15 May 2017 — The US Forest Service has accepted plans from Lutsen Mountains to expand the ski resort onto USFS land. Officials will schedule meetings to determine factors for environmental review, with additional public input and hearings to follow, so this is by no means a done deal. Lutsen is looking to increase the on-mountain product from about 180 skiable acres to 320. “The sproposed expansion and application for a special use permit is consistent with the Forest Service mission for this land and is similar to permits issued to other ski areas across the nation,” according to a statement from Lutsen…last week the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board released a 151-page report on its findings regarding the Granby Ranch chairlift fatality this season, when a San Antonio, Texas mom named Kelly Huber and her children were ejected from a detachable quad chair at the resort. Mrs. Huber was killed by the fall. If you’d like to all the specific causes that created the unusual motion in the lift, you can click here to read the entire report. It was a number of odd mechanical and control issues that somehow conspired to create the catastrophe — no fault of the passengers. So what’s our take-away from this? Well, here’s mine. By coincidence a ski patroller was on the chair behind. According to his eye witness account, he wanted it noted that the mother held and protected one of her children during the fall. Having honored moms everywhere yesterday as “Mother’s Day,” this story of one ski mom is both heartbreaking and incredibly inspirational. And so we honor Kelly Huber, that we may be so selfless and brave.
Photo by Matt Inden/Miles, courtesy Colorado Tourism.