Snowboarders Just Won’t Stop Suing Alta…

Chris Wallner | | Industry NewsIndustry News
The battle continues...
The battle continues…

According to Fox 13, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the claims of Wasatch Equality, a group of local snowboarders, that has sued the U.S. Forestry Service and Alta, UT for banning snowboarding on resort property, claiming that it violates the 14th Amendment. That amendment consists of granting all people within the United States “equal protection” under the law. The Equal Protection claim has been used in cases that involved discrimination against race, gender, religion, and same-sex marriage.

“Utah is a family state. All our families snowboard. We would like to be able to go to the best resort in the world and share that experience,”  stated Drew Hicken, one of the plaintiffs.

Wasatch Equality attorney Jonathan Schofield being interview after the hearing. PC: Fox 13

The Wasatch Equality attorneys claim that they aren’t trying to create their own class of Equal Protection, but they claim that they are being discriminated against by being banned from riding on what is considered to be public land. The three judge panel is attempting to decide whether or not they should revive the lawsuit against Alta and the U.S. Forestry Service that was dismissed in 2014 by a Federal Judge in Salt Lake City. The real concern is whether or not Wasatch Equality could pass a bias test and if they have the ability to prove that the government is the cause of discrimination, not Alta.

“This case is about equipment. It’s not about people. It’s about a board. They’re the same person, the same beliefs, same race, gender, speech, clothing, cultural group,” said Alta Ski Area attorney Rick Thaler.

Alta Ski Area is an enticing destination for outdoor enthusiasts. PC: Alta Facebook Page

The U.S. Forestry Service stated that there are over 100 other recreational areas in the nation where snowboarding is allowed and that they are not involved with operating a ski resort. Alta is currently managing public lands, providing them with a little leeway in deciding what to do with it. While Jonathan Schofield, an attorney for Wasatch Equality, argued that the government declared that the land that Alta leases would be used for skiing and other winter sports. The judges on the 10th Circuit Panel took case under advisement and are expected to reach a verdict in the coming months.

“There is no coercive behavior on the part of the government against snowboarders at Alta,” assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Bennett argued.

Alta gets a ton of snow and it makes for a lot of deep powder days like this one.

Alta is one of the oldest ski resorts in the United States, it opened its doors in 1939. The historic ski area is known for being one of the last three ski areas in the United States to prohibit snowboarding on the premises. The other two ski areas that prohibit snowboarding include Deer Valley and Mad River Glenn. Alta offers up some superb terrain and they receive a season average snowfall of 551″, so its pretty obvious why snowboarders want to have the ability to ride there. Ata is know as the “skier’s mountain” and for now, it looks it will stay that way.


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13 thoughts on “Snowboarders Just Won’t Stop Suing Alta…

  1. Little Cottonwood is wack, so many better resorts in Utah unless your really into traffic and lift lines. What do you expect in a place where national parks are losing their protection and half the population doesn’t believe in science. The best thing you can do if you want a change is let your money speak. Don’t go to Snowbird and let that whole canyon turn into skiers only.

  2. Snowboarders being more dangerous than skiers is a completely moot point.
    I have bad knees and therefore cannnot ski anymore. Isn’t that discrimination?
    But in the grand scheme of things fuck’em, let them have alta and fuck snowbird too!

  3. Let me guess, all you snowboard haters would prefer separate drinking fountains for white people and black people too?! Cuz that’s about how antiquated you sound when you spew your rhetoric…..

  4. You only have to be leveled once by a snowboarder to want a skier’s only resort. If the snowboarders are so fanatical about this, change one of the other resorts to boarders only. Problem solved & free up the court’s time for more important things, like national security.

  5. What most people don’t realize is that the policy indicates that one shall not be allowed to use the lifts nor accent via split board or snow shoe etc at Alta Ski Area. But a legal loop hole a few people have come to use including myself is accessing it via Mt Baldy. You hike from the Snowbird side and drop main chute into Alta and take the shuttle back. I am a die hard skier from age 5, but enjoy snowboarding as well, thus have legally snowboarded at Alta in this manner twice.

  6. A U.S district court judge ruled it is not discrimination. Alta has every right to say who can and can not access their mountain, Same way a restaurant does not allow smokers
    To smoke in their restaurant. It’s not a class of people that is being discriminated against. Alta is old school skiers who simply do not want more people crowding the mountains. Learn how to ski ?

  7. Actually I haven’t experienced long liftlines , Another reason I like Alta. just seems easier to get on the chair lift w/o snow boarders ?

  8. Wow I didn’t realize this is public land. I hope Alta loses and are forced to stop discriminating against snowboarders. Nobody is asking for a snowboard park in Alta, but why can’t skiers share the mountain with snowboarders? I mean how would skiers feel if they weren’t allowed at Snowbird or whenever? I feel like this is a last century issue that somehow slipped through the cracks to modern day. Just my 2-cents.

  9. as above: if it’s not regarding religion, race, gender, it’s a business decision on what equipment may be used on the hill. the fact that most young people snow board is a coincidental benefit to banning the device. they are intentionally rude as a group, (as a generalization) and beyond that they’re dangerous, intentionally. they have rubbed people’s nose in their attitude for decades until some people found a way to counter them. actually, about half and half ski resort board resort would suit me. see how they enjoy what they do to the hill, scraping it bare and slamming into each other helter skelter.

  10. I agree. Snowboarders are annoying. For years they’s been stealing all the snow from my favorite moguls run to build them u-ditch things. And I’m pretty sure one got my daughter pregnant.

  11. It would really suck if snow boarders were allowed to ride Alta . Why are they so desperately trying to get access? Just let it be what it is and ride snowbird. One of the reasons I enjoy Alta so much is no parks , the way it should be. Alta and snowbird should be completely different experiences . Alta snowcat allows snowboarders, save up and get the best powder experience available!

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