April Fools’ Day: Radical backcountry skiers plug Eisenhower Tunnel
April 1, 2017
The Friends of A-Basin erected a roadblock of flaming tires at the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 on Saturday morning, a sign that the group has become increasingly radicalized since the Forest Service approved Arapahoe Basin's expansion plan.
The stunning show of defiance is seen as a last-ditch effort to prevent the construction of a new chairlift in an area of Arapahoe Basin known as The Beavers, which the Friends of A-Basin have said would damage the environment and ruin a broad swath of premium side-country skiing.
"A-Basin's management and their Vail Resorts puppet masters have left us no choice," the group's leader, Wilbur "Scruffy" Ferguson, said over a megaphone as inky black smoke curled up from the mound of flaming tires behind him. "If they won't listen, then the only way to stop this madness is to keep out all the Frangers!"
Generally peaceful in nature, the motley group of several dozen locals appeared unarmed except for the dab torches they reportedly used to ignite the tires.
"Westbound I-70 closed at Eisenhower Tunnel due to vague militant uprising," the Colorado Department of Transportation wrote in a travel advisory. "No estimated time of re-opening."
At press time, a long line of I-70 westbound traffic was seen merging towards Loveland Pass.