Every year there’s some new report about how the U.S. Forest Service is again on the prowl looking to tear down man made facilities also known as smoke shacks on ski resorts. It’s a never ending battle that for some reason they think they need to fight. Smoke shacks and log jibs are a huge part of ski resort history.
A recent story on Denver 7 shows that once again they’re at it and going to hit it “hard” with tearing down and apprehending the creators of these shacks. Here’s the thing though the National Forest Service in Colorado should probably be more worried about the fact that our forests are covered in beetle kill and could go up at any time in a blaze of glory verse a shack where some people are blazed up in all their glory.
The thing that mystifies me is that these creations are on public land. Now as far as I can tell we’re all part of the public and the public has the rights to use these lands so what problem is there if people are partaking in a shack or a log jib? At one point our ancestors lived in shacks in these same woods did they not?
Gunnison District Ranger John Murphy said. “We want folks to enjoy their public lands; however, we also want to let those who do not comply, know that arrests and prosecutions do (and) will occur.”
When I read that quote I couldn’t help but think aren’t people enjoying these lands? But the other side of the coin is what about the two ass hats up in Vermont that decided to basically clear cut a full ski trail on some forest service? Those guys took it to a whole new level to clear out some tree runs for themselves, you can read about it here.
The shacks are one thing but the other thing is log jibs. Lumber jacking was pioneered back in the day at Vail and Beaver Creek and is a testament to the Colorado jib scene. We have more log jibs on our mountains than we do in our parks and it would be a shame to have those torn down. The work people have put in to these creations is uncanny and the fun it allows us throughout the season is amazing.
Here’s a video of some Lumber Jacking at its finest.
It’s inevitable that some stuff will get torn down it just happens. Other stuff will remain because it truly is an attraction for people that come to these mountains. If you look at Beaver Creek they’ve fully embraced their log jibs and actually hired someone to utilize their natural terrain to build their log features.
Just remember if you enjoy one of these shacks or these jibs don’t blow it for the rest of us by blowing out these spots. They’re a part of our snowboarding heritage and we need to make sure they last for generations to come. Sure you could call me hypocritical for posting a video of the ones at Breck but all of these are known spots that as you can tell are within eye sight of most major runs and have been here for years and more than likely will remain. Also use your creativity and build more shacks and more jibs the resorts need them. Just don’t be a tool and clear cut full swathes the size of runs.