PARK CITY, Utah. — Through a collaborative decision making process with the U.S. Forest Service, the Utah Avalanche Center, local community feedback and other resort partners Park City Mountain has made the decision to permanently close the backcountry exit gate at the top of Ninety-Nine 90.
Last winter, the backcountry gates at Park City Mountain were closed due to multiple fatal avalanche incidents from skiers and riders who exited the resort boundary.
The terrain once accessible through the Ninety-Nine 90 gate will however still be available to skiers and riders through the Peak 5 backcountry gate. This gate is slated to re-open for the 21/22 season.
The resorts position on the gate access change is that while both exits access the same area, the Peak 5 exit requires more hike-to effort, preparation, and intention to reach the terrain. The Ninety-Nine 90 exit provided lift-served backcountry terrain that was accessible with minimal effort. The resort felt that even with extensive signage, this could attract unprepared backcountry skiers and riders.
Mike Goar, COO of Park City Mountain Resort shared that “We did not make this decision lightly. Again, we appreciate all of those who have shared their thoughts on this issue. I’ve personally spoken with a number of individuals across our community regarding this and understand that accessing the backcountry is important to many. That said, I can no longer reconcile the number of tragedies and the impact to the community and our employees with the desire to provide convenient, lift-served backcountry access from the Ninety-Nine 90 exit.”