Welcome to the Alta Snowboard Team. What!? Alta doesn’t allow snowboarders. How can Alta have a snowboard team? Despite the boldly printed statement on every Alta trail map, “Alta is a skiers’ mountain. Snowboarding is not allowed,” as well as huge signs over the ticket windows stating, “No Snowboarding,” Alta’s terrain is indeed available for snowboarders to enjoy. Alta is situated in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and according to Forest Service literature, “most national forest system lands are open, free of charge for use and enjoyment.”
In fact, snowboarders as well as sledders, snow-bikers, and saucer-riders are allowed at Alta, yet are restricted access to the privately-owned lifts. Alta lift company operates as a private concessionaire under special uses permits issued by the Forest Service and has decided not to allow snowboarders to load the lifts.
Many Utah snowboarders as well as avid traveling riders have been frustrated by the policy of not allowing riders to load the lifts. The Alta Snowboard Team has not and will not be discouraged by a mere lift restriction. AST shall not be kept from shredding the amazing snow that falls on the magical slopes of Alta.
The “forbidden fruit” nature of a ski-only resort has snowboarders anxiously awaiting the day Alta opens its doors to sideways-sliders. After all, it was said, “Hell would freeze over before snowboarders were allowed at Taos.” As of March 19th, 2008 the ban against snowboarders at Taos, NM was lifted and riders were allowed equal access. The skier/snowboarder division has been a long-time debate and will continue to be an issue (mostly to the un-informed and largely un-jazzed). For now, the policy is clear and Alta doesn’t want snowboarders on their mountain (even though it is Forest Service land paid for equally by tax payers). Furthermore, Alta and Snowbird resorts operate interdependently almost as two divisions of one large ski area giving snowboarders access to Alta via a 5-minute hike (hippies use the back door). Will the AST let a ridge, short hike, or the disapproval of skiing’s older, crankier and close-minded population keep them separated? Nope.
Who is the Alta Snowboard team and how are they going to bridge the gap in the snow sliding world? The AST is a group of friends, including both skiers and snowboarders, who enjoy riding together. That’s right! Unlike their host, AST is all-inclusive. “Equal-opportunity-fun-havers.” They are Utah-based men and women who have a strong passion for riding hard in the LCC. Utah is blessed with steep, rocky terrain, amazing snow, and incredible access which in turn produces talented riders who love their lives and are really fun to be around. AST loves snowboarding for snowboarding and loves Alta for Alta and doesn’t feel the two need to be mutually exclusive.
- Many on the team have a strong connection to Alta though are refused a lift ride when suited up in snowboarding gear. They live at Alta, work there, are active in the community and help it run. They like the people of Alta. They like the bars at Alta. They like hiking at Alta. They think the patrol are cool. They like the backcountry access and as you can see, the views are Superior!!
Who does AST want on the team? Anyone who likes to ride. Anyone who is non-judgmental and likes to have fun. Anyone who dreams of coming to Utah and making some tracks in the fresh snow. Being on the Alta Snowboard Team is a mind-set and we are recruiting anyone who is awesome. Skiers included.
You too can be part of the AST. Come out and ride with us! Mostly you will find us riding the Bird, but on those special days we will be hiking to the top of Alta’s Mt. Baldy for access to “the chutes”, slashing the high shoulder, or skinning up through Alta on our split boards. Order your Alta Snowboard Team merchandise and help support our athletes and their ambitions as professional snowboarders. All proceeds go right back into the snowboard community.
Ah, so you want to be on the Alta Snowboard Sponsored Team and have your profile posted on the AST official site? Well, that is a bit more difficult. The sponsored team have been hand-picked based on talent, dedication, ambition and personality. The AST Sponsored Team represent the disciplines of snowboarding which it feels need more exposure but is not limited to: big-mountain riding, big-mountain/extreme competition, and backcountry. That’s not to say you won’t see team riders sending it in the park or sliding a rail from time to time. It’s all fun, and that’s what it’s all about.
Can’t make it to Little Cottonwood Canyon? Well, you can still post your photos and video edits to the AST Facebook page. Give a shout! We love the content everyone has posted so far and we are planning some great contests with AST gear for the winners. Alta is a beautiful mountain town like no other and we can’t give up on riding a place we love. Winter is here so come on out and shred the other side with the team.