I have been skiing since I was 2 years old, but I am not looking for convenience to get up Little Cottonwood Canyon. As an environmental studies major, I care about protecting the land and its people. The proposed gondola up Little Cottonwood Canyon has grabbed the attention of environmentalists, skiers and the general public. After researching the safety and environmental impact of the gondola, I believe the gondola is the best solution.

Public safety is the most important subject to consider. Little Cottonwood Canyon is extremely prone to avalanches. The gondola would ensure safety by keeping cars off the windy road and out of an avalanche path, possibly saving lives. 

Poll: Do Utahns support a gondola up Little Cottonwood Canyon?

The next important factor is the environmental impact of the gondola. A gondola puts out zero-emissions versus cars that emit a large amount of pollution. According to the EPA, “The average passenger vehicle emits about 404 grams of CO2 per mile.” The drive up and down the canyon is about 16 miles long, creating 6,464 grams of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere per car, and that doesn’t include idling vehicles.

I believe the gondola will benefit Little Cottonwood Canyon greatly. It could save lives and help the environment, which makes it beneficial for everyone, not just skiers.

Rylie Rayner

Salt Lake City