Badger Pass Ski Resort Here To Stay

December 22, 2008 2:02:50 PM PST
Yosemite is one of the few national parks that's home to a ski resort.Badger Pass is more than 72 years old and some people are wondering if it can truly withstand the test of time.

The hills at Yosemite's Badger Pass are dotted with skiers and filled with history.

Clay Daulton: "I learned to ski right here, my parents learned to ski here. I learned to ski in 1957 and been skiing off and on here ever since."

The resort was established in 1935 and is widely considered the oldest ski area in California. In its early days, Badger Pass was called the little Switzerland of the west, and even drew stars like Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney to its slopes.

In recent years, some people began questioning whether the aging facilities and the lack of advanced hills might bring an end to the resort's great run.

Emily Jacobs, Interpretive Services Manger: "It's not going to be shut down, absolutely not. The concession here, Delaware North, has a strong passion for preserving the history."

Managers here say the tradition and family atmosphere make this resort irreplaceable. First time skier Kelly Techau and her father agree.

Kelly Techau: "It's been really good."

Jeff Techau: "This is really good for families, this is a great place for little kids to learn and not have to worry about where they rare because you can see them."

That's not all that makes this spot unique.

Because Badger Pass is in a national park, protecting the environment is a top priority here. That's why unlike some ski resorts, this one never makes its own snow.

Fortunately, filling the hills with fresh powder was no problem this winter.

Adrienne Freeman, Yosemite Park Ranger: "Compared to last year, we have a great deal of snow, well over 100% of our average."

Badger Pass staff members hope the inviting conditions will bring more skiers to the slopes this year, but they say the resort's future does not depend solely on statistics.

Emily Jacobs: "Of course, we'd always love to have more people come up but it's not a question of we're gonna close the hill because there's not enough skiers there that day."

"We're proud to be a little historic ski hill that people can come and experience."


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