BEAR CREEK FREED!
Well, somebody burned the right pair of skis this year. Or maybe someone laid the perfect turn, in the perfect pillow, on the perfect line all in the name Ullr, with hopes he might straighten some stuff out on the Telluride scene. Well, guess what?!
In March, 2014 — after five years, many meetings, much wrangling, ongoing litigation and continued pressure from the Telluride Mountain Club and other user groups — the U.S. Forest Service reopened the Telluride Ski Area’s Gold Hill Backcountry Access Gates allowing The People access the Their Turns.
And now there’s been a favorable judgement in Tom Chapman’s lawsuit against Telluride Ski & Golf / San Miguel County.
May 21, 2014 — In Gold Hill Development Company v. TSG SKI and Golf, LLC, the San Miguel County District Court denied Tom Chapman’s attempt to access his mining claims via See Forever and recognized the public’s right to cross the Gertrude and Modena mining claims in Upper Bear Creek along the Wasatch Trail.
Based on the court’s order, Chapman now has no right to prohibit access to our public lands along the Wasatch Trail.
What the ruling means for us
We are free to hike over Chapman’s mining claims on the Wasatch Trail in Upper Bear Creek without threat of trespass or harassment. The ruling only grants an easement to the actual Wasatch Trail, so skiing Bear Creek is still subject to objection from landowners (any of them).
Go hike. Go ski. There are no fences, no trespassing signs, only open terrain full of snow and sunshine.
Act respectfully, watch other parties, be safe, and RIP IT.
Telluride Mountain Club