Shangrila visits to be determined by lottery
Backcountry skiers hoping to visit the Maligne Lake Ski Club’s Shangrila cabin this winter have until November 30 to purchase their memberships and become eligible for this year’s lottery system.
“This year it is not on a first-come, first-served basis,” said executive member of the club, Sandy Cox.
This is the first season that the club has run a lottery to determine who gets to visit Shangrila in 2016. Last winter, Parks Canada implemented backcountry closures in Jasper National Park with the aim of protecting mountain caribou, which are listed as threatened in the Species at Risk Act. The closures cover alpine areas in the Maligne Range from November 1 to February 28.
While supportive of measures to protect caribou, the Maligne Lake Ski Club has said that the new paradigm “severely restricts access to this area for our members, and impacts the [club’s] financial and membership sustainability.”
To assist with these challenges and to promote stewardship of the park, the club has applied to Parks Canada for summer use of Shangrila. That decision is pending. Currently the MLSC’s licence of occupation expires April 30, although the area snowpack usually deteriorates before then.
Skiers wanting to enter the lottery can purchase a membership and fill out an application at www.malignelakeskiclub.ca