Hey - i heard from an Alpental 'security' guy today that they proposed to ban all upvalley travel from Alpental in the Source Lake direction, most especially the normal winter route that gets packed down and used as the downhill return from the Edelweiss run.this would affect access to Chair Pk, The Tooth, etc. Supposedly, this will take effect next week.
This guy claimed they had some 'special agreement two days ago' with the USFS to do this. presumably the North Bend District Ranger. I'd need to see more evidence before i accept the legality of this, e.g. has the ski area paid additional monies for leasing more area than is has in the past? Such leases must be public i should think.
I know USFS exempts backcountry ski access to windy pass for instance from the ski area retrictions; i.e. they specifically allow you and i access over the logging roads (not the groomed trails on mt catherine) to get to windy pass, because of historic prior use. Even should such a lease for the Alpental valley be forthcoming, i would expect a century of backcountry use be sufficient precedent for us to get continued access.
Otherwise, this seems to be a private 'taking' from the public! Anyone else ticked off about all this privitization of public lands?!