On the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska the Mountain Riders Alliance is working to rebuild Manitoba Mountain, a minimalist ski area that was last opened in 1960. Despite the lack of heavy infrastructure Manitoba Mountain will access Big AK Terrain via three surface lifts and a backcountry gate system. A backcountry gate at the top of the highest surface lift (3,702′) puts you on a ridge line that accesses approximately 10,000 acres within a 2 hour hike. MRA expects to submit a formal application for a permit in October, 2011.
One thing that always strikes me when skiing overseas is the abundant use of surface lifts. From New Zealand to France the rest of the world has embraced this easy and efficient mode of transport. It’s nice to see it being used right here in the good old USofA.
MRA is already working on plans to meet Alaska House Bill 306, which mandates that 50% of the State’s energy be provided by renewable energy by 2025.
By restoring lift access to a ski area that last operated in 1960, the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project embodies the Mountain Rider’s Alliance philosophy of beinga community-supporting mountain playground that is big on skiing and small on infrastructure. Core values include:
- A collaborative operating partnership with local businesses, assisting in year-round operations
- Increasing local job opportunities
- An operational philosophy that is focused on the riding and not on the amenities
- A comprehensive planning strategy that promotes appropriate development and uses the latest in Best Management Practices
- Embracing renewable resources to minimize environmental impacts
- Providing outdoor education and recreational opportunities for local youth
For more information on Manitoba Mountain head over to their website > www.skimanitobamountain.com
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