Cheers to the Wasatch!

3 minutes


Let’s make a lasting impact together!

A note from our Director, Dani Poirier

Like many of you, the Wasatch is where I learned to backcountry ski. I still find myself enamored by the first hues of pink creeping their way down Sunrise Peak. I’m still giddy when I click my toes into their pins at the trailhead. And I still think not much can rival the fun of a Wasatch powder day! 

Admittedly, I am young, and the changes I’ve witnessed in my 19 years as a Utah resident are but a fraction of those who spent their days in leather boots, heel-less and beacon-less in the Wasatch backcountry. Despite those changes, some for the good, many not so much, the Wasatch mountains still have me transfixed by their beauty and unparalleled access to world-class backcountry lines in the proximity of a bustling city with all its amenities. The Wasatch has so much to offer, from beginner zones where folks can experience the pain and magic of “earning your turns” to technical descents that challenge even seasoned ski mountaineers. There are so many drainages and hidden pockets I have yet to explore, and that keeps me excited about the prospects of recreating here for years to come. 

I’m often amazed at how quickly our backcountry can be tracked out. The secret is out – this is the place! And while it’s easy to gripe about the changes that come with explosive growth, now more than ever, it’s important that we, the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance community, have a seat at the table next to decision makers. Often, I find myself daydreaming in the skintrack, wondering how impactful WBA could be if each one of those tracks were to become a member and join WBA in protecting these places we play. 

We recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary as a nonprofit and made some exciting updates like launching a membership program and transitioning from a volunteer-run organization to hiring a part-time director (me)! We continue to provide services and programs like the Backcountry Shuttle and our Trail Counting Program, as well as outreach and education while also working on access issues pertaining to parking, the gondola, and Cardiff Fork. While we’ve had a history of success in helping protect the Wasatch backcountry from threats like SkiLink and ONE Wasatch, unfortunately, the pressure to chip away at our cherished zones will never cease. 

I remind myself that skinning to the top of a line and watching the alpenglow blanket the mountains is a privilege that we cannot take for granted. The Wasatch backcountry needs protecting and WBA can’t do it alone. While WBA is the recognized voice for the backcountry community, we wouldn’t be here without a community to represent. So as we turn the page on 2023, I welcome you to join us in this next chapter of WBA’s legacy of advocating for the backcountry community. Consider becoming a member or donating today, or reach out to us if you’d like to get more involved in our organization.. 

I hope to see you out there!

Dani Poirier

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