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Friday, February 05, 2010

Helicopters in Ogden Valley?

The Ogden Valley Forum has received several questions from VCRD members and other Ogden Valley residents about the helicopter service operating out of Red Moose Lodge transporting individuals to Powder Mountain for back country skiing. After contacting the Weber County Planning Department about the issue their staff agreed to research this matter.

Iris Hennon, the Code Enforcement Officer for Weber County, responded and advised us that the helicopter service operating out of Red Moose Lodge is doing so without the required county permits.

Ms. Hennon talked with the manager of Red Moose Lodge this afternoon and advised that all parties CEASE the helicopter operations immediately. She referred them to the Weber County Planning Department to apply for the proper permits to operate this service if allowable under the current zoning ordinance.

Ms. Hennon asked that anyone observing a helicopter flight in Ogden Valley to or from the Red Moose Lodge area and wishing to file a complaint, should call her immediately at 801-399-8762.

In addition, Mr. Bill Hughes at the FAA should be contacted if you have any questions regarding FAA rules and the helicopter activity in Ogden Valley. Mr. Hughes can be reached at 801-257-5050.

Your VCRD Staff

22 comments:

The Viking said...

The sneaky people of Powder Mountain have been caught red handed again! Is there no end to their illegal activities? When is the Weber County Commission going to lower the boom on Powder Mountain?

It is clear they have no sense of community or respect for the laws of Weber County.

Chelse Maughan said...

Thanks,

I was concerned that there had been another accident that required several medical helicopters. I will keep my ears open.

Forgiveness, NOT Permission said...

Who owns The Beloved Red Moose Lodge these days?? mmmmm????

Noisy Bird said...

Thank you so much for working on that issue! I was about to start searching for who regulates the flights. It is completely absurd that all of Eden must deal with the noise of a helicopter so that a few people can be flown around to ski.

Powder Mountain certainly has significant ethical, moral, and hopefully legal issues, but just for the record:

Diamond Peaks Heli-Ski Adventures (who is flying the helicopter) has nothing to do with Powder Mountain this year. The two are completely separate companies. Diamond Peaks is not allowed to access Powder Mountain property at all. Neither the helicopter nor the skiers they are flying up to the mountains ever touch property owned by Powder Mountain. This is different from previous years.

That is why they are flying from Eden instead of from the Powder Mountain parking lot like in previous years.

Zipper said...

Noisy Bird may have a point, but after the nefarious actions by Powder Mountain in the past few years, this "arrangement" could be a deliberate abstract move so they could appear free and clear of responsibility. The end destination of the skiers could be an indicator.

Ron Gleason said...

Last I heard Wolf Creek was the owner of Red Moose Lodge. The web site for Wolf Creek shows they own it, see the page here http://www.wolfcreekutah.com/lodging/properties.php

No mention of skiing adventures. Wolf Creek has a strong supporter of the Ogden Valley General Plan and the recreation element within in the past.

The Diamond Peak Helicopter website does not offer any insight to where they are based out of this year.

Lets make some calls before jumping to conclusions. If Diamond Peak is no longer associated with Powder Mtn where would prefer they base out of?

Ron Gleason

Grizelda said...

Ron, the point is, they are operating a helicopter without the proper permits in Ogden Valley and that should be addressed by the County. If the end destination is Powder Mountain (no matter where they get off the helicopter), there is some reason for concern.

Ron Gleason said...

Grizelda, I agree that all ordinances and laws should be followed. I was trying top point out some facts and ask a question; if they get the permits where would folks like to see them operate out of?

IMA BELIEVER said...

If in fact they are not using PM property, they are likely using Forest Service land, and likely without a permit for that, either! This ain't the Wild West any more, folks.

cub said...

Ron this is what I found on the Diamond Peaks Facebook page:

Diamond Peaks Heli-Ski Adventures The powder is here and we are flying to new hights. Our home base is now the Red Moose Lodge in Eden. Come take an adventure with us. Capture your adventure with Impact Images Richard Caldwell Photography.

Zipper said...

I remember that during the endless meetings about Powder Mountain by the OVPC, the helicopter issue was discussed clearly. It was said that only medical or temporary use of helicopters for construction or maintenance would be allowed, and no flights from the Valley would be approved for skiers to the back country. I am sure we can dig that out if required.

This is a wake up call and another example of Weber County authorities asleep at the switch. How a service can have these helicopters flying from the Red Moose Lodge area without a single Weber County employee (Sheriff or Fire) asking questions is difficult to fathom.

Valley Resident said...

I was down in Eden in the afternoon they were flying and several PM employees were there; not sure if they were hosting the group or not.

Cub said...

It’s my understanding that Powder Mountain presented Diamond Peaks Heli ski with a contract wanting to CHARGE Diamond Peaks to use P.M. airspace and Hidden Lake parking lot as the landing /pick up zone. In the past this was not done. P.M. needs the money bad….LOL. I guess the Diamond Peak folks didn’t go for it hence their new pick up WAS Red Moose Lodge.
All I can say to D.P. Heli Ski is karma………

Brandon said...

Thanks Ron for keeping a level head and not looking for the next to put in the chopping block! Yes you are required to have a special uses permit to organize a regulated skiing service or outfiter/guide operation on Forest Service land (i.e. Wasatch Powderbird Guides WPG based out of Snowbird/Alta Ski Resorts), but we all must remember that just because there is trees on it doesn't mean it is Forest service land. The area that is flown in and out of is private land leased by Diamond Peaks and has been for many years far before many of you lived here and Diamond Peaks has also been in service through the Ogden Valley there for many years, first out of the Snowberry Inn and yes...most recently home based at Powder Mountain. I'm sure Diamond Peaks ment no ill harm if they have been flying to their leased area, without the permit of the Weber County commision. We all must remeber all the recent unfortuneate happenings in the Bountiful Sessions where a male snowmobiler lost his life in an avalanche and if it wasn't for WPG's the family might not to this day have a body to rest in peace. I think back to a another Avalanche Rescue in March of 2005 where two men rode into Talyors Canyon from the backside of Snowbasin Resort, after Life Flight, Air Med and a State UHP Helicopter were unable to provide services to Weber County SAR and the Smedley Family. Diamond Peaks Heli and thier guides dropped all reservations and donated all the flight time, fuel, and personel hours to staff the Helicopter for recons for crews and the family members, avalanche mitigation work, crew shuttles and recovery of the body totalling over 200 hours of flight time. Also not to mention the mitigation work that is performed through Weber County and DOT by Diamond Peaks to help keep open No Ogden divide during the winter months. Thanks for listening and I hope Diamond Peaks is around if I ever need help or a lift to help some one in need.
-MtnRsqr

Whistler said...

Brandon, read the comment by Valley resident. You can try to put any kind of spin on this you want, but the fact is, they are operating without the proper permits.

cub said...

Brandon Yes, but lets remember that Diamond Peaks Heli never does anything for nothing...They only do if it serves them. I would agree that the crew is the best but the Owner of Diamond Peaks is very self serving.

Peakness said...

So why is Diamond Peaks Hili not operating out of Powder Mountain anymore? Did they have a parting of the ways? More management issues...LOL

cub said...

Why yes Peakness, Powder Mountain is really hurting for cash as the locals are boycotting Powder Mtn. The CEO is under lots of pressure now to turn a profit but no revenge stream. Just look at the web cam any day of the week, the main parking lot is always half empty. Management wanted to start charging Diamond Peaks Heli for the LZ’s and air space because PM needs the cash and it was one more way to squeeze a dime out of someone… I’d call it ‘clash of the egos’… LOL So I guess Diamond Peaks left and tried to fly out of the valley by Red Moose Lodge but the locals turned on them also. Call it Karma ;-) It's just to bad that the CEO and management does not know how to treat people with respect; customers, residence & employees (volunteers & paid). Why do you think powder mtn has lost almost half of the volunteer ski patrol? Let's say over 500 years of patrol experience in one season!!!

Nez Perce (aka Nose Pierce) said...

Yes, It is obvious that there was a shift in the quality of the Powder Mtn. Patroler. Where they once used to clean cut professionals along with a few of the tatooed and pierced type, now the demographics have reversed.

The lack of experience is obvious and will come to bite Powder Mountain.

Lynch Mob said...

It's too bad that some of the people of this great valley have been misinformed by a handful of ignorant, unprofessional monsters. If you knew the relationship between Weber County Sheriff's Dept., Search & Rescue, Weber County Roads Dept, National Ski Patrol, UDOT, Rocky Mountain Power, and many more non-profits etc. you might understand how giving this entity is to the community. I know that they also support many of the local businesses here and enjoy the relationships they have nurtured through the years. There was a relationship with Powder Mountain in the past, but the recent new ownership (since Dr. Cobabe owned it)and management has left bad blood between them as it has with the rest of the community. They (DP) use private property as there ski destination north of Powder Mountain with the legal consent from the property owners. They run under a 135 air class operation which dictates the FAA allowance of transporting people (the same as Delta or United Airlines). I'm sure if there is an issue with a permit in the new area that they are basing, they were not aware of it and will comply willingly. I know they only operate maybe 2 days a week and maybe 2 months out of the year as it is very difficult to fly in the winter weather not to mention the avalanche and snow conditions. DP's is one of our own in this valley and should be treated as such. I can tell you you may never know when you will need assistance through an organization that can provide you with Search & Rescue, Medical, and other Helicopter related issues until you find yourself in a emergency situation that requires it. Please think and garner facts before you rally the lynch mob.

No Mo Pow Mow said...

Cub said,

"Why do you think powder mtn has lost almost half of the volunteer ski patrol? Let's say over 500 years of patrol experience in one season!!!"

Tell us why the patrolers are gone - were they fired? And did the CEO fire them? Shed some light please.

cub said...

To NO MO Pow ... I had replied back, however the blog did not post? I'm not going to retype the entire comment again, to long & was in depth with real quotes & examples... Bottom line is that 4 patrollers of the 38 were not ask to return this season, but they were 30+ year patrollers, hill captions, and OEC & Avalanche instructors, with a Avalanche dog. So as they were targeted as having "Bad attitudes" for asking questions to the CEO or trying to improve things with patrol. They intern received an e-mail in the fall before the refresher training starts to not return. So their friends, family members & crews also quit in support. Therefore the lack of patrol on the hills on the weekends.