Backcountry feud gets
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. The quarrel between
skiers and others is getting tense at Teton Pass, the gap between
Jackson, Wyo., and Driggs, Idaho.
Backcountry skiers get
annoyed with post-holing hikers, even snowshoers, because they
destroy the up track. To encourage separate trails, one skier
posted a trailhead sign that said, "PLEASE! Keep the boot prints
separate from the skin track. This'll make travel easier for
A few weeks later, the
sign was gone, replaced by another: "Nobody here owns the snow!
It's a temporary medium! Walk or ski where you like! If you have a
problem move to a new location or town!! Your elitist attitude is
One hiking snowboarder
told the Jackson Hole News
that he is annoyed by the
attitudes of backcountry skiers. "Get out of your ski-Nazi
mentality," he said.
As for the sign that replaced the original it proved to be a
temporary medium, too. A week after being posted, it was
Love triangle stirs up
EAGLE, Colo. Kathy Denson, the owner
of fur stores in Vail and Aspen who was acquitted last summer of
murdering her boyfriend, has won again in court.
Her employee of 18
years, Monica "Monique" Seebacher, had sued her, claiming wrongful
termination and also "outrageous conduct." But Seebacher withdrew
her claims and also her demand for $200,000, reports the Vail Daily .
Denson, now 46, had a boyfriend, Gerald "Cody" Boyd, 45, and the
two of them, along with Seebacher, had been involved in an
occasional love triangle, as well as common cocaine use. In 2002,
Boyd and Seebacher took up, and it was during that time that Denson
shot Boyd, a greedy and boastful man, according to court testimony,
to death with a black-powder pistol. A jury in Eagle, where Denson
has a small horse ranch, agreed that there was insufficient
evidence to disprove Denson's claim of self-defense.
The only lawsuit remaining is a civil claim by Boyd's ex-wife on
behalf of his child. An attorney for the ex-wife says the case is
similar to that of O.J. Simpson. While Simpson was acquitted in
criminal court, evidence allowed in the civil trial resulted in a
settlement against Simpson and on behalf of his ex-wife's
The Butte boasts best
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. If you get a bit
of whiplash trying to keep up with Crested Butte's marketing
message, you're not alone. Four years ago the resort was hosting
the X Games. Last year it was boasting of being the UnVail. This
year, reports the Crested Butte
News , it has
"Colorado's best corduroy."
Gina Kroft, the resort's spokeswoman, said the focus on the
groomed product is in keeping with the ski area's growing emphasis
on the family market. The amount of grooming doesn't seem to be
changing, but the advertising of it is. The six or seven snow
groomers have a collective 150 years of experience and, says Slope
Maintenance Director Dale Massey, the slogan is "not something
they're afraid to try to live up to."
Bachelorette winner back
VAIL, Colo. The Vail Daily reports that the "deliciously sweet"
Ryan Sutter, who recently got married to Bachelorette Trista Rehn
in front of something like 3 million people, is back at work as a
firefighter in Vail. He told the newspaper that he was not only
rusty in his duties, but woefully out of shape.
Just the same, after he responded to a medical call several
hours into his first shift after the six-month hiatus, fellow
firefighters had kind words. "He did an awesome job," said Craig
For Sutter, it's one emergency or another. "Everything is so
last minute in the entertainment world. They tell you how badly
they need you somewhere, and it's on such short notice. Everything
is an emergency in that business It definitely was exhausting
and more stressful than I thought."
Moose shot in Utah
PARK CITY, Utah Jack Fenton was
gladdened to discover a yearling moose was munching on a wreath
hanging from his front door in a rural subdivision near Park City.
About an hour later he was anything but glad when a neighbor across
the street shot the moose, but also sent an errant bullet thudding
into Fenton's house.
"This is a town that
practically worships moose," Fenton told The Park Record . One of Fenton's neighbors, Genaro
Aremendariz, disagreed, saying that that the moose was a threat to
children and property.
The shooter, who wasn't identified in the story, could face
charges of killing protected wildlife and shooting in a
Gay Ski Week future
WHISTLER, B.C. Whistler's Gay Ski
Week, described by Pique newsmagazine as the
largest gay and lesbian ski week in North America, is in doubt
because of the death of its founder and organizer, Brent Benaschak.
Last year the event drew 3,500 people.
Benaschak arrived in 1992 to open a bed and breakfast in
Whistler, and he divided his time between Whistler and Fire Island,
in New York.
Visitors enjoy silent
OLD FAITHFUL, Wyo. Instead of
snowmobile engines, guide Betsy Robinson says that her clients at
Yellowstone National Park during recent trips took in the squeak of
snow underfoot, the snorting of bison and of wind whistling through
A recent court decision
halves the number of snowmobiles this winter and bans them entirely
next winter. Instead, they must arrive as Robinson's clients do, by
snowcoach, skis or on foot.
Robinson told the Jackson Hole News & Guide
that on a similar trip into
the heart of Yellowstone last year, she and her clients were unable
to escape snowmobile noise, even on a 3-mile walk from Old Faithful
to Morning Glory Pool.
"It's a long way for you not to be able to escape engine noise
in that whole distance in the center of one of the wildest places
in North America," she said. "But this year, it was just
beautiful," she added. "You could hear the geysers going off, which
at times in the past you could not."
Also visiting Old Faithful was BlueRibbon Coalition president
Jack Welch, who was forced to take a commercially guided trip the
first since he began snowmobiling into Yellowstone in 1969. Welch's
group is fighting the phase-out of snowmobiles and argues that the
arrival of four-stroke engines eliminates most of the noise and air
pollution that caused many people to object to snowmobiles in the
Future of ski industry
WHISTLER, B.C. Intrawest has launched
a study intended to yield insight into the future of lift-aided
snow sports skiing, it used to be called and hence how it should
focus its energy and money. The only certainty is that it won't be
the same as now.
"Looking back 15 years,
the typical user was a skier in a one-piece ski suit with long,
narrow skis," said Arthur DeJong, the manager of mountain planning
and environmental resources for Whistler-Blackcomb. "Things have
changed a lot. It's been a revolution."
DeJong told Pique newsmagazine that the study will help
guide expansion of lifts and terrain at Whistler-Blackcomb while
making better use of existing infrastructure through new technology
and the better management of resources. It will, he said, take into
account issues like global warming.
Among the things Intrawest is trying to figure out is why the
Japanese market at Whistler has dropped 40 percent. It also wants
to better forecast how problems being experienced in the air travel
industry will affect the resort business.
The study seems to be rife with numbers. For example,
demographers project that 20 percent of young North Americans will
remain single for most of their lives, reducing the family market
while creating a new market with different needs. Also, Intrawest
is eyeing South America and Asia, which are expected to grow by 2
billion people in the next 50 years even as prosperity there
creates new potentially new skiers.
And yet another: the most frequent activity for 18- to
24-year-olds is computer games. And youth obesity has doubled in
the last 20 years.
Intrawest expects to complete the study by summer, and DeJong
speculates that "it might be in our best interest to share this, or
part of this, with other resorts out there."