Jumbo Wild has been in the back of my mind for a few years. Now that the issue of building a ski resort has gone viral I thought I might mention this as my blog post. This video was sponsored by Patagonia and I am sure most of you have seen this already because this battle has been going on for over twenty years.
I was a ski racer for eight years and one of my most memorable camps was on a mountain top near Jumbo Valley. This was one of the only places available for skiing at the time and my coaches picked this area to do a training camp. The only way we were able to access this training area was by helicopter. We passed over part of the area of Jumbo Valley and I could not believe the beauty of these mountains and wildlife. I tried to take pictures of the scenery but of course it never did the area any justice. I saw some of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen in my life during the week and a half I was there training and honestly wished I could live in such a place. This was one amazing experience full of beautiful memories. I didn’t think about this at the time but now looking back on my experience I realized my team and I were unintentionally supporting this issue of building a resort in this area by training on the mountain nearby.
There is no need for any new ski resorts in the Jumbo Valley area. Every few years most ski resorts are adding onto what they already have. I think about this every time I go skiing in a ski resort and I feel guilty because they are very unsustainable and poor for our environment. They release carbon emissions from all of the running chairlifts, the food they provide does not come from sustainable sources and only from big companies to feed a large amount of people, and there had to be unnecessary logging for open ski runs to be available. These resorts are horrible for the environment and destroy habitat for wildlife as well as kill animals, such as bears, if they come too close to humans. Jumbo Valley is also home to the Ktunaxa Nation who have lived there for almost ten thousand years. How could we take a sacred place away from the people and animals living there? This is completely unfair for all of the affected wildlife. Putting this into perspective, there has to be many changes for the already existing resorts to be sustainable and it will take many years to fix their unsustainable ways. However, ski resorts are not going anywhere anytime soon, nor do people, including myself, want them to go away. If these are so unsustainable and unhealthy for the environment, and we have a plethora of resorts already, why do we need to add more? Jumbo Valley is full of wildlife and untouched forest and it would be such a disaster and a shame to have this area ruined. Especially for an unnecessary resort to be built that would give people pleasure and luxury they can find in the thirty five other ski resorts alone in British Columbia.
I believe we need to protect Jumbo Valley and other untouched areas to help our environment stay away from more pollution and destruction of wildlife. I thank Patagonia for supporting Jumbo Wild because it has created so much more needed awareness to help this issue.
Written by Elizabeth Kepl, ESLLC 2015-2016
Source: Teton Gravity