Up until this point, Crested Butte allowed snowskates but only if they had a foot strap for the lift. The foot strap could have been anything that kept the skate to your feet while you were on the lift. Most of the straps snowskaters were using were rigged something like this picture to the right. Although it is completely rad how this was rigged this up, and that skaters were allowed on lifts with this strap, I just think that this strap represented our sport all wrong. Snowskating’s number one attraction is FREE FEET. Not to mention the foot strap looks unsafe and one incident would have shut the whole thing down for us at that resort, probably forever. In a Facebook poll, more than 60% of snow enthusiasts believe that the requirement of a footstrap is actually dangerous.
Anyway, Paul was able to talk some sense into these guys. He got some decision-makers on the phone, and it turned out that there was some variance in the interpretation of the mountain operations code. Snowskates without straps were considered “foot traffic” and for that reason were not allowed on the lifts. Paul was able to convince them that because snowskaters ride up to and off the lift, we should not be considered “foot traffic” regardless of the existence of a foot strap. Because we ride up to and off the lift, we are now unanimously considered “skiers” by the definition in the mountain operations code and are allowed to ride the lift without a foot strap. Mountain management at Crested Butte still requires a foot strap for beginner skaters who are unable to ride up to and off the lift.
This kind of foot strap rule is not entirely uncommon for ski resorts, although, in the Lake Tahoe area, no resorts make a foot strap mandatory. Hopefully, if a resort in your area requires a foot strap, you will be able to use this tactic or some of this information to educate them so that they will lift this rule.
Thank you, Paul, for being such an advocate for snowskater rights. Fuse Snowskates actually makes my favorite sweatshirt and the most skateboard inspired, 4×4 snowskates. Check them out at www.FuseSnow.com.
- Paul has the cutest dog ever.
- Please do not mistake a “foot strap” for a leash. Leashes should be worn at ALL times when riding at resorts
- Also, please comment the names of other resorts that have a similar foot strap rule!
- This just underscores the importance of riding up to and off the lifts, look forward to a future blog illustrating exactly how to do it!