Ravell Call, Deseret News
SkiLink would connect Canyons ski resort to Solitude, shown above.

Expensive, environmentally damaging schemes to connect Wasatch Front and back ski resorts have become a trend. A 2006 proposal to drill a half-billion dollar tunnel between Big and Little Cottonwood canyons came and went. The current megabucks proposal for an aerial tramway between The Canyons and Solitude in Big Cottonwood, the so-called SkiLink, also has problems.

It would cross a Forest Service wilderness area, part of which would have to be sold to a private party; it would negatively impact wildlife habitat, watershed and mountain landscape aesthetics; and it would cost a bundle to build and ride.

If connecting the resorts would bring more skiers to Utah and keep them out of cars traveling long distances between resorts, why not pave the remaining two miles of the Guardsman Pass state summer highway and plow it in winter? It could be open to all vehicles or just shuttles servicing all five resorts with all costs borne by fares or assessments to the resorts.

The Guardsman summit is 9,880 feet, but Colorado keeps 12,000 foot highway passes open year round.

Jim Catano

Salt Lake City