Fifty or so people packed Alaska's Girdwood Library last week for the first public presentation of plans for a new ski area on Alaska's Manitoba Mountain, located on the Seward Highway about 90 minutes from Anchorage.
Spearheaded by the Mountain Rider's Alliance, a group whose mission it is to develop environmentally-friendly, rider-owned ski areas throughout the world, the plan is to build a community-owned and operated ski area that offers 2,596-vertical-feet served by three energy-efficient surface lifts.
Still, issues remain. While Manitoba Mountain used to host skiing -- a rope tow and lodge operated on the site from 1941 to 1960 -- any new ski area on the site will have to undergo formal permitting and environmental impact processes with the relevant government authorities. And some local residents are opposed to developed skiing on Manitoba. Finally, one of MRA's missions is to have ski resorts generate their own power. Proposals for Manitoba range from wind to micro-hydro, but the funding needed to develop these opportunities is substantial.
-ESPN Action Sports