Thursday, December 11, 2008

Backcoutry skiing access above Silverton threatened

An alert from the 4cornersbackcountryskiers listserv reports that Aaron Brill, the owner of Silverton Mountain Ski Area is requesting the county cut winter access to the popular backcountry skiing terrain in and around upper Cement Creek, in the San Juans above Silverton. The alert says:
Aaron Brill has asked the San Juan County Commissioners to not plow Cement Creek road past his lift. He doesn’t want to run the shuttles anymore [don't know any more motivation beyond that]. This would make the approaches to Bonita Peak/Gold King (Minnehaha), Corkscrew/Hurricane, Gwendaland, etc excessively long. The San Juan County Commissioners are meeting at 8am on the 15th and this topic is on the agenda. If you have an opinion on this, please contact the commissioners at the following by tomorrow, Friday at noon!

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Those concerned are urged to contact the San Juan County to ask the county to continue to plowing the and maintaining access public trailhead and ski access at the top of the Cement Creek road.

Email or call the San Juan County Administrator, William Tookey, at 970.387.5766

The alert suggests points to make:

1) The parking area/trailhead at the end of Cement Creek Road has been kept open by the state or county plows for many decades. It leads to many backcountry areas used from October to May. Backcountry access is important for the county to maintain as it is what makes the Silverton area so popular with backcountry enthusiasts.

2) Those who use this particular trailhead do not wish to ski at Silverton nor do they do want to park along the already crowded road near the ski area, which is a half-mile from the current Cement Creek trailhead.

3) Backcountry skiers from Ouray and Durango help support and "grow" the local San Juan economy, by buying gas, supplies, and other sundries in town.

4) The decisions to purchase many homes and properties in San Juan County have been spurred by the county-supported plowed access to higher elevation trailheads.
You can also contact Silverton Mountain at
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