Lift-served skiing in the Chugach could help provide economic stability for small towns in the area
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Mountain Rider’s Alliance, a collective of progressive-minded skiers and riders, says its ready to begin the preliminary permitting process for a sustainable, low impact ski center in Alaska, with an emphasis on the community, environment and skiing.
The alliance plans to sell reasonably priced investment shares to both the local and global ski communities to help fund the revival of Manitoba Mountain. Fascinating history of Manitoba Mountain online here.
Mountain Rider’s Alliance project manager Dave Scanlan will outline a proposal for the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project at the Girdwood Library on Thursday, February 24th at 6 p.m. Following the presentation, a question and answer session will be held and community feedback will be encouraged.
Manitoba Mountain is located at Mile 49 on the Seward Highway at the site of the Historic Manitoba Ski Area and the Glacier Ski Lodge that operated from 1941 to 1959. The earliest recorded history of skiing on the Kenai Peninsula was in 1790.
Anchorage is located 90 minutes away and there is a population base of 325,000 within a three-hour drive. At a base elevation of 1,250 feet, this region of the Chugach Mountains receives an estimated 350-550 inches of snow annually.
Manitoba Ski Area is a MRA pilot project designed to be small on infrastructure and big on mountain. The proposed lifts are surface tows designed to give riders access to and from world class high-angle backcountry terrain, while at the same time providing an excellent beginner, intermediate, and advanced inbounds skiing experience.
Additional plans include creating and maintaining Nordic, snow shoe, snow machine, and dogsled trail systems through the historic mining sites of the Summit Lake Recreation Corridor, helping to support the year round operation of Summit Lake Lodge.
“One of the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project’s primary goals is to bring economic stability to the communities of Hope, Sunrise, Moose Pass, and Cooper Landing by creating a centrally located destination to create local jobs and foster additional private sector economic activity by redeveloping the downhill, and Nordic ski opportunities in the Summit Lake Recreation Corridor,” Scanlan said.
Both wind and hydro energy creation opportunities exist in the area. The State of Alaska has set an ambitious goal to supply 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewables by 2025.
“We have entered the preliminary stages of the permitting process and while we expect this to be a lengthy multi-year process, we are fully committed. We will be hosting many public outreach meetings to solicit the public’s comments and ideas to assist us in sculpting the best possible facility with community involvement,” said Scanlan.
Mountain Rider’s Alliance has forged partnerships with many respected organizations that share the same values. Some of these partners include Protect Our Winters, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Sustentator, High Fives and Ski Duck. Visit the MRA online to learn more, and join in the group’s lively Facebook Page.
Filed under: ski industry, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, Summit County Colorado Tagged: | Alaska, Chugach Mountains, Kenai Peninsula, Manitoba Ski Area, Mountain Rider's Alliance, Seward Highway, Summit County News, sustainable skiing