Alta Defends Right to Keep Snowboarders Out

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no snowboarding at Alta, UT
The sign between Alta and Snowbird, UT.

Alta is currently defending itself at a federal appeals court on Friday from a lawsuit saying that their exclusion of snowboarders is unconstitutional.

“Quite simply, the Constitution neither recognizes nor protects a right to snowboard,” Alta attorneys wrote in court documents

The Alta attorney actually went so far as to say that the skiing experience at Alta is “safer” due to the lack of snowboarders because skiers don’t have to worry about being hit by snowboarders-sideways-stance-blindspot and their wide, sweeping turns.  This means that Alta attorneys are saying snowboarders are more “dangerous” than skiers.

The US Forest Service who issues a use permit to Alta ski area is backing Alta in this court case.

NO Snowboarding

“Defendants [Alta] have transformed public land into a private country club controlled by those exclusive, elitist, and discriminatory views.” – Wasatch Equality attorneys wrote

The 4 snowboarders who filed the appeal say that Alta’s snowboarding ban is based on outdated stereotypes and encourages beef between skiers and snowboarders.  They state that keeping snowboarders off public forest land is discrimination.

These snowboarders had initially attempted to get a judge to see their case in September 2014 but US District Judge Dee Benson threw the case out of court.  Judge Dee stated that snowboarders don’t have a constitutional right to snowboard and added that allowing their lawsuit would open the flood gates for many other groups to claim discrimination against private companies.

Oral arguments will be heard from each side of the case this week.

Only 2 other ski resorts in the USA prohibit snowboarding:  Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glenn, Vermont.


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7 thoughts on “Alta Defends Right to Keep Snowboarders Out

  1. Maybe someone should just shut up and start a snowboard only resort. Leave Alta alone go board snowbird.

  2. If the constitution were taken that literally then our right to bear arms would have us all with a few muskets over our mantels. Some things evolve like skiing. This is not a safety issue, it is purely a social stigma issue. Guess what, old people with real jobs and manners snowboard now, it is an old guys sport. Their unruly obnoxious radical kids on the other hand do the cool sport …. ski. Get a clue Alta!!!!! It only matters because you make it matter.

  3. That would be like saying it’s ok to allow swimming in the ponds on the golf course. Apples and Oranges!

    Alta has the right to say NO to snowboarding– it’s their business.

  4. Pretty sure our founding fathers were not aware of skiing or snowboarding when figuring things out but did state that all men are created equal and should recognize everyone’s right to recreate on federal land in which all parties should be allowed granted they pay the same dues.

  5. Seeing as how the NSAA Responsibility Code, the Utah Inherent Risks of Skiing Act, and the Colorado Ski Safety Act all cover/consider skiing and snowboarding to be the same thing I don’t see how Alta ever won this case.

  6. YES!!!!! Keep those bulldozer blades off Alta! Why? Check the Gad chutes any afternoon at Snowbird. They’re scraped down to last weeks ice., because ANYONE can get down ANYTHING on snowboard by turning sideways and scraping down the hill. I am old enough to remember getting yelled a for snowPLOWING down mogul fields, and that damage to the smooth, undulating bumps is NOTHING compared to a board. RIGHT ON, ALTA!!!!!!!!!!

    1. As a skiing and snowboarding instructor I can happily say that it doesn’t matter one bit. Both sports have the ability to cause damage to slopes. Experience is necessary to avoid that and in a perfect world everyone would be as talented and professional as you obviously are. Hoping to see you in the next Olympics seeing as you get angry at inexperienced snowboarders for leafing down the mountain on their heel edges when you just admitted you used to snowplow. The problem isn’t the tool you use to ride it’s the experience of the rider compared to the run they are on. So step off your high horse and come join us back on earth. Ride on your majesty.

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