AltaPanoImage of Alta from Wikimedia Commons

Lawyers representing Alta ski area were in court today to face a lawsuit brought by a handful of Utah snowboarders. The boarders are suing Alta, one of the last ski resorts in the country to prohibit snowboarding, for discrimination.

Alta sits mostly on federally owned land in the mountains east of Salt Lake City, but has a permit with the U.S. Forest Service allowing the ski area to restrict downhill devices it deems risky.

Resort attorneys contend snowboarders can be dangerous because their sideways stance leaves them with a blind spot.

“This case is not about equipment, it’s not about skiing and snowboarding,” attorney Jon Schofield argued. “It’s about deciding you don’t like a group of people, you don’t want to associate with that group of people, and you’re excluding them.”

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson didn’t rule on the resort’s request to throw out the lawsuit, and there’s no deadline for him to do so.

Two other U.S. ski resorts ban the use of snowboards: Deer Valley, also in Utah, and Mad River Glen in Vermont.