoPro Athlete Summit at Turtle Bay Resort on Hawaii’s legendary Oahu North Shore, where they’re going through POV boot camp on everything from marketing, to camera use, to how to make that shit go viral. Naturally, there are some pretty good Instagrams coming out of the event so we brought them together so all of us can swoon over their little R&R. Here are some of the highlights.
May 15th, 2014
A little late-season snow can’t keep High Country golfers from dusting off the clubs, and Keystone Resort will give them good reason to beginning Friday, May 16 with the opening of The River Course at Keystone’s front nine. Tee times for the Hurdzan-Fry designed course will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, with par-35 play on the front nine available for just $50. Golf enthusiasts may double up for a complete 18 holes for $85, with all rates including green fees, golf cart rental, practice facility access and practice balls. The River Course’s back nine is expected to open in the coming weeks.
“The front nine is in great shape coming out of the winter season and we look forward to getting the golf season underway,” said Director of Golf and Recreation Steve Corneillier.
The River Course is renowned for its impressive elevation changes, variable bunkers, water hazards and five-sets of tees on each hole, helping to earn the course a number of accolades including “Best Mountain Course”, “Best Wildlife Experience”, “Best Service” and “Best On-Course Views” from Colorado Avid Golfer. Beginning Friday, golfers can enjoy a day on the links as well as lunch and beverages at The River Course Grill, access to the practice range and putting green and the full retail/pro shop. Tee times may be booked online at golfkeystone.com or by calling 800-464-3494.
Not far behind The River Course’s opening, the Keystone Ranch Golf Course will make its season debut Friday, May 30, with plans for all 18 holes to be available.
“Keystone’s two course offering is a phenomenal chance for golfers to enjoy 36 holes of golf in an absolutely breathtaking setting,” said Corneillier. “Mid-summer, when temperatures hover in the mid-to-high seventies, and with the prominent Colorado sunshine, there’s no better place to enjoy a day, or days, on the greens.”
The only 36-hole golf facility in Summit County, Keystone offers every level and style golfer an opportunity to enjoy challenging play in the stunning Rocky Mountain scenery. Daily throughout the summer, guests can take advantage of various lessons and clinics including the new Birdies&Bettys ladies program, which will offer weekly clinics rotating between the resort’s two courses in a fun, social and encouraging environment. Other lesson offerings include half-hour private lessons with Keystone’s PGA professional, clinics such as Boomers on the Links and weekly Junior Golf Clinics great for 17 and under golfers and available for only $20. For complete lesson and clinic information, schedules and prices, visit www.golfkeystone.com.
And all golfers should take advantage of Keystone’s Stay and Play deal, rated the best in Colorado three years in row by Colorado Avid Golfer. Packaged golf and lodging will save guests up to 28% with a variety of accommodations available. Guests can also take advantage of 36-hole packages with up to 20% off lodging, and Keystone’s signature Play for Free, which is available with any two or more night stay and includes free golf after 4 p.m. on day of arrival, free yoga class, free guided hike and free scenic gondola ticket for children 12 and younger.
May 14th, 2014
Environmental consciousness is now more important than ever and it is pivotal to the success of the movement that efforts to improve sustainability are recognized. Ski Vermont has taken the initiative to express its gratitude to resorts that have gone above what is required and bestow its leaders in environmentalism with the Green Mountain Awards. Bravo Vermont!
From Ski Vermont:
The Vermont Ski Areas Association is excited to announce the winners of the second annual Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence at Vermont Ski Resorts. Judged by Melinda Vieux, President of Green Up Vermont, Alan Hebert of Efficiency Vermont and VSAA President Parker Riehle, resorts competed to win awards in environmental stewardship. Categories looked closely at improvements made to waste reduction, water consumption, carbon footprint and combined environmental efforts.
Winners of the 2014 Green Mountain Awards for Environmental Excellence include:
Greenest Overall Resort in Vermont
Most Improved Resort Overall
Mount Snow Resort
Most Improved Carbon Footprint
Stratton Mountain Resort
Most Improved Water Consumption
Mount Snow Resort
Most Improved Waste Reduction
Stowe Mountain Resort
For more information about the winning entries and efforts, visit www.skivermont.com.
May 7th, 2014
Dates are set for The Meeting 2014, Aspen/Snowmass’ annual weekend to celebrate snowsports film and culture, returning to downtown Aspen, October 2 – 4, 2014.
The 10th annual installment of The Meeting will deliver a packed schedule of the top ski and snowboard films for the 2014-2015 season as well as an industry gathering featuring conferences, forums and activities designed to stimulate discussion on topics most relevant to our sport’s industries.
The Meeting has become one of the premiere snowsports gatherings, giving athletes, industry professionals and snow enthusiasts the chance to network and learn, be entertained and get excited for the upcoming season. The industry conference portion of the weekend pulls in some of the leading minds both from inside and outside the snowsports industry. Previous speakers include Paul Crandell, Steven Kotler, C.J. Olivares and Brooke Wentz. In addition to films, activities and the conference there will also be two nights of concerts at the Belly Up and a fashion show.
The weekend will kick off on Thursday, October 2 with the NEPSA Video Awards, an annual snowsports/lifestyle video competition featuring short films that offer athletes and filmmakers from the region an opportunity to showcase their talents and compete for their piece of the $3,500 purse.
Each submission should have one of these three themes: Huck Dynasty; Sick Day; or Aspen Problems. Competitors are encouraged to sign up now and choose a theme. Full rules and more information can be found at www.aspensnowmass.com/themeeting.
The Meeting presented by GoPro is sponsored by Red Bull, Helly Hansen, Bud Light, Target, HEAD, Smith Optics and Audi.
May 2nd, 2014
May Day in Big Boulder, PA has become the unofficial welcome to summer for the jibbers of the Keystone State. Now in its sixth year, the event is home to a solid rail jam and skate session, all for the sum of a $10 lift ticket. This year the festivities will run from 10:00am to 6:00pm, but make sure you’re there early to partake in what will be the last jib session before summer!