Backcountry Skiers Complain Snowmobiles Ruining Their Experience
Can you call yourself an environmentalist if, instead of “earning your turns,” you take a ride to the top?
By Allen Best, 3-08-11
“I almost threw up from the smell. I turned around and left,” said skier Melanie Rees about snowmobile exhaust in the backcountry near Crested Butte. Photo by Flickr user Timo Newton-Syms.
Ski towns are like family, but as in many families, plenty of bickering goes on.
Take Crested Butte. Everybody loves the b.c. – the backcountry, that is. But as has been occurring now for 15 years or more, some skiers and snowboarders are buying snowmobiles to eliminate the sweat and get dibs on the choice backcountry slopes.
One local skier recently complained about planning to ski the Slate River, north of Crested Butte, and encountering seven snowmobiles while strapping skins onto her skis.
“I almost threw up from the smell. I turned around and left,” said Melanie Rees.
“My opinion – turns should be earned. If you don’t want to earn them, ride lifts. I don’t understand how anyone could consider themselves to be an environmentalist if they use snowmobiles,” she says.
In Crested Butte a decade ago, there was also some public squabbling as skiers complained about snowshoers messing up their trails.
Now, in Park City comes news of grousing among users of an area called Round Valley. The open-space areas have a groomed track, and slow skiers are being annoyed by fast skiers, and some skiers are cranky about people walking, reports The Park Record.
And then there are the dog-walkers, and everybody gets annoyed by those who don’t pick up their dogs’ doo. Much ado about nothing? Not with hundreds of dogs running around on any given day.
Allen Best writes, edits and publishes Mountain Town News, which can be found at allenbest.net.
You really can’t please everyone