Roland Fleck…Hero, Rebel or ????

I couldn’t help but shake my head in amazement and roll my eyes in bewilderment as I read yesterday’s article in the Jackson Hole News and Guide, relating to the incident with Roland Flack on Saturday at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. I was even more blown away when I saw the words handcuffs, arrested and extricated…all for merely skinning up the resort.

For those that haven’t read or heard about the recent debacle, here is a brief summary:

Valley resident and backcountry skiing guru Roland Fleck, 78 years old, was skinning up JHMR on Saturday to get in some exercise and watch his granddaughter ski race on the Nastar course near the Casper Chair. During his climb, he was confronted by ski patrol, informed of the JHMR policy of “no uphill traffic” and asked to leave. When he refused, in a sign of peace from JHMR he was offered a free ski lift pass in order to be able to watch his granddaughter ski. He refused this offer as well and continued uphill, skinning over ski patrollers skis in the process. Later, Teton County Sheriff’s deputies were transported to the race course to further inform Fleck of the resort’s policy and after more of what has been described as “belligerent behavior”, Roland was then handcuffed, placed in a toboggan, removed from the resort and placed in jail for some time. (Read the entire article in the JHNG here, as well as “my take” below.) When asked about the altercation, JHMR officials had the following response.

“Uphill travel during hours of operation is a safety hazard which is outlined in our operational policy, approved by the United States Forest Service. This incident occurred on a busy Saturday morning. In addition to asking Dr. Fleck to stop, JHMR also offered Dr. Fleck a complimentary pass to be able to access the portion of the mountain he was aiming for. He declined the offer and did not comply with the numerous requests to stop climbing. Our actions were in the best interests of our all our guests.”

As a backcountry skier, I can see the absurdity of the whole situation. For one, it’s pretty crazy in general that someone can end up in jail for just skinning. Skiing isn’t a crime and JHMR is on United States National Forest Service land. However, the land is leased by the JHMR, which kind of makes it there’s (temporarily) and a “no uphill travel” rule is outlined in JHMR’s operational policy, which is approved by the USFS and is common knowledge of local skiers, nevermind a past investor of the resort and pioneer of skiing in the Teton’s.

It doesn’t surprise (or bother) me that JHMR doesn’t want people skinning up the resort (before, during or after hours), from both a safety and revenue standpoint. I think an uphill skier presents a danger to downhill skiers and other paying customers. Uphill skiers use the resort’s parking facilities, its groomed terrain and may need assistance from resort personal in an emergency. JHMR has the right to protect their investment from those that might skin up past the lower, ticket checking lifts and then ride the upper mountain where tickets aren’t checked…all without paying. Although some resorts throughout the west do allow uphill skinning, I don’t think that this should just be the accepted policy at all ski areas, since they are all different.

Though I’m not buds with Roland, I know him as the old Austrian guy who uses old-school equipment and loves to talk about the old days. Like many, I admire Roland for his achievements and ability to still be backcountry skiing at the age of 78. I can only pray that I am doing what he does at that age. I am also familiar with Roland’s colorful personality and I don’t think I’d be lying if I said that his strong Austrian heritage shows in his demeanor. I can only imagine the commentary between Roland and the patrollers that were involved. I heard there is a video, but it’s unlikely we will ever see any of it.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this matter, but my guess is this is the last we will hear of it and the resort will decide to not press charges and Roland’s lawyer’s will advise him to focus his energy on other things…like continuing to ski when he is 80. It’s easy to get mad at the goliath JHMR and biggest employer in the valley, but I think they were just doing what they had to in this situation. I don’t think patrol would have made a big deal about it if it was before operating hours, but to be skinning up the trail in the middle of a busy, 5,500 skier weekend day?


91 Responses to “Roland Fleck…Hero, Rebel or ????”

  1. 1 Lee Feb 9th, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Its one of those deals where if they would have just let it go no one would have known the difference. But now its going to get all kinds of publicity. Ski resorts should do some kind of training in public relations to help employees relize when to back off simply to stay out of the papers.

  2. 2 randosteve Feb 9th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Yeah lee…but people also should know when to listen to authority in order to stay out of jail.

  3. 3 Lee Feb 9th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Good point.

  4. 4 Patricio Feb 9th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    The danger to skiers (uphill and downhill) is from a collision, right? Maybe in this particular instance it would have been better for the skier and JHMR to ask that he wear a blaze orange reflective vest to maximize his visibility and minimize the risk. I can see that they wouldn’t want to create a precedent, but I don’t think that they want to be arresting 78 year old ski legends either.

  5. 5 randosteve Feb 9th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Maybe…but what happens when joe helmet headed ripper comes flying down south pass and takes out roland, injuring both of them. My guess is said ripper would then sue jhmr for not enforcing thier no uphill skiing policy.

  6. 6 HITEST Feb 9th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I dont know this guy but I must say his story is motivational and he sounds interesting BUT it sounds as if he has an entitilment syndrome. What a retard to pass on a free ride up when he was technically in the wrong in the first place. Sounds as if patrol was bending over backwards for this guy. 80 years old or not; he sounds like a hotheaded ass.

  7. 7 Patricio Feb 9th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Yeah…they probably need an uphill policy with a designated route. Maybe a separate policy for special events like the ski race he wanted to go see. In my limited time in Jackson, it never seemed like an issue because there are so many other places to ski with fewer people and better skiing. When people just want a fitness lap, there’s always the King.
    Hauling him off to county can’t be good PR. Besides, aren’t there real crimes to deal with in Teton County?
    At some point, JHMR’s agreement with the USFS will need to be re-worked. That would be the time to comment on the need for an uphill policy. They are public lands, but under private management with some agreement.

  8. 8 Forrest McCarthy Feb 9th, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    If JHMR is so concerned with safety why do they plow the roads after the area closes in April creating dangerous road cuts for skiers accessing Rendezvous Mountain under their own power?

    This conflict was driven by a power trip not a safety issue. Had JHMR just let Fleck ski up this entire event would of never occurred, but somebody (other then Fleck) had something to prove. Flashback: Doug Coombs. JHMR got a big black eye on that one too.

    Maybe JHMR will realize that uphill traffic is not a threat but something to embrace, even encourage. Ski-mountaineering is one of the fastest growing snowsports, while resort style downhill skiing has flat-lined. For years JHMR opposed an open gate policy, but now JHMR realizes opening the gates was a boon for business. Maybe Fleck, like those that legally challenged the closed gate policy, will enlighten JHMR.

    Thank you Roland Fleck for having the courage to challenge a policy that is wrong in so many ways.

  9. 9 Steve Stenger Feb 10th, 2011 at 5:31 am

    I think the only danger that exists is from skiers skiing at out of control speeds, not skiers plodding uphill in plain sight.
    Honestly though, I can think of few things I would rather not do than skin up Casper in the middle of the day.

  10. 10 Wookie1974 Feb 10th, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Interesting that this is happening at JHMR at a time when this argument is in hot debate all over Austria and Germany.
    The laws over here specifically state that the Alps must remain accesable to all people, and depending on how you interpret this vague statement, it can mean that 1) you hae to be able to go SOMEWHERE in the Alps, or 2) any mountian, regardless of what’s on it or who owns it, MUST be open to all traffic that is not otherwise forbidden (ex: Snowmobiles, which are not legal here in general, as far as I know.)
    While I side with Randosteve in favor of the ski resorts in general, (they are providing a service and deserve to be paid for same,) I think it does raise some bigger, tougher questions about access that are being fought over all over the place.
    In the case of a single, or even a few resorts, in a big range, the land-use issues leave lots of room for everyone, but what would happen if ALL the mountians and ALL the touring spots were in the hands of resorts….where would guys like Roland go?
    The question might be kinda theoretical in the US, but there are at least places in Europe where this is already a reality….none of the land is not in the hands of a skiing operation….and more and more, these are trying to enforce their vision of how that land should be used.
    The time to start talking about access rights and cooperation is before it becomes a problem…..maybe Roland was trying to start a discussion?

  11. 11 randosteve Feb 10th, 2011 at 5:37 am

    forrest…they plow the roads so the snow melts, so they can drive quads and trucks up them to maintain the resort. they don’t need snow on them because the resort is closed and there aren’t skiers up there. yeah, the worker’s up there may turn a blind eye to skinners in the early and late season (again, when the resort is closed) and i thank them for that.

  12. 12 Simon K. Feb 10th, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Why is it more dangerous to skin uphill as opposed to down? In European ski resorts I ofter see people doing this on mountaineering skis and no one cares. Seems it’s just a revenue issue disguised as a safety issue (as usual) – giving safety a bad name.

  13. 13 randosteve Feb 10th, 2011 at 5:40 am

    wookie…thanks for the insight. i see your point regarding the regarding when there is limited places to access skiing and the mountains. thankfully, here in jackson hole we don’t have that problem.

  14. 14 randosteve Feb 10th, 2011 at 5:46 am

    i’m not sure it’s only the out-of-control skiers that may have a safety concern when it comes to uphill traffic. crowded traverses, narrow cat-tracks and blind corners are no place for someone to be skiing uphill. when i’m skiing at a resort, i want to ski at speed so i can avoid other downhill skiers…not some dude coming at me head on as i try to stick the jib on the side of the trail.

  15. 15 Jernej Feb 10th, 2011 at 6:19 am

    While I’m generally amazed at why anyone would want to go uphill during peak weekend hours at a resort I also don’t see a problem with it. Skinners are pretty much standard piste side attraction all over Europe and they manage to peacefully coexist… in some places they’re even charged money for the (weird) privilege. Case in point is Gerlitzen in Austria where I seem to remember they need to pay 5€ for the uphill skinning ticket. Surely someone finds it as strange as I do that anyone would pay to do something they can do for free 5min away?!

    But at least there they stay at the side of the piste unlike this weekend where I passed some suicidal freaks skinning up, practically up the middle of the run both in Zell am See-Kaprun and Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Leongang).

  16. 16 brian Feb 10th, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I’m pretty surprised to hear Randosteve echo the mostly absurd “safety” concerns of the resort. Obviously, opinions vary across the board. We went through this whole song and dance when Whitefish was doing their “thing” on the issue. They worked out a tidy compromise. The safety issue is no more present with uphillers than downhillers. People and lawyers will come up with all kinds of theoreticals but most remain in the fantasy world of “could happen”. But they don’t and dozens of resorts simply come up with a route and allow this small group of users to do their thing.

    For most of us in J-Hole, the Vil is simply too far to drive for a workout when the King is right here in town so I don’t think it will ever be a big issue and the Skin In will never happen.

  17. 17 Woodbury Feb 10th, 2011 at 7:19 am

    To me he’s a Hero! I love the crusty old guy skinning over their skis attitude. I can hear the mountain radio airwaves now, “We’ve got a kooky old rogue with a few loose screws going uphill. We’re gonna need some backup here”! They should supply billie clubs to the patrol for hobbling uphill skiers. Super entertaining waiting for that corporation’s knee-jerk reaction. What are they going to make The Zohan say now?

    Wes Bunch was right, “They ruined a perfectly good ski hill when they put the lifts there”. Being one of the original investors, I wonder if Roland would now agree?

  18. 18 Gringo Feb 10th, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Access I can support, however it seems both sides have reason to be embarassed after pushing such an issue to the point of lawyers, handcuffs and bad press.

    One thing that ski corp. has continually failed to grasp is that their lack of flexibility and shortsightedness only deepens the divide between them and their local, loyal customers.

  19. 19 J freeze Feb 10th, 2011 at 8:28 am

    maybe its time for jhmr to start checking tickets upper mountain. then they could have a designated route for “ski mounaineers” to access our park and forest. they could even charge a small fee for climbers. also, it would be nice if there was a single tram ticket so we could access upper granite touring terrain without paying 90 dollars for a day pass. lets face it, jhmr is only superficially interested in safety and only because of liability, and concerned primarily with revenue. if people signed a release that included being aware of uphill traffic this would cease to be an issue.

  20. 20 Bartolo Feb 10th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Definitely not a safety issue, but a revenue issue. The resort is trying to protect itself from people gaining access to higher lifts and riding for free. That leads to more confrontations of skiers with no lift ticket at mid-mountain, possibly having to scan everyone for tickets at every lift, and a whole bunch of other headaches. As for safety: if you can avoid hitting people who are stopped on the cat-track, you can avoid an uphill skier. I don’t blame the resort for trying to keep people from skinning, but they need to change their message to reflect the reality of the situation.

  21. 21 Derek Feb 10th, 2011 at 8:38 am

    DO they close the resort for the Ski mountaineering Championships? Nope. So it’s ok one day but not another? While I see the absurdity in this I also think he is a dumbass for not taking the free ticket. Once he did that I say JHMR should have had him arrest, at that point it was about being an A-hole to be an A-hole.

  22. 22 Ken Feb 10th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    As a PR point I think the resort made a huge mistake, this just doesn’t read well, no matter how crusty (read asshole like) the old guy was. I think the age issue does matter, old guys should be given a break, they’ve earned it; although I’m the guy who thinks it’s cool when oldsters operate cars long after their ability to do so has peaked. I’m sure my sliding scale of judgment would fall on deaf ears in legal circles, but maybe not with a jury. Face it if this story was about an 18 year old skier everyone’s take would be different.
    With regard to the broader issue of JHMR’s vs. individual rights, I guess the resort has the “right” to make up any rules they want. However the safety issue is a little shallow. There are many static hazards on a ski hill ( and I think relative to a skier in full flight a skinning skier presents the same amount of danger as a snow gun, tree, seated snowboarder or resting two planker), yet these obstacles are not outlawed or forbidden. I think the revenue issue holds more water but is easily solved by requiring some kind of pass when accessing the mountain. I skin up my home mountain (Sun Valley) quite often, and there has been some complaining from crabby locals about this practice. However visitors seem delighted to see such “bizarre” activity and often stop to inquire what it is I’m doing are ask for help of some sort. I try and keep out of the way and if I am in someones line I stop and become a human slalom gate.
    If we killed all the lawyers it would be so much easier for us all to get along.

  23. 23 Marnis Feb 10th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Interesting to note that other resorts are starting to adopt an official uphill route to give uphill traffic a safe path, and mitigate conflict. One example is Whitefish Mountain (Big Mountain), who has this new program in place and it is working very well so far. There is a clearly marked uphill route along the side of a main groomer, therefore downhill traffic is also aware of the uphill traffic potential. It looks like the program took lots of planning…check it out yourself at

  24. 24 troy Feb 10th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Someone skin’n uphill is not much different than a lift-assisted skier stopped and standing in-place. It seems to me that it would actually be safer to be skin’n uphill than stopped and facing downhill; because the uphill-skinner could actually see “some dude coming at him at speed”, possibly maneuver to avoid him and thus allow him to “stick his jib.” But that stopped lift-assisted skier (facing side-hill or down-hill) would become the jib.

  25. 25 gmon Feb 10th, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I love to read the comments about how this is a safety and liability issue, and that lawyers are responsible, etc.

    This has nothing to do with lawyers or liability. If you had any inclination of Wyoming’s Recreational Liability Act, you would know that the Village has no liability, period, with respect to another skier on the mountain. Ask yourself, how many times do you think the village has been sued, and actually lost? Answer: None. Next question, has the village been sued, say, for example, a skier running into a resort snowmobile, and won, answer: yes.

    Comments such as Ken’s “we should kill all the lawyers” become so tiresome, when generally it is guys like Ken who find themselves someday needing a lawyer, and relying upon them for perhaps one of the most important things of their lives.

    Steve’s comment that he “should know when to listen to authority” is also troubling. Fleck did not buy a ski ticket, so noone had any “authority” over him. He was on forest service land, and whether the law can be interpreted to suggest that he has no right to be there is undecided. It is doubtful that the village’s “safety policy” and lease permits them to enforce that requirement against an individual like Fleck, who has not agreed [through the purchase of a ticket] to the policys and disclosures of the village. I would be interested in what Fleck would be prosecuted for? Trespass? Pretty good defense to that one.

    Wonder if Steve’s implied acceptance of the village safety policy would have been the same two years ago?

    For anyone that new Ray, we can hear him now from above, referencing “the Lame Village.”

  26. 26 Omr Feb 10th, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Makes me laugh how skinning up groomers gets a huge response while RandoSteve skiing the SW Coulior of Moran is largely ignored. What’s next, quads vs six-packs?

  27. 27 westbank Feb 10th, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I think a point that is been overlooked is his intentions were not to get free turns, but to watch his granddaughter race down Casper. I can understand why he didn’t want to pay the $90 just to be a spectator. Would JHMR have given him a ride up the mountain on a snowmobile if he was handicapped in order to watch the race? I know he wouldn’t have taken the ride if offered, but there has to be a way for spectators to get up onto the mountain, since most of the race runs are not near the bottom.

    I know the bigger issue is skinning uphill, but it raises other questions as well.

    To bad Crystal is no longer there!

  28. 28 Wyatt E. Feb 10th, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Skinning uphill is not unsafe and that is simply a red herring used by the resorts to stop people from using resort amenities (parking lots, groomed trails, etc.) without paying for them. To be sure, if you compare the risk of skiing downhill and skinning uphill, skiing downhill is much more dangerous and unsafe. Not only can you be hit by an out of control snowboarder at any time, you can take your own highspeed fall. If this was really about safety, ski resorts would ban downhill skiing and only allow people to crawl uphill on skins; its way safer.

    The resorts have much more legitimate opposition to uphill travel when they point out the ‘theft of services’ component. Its not clear cut and certainly arguments can be made that it is public land, but if someone is taking advantage of the resort’s plowed parking lot, grooming, etc. then they should be willing to pay a nominal fee. Resorts would be well served by offering some sort of use pass that allows people to use the resort without chairlifts.

    The safety argument is pretty laughable.

  29. 29 murph Feb 10th, 2011 at 10:26 am

    ya and the mighty zohan has no comment.oh wait “an unplanned,uphill access compromises that safety” what..

  30. 30 John Newman Feb 10th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I’ve read a bunch of references to some sort of Doug Coombs/JHMR debacle a while back, but am not a Jackson local – what happened?

  31. 31 Skian Feb 10th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Free Fleck Fund!
    Steve, Fleck took one for all of us. IMO I cant believe Jackson is still OTB on uphill travel. Resorts all over the world are embracing uphill traffic.I also cant believe a resort that hosted the North American Ski mountaineering championships is so off the back on this sport. Maybe the organizers should look at Crested Butte Mountain Resort who are leaders in uphill and downhill. Run us in the woods or up the area boundary.

    I want to start a Free Fleck fund. He took one for the team (our team). I don’t want Fleck to absorb this cost, he has done enough. He is an inspiration! If you start the fund i will contribute the first Andrew Jackson to it. Say the word and give me an address to help pay this bill. Together as a community we can make change. It is too bad it came to this but it is what it is. Free Fleck! Free our mountains! After all don’t we as a government lease the land to JHMR?? All comments welcome.


  32. 32 gmon Feb 10th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I suspect Mr. Fleck is not going to need a “fund”


    1. No way in hell is it going to be prosecuted, odds in vegas on that one are currently 1,000 to one. [Like the County Commissioners are going to pay to hire a special prosecutor to make a public spectacle of a non-issue.]

    2. Fleck’s son is an attorney and would represent him. I suspect he will not charge.

    The only people that should be nervous are JHMR and teton county sheriff’s office, for the potential of a civil rights action for handcuffing and forcibly removing a 78 year old man that posed absolutely no threat to anyone. Spence’s firm has sued for much lesser things.

  33. 33 Ryan Feb 10th, 2011 at 11:33 am

    It’s unfortunate that this guy put the patrol in this spot. It seems they absolutely did the right thing from a customer service standpoint and offered him a free pass. My guess is the conversation on what to do next didn’t go too far up the chain of command there. I don’t think we can have visions of corporate fatcats sitting in an evil lair perched high above the resort scheming on how they can best trample the civil liberties of the innocent bystander who happened to be skinning up through their money maker.

    If this is the guys attempt at starting a social discourse on the current regulations I don’t think this is the right way to go about it.

    I don’t think you can fault JHMR for being where they are and using the current FS rules to run a business. You can think this guys the greatest and that it’s cool to “stick it to the man” but all he’s done is make some patrollers who are probably nice people feel like dicks, endanger future open dialogue regarding access and probably embarrass his granddaughter.

    Why so many in the BC community think that ski resorts are evil and should be punished is beyond me. Maybe once our country figures out ways to have a decent education system, a health care system that doesn’t suck and ways to improve the lives of the homeless, not to mention not getting involved in so many international conflicts then I’ll start to give a shit about white people’s problems. I say this as a white guy who spends hours and hours debating the merits of this particular ski or that one to add to my quiver. Ultimately I guess I don’t mind it as long as it’s positive and productive and this is not or hasn’t been yet.

    I realize it makes great blog banter and I’m the first one to get on board and start fighting it out but the reality is at the end of the day or maybe a few days later this thread will drift down and off the front page. We’ll all go on with our lives until a new topic pops up and then we’ll spend energy and time fighting on there. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if instead this was the last post on this thread and we all went out and did something good for someone else? Maybe that means building a case for future discussions regarding uphill traffic on leased FS property. Maybe that means shoveling the walk for the old lady next door. Maybe it means donating some timne to a charity. Unfortunately it probably means you’re having flashbacks to Jerry Maguire and thinking, “This Ryan guy is a douche’ bag. I have a great one-liner for him.” Sigh…

  34. 34 Jason Feb 10th, 2011 at 11:34 am

    This is very much an issue that needs to be cleared up and the Forest Service needs to articulate an overall policy. I believe a clear part of permits for ski areas that lease forest service land is that public access cannot be limited, only access to the lifts. This is what ski areas that openly permit uphill access acknowledge, i.e. Breckenridge. For instance, JHMR cannot stop you from hiking on the hill in the summer time.

    Having said that, I do not know anyone really knows. This is probably not even outlined in ski area permits, because no one probably even considered it when they were written. I have heard all sorts of excuses from ski areas that do not allow uphill access. None are really consistent. Locally here, Eldora has said that yes you can be on forest service land and we cannot stop you, but you can’t access it from our parking lot on private property.

    The issues of safety, checking lift tickets on upper lifts all seem silly to me. Uphill skiers are not different then skiers just standing on the hill (actually since they are facing the uphill traffic, probably safer.) Riding lifts without a lift ticket is clearly illegal. One could just ski up Rock Springs, enter a backcountry gate and ride the upper lifts just as easily.

  35. 35 kwrank Feb 10th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    to think all of this could have been avoided if there had been a sign saying “no skinning’ at the bottom of the hill. you know, black with white letters, maybe a skull and crossbones on it…

  36. 36 KB Feb 10th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    In the early 70s,Rick Horn did battle with the patrol over the backcountry policy of the Corp. Several trollers received ski pole whackings for trying to stop Rick[now Maurice]from ducking the rope. Only two decades later,the gates opened! When Roland gets close to 100,he will be able to skin up with the area’s blessing. Ain’t progress dandy?

  37. 37 Cookie Feb 10th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    How on earth is safety not an issue? Everyone who has posted here has agreed that “it’s no more dangerous than someone stopped in the middle of a run.” Can’t we all agree that being stopped in the middle of a run IS in fact dangerous? How about the two people that just died at Hogadon ski area in a collision because of that very thing? The universal skier’s responsibility code states “do not stop in any area of a run where you cannot be seen from above”. That’s why, at Snow King, we have an uphill policy with designated routes during operating hours. Several times I have almost creamed a skinner or two who aren’t following the designated paths when they are right under a blind roller (I patrol at the King, skin up it on occasion, love it, and enforce the uphill policy because it’s my job and it’s plain to see the logic in it).

    Don’t we have enough places to enjoy skinning and skiing around here where we won’t piss someone off?

    Furthermore, this guy does not deserve any sort of glorification or hero status. He was a belligerent asshole and it’s not the first time he’s acted this way. I don’t care how long he’s lived here or what he feels entitled to; JHMR has a special use permit and they get to make their own rules and enforce them, whether we agree with them or not. He no doubt put the patrol in a very difficult position (at least, what? 75% of JHSPers are backcountry skiers themselves?).

  38. 38 randosteve Feb 10th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    gmon…2 years ago wouldn’t have made any difference and i’m not sure why you bring that up? i didn’t skin the village them…and i sure don’t do it now.

  39. 39 tka Feb 10th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    If avoiding near stationary objects in the middle of a run while skiing downhill is a safety issue, then JHMR should ban ALL snowboarders.

    Even though avoiding skinners is no different than avoiding little kids, tourists from Mississippi, or snowboarders, it is their policy for whatever reason, and should be heeded (as it is by 99% of the locals). Uphill traffic can coexist, but it doesn’t yet at JHMR. This guy is no hero. This incident may get us talking, but it should not be confused as a productive way to establish common ground that may lead to a change. The incident and the way it was handled is an embarrassment to JHMR and the people involved. The fact that this topic has garnered so much attention as compared to Mt. Moran is not proof of anything….it’s just an affirmation of our humanity.

  40. 40 gmon Feb 10th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    The sad thing that should not be lost on any of us, is that if this was just one of us, skinning up, and then arrested for trespassing, it would not make the news. We would be left to fend for ourselves and hire an attorney. Because it is Fleck it is a big deal, and the prosecutor’s office conveniently states it won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. Alot of what this issue identifies is the reality of the Jackson establishment, and the haves and have nots. A real challenge to a very ambiguous issue would require some normal joe to take one for the team, and get arrested for doing the same thing tomorrow. What a hoot it would be for the prosecutor’s office to then prosecute that one, while at the same time letting Fleck off the hook.

    On a side note, isn’t fleck the jerk who owned the property at the base of Jensen canyon, and essentially use to take the position that he owned the entire goddamn canyon and you could not exit onto fish creek road from it? I believe it was him [at least 20 years ago] that would have individual’s cars towed off of fish creek road in the spring, during those 2 weeks that people would leave cars there to shuttle after descending jensen canyon. Real nice gesture, especially when a poor skid would end a great day of skiing, only to find that he had to spend half of his weekly wage to get his car out of impound.

  41. 41 Puder Luder Feb 10th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    78 years old? After reading the article I assumed it was some 17 year old kid who felt entitled and is obviously elitist. Bet he drives a prius… smug

  42. 42 Armando Menocal Feb 10th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    It seems that most have come to realize that the safety excuse is bogus. An uphill skinner is no more a safety risk than any stopped skier or boarder – indeed, a lesser risk, if Fleck was at the edge of a run. I’ve got to believe that’s where Fleck was or where any else would be if skinning up.
    This is solely about power and money. JHMR’s power and need for every possible skier’s money. JHMR ran into someone who didn’t care about either. These points have already been made others, such as Forrest and Troy.
    I am writing b/c so many seems to get off on issues about Fleck’s personality, motives, past activities, even Jackson establishment credentials. These should not matter. I’ve done a lot of civil rights work in my life, and you know what, lots of folks who stand on principle, and will not allow authorities to push them around, are not always the nicest folks on earth, nor our first pick to share a beer with at the Brew Pub.
    How many of you who are demeaning what Fleck did would have challenged seven patrollers and several deputies on a similar matter of principle to you? None is my prediction.
    I don’t know Fleck. Met him professionally long ago, and doubt he remembers me. But I know the kind of person Fleck is. I admire him and respect what he did. He deserves support, public support in some meaningful way.
    Armando menocal

  43. 43 beaver Feb 10th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    If I decide to start skinning up JHMR will I be offered a free lift ticket

  44. 44 tater Feb 10th, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    tater says never forget the addages:you might beat the rap but you won’t beat the ride and never let your mouth overload your ass.
    Sounds like he ignored the patrollers and pissed off the police good enough to make all that paperwork worthwhile
    learning never stops no matter the age

  45. 45 Mike Maurer Feb 10th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I agree with Forrest. This is a Power Trip Issue NOT a safety issue.

    In Fact, it was a dead issue when they arrested him. He had no Plans on skinning higher. He was at his destination, therefore no longer a safety issue. They could have just as easily given him a ticket at the bottom.

    Safety Issue? Seriously? Someone taking their time on a Cat Track a safety issue? Roland was a potential hazard to the Helmut headed ear podded Bromeo who certainly hasn’t just enjoyed a little herb or drink in the bar… Roland was the Problem? Seriously?

    I understand the policy, thats not the issue to me.

    I’m willing to protest in support of Doctor Fleck, I’m willing to be arrested in a protest supporting Doctor Fleck.

  46. 46 Phil Feb 10th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Why do people want to skin up a cat track anyway? I don’t know why people can’t just go do what they want outside JHMR. They might just find some pow too.

  47. 47 Daniel Dunn Feb 10th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I ponder this: Would he be skinning up where he was, if it wasn’t groomed? Kind of like snowshoe’ers only snowshoe on established skin tracks. Hmmm, wonder why? It’s easier. I admire people like Steve, who ski more sick backcountry lines in a month than I’ll do with the rest of my life, while holding down a full time job, and when he wants, racing at the highest level in America, and the world.
    And like Phil just said “Why do people want to skin up a cat track anyway?” Jackson is one of the most ridiculously gorgeous places in this country. Why does Fleck have to be a dick and make hard working patrollers feel shitty about doing their jobs. These guys and gals work their asses off for 10 freaking dollars an hour, they don’t need the stress of shitheads like Fleck.
    I do as much skinning at a resort as anyone. I live in Breckenridge, and we literally wrote the book on “uphill policy” But being a dick for being the sake of being a dick, is just being a dick. It’s not cool.

  48. 48 mtnrunner2 Feb 10th, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I guess I’m not devious enough to think of skipping the bottom lift to steal a ride on an upper lift. Hmm.

    I’ve also thought of skinning at resorts, but I’ve had a season pass.

    It would be nice if resorts would make some sort of accommodation for people who put in the effort on their own, especially since it’s forest land. I guess the trick is how to make it safe and economical for the resort so they can justify it.

    Safety-wise, you would have to find a place the skiers can ascend safely.

    Economically as I see it, it’s two things: 1) the upper lifts don’t have pass checks to prevent stealing a ride and 2) even if they did, a non-paying skier might place an economic demand on the resort, as you suggest by requiring ski patrol or rescue services.

    Let’s assume #1 is solved technologically. #2 is a gap that could be filled by having a non-lift pass, i.e. basically a pass to be on the property and use services. This is the way resorts operate in the summer; I’ve run at resorts and not paid anything, because they only charge for lift access. I could have required rescue had I fallen off a cliff while running. How is that different? Seems it could be worked out.

  49. 49 mtnrunner2 Feb 10th, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    PS – And yeah, I admit it seems like Roland clearly should have known better. Why ask for trouble you know is coming?

  50. 50 mtnrunner2 Feb 10th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Daniel Dunn – What is the policy on skinning at Breck? The person I spoke to at Mary Jane was a little wishy-washy on it.

  51. 51 fbskier Feb 11th, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Amen Ryan. Lets move on.

  52. 52 gt Feb 11th, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I worry about the implications of this no uphill skinning policy on forest service land. I personally would never want to skin uphill in order to ski with resort crowds, on snow scraped runs filled with moguls. But I am concerned with ski resort expansion and their ability to restrict access to other backcountry areas. Here in the wasatch this could become a real problem as Alta, Snowbird and Solitude continue to threaten expansion. Resorts on PUBLIC LAND should be required to allow uphill traffic on designated runs or a run, in order to maintain their lease.

  53. 53 Lee Feb 11th, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I know this is going to piss people off so I apologize in advance for not being a purist or whatever, but I think a no ski lift resort would be cool. Kind of like Silverton CO. just another step farther. I like to skin up but I also like to drop steep lines without much thought of avy danger (I know there can still be dangers in some conditions). I don’t know anything about how it would work financially but if it were somewhere with good terrain and was cheaper to access than major ski resorts it would be fun.

  54. 54 Peter Feb 11th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    If it is all about safety, let’s talk about the people how stop in the middle of trails (especially snowboarders sitting on their ass in the middle of a trail). Similar to the roads we drive, skiers should be cited for stopping in the lanes of traffic and not pulling over to park and one way signs should be posted or yellow stripes down the groomed runs.
    Roland has raised an issue here. Im not sure I agree with the way he did it, but he sure got everyones attention.

  55. 55 KB Feb 11th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    No, Roland was not the guy who closed access to Jensen. The folks who do own that land have always granted crossing privileges to those who asked politely.GORO!

  56. 56 skidmark Feb 11th, 2011 at 2:30 pm


    Even better, resorts should have to designate half of their leased area to open, un-lift asssisted side or back-country.

  57. 57 Adam Olson Feb 12th, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Hmmm….. Looks like do-do….?
    Hmmm….. Smells like do-do…?
    Do we really need to taste it to realize how badly JHMR schat the bed?

    What’s up with all the empathy for the area Rando?


  58. 58 randosteve Feb 12th, 2011 at 8:18 am


    -dude should have known (maybe?) that jhmr doesn’t allow uphill traffic…at least during operational hours.

    -dude ignored ski patrols request to turn around.

    -dude refused ski patrols attempt to help him by offering a lift ticket.

    -dude ignored law enforcement’s request to leave the area. try doing that next time a cop asks you to do something.

    -it’d kinda be like if a skier skis a closed area and then bitches and moans about getting their ticket pulled. pay-to-play man.

    -skiers that buy lift tickets assume some sort of responsibility when skiing at a resort. people that don’t buy tickets do not. this is the big difference when you compare “ski mountaineering races” to people randomly skinning uphill at a resort. granted that the waivers they sign probably don’t mean anything in a court, but they also buy a lift ticket as well.

  59. 59 brian Feb 12th, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Look, for those that really want to do it (and I don’t thing there will be a big line), set a designated route to the side of Apres Vous, random checks at Casper which can be easily prompted by a patroller noticing the odd skinner on A.V., and be done with it. The ski corp. looks good with a PR bonanza following this little nightmare and the scads of posters here and on Wildsnow will be mostly satisfied. As for an uphill pass…really? Buttermilk has a line of uphillers all day and there is no pass and no worries about imagined liability, as far as I can tell. Never heard any horrible stories when I lived there, either.

  60. 60 James Feb 12th, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Wow, crazy stuff here. Love all the opinions on this subject matter. Living and skiing daily in Sun Valley, I gotta tell you guys that the uphill thing is getting kinda crazy here. Last year being a low snow year was just plain nuts. Kinda becoming a yuppie thing. Early morning high speed runs down our lazer groomed runs can get quite interesting when you have to deal with uphillers skinning up the gut, or even the sides of runs. It IS a hazard by the way. Currently, there is no policy set by the Forrest Service or Sun Valley Company that discourages this activity. There are people that hike up everyday. Some don’t even use skis, and the download the lifts for free by the way.I have had some very close calls with uphillers not paying attention, so some of us started to buzz them. That got us in trouble. Things got ugly, articles were written in the local paper, and I, a paying passholder, looked like the asshole for buzzing and spraying these vain hikers. weird. The smart hikers get up the mountain early, before the lifts open to the public, and patrol try and make hikers aware when they start late, but you have to realize that we live in vain times, and some people have an I do what I want attitude, which is very present here. So uphilling is here to stay. I have no problem with hiking at resorts as long as it is managed properly. A designated route is the answer. And we do have plenty of skinners who hike up and ride the lifts without paying. Whatever ! What ya going to do ?

  61. 61 sbsmith Feb 12th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Im don’t side with ‘the man’ very often…but Dr. Fleck surely must have been aware of what he was doing. He tried to pull the BIG MAN card and got cuffed and stuffed. I agree with Randosteve. Dude, old guru or not, got what he deserved!

  62. 62 randosteve Feb 12th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    brian…and why is jhmr obligated to cater to skinners? just because a handful of rando folks comment on some blogs, doesn’t mean squat when there are thousands of alpins skiers willing to kick down $100 to ski jhmr. i think it would take more than the occasional check by patrol on casper to assure that no one is scamming and riding the lifts w/o a ticket…which i think could become a problem. (warning…arrogant jh comment to follow.) and to compare buttermilk’s resource with jhmr’s is crazy…imho. what do you get when you get to the top of buttermilk? maybe 1000′ of rock solid icy bumps?

    i think you might want to see some of the comments on the following thread…to counter those on some you might have seen on other blogs out there.

  63. 63 stuart Feb 12th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Get a grip. An old man moving one mile an hour is a safety issue? It could be a kid who lost a ski, or a guy who is cleaning his goggles, or somebody eating a power bar. He is skinning on the side of a trail in plain sight! This is about egos of ski patrollers who couldn’t chase this 78 year old guy up hill because they didn’t have skins and couldn’t side step fast enough. He didn’t want a pass because he was GOING TO WATCH HIS GRANDDAUGHTER. He was not there to ski, he was hiking up the hill on land that is owned by all of us. JHMR makes plenty of money on our land, where is the give back? If it was so bad, they should have sent him a citation and made him pay a fine which is all they could have done anyway. Why not wait until he comes down after lunch with his granddaughter and give him a ticket? I mean, take him down, throw the cuffs on him and stuff this guy in a sled? Was he some kind of flight risk? Oh, right. The sheriff’s department couldn’t ski. Or, they thought he had their LOST BOX OF METH. This is a complete embarrassment for JHMR and for Teton County Sherriff’s department. I’m just surprised they didn’t tase him and claim he was threatening their lives with his 78 year old Ninja arms. These heads would make a nice Austrian mount on Dr. Fleck’s wall.

  64. 64 Dale Feb 12th, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Comments that disparage the ski corp and their personnel over this issue are laughable at best. It’s simply folly that elitist Jackson dirt bags cannot get over their irrational sense of entitlement to logically view this situation for what it is. Instead of wasting energy being on the wrong side of this issue, why not expend some effort to protect the current privilege of easy access to the pass before one of your ignorant bros screws up bad enough to create a reality of curtailed “backcountry” traffic of any kind.

  65. 65 brian Feb 12th, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I don’t think obligation is what I was looking for, Steve. Frankly, I don’t skin in a resort to access “sick” terrain. Just doesn’t cross my mind. Of course, I’ve only skied at the Village 5 times and 3 of those were in the rando race so what do I know? You worked there as a liftie so you know about all those other idiots. I’m just talking about a courtesy to a handful of folks looking for a workout who don’t want to screw with the involvement of going into the bc. This point is made by me, Lou and others on Wildsnow. It’s really doesn’t seem unreasonable, especially in an isolated section of the ski hill. Just a small user group to cater to.

    If you are implying that with such a policy in place there is suddenly going to be a thousand douche bags headed up AV to poach the sickness, well, you are more optimistic than me. Seems like all those baggy suited, backward skiing, PBR swilling, dope smokers would turn around after 100 yards of wheezing. Too much work. (sorry, couldn’t resist the stereotype). But I’ll take your advice and check out the TGR thread. I’m sure it will be entertaining.

  66. 66 brian Feb 12th, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Okay, Steve, I just read (some) of the TGR thread. Not sure what I was supposed to learn there. What I think I learned is that the posters are more vulgar and, generally, hilarious but I don’t thing the variety of sentiment is any different from your blog or Lou’s. I will definitely be going there more simply for the comic relief! Thanks for the tip.

  67. 67 randosteve Feb 13th, 2011 at 6:52 am

    i just thought most of the comments on the tgr thread were kinda on jhmr’s side….as opposed to other forums that might be more on roland’s side.

    and before jhmr started checking tickets on apres vous, there was the ho-chi-minh trail, which people used to get above the ticket checking lifts to scam. i don’t see why this wouldn’t happen on other lifts if people were allowed to skin up apres vous.

  68. 68 sue2rx Feb 13th, 2011 at 6:58 am

    I like reading this blog because there are so many interesting and diverse opinions about your sport. I especially like the pictures that Randosteve takes and his descriptions(when I can decipher the the lingo) of his and others various descents. I do not ski and I live in CT.

    That all being said I feel I must comment about the discussion concerning Dr. Fleck. Has anyone thought the Dr. Fleck might be in the beginning of age-related dementia? I understand that he’s been a rebel but his combative and argumentative behavior suggests that this might be the problem. I think the ski patrol used the utmost tact when offering him a pass to ride the lift and only when Dr. Fleck aggressively refused did the ski patrol act. I’m sure they were reluctant to do so given Dr. Fleck’s status. I feel that the resort has a right to expect that all visitors to their property obey the rules and just because someone is 78 and has an elevated status doesn’t mean that he can do what he wants when he wants.

  69. 69 randosteve Feb 13th, 2011 at 7:01 am

    i heard there is a video of this incident i wish we could see it.

  70. 70 luke Feb 13th, 2011 at 8:08 am

    i want to see the video of fleck stomping central at low tide.

  71. 71 HeavyD Feb 13th, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Already been mentioned but the safety issue is certainly a Red Herring. Skin up = potential to ski the upper lifts for free. It’s about money, period. Ever been to Snow King? Uphill travel is not a problem. Y’all are drinking the JHMR Kool-Aid.

    And…latest press release from JHMR patrol:

    Son, we live in a world that has hills, and those hills have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Mr. RandoRacer? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Fleck, and you curse the patrol. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Fleck’s extrication, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like sick, bra, extreme. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a tranciever, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

  72. 72 randosteve Feb 13th, 2011 at 1:47 pm


  73. 73 brian Feb 13th, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Took me a couple of lines to recognize it…awesome!

  74. 74 Squirrel Feb 13th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Here’s an excerpt from the JHMR incident report:

    Dr. Fleck: “I may skin on this side, I may skin on that side, and I MAY SKIN IN THE Middle!”

    JHMR Agent: “Hey Roland, you can kiss my ass. Not on this side, not on that side but right in the middle.”

  75. 75 Matt Kinney Feb 13th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Q…Why are JH ski patrollers and cats so much alike?

    A…They both whine when the get skinned.

  76. 76 Olaf Feb 13th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Hopefully Roland gets some help. Interesting debate on the issues involving the resort access. If you are going to ski at a resort, JHMR is a pretty amazing area and one of the best out there…when the conditions are right you get what you pay for!

    How about some more TR’s ???

    Enjoy the site!

  77. 77 Jenell Hilderbrand Feb 14th, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I find the ski resort has a liability issue with hiking and skiing, Sunlight has come up with a “hikers pass”. It’s free, but, carries the liability on it. There are rules to staying off to the side and there are prefered routes (which is helpful if your not familiar with the areas). If people want to burn calories, enjoy the freshair with man made power, they should be encouraged to do so, especially with the rate of overweight people and children these days. I enjoy going uphill as much as going downhill because I have earned my turns. I ski in controll, I hike in control, and i obey the rules.

  78. 78 randosteve Feb 14th, 2011 at 9:21 am

    thanks jenell, but imho…sunlight, butternut, snow king (which all allow uphill traffic) are all the same as far as ski areas go. (read…mom and pop ski areas.) jhmr is a completely different beast.

  79. 79 Andy Feb 14th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    What the hell difference does it make how old he is and where he was going? Rules are rules. If it was 23-year-old skinning up to hit a half-pipe, does that make it totally different? Try telling that to a judge. Should you not be issued a speeding ticket if you were going to your granddaughter’s birthday party?

    It doesn’t matter what JHMR’s reasoning behind the rule is. Maybe the safety/liability issue is B.S. and it really is about money. Who cares? As others have pointed out, JHMR has been given permission to make rules on the land they operate in. Don’t like the rules? Don’t go there. If they are really the evil corporate entity many are making them out to be, they’ll change their tune if it hurts them in the pocketbook. However, if you’re skinning up and drinking beers in the parking lot, what motivation do they have to do a damn thing for you?

  80. 80 spencer Feb 14th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    We are talking about four square miles in a county with hundreds of square miles of unfettered access to back country skiing.

    I do think that South Pass Traverse from Apres Vous to Casper on a Saturday morning is a pretty poor line choice. Many ski club coaches will tell you the number of kids between the ages of 3 and 10, plus your average tourist, creates a-less-than-optimal situation on a narrow cat track with trees on both sides.

    Aside from that, the resort’s special use permit provides it with the right to make the rules- simple as that.

    As an aside, I would be more impressed if Dr Fleck chained himself to a fracking machine in Pinedale or admit that he realized a huge profit from the sale of his parcel where Terra now stands, a product of the success of JHMR.

    Oh yeah, and in a nod to my juvenile side, I would definitely spray the shit out of anybody I saw skinning up a cat track!

  81. 81 ptor Feb 15th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    what if a cat driver from JHMR set up a winch and groomed Glory Bowl?

  82. 82 Walt Feb 15th, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Really, as slow as somebody ascends uphill (2 mph at the very best), they might as well be standing still. And this is what a lot of gapers do in JHMR. They especially like to just stand around below the crest of a hill so as not to be seen by down hill traffic. Yet, you don’t see the ski patrol cracking down on this and you certainly don’t see anyone ticketed for it. That whole mountain is one big hypocrasy. Thank God for backcountry.

  83. 83 wowjustwow Feb 16th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I can’t believe anyone is trying to villify the Sheriff’s Office over this. Fleck was in violation of the rules. The people in control of the area, asked him to stop violating the rules. He refused. They then asked him to leave. He again, refused. Fleck told the patrol to call the sheriff. They did. Deputies arrive and tell Fleck he has to leave. He refuses. They tell him to leave or they will have to arrest him. He refuses. They arrest him.

    What were the deputies supposed to do? If Fleck had a trespasser on his property, or property he leases, and told them to leave and they refused he would call the cops. When the cops arrived they tell them to leave and the trespasser says, “No.” Can you imagine the outcome when the cops say, “Ok, sorry to have bothered you.” and leave?! Seriously, you can debate whether the rule is proper or not. You can debate whether it is dangerous to skin uphill. The bottom line is the resort has the right by their lease to control access to the property. Fleck forced the issue to this outcome and he should be held accountable for that. He could have simply taken the ticket and challenged it in court.

  84. 84 skier Feb 16th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Wow. Thank you for your logical understanding of this issue.It’s a refreshingly non-emotional response

  85. 85 Big Chris Feb 17th, 2011 at 8:12 am

    @wowjustwow – RIGHT ON!

  86. 86 IsHaveIt Feb 20th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Roland Fleck…Hero, Rebel or ????:

    WOW is Correct.
    He’s a ????.
    The JHMR is also a ????.
    The FS is also a ????.

  87. 87 NotSteveWeichmansFriend Feb 20th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Don’t blame anybody except Fleck. Nonetheless, everyone is allowed a bad day including the JHMR, the SO, even the old fart. Truth is that if it was you or me, some punkass kid, the JHMR would file charges or at the very least Steve Weichman would nail the sucker with ‘interfering with a police officer’ and every other charge he could dream up to pad his case to put you in jail to punish ya good like he likes to do. Selective enforcement of the law means Justice isn’t Blind in JH. We’d be picking up litter along side of the highway.

  88. 88 legitprofreshional Feb 20th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    This is a joke and why smart skiers increasingly go to BC, CO, or UT instead of the overhyped and overpriced and slow-to-evolve JHMR. This sort of issue should be dealt with quickly instead of clumsily, maybe the resort just needs to hire a good legal team (and while their at it, quit buying junk transceivers from BCA) to provide quick and effective counsel instead of a good-ole-boy with a law degree who is asleep at the wheel: In 2011/12 JHMR needs to begin to issue uphill passes, charge a couple of bucks/cover their greedy a$$es with a liability waiver, and keep these folks on a strict route or two up the peak….is that tough? If knuckle-dragging snowboarders can sit all over the place on the mountain catching their breath and talking smack, maybe some room can be made for the uphill crowd.

  89. 89 adam olson Feb 20th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Was Fleck arrested for skinning or disorderly conduct? I bet the ticket has nothing to do with skiing or skinning.

    Can anybody quote the Revised Statute in Wyoming that allows the ski area to privatize PUBLIC land. Just having a lease doesn’t allow for discrimination or exclusion of the constituents of the USA. I own that land, NOT JHMR!!!!!! This is indisputable!

    The reason that there is so much misinformation coming from the resorts is because they know the public has a right to the forest. As long as they stiff arm us and act like they know it all who will speak out? In Colorado these rules have been shaped by litigation. The leased ski areas have an obligation to provide shelter and access. The skinning issue is a non-issue in Colorado because the public has a legal RIGHT to the mountain. If JHMR owned every acre of the ski hill, THEN they could do what ever they want. The feeling of entitlement by JHMR is sickening.

    I certainly hope Mr. Fleck holds the feet of JHMR to the fire on this one, because all supporters of the area in this conversation will be eating crow. Mark my words.

    The best thing about Jackson Hole is ……………. Teton Pass!!!!

  90. 90 CF Oxtrot Feb 24th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    The real problem is yuppie newbies to skinning, who put themselves in Fleck’s place (in their own minds) and feel serious fear — or, because they never actually skin even though they follow this blog and TGR and every other site that talks about backcountry skiing, they imagine their gaper selves coming down a hill and getting deer-in-headlights startled by someone who’s actually moving uphill. The gaper can’t ski well enough on his custom molded carbon rando race boots, Onyx binders and latest $2000 ski from DPS, but he can talk big with all the honches at TetonAT and elsewhere on the toobz. So he identifies with JHMR, an idiotic backwater “resort” that caters to gomers who have heard big stories about big lines skied by big swinging… err, ahhh… you know.

    “I identify with JHMR, therefore I am CORE.” (posted from my $2000 cell phone).

    Yuppies compete with every human in their imagination. They have to have the best, be the best, drive the best, ski the best, wear the best, eat the best, drink the best, and defecate and urinate in the finest bathrooms. Their insecurity felt when hearing about Dr Fleck is so palpable that I almost burst my appendix laughing, at the comments here, at WildSnow, at TGR, at EpicSki — comments which say “but there are RULES and HE BROKE THEM.”

    Authoritarianism is an integral part of the yuppie perspective. Why? Yuppies feel they are entitled to be The Best and since you’re not one of them, they are entitled to tell you what to do.

    Nice pose though, with your $10k of gear. All the “core” skiers are impressed, bro-heem. They’re all in their $60k “crossover” vehicles, watching you from the display screen on the dashboard, which is linked real-time to your GoPro on your $500 carbon fiber helmet.

    He who has the most arrogance wins!

  91. 91 Dr. Jim and Sylvia Pickens Nov 25th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Dr. Fleck is a fine person and physician. We are so happy to see him so well and in superb condition. We knew him in Jackson 11 years ago and it is so lovely to see this story and to know he continues to be a hero with flair. Best to a fine man from Jim and Sylvia Pickens

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