Top Five Fridays - August 28, 2015 // Ski Industry News
#1: Backcountry Ski Hut Out of Commission Near Aspen:
Aspen backcountry skiers will be disappointed to hear that a backcountry cabin on Burnt Mtn. is officially out of commission. The trouble all started when the U.S. Forest Service removed a part of the cabin’s roof after claiming they found dangerous levels of asbestos. Backcountry skiers who have been using the cabin for over 30 years dispute the claim, and submit that the cabin has been in the crosshairs of the Forest Service for years. By removing part of the roof, champions of the cabin say that the natural elements will erode the cabin to a point where the U.S. Forest Service has a legitimate claim that the cabin has become dilapidated to the point of needing to be demolished. The case of this cabin will be reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act, but for now the outlook is dismal. For more information on this issue, check out the comprehensive article from the Aspen Times.
#2: Vermont Leading the Way in Backcountry Skiing Innovation:
While it’s not necessarily the “time is of the essence” type of news we normally post on Top Five Fridays, we couldn’t resist sharing this piece from Teton Gravity Research about the burgeoning sustainable backcountry trail scene here in Vermont. As TGR reports, our neighbors in Rochester, VT are proving that through operating in the right channels, it’s possible to create trail networks on public land that are totally legal and don’t adversely affect the environment. Through a partnership between the Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance (RASTA) and the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF), approximately 1,500 acres of public land has been made available for the future development of a backcountry trail network. So far, RASTA has cut just one glades run, but already has plans to expand the network and include amenities such as a parking lot and a simple ski cabin. The piece from TGR gets pretty in depth, so if you have some spare time, we’d highly recommend giving it a read!
#3: Multi Resort Passes Becomes an Arms Race:
A few weeks back, we told you about Stowe and Taos joining the Mountain Collective Pass. What we didn’t mention is that the Mountain Collective Pass also includes Thredbo Resort in Australia, Valle Nevado in Chile, and Hakuba Valley in Japan. We also haven’t pointed out that since Vail purchased Perisher Resort in Australia, the Epic Pass has also gone international. It wasn’t until the Rocky Mountain Super Pass added Cardrona Alpine Resort in New Zealand that we realized what was happening: multi resort seasons passes are quickly becoming an arms race. With the three major multi pass programs now looking to expand their rosters with international resorts, we fully expect to see the rate of international partnerships accelerate each season. After all, there are only so many large scale ski resorts in the world, and it’s clear that the race to partner with as many as possible is clearly on. Mark our words: next season the multi resort season pass programs will include several more international options each. For skiers, the trend is actually pretty good though. Think about it. If it continues to an extreme extent, we could be lucky enough to only have to buy one seasons pass and be able to ski for free just about anywhere!
#4: Women’s Ski Brand Continues to Gain Traction:
Over the last few seasons, there’s been a trend in skiing where females have been demanding more of the spotlight- and rightfully so. With kickass films like Lynsey Dyer’s “Pretty Faces,” “Shades of Winter,” and plenty of impressive individual segments, Women have proved that they deserve every bit of attention they get, and it’s still not enough. Some would say that there’s been something missing from the recent surge in the female ski scene: a true women’s freeski and snowboard brand.
Enter: Coalition Snow. This Nevada based brand is owned by Jen Gurecki, who says that there’s a series void of high quality women’s skis and snowboards in the market. She argues that a majority of women’s skis and snowboards that are available are simply watered down versions of their male counterparts. While we would argue that companies like K2 and Blizzard do make some high quality women’s skis, we have to concede that there doesn’t seem to be any ski brands devoted to making high quality skis just for women. After successfully funding a Kickstarter campaign back in April, Coalition has kept the ball rolling and recently won a business pitch competition at the Governor’s Conference on Business in Reno, NV. With so much recent success, it looks as though Coalition is set to make a real impact in the ski industry in the coming years. You can find out more about the brand by visiting their website, here.
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
Instead of showing you an edit from last season, we figured we'd turn the page and show you a trailer for one of the most promising looking trailers to come out so far this season. "Fade to Winter," from Matchstick Productions keeps with the production company's M.O. and promises to deliver huge backcountry lines, as well as top notch park skiing. As Summer begins to turn to Fall here in late August, "Fade to Winter," is certainly getting us hyped for the season that lies ahead!