Comments about ‘Snowboarders sue to ride with skiers at Alta resort’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15 2014 6:15 p.m. MST

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Ogden, UT

@JoeCapitalist2 Super funny...I will be laughing all day.

On a serious note, I am a snowboarder but I also believe in private property rights. If Alta wants to just allow people with blue skis that is their right.

Mom of Six
Northern Utah, UT

@ Joe Capitalist2---You are very clever....like the argument!

San Antonia, TX

Joe Capitalist,

I love the sarcasm but can't "like" it because I don't think the snowboarders understand that you are making fun of them.

Alta needs to keep these boards off of their mountain. It is time for everyone of us to fight off the looters who think they can demand us to ruin everything they think is theirs.

Remember the Alamo!

Beaufort, SC

Joe Capitalist...that was the best comment ever. Thanks!

Boston, MA

I have family members who snowboard, I respect them, I respect their sport.
But let's take a look at the layout of Alta. The terrain is not ideal for snowboarders. Long traverses are necessary to access some of the best terrain Alta has to offer. Not many boarders, even the best, will have a fun time trying to make it out the High-T run after run, in a line-up of people. Will Alta then have to install rope tows to accommodate people who have PLENTY of places to ride, just because they feel discriminated against? Pick your sport, pick your battles. It's a free country, you're free to throw on a pair of skis and enjoy what Alta has to offer.

Boise, ID

There are jerks on both sides. Boarders ruin moguls, skiers make moguls. Alta should be able to do what they want. If you want a boarders only resort, go make one yourself.

John S. Harvey
Sandy, UT

This provision in the lease likely forces the end of a skier only Alta experience. Sad to see it go. (From the article) Alta operates under a Forest Service permit that states the public lands "shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes . . . ."

Possibly Alta could put policies in place which forbid snow boarders from using *any* of its equipment/facilities (including lodges, lifts, and parking areas) or boarding on any areas of the resort which it actually owns. Then if it imposed a for people walking up slopes (because it degrades the surface) the unique skiers only experience could be mostly maintained.

Snow boards absolute change the character of a resort as the board (by definition) flattens large areas of snow on ever pass.

Santa Ana, CA

By the same logic, golf courses discriminate against people who want to ride ATVs. Alta provides a unique and much desired experience. Snowbird, next door, offers the same snow conditions and allows snowboarding. I've skied for 50 years and been hit a couple of times by by reckless snowboarders. I appreciate a place to go without that threat. If Alta can support a no snowboarding business model, why not?

Central, UT

Is everybody a victim of discrimination?


As a skier and snowboarder (alpine boarding background), I completely agree about the mentality of many in the snowboarding community.... although some of that seems to be rubbing off on the ski culture :;. I obviously elected to board (kudos to JoeCapitalist2), so I do not know whether this case will hold any water. However, arguments that Alta is a skier's mountain due to lengthy traverses, large flat spots, etc....clearly not true. Look at the flat spots at what is arguably the Wasatch's boarder mt- Brighton. Look at the traverses at nearly all other resorts. If I am on my board at the Bird, I simply do not attempt to go to the Bookends. Arguments that boarders "scrape the snow off" are difficult to believe seeing that days after a dump there is untouched powder at nearly every resort in the Wasatch except Alta (and the Bird) largely due to the ability level and number of skier(s)/riders at these resorts. Ironically, I do find myself boarding Alta as there is nothing keeping me from boarding Baldy's chutes, shoulder, and really anything in Alta from the Bird or hiking. Don't like it, just hike it!


If being on public land means Alta has to allow anyone to use the land anyway they want, then how can they keep snow mobiles and sleds off the slopes, as well? And how is the Forest Service allowed to make any restrictions on use of public land? First, snow boarders are not a protected class as defined by law. Second, people who snow board have exactly the same right as anyone else who visits Alta ... they can ski there. This is the dumbest lawsuit ever.

casual observer
Salt Lake City, UT

It would be appropriate for the suit to be filed on April 1st.

james d. morrison
Boise, CA

I like to ride toboggans. Shall I sue to be allowed to ride my sleds at Brighton and Solitude?


"Alta is a private company and should have the right to restrict activities on their property whether leased or not." I agree with you , except for the clause in the lease that clearly states Alta will allow the public lands leased to remain open to all users engaged in lawful activity.

There are a few answers to this lawsuit. First, use the land, but don't allow boarders to use the lifts. Those are private property. Also hold any person causing damage to private property or behaving in an unsafe manner completely accountable.

A second option would be to open some runs to boarders and some runs to skiers. Put in stipulations (the small print) that clearly states where skiers can ski and boarders can board.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

I'm not prejudiced against snowboarders...some of my best friends are snowboarders (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Whether or not to allow snowboarders at Alta has turned into a literal and figurative "slippery slope" argument.


Re: cavetroll
"There are a few answers to this lawsuit. First, use the land, but don't allow boarders to use the lifts. Those are private property. "- This is already the case

"A second option would be to open some runs to boarders and some runs to skiers. Put in stipulations (the small print) that clearly states where skiers can ski and boarders can board."- Boarders can board at Alta if there are no uphill restrictions and/or if the area is open (i.e. Alta is not prepping the area or conducting avalanche mitigation work).

Access to Baldy is easier from the Bird via HBT than Alta, and as such boarding in Alta is quite easy.
When people say, "Alta is for skiers," all they are really saying is that Alta's lifts are for skiers. I have very limited legal perspective, but it does seem (already mentioned) that limiting access to public lands is up to the Forest Service laws, while access to Alta's privately owned lifts could (should???) be up to them. The slippery slope argument of where the line can be drawn with snow bikes, sleds, etc... going down Alta during hours is interesting....

Newport Beach, CA

This is what comes of fiddling too much with the previously deferential "rational basis" standard.

It doesn't matter whether snowboarders are a "protected class." The rational-basis standard doesn't even bother with that. The new conventional wisdom is that virtually *every* instance of disparate government treatment, even of slightly different situations, is invidious discrimination.

If you believe the Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage to erase the distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex unions, then you must also believe it requires that the even less significant difference between snowboarding and skiing be overlooked.

Pocatello, ID

We should start up a "Defend Alta Fund" This is ridiculous.

It's not discrimination, it's preserving the best skiing possible. How many times have the moguls been decapitated by snowboarders? A LOT.

Salt Lake City, UT

Alta doesn't ban a class of individuals. It bans a particular activity. This is a laughable lawsuit designed to generate fees and publicity for the law firm, as usual.
Too many lawyers with nothing productive to do.

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