Are Self-Propelled Ski Areas In Our Future?Although official statistics for skier numbers has dropped over recent years it can be hard to tell that at any ski resort on a powder day. This past winter it seemed we saw fewer powder days than normal out west so the days where 20+ cm was reported absolute chaos ensued.
Given these chaotic powder days more and more people are heading into the backcountry to seek out fresh tracks. Ski resorts in North America are generally open when it comes to using lifts to head into the backcountry but the potential for self propelled ski resorts seems enormous.
British Columbia has the Hankin Evelyn Ski Area which is essentially a mapped and gladed backcountry ski area with some warming huts. No avalanche control takes place so users of the area are responsible for mitigating avalanche risk on their own. Where the potential truly lies is in backcountry ski areas with full avalanche control and ski patrol.
Outside Magazine has a great article on the potential for ski areas without chairlifts. Is it the future of skiing and boarding? Would you support a ski area that is self propelled? Would you buy a season’s pass?