BC Banter: Vt Resorts Embrace Uphill, Utah Revisits Rescue Protocol, TwentyTwo Designs Launches Beta Program, 10th Mountain Icon Passes Away

More Vermont resorts embrace the uphill

Bolton's new uphill map. [Photo] Courtesy Bolton Valley

Bolton’s new uphill map. [Photo] Courtesy Bolton Valley

BOLTON & WARREN, VT. Two more Vermont ski areas are embracing uphill traffic. Late this month, Bolton Valley Ski Area and Sugarbush Resort released their new uphill traffic policies, joining the growing list of ski areas nationwide that welcome on-piste skinning. Bolton Valley offers two uphill routes open at all times, including during operating hours; Sugarbush’s policy is more nuanced, with specific trails open on both Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen at various times. “It’s nice to see that most resorts are working to find ways to allow uphill travel in ways that help ensure the safety of the skiers,” writes Greg Maino of the Catamount Trail Association. For more on these policies, visit catamounttrail.org.

Utah revisits rescue protocol

The Jaws avalanche from the top. [Photo] Courtesy Utah Avalanche Center

The Jaws avalanche from the top. [Photo] Courtesy Utah Avalanche Center

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH Following a December 24 avalanche on a popular backcountry line in Big Cottonwood Canyon’s Days Fork zone known as Jaws, rescue officials are discussing proper backcountry rescue protocols for the area. According to KSL Salt Lake, following the accident, in which the victim was completely buried and suffered a compound fracture of his lower left leg, his partners called Alta Central Dispatch to coordinate an evacuation. Officials met Tuesday to discuss whether Alta Central or 911, which dispatches rescuers through Valley Emergency Communication Center or West Valley City, should be called for backcountry rescues. “Everybody kind of wants to put this in a nice, tidy little box, and it’s not as tidy as you might think,” Unified Police Sgt. Travis Skinner, who oversees many search and rescue operations in Salt Lake County, told KSL Salt Lake. “There are advantages and disadvantages to calling each dispatch center.” Read the full story, here.

TwentyTwo Designs Launches Beta Program

Valiante with an early Outlaw prototype. [Photo] Tyler Cohen

Valiante with an early Outlaw prototype. [Photo] Tyler Cohen

DRIGGS, IDAHO Telemark binding brand TwentyTwo Designs announced the beta testing program of their new NTN binding last week. Last winter, TwentyTwo signed a licensing agreement with Rottefella that’s enabled them to develop a binding using the NTN platform. Now, 100 prototypes of the first American-made NTN binding, dubbed the Outlaw, will be available to a select group of testers through a beta-testing program that TwentyTwo used for the Axl, their free-pivot, 75mm binding, and Russell Rainey used previously for the Hammerhead. “I think 75mm will be around for a long time,” TwentyTwo Designs’ Chris Valiante said last winter. “We plan on selling the Axl and Vice for a long time. They’re great bindings, but the NTN offers additional features that you really can’t get with a 75mm binding like step-in, like releasability and like a tech-fitting-style tour binding.” For more details on Outlaw beta testing, check out earnyourturns.com.

10th Mountain Division Icon Passes Awaybanter_10thmtn

LITTLETON, COLO. Earl Clark, a Colorado Ski Hall of Fame member known for his invovlement in developing the 10th Mountain Division National Association, died Sunday, December 28. He was 95. According to the Denver Post, the World War II veteran joined the Army and volunteered for an experimental skiing unit, which later became the 10th Mountain Division. In 1945, he fought in a decisive battle at Riva Ridge, Italy and, following his return home, he helped form the 10th Mountain Division National Association and International Federation of Mountain Soldiers. He was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 2001. “He was Mr. 10th Mountain Division,” Dennis Hagen, an archivist with Denver Public Library, told the Denver Post. “He essentially was responsible for putting together the current set-up of the veterans’ organization.” For the full remembrance of Clark, head to denverpost.com.

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