October 7

A taste of winter (which I hope doesn't linger). Not enough to put me on skis but...enough for a walk in the snow.


There is a proposal by Taliskier(Canyons ski area) to build an aerial eyesore at the top, connecting with Solitude ski area.


Copied from: Save Our Canyons

Pitched as a so-called "transportation lift" this proposal has not been formally launched, but in discussions with those at Talisker, parent company of the Canyons, it is supposed to be coming down the pipe in a few weeks. So far, we know that the proposal includes tram, lift or gondola that will leave Canyons Resort near the Daybreak lift, where it will deliver patrons to the lower (western) entrance of Solitude Mountain Resort. Capacity of the system is said to deliver approximately 400 people per hour, not stop at the ridgelines and take less than 10 minutes for the 3 or so mile journey. 
At this point,  we have heard Canyons officials say this is a great thing because
a) it will reduce the amount of cars in Big Cottonwood Canyon, b) make Park City the main point of access for the Cottonwood Canyons and c) it will protect backcountry terrain.

It is unclear to us how running a lift will reduce cars in Big Cottonwood. First, this system works both ways and for many in the Salt Lake Valley, it is easier/closer to drive to the Cottonwoods than Park City. How will this not increase traffic in Big Cottonwood for those wanting to get to Park City? Second, traffic studies have shown that summer time traffic counts are the same as winter time traffic counts. The difference is that in the summer time, people aren't all competing for "first chair" on a powder day. Third, you have to ride 4 lifts at the Canyons in order to get on the proposed interconnect, taking at least an additional hour or two before you are on your way to Solitude. Moreover, you would have to buy a lift pass to the Canyons to ride this "transportation solution," so it seems like more of a ruse to sell lift tickets than to provide a viable transit option.  Last, Park City, often referred to as "No Park City" has its own set of transportation issues, so all of this hinges on you even being able to find a spot. You could ride the new UTA line to Park City, but at that point, why wouldn't you just ride one of the Cottonwood Ski buses?

As for protecting backcountry terrain, the Canyons already proved their sensitivity towards the backcountry community by constructing the 9990 lift which has a number of resort skiers coming over the ridgeline. Now they are proposing to give those people a ride back over the ridge. While this lift does not stop on the ridge and let people off, it does put a number of towers in an otherwise pristine area and will change the wild character of this popular destination in the canyon. These are only a few of the issues at this point based on discussions, we will update and provide more comment once the project has been formally proposed. 

Of interest, the pitchman for the project is former mayor of Salt Lake, Ted Wilson.


Instability showers continued into the afternoon with a lack of good light and visibility.


Snow info:

5-10" of light density snow, elevation dependent.


One roof slide observed.


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