Top Five Fridays - April 22, 2016 // Ski Industry News
#1: Snowboarders Suing Alta: Part XVCAILJKAD:
Occasionally in the world of reporting, you’ll cover a story that’s exciting at first, but ends up dragging on for years without much in the way of updates. Such is that case here, where we feel obligated to report that a federal appeals court in Utah has struck down an appeal made by a group of snowboarders called Wasatch Equality who were suing Alta into allowing snowboarding at the resort. Their reasoning was that because the resort leases public land, then they can’t legally discriminate a group of people under the 14th amendment. Regardless of the fact that snowboarders are making a choice to snowboard instead of ski and aren’t required to permanently snowboard, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Wasatch Equality, stating that the U.S. Forest Service didn’t influence Alta’s decision. This means that there isn’t a “state action” being taken to purposely discriminate against snowboarding. So, with that line of reasoning, it appears that the lawsuit against Alta has finally been put to bed. It would be wrong to assume that this is the last time snowboarders will challenge Alta though, as a quick glance at the Wasatch Equality Facebook page shows plenty of resilience and determination amongst their fans. As always, we’ll be sure to keep you posted if there’s any movement in the classic snowboarders vs. Alta rivalry.
#2: Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame Presents: 100 Years of Ski Fashion:
Ready for some good old fashion fun? (Get it?) This week the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame released a video portraying the last 100 years of ski fashion. Whether or not you’re into the style side of skiing, it’s still a pretty fun watch. Obviously we all already know that skiwear has come a long ways in the last century. Yet somehow seeing the progression over the decades puts everything in a new light and brings forth new appreciation for those who skied before us. I mean, not only did skiers in the early 20th century not have rocker technology, carbon tips and tails, releasable bindings, hard shell boots, sintered bases, edges, helmets, wax, or even sidecut, but they were also out there wearing the same wool fashions as hipsters at a Brooklyn bar in November. Can you even imagine trying to ski on a frigid day wearing a fedora, a wool dress jacket, and high top socks with your pants tucked in? That’s really just the start of it though as this video also takes you through the neon inspired 60’s which seamlessly became the hot dogger fashions of the 70’s and 80’s. Our personal favorite though? 2005. Having come of age during this trend- I have to admit, they totally nailed both the song choice and the styling. But don’t take our word for it, watch the video yourself!
#3: Tom Wallisch Breaks Record for World’s Longest Rail Slide:
Earlier this week, video evidence emerged of Tom Wallisch breaking the world record for the longest rail slide after successfully cleaning a 424’ rail. Shot by Nick Martini of Stept productions, the short film was posted on ESPN’s website and takes a behind the scenes approach to telling the story. As passionate skiers, we’re inadvertently pretty critical of novelty stunts performed for mainstream media, and this case is no different. Between the nature film style voice over and the over reaction to the “tragedy” of melting snow, this short has it’s fair share of made-for-tv corniness. Still, you can tell that Martini did his best to portray the event in an authentic light, and the feat itself is nothing short of amazing. From a skier’s perspective, the athletes and the film crew nailed it, we just wish a feature like this could be shown to mainstream audiences without the reality TV vibe. Still, if you’re interested in watching a longer version of the video, keep an eye out for the full show which airs on ABC next week!
#4: Beartooth Basin Unable to Open for Summer 2016:
If you were looking forward to getting in some lift serviced summer turns in Montana this year, it looks like you’re probably out of luck. Earlier this week, Beartooth Basin, the only exclusively summer ski resort in North America, announced that there simply isn’t enough snow to operate the lifts this summer. Unfortunately this isn’t the first time it’s happened either- despite a great snowpack for the 2014 summer, last year’s snowpack was also a dud and prevented lift operations. Still the management team at Beartooth Basin remains optimistic, saying that a “few miracle May storms” could allow them to open for a week. If that doesn’t happen, they’re still encouraging guests to visit the Basin, but will have to rely on their own efforts to get them up the hill. In the mean time, Beartooth Basin plans to use this as a chance to complete yearly maintanence, as well projects that have been put off in the past.