Post edited 3:11 pm – November 1, 2012 by vinhemp
Have you been following the debate in Utah about the proposed SkiLink project? It's interesting because a Canadian-based company is the one responsible for the hoopla: Talisker Inc. is trying to get permits to develop a ridge-spanning gondola that will connect Canyons Resort near Park City and Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Black Diamond is one of the main opponents of the plan and it is spearheading an effort that so far has received backing from 80 outdoor companies and conservation goups.
Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond was recently quoted as saying, "What is being publicly sold as a solution to traffic is a private-interest land grab of some of the most pristine and heavily used recreational public land in the Wasatch for the benefit of a single real estate developer."
So far national-level businesses such as Patagonia, Petzl, Voile, Mountain Hardware, and Armada Skis have all signed Black Diamond's petition opposing the plan. For more about the project, check out Talisker's page and for news regarding the opposition, go to Black Diamond's page.
This brings to mind the recent talks about installing a tourist gondola on the sea-to-sky highway to Whistler. This past year Vancouver developer David Greenfield announced he wants to put a gondola beside Canada’s most famous big wall The Chief in Squamish and, while the outcry towards this sea-to-sky gondola wasn't quite as vocal as the proposed Skilink project, there were many backcountry enthusiasts who voiced concerns.
Gondolas definitely make it easier for us to access areas but they also increase tourist traffic and disrupt the pristine environments that we're trying to get to in the first place. What are your thoughts about gondola projects? Are they good or bad for us backcountry aficionados?