We had to break the rules to enjoy this nice little ski outside Salt Lake City. Little Cottonwood Canyon is mostly National Forest land, but in the winter the two campgrounds close and the ski areas take over. There is a parking lot at the White Pine trailhead. We get away with parking there overnight, but as we’re getting ready to ski a woman returning from a ski herself asks if we camped there. We don’t deny it, and she apparently isn’t an enforcer of the rules, but she’s more than willing to tell us what they are. No camping, no uphill traffic at the ski area, and we probably shouldn’t take a run elsewhere due to avalanche danger. I can handle the rules, but what galls me is that she keeps saying it’s “FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.” Outdoor enthusiasts hear this lie a lot. The translation: “YOU ARE NOT PROFITABLE, YOU ARE A LIABILITY, AND YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE (on our public lands).” We don’t let it wreck our New Year’s day, but I’m happy to be returning to New Mexico where my outdoor life threatens less big business.
Also posted at EveryTrail.