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  1. #1
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    Snowbird expansion proposal

    This is bound to be controversial, surprised I'm the first to post.

    Still thinking it through but I guess I'm pretty indifferent. It'll add some good terrain but a lot of it is south facing and lower elevation. It'll also add a LOT of low angle stuff. Will definitely help spread out the crowds which is good.

    Salt Lake Tribune artical

    Of course SOC are not happy as I believe they're proposing wilderness over there. Don't think that would happen anyway though due to pushback from Snowmobilers and they could be the biggest obstacle to this expansion too.

    What do you guys think?
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  2. #2
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    it would be a lot cooler if they put a tram up to the top of superior-- until i can interconnect solitude and snowbird with one lift pass and only take off my skis on the tram deck, i think all this expansion shit to the south and west is nonsense.

  3. #3
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    Seems to be less snow over in those directions for sure. The south faces of the twins are always sparse.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  4. #4
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    so fucking stupid. looks like they're talking about expanding mineral lower as well, making pagan inbounds. oh how much that would suck. fuck that.

  5. #5
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    i skied this area once three years ago and if they put lifts there it will be a travesty to ruin such a pristine already lift served and mine douched and roaded piece of land!

  6. #6
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    Yup.
    456
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  7. #7
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    I'd be curious on the new boundary lines and if these new lines are on private (Snowbird-owned) or NFS land.

    If there are new boundary lines on NFS land, does that mean there will be open boundaries in Mary Ellen and Twins? Because the constant closed boundaries they currently have, except for the one at the bottom of Mineral drives me crazy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Snowbird can currently close their boundaries because they are on private land owned by them...

    So potentially, with a lot of variables included, we could could get open boundaries from the top of Twins/Mary Ellen. And maybe Pipeline and other cool lines dropping into LCC would be open regularly. (It also pains me Pipeline and that entire ridgeline is never open.)

    So potentially this could be a great thing for 'expert' skiers. Or am I way off?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sliced View Post
    I'd be curious on the new boundary lines and if these new lines are on private (Snowbird-owned) or NFS land.

    If there are new boundary lines on NFS land, does that mean there will be open boundaries in Mary Ellen and Twins? Because the constant closed boundaries they currently have, except for the one at the bottom of Mineral drives me crazy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Snowbird can currently close their boundaries because they are on private land owned by them...

    So potentially, with a lot of variables included, we could could get open boundaries from the top of Twins/Mary Ellen. And maybe Pipeline and other cool lines dropping into LCC would be open regularly. (It also pains me Pipeline and that entire ridgeline is never open.)

    So potentially this could be a great thing for 'expert' skiers. Or am I way off?
    that is the way it looked on snowbirds own trail map. new tram up to the top of the west twin.

  9. #9
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    Beaterdit - thanks for posting this. i like the plan. it is important to read the trib article.

  10. #10
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    fuck this. snowbird needs to spend that money on updating the hotels and restaurants. im serious.
    Perhaps you'd be more comfortable on epicski or Paula's Ski Lovers, AltaNancy.

  11. #11
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    If accepted, she noted,
    expansion portions will require a FULL BLOWN environmental impact statement
    Isn't that how the forest circus usually works?

    Please keep your Texan ass the fuck out of White Pine, thanks.

  12. #12
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    What wasn't really clear in the article was the recent history involving Snowbird, Save Our Canyons, the Flagstaff lift and the new Proposed Wilderness Area.

    In exchange for the new tram up to AF Twin and ski area expansion, Snowbird had agreed to trade their Flagstaff/Superior land which would then be rolled into the new Wilderness area. Originally, Snowbird was going to sell that land to Alta who wanted to put a lift up there.

    To many people, including me, it seemed like a good trade as it would preserve the core of the Wasatch and give Snowbird something they wanted. From a backcountry skier's standpoint, giving up more public terrain and access is not ideal, but it seemed like a good big picture compromise.

    What sucks about Snowbird's timing is that they want approval on their expansion before they have traded out their Flagstaff land. In other words, they could get their expansion with little to no opposition from environmental groups (SOC), then turn around and sell their Flagstaff land to Alta anyway.

    This would be the worst of all possible worlds and it comes down to trusting Snowbird, which is never a good idea.

    I fully agree with the person above who said that Snowbird needs to upgrade their currently facilities rather than just expand even more (especially onto public land). The place is a concrete slag heap.

    And to the other poster who asked about Snowbird being on private land, it is about 10-15% private and 85% public. I was up there the other day and even though they were closed, there were NO TRESPASSING signs all over. I asked one of their security guards about it as well as calling their front desk and they said it was "Dick Bass' property."

  13. #13
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    Longtime backcountry skier Bob Athey said the main reason he doesn't ski Mary Ellen Gulch is that access was cut off by Snowbird's development of Mineral Basin. "Snowbird has no purpose and no need," he said. "Ask Bob Bonar, 'When is enough enough?' "
    If you're not growing you're just dying. It's an unfortunate mind-set but it's stock business.
    I agree with SC tho... swapping out Mary Ellen for Superior/Flagstaff would be a fair trade if preserving the heart of the central wasatch is a priority.
    As a snowboarder... i fucking hate snowboarders in general. -advres

  14. #14
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    They almost never even run all the lifts they do have, and they want more?

    I wish that map was a topo map, because I am kind of unclear as to where exactly these things are supposed to go.

    It looks like the new tram goes from the top of the existing tram to the top of twin peaks? Really? I think I must be wrong on that, because pipeline is almost never open anyways, and also that tram wouldn't really give you that much vertical gain, it seems like it'd make more sense to put it from the top of gadzoom or something, especially since then you could lap it without having to ride the other tram first.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ________________
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    "I'm constantly doing things I can't do. Thats how I get to do them." - Pablo Picasso

  15. #15
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    ^the idea is to open skiable terrain on the SE face of the twins... that's mary ellen. The terrain around pipeline is gnarly and not very public friendly and doesn't seem to be th priority. I've only been back in mary ellen once and it wasn't deep enough to get a look at that terrain up high, but it must be public friendly.
    As a snowboarder... i fucking hate snowboarders in general. -advres

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    It looks like the new tram goes from the top of the existing tram to the top of twin peaks? Really? I think I must be wrong on that, because pipeline is almost never open anyways, and also that tram wouldn't really give you that much vertical gain, it seems like it'd make more sense to put it from the top of gadzoom or something, especially since then you could lap it without having to ride the other tram first.
    Think of it from a marketing and Texas Oil Dork perspective - IT WILL GO TO THE HIGHEST POINT IN THE WASATCH! Dick Bass conquered Everest, and now, for only $90 a day, you can be just like him by conquering the highest point in the Wasatch. Nevermind that the tram will probably be shut down by wind and weather most of the time and makes for a very illogical lift layout. As Dick said about the Basshole "It's so neat it will make your socks roll up and down."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    They almost never even run all the lifts they do have, and they want more?
    My opinion is - different lifts for different times of the year and specifically more "sunny" terrain. Snowbird can be a cold and shady/icy place in Dec/Jan.

    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    It looks like the new tram goes from the top of the existing tram to the top of twin peaks? Really? I think I must be wrong on that, because pipeline is almost never open anyways
    I don't think it's about that. More like adding another Mineral Basin type experience. Picture the new Mary Eleen lift as Baldy Express. I haven't seen the terrain back there but hopefully it's more "Chamonix Chutes" than the flat shit under Baldy Express.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by StraightChuter View Post

    The place is a concrete slag heap.
    i feel like a publicly traded stock.

  19. #19
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    I agree that it would probably be worth giving up mary ellen to have superior and flagstaff protected. But a tram to the top of the twins? That will make it really easy to track out white pine, for those who have a gazillion dollars to buy a snowbird pass every year. Plus, it's just lame as fuck to put a lift to the tallest peak in the central wasatch. You also have to wonder when and if their expansion plans will stop. Mineral basin lifts are about 10 years old maybe, and now they want to do it again? Maybe in 2020 they'll finally get white pine.

    And you know what, it still won't get their profitability to where Dick Bass wants it because, as someone noted, their facilities are a fucking concrete slag heap. I'm sure he wants the prized big spender vacation skier, but he needs to realize that people with money don't take ski vacations to stay in soviet bunkers, and they really don't give a fuck about acreage. They want amenities, which actually can be given without putting lifts everywhere.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    It looks like the new tram goes from the top of the existing tram to the top of twin peaks? Really? I think I must be wrong on that, because pipeline is almost never open anyways, and also that tram wouldn't really give you that much vertical gain, it seems like it'd make more sense to put it from the top of gadzoom or something, especially since then you could lap it without having to ride the other tram first.
    I'm thinking cost and structural analysis had them put it on the top next to the tramdock. The vertical climb from Gadzoom to the top would be pretty drastic when compared to from the upper tramdock. That would probably require a tower somewhere by the base of, or even next to pipeline, which wouldn't be the most pleasant as for construction, and more importantly to Dick Bass, his wallet.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiski View Post
    I'm sure he wants the prized big spender vacation skier, but he needs to realize that people with money don't take ski vacations to stay in soviet bunkers, and they really don't give a fuck about acreage. They want amenities, which actually can be given without putting lifts everywhere.
    i dont think he realizes this. the problem with snowbird is not the terrain/lifts/trails its the shitty and overpriced(for what they are now) hotels and restaurants.
    Perhaps you'd be more comfortable on epicski or Paula's Ski Lovers, AltaNancy.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiski View Post
    I agree that it would probably be worth giving up mary ellen to have superior and flagstaff protected. But a tram to the top of the twins? That will make it really easy to track out white pine, for those who have a gazillion dollars to buy a snowbird pass every year.
    Yes, but consider:
    a) The avalanche danger going into White Pine from the top of Twin will make 9990 at The Canyons seem tame. The carnage of allowing immediate BC access to high, windloaded, north facing slopes would be fantastic. It would be off-limits to Snowbird bombing, but they'd probably just call in their WPG buddies to do some "stability testing", but still, they'd have to be insane to open it, at least when there's any fresh snow.

    b) The top 1,200' of White Pine is good, but if you are on resort gear, you then have to ski out 2,400' of flattish drainage and then hitch-hike back to the Bird. I don't think that many people will do it.


    Plus, it's just lame as fuck to put a lift to the tallest peak in the central wasatch.
    That's Snowbird for you.

    You also have to wonder when and if their expansion plans will stop.
    The Forest Service manages the Wasatch Mountains like WalMart manages Toaster Ovens - land is inventory that can be used to generate fees and profits. The ski resorts have nothing to lose from asking for more land and the Forest Service stands to make a profit from it by granting their request, so there's no end in sight.

    I liked Bob Athey's quote in the SLC Trib - "Ask Bob Bonar how much is enough?" I think Bonar's answer would be "All of it."

  23. #23
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    first of all, putting a tram there just seems dumb. isn't it only another 500 vert or so? plus, there's rarely a time when you can look up at the twins and not see wind whipping snow over the ridgeline. it's even less conducive to skiing than the top of hidden, which is downright miserable at least a couple days a week. the part about trading the property on the north side of the canyon seems alright, but only if it actually happens before they are given approval to build to the twins. i'd also like to see some more permanent BC gates like they have going out to pagan, if you're going to cut off more bc access to build then i think you should give some back. if i didn't get an insanely cheap snowbird pass through a winter job, i would definitely be thinking about taking my money elsewhere.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ectreeskier11 View Post
    isn't it only another 500 vert or so?
    app. 1500' bringing sb total to app 4400' most in the lower 48?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rooster View Post
    app. 1500' bringing sb total to app 4400' most in the lower 48?
    top of the tram=11, top of twins=11.5, no? is it going down to 7k in maryellen or something?

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