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Need to Know Skimo: Colorado

Get ready to log some vert!

Uphill policies from a few Colorado ski resorts decoded- so you can get more time on the skin tracks. 

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Despite recent growth in popularity, ski mountaineering (skimo) is still a relatively niche sport. Along with requiring an alternative kit and skis, resort access is another barrier to entry for would-be uphillers. Below, we do our best to decode five Front Range accessible resorts whose access policies leave room for vertical junkies looking for places to log uphill mileage. Note: any of the below policies could be subject to change at any time based on conditions, and impromptu alterations of policy is left to the discretion of the resorts. Please check individual resort websites for the most current uphill information.

Winter Park

Lift Hours: M-F: 9:00am-4:00pm; Sat/ Sun: 8:30am-4:00pm

Is uphill allowed during hours of operation? Yes, but only in the following territories:

•Winter Park Territory: All trails.

•Mary Jane Territory: All trails except double black diamond Extreme Terrain, and the Trestle, Runaway, Sluice Box, and Pine Cliffs trails.

•Parsenn Bowl: Only Village Way, unless the Panoramic Express is open to the public and then all trails are available for uphill access.

•Vasquez Ridge Territory: All trails

•Descents during operation hours: Ski down any open trail, excluding those within the Terrain Park Territory.

Is uphill allowed afterhours during ski season? Yes, but only in the above-mentioned territories.

Descents after hours: Ski down any open trail, excluding those within the Terrain Park Territory (same as during operational hours).

Other Notes:

•Dogs, including service dogs, are not allowed during hours of operation. Dogs are allowed on ski trails beginning one hour after lift closure, until one hour prior to lift-opening (5pm-8am).

•Hiking and snowshoeing are permitted year-round at Winter Park and are not subject to the same seasonal closures as skiing and snowboarding. However, Winter Park strongly suggests that individuals hiking and/or snowshoeing follow blue and green routes to reduce the risk of exposure to terrain wtih avalanche potential.

•Uphill access is closed to skiers from the end of the summer season to the beginning of the winter season.

•Following the closure of winter season and before summer season opening, uphill skiing access is restricted to:

-Winter Park Territory: Lower Hughes, Hughes, Norwegian, and Little Pierre

-Mary Jane Territory: Corona Way, Sleeper, Belmar Bowl, Roundhouse, and Bluebell.  

•In addition to following the above guidelines, Winter Park asks uphill skiers to; stay toward the sides of trails, avoid machinery and race training areas, and wear reflective clothing and (if during low-light) a headlamp to increase visibility.

Complete Access Policy

Loveland Basin

Loveland Basin

Note: Loveland Basin’s Uphill Policy has changed, as of this year.

Lift Hours: M-F: 9:00am- 4:00pm; Sat/Sun: 8:30am-4:00pm 

Is uphill allowed during hours of operation? No; while some uphill access has been permitted during hours of operation in past seasons, as of the ‘17/’18 ski season this is no longer the case.

Is uphill allowed afterhours during ski season? Yes; but…

•Skiers wishing to use Loveland’s trails for uphill must first procure an Uphill Access Card (no charge; available 8:30am-3:30pm daily after snowmaking season) from ski patrol HQ. Cards and uphill access will become available following the completion of snow-making operations (mid December).

•Loveland designates two routes for uphill use, during the times uphill is permitted; Route A goes to the top of Ptarmigan and Route B goes to The Ridge. See full route descriptions and trail map.

Powder days ahead

 

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Arapahoe Basin

Lift Hours: See A-Basin website for complete schedule of lift operations 

Is uphill allowed during hours of operation? Yes but limited to the eastern edge of High Noon between the Base Area and Black Mountain Lodge. Access above Black Mountain Lodge is prohibited during operational hours. In addtion, all skiers seeking uphill access (during or after hours) must obtain a complimentary uphill access pass (available during operating hours). 

Is uphill allowed afterhours during ski season? Yes, Arapahoe Basin allows uphilling (by means of skinning, snowshoeing or hiking) from the time of lift closures until lift opening the next day. Note: Arapahoe Basin's Uphill Policy contains the disclaimer that a decision to have uphill access open or closed will be made each day and posted by 6am. If visiting the mountain during the early morning hours, stop to check that access for that day will remain open at 5:45am.  

Other Notes:

•Dogs are not permitted during operational hours, but dogs that are "under control" are allowed on the mountain after hours. 

• For after hours uphill users, A-Basin restricts parking to the Admin Lot (small lot at the north end of the A-Frame) or in the parking area above the Admin Lot, adjacent to Highway 6. The Early Riser, High Noon and Last Chance lots are locked at 6:00 p.m.

Complete Access Policy

Eldora

Lift Hours: Everyday 9:00am- 4:00pm

Is uphill allowed during hours of operation? Yes; after purchasing an AT Season Pass or Ticket (and signing the accompanying waiver), skiers may use Eldora tracks for uphill on weekdays/non-holidays. Changes have been made to the resort’s designated uphill routes- see full policy for specific ascent/descent route options.

Is uphill allowed afterhours during ski season? No; but AT Season pass-holders may access the mountain for early morning cardio sessions beginning January 8th 2018 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 6:00am-9:00am. Skiers coming out for these AM Cardio sessions are asked to park in the resort’s North Lot parking area.

Other Notes:

•No hiking, running, or snowshoeing is permitted at Eldora. 

Complete Uphill Access Policy

Loveland Basin

Related: 

How Anton Krupicka Makes the Seasonal Switch to Skimo 

Advice from John Gaston on training for skimo off-snow 

Copper Mountain

Lift Hours: M-F: 9:00am- 4:00pm; Sat/Sun: 8:30am- 4:00pm

Is uphill allowed during hours of operation? No 

Is uphill allowed afterhours during ski season? Yes; once snowmaking operations have been completed (forecasted as mid-to-late December) Copper allows uphill access outside of lift hours to skiers who have obtained a free Copper Mountain Uphill Access Pass (available at Copper Mountain’s Lower Patrol Room- next to the American Flyer lift behind Jack’s- for pick up 5:00am-5:00pm). According to the resort’s access policy, those wishing to get in early morning laps “must turn around at or prior to the restrooms at the top of Collage before lifts open to the public at 9:00am on weekdays, and 8:30am on weekends.” Evening uphill access opens at 5:00pm. All uphill skiers or snowshoers must follow designated uphill routes.

Other Notes:

•Dogs are not permitted on hill during uphill access times.

•Uphillers are advised to remain toward center of trail, wear reflective clothing, carrying lights/ headlamps.

 Complete Uphill Access Policy

Crested Butte

Lift Hours: Most lifts open from 9:00am-4:00pm daily, with a few exceptions.

Is uphill allowed during hours of operation? The "All Day Route" is the only track that Crested Butte opens for uphill use during operational hours. Visitors must obtain an Uphill Use Ticket or Uphill, Peak or Peak Plus Season Pass (and have signed the waiver) prior to skinning or snowshoeing at Crested Butte. 

Is uphill allowed afterhours during ski season? CB permits uphill access before and after operating hours, on select groomed trails. All uphill travel must cease by 9:00a.m. and may not begin again until 4:30p.m., with the exception of the "All-Day Route".

Crested Butte Trail Maps

Other Notes:

•Terrain Park is closed after hours.

• Crested Butte mandates the use of headlamps while on the mountain before 9a.m. and after 4:30p.m, and advises uphill visitors to wear reflective clothing at all times.

Complete Uphill Access Policy

Monarch Mountain

Monarch Mountain

Lift Hours: Everyday: 9:00am- 4:00pm

Is uphill allowed during hours of operation? Yes, for visitors who have obtained an uphill ticket from the guest services desk, uphill acces is open to those with an A/T or Nordic set-up, splitboards, and snowshoes (fat bikes only permitted after operational hours) on the following routes (designated with a yellow diamond-shaped marker with a black arrow): Barrel Loop, Pano Route, and Mirk Route (*when open).

Is uphill allowed afterhours during ski season? Yes. Uphill tickets must still be displayed, or easily accessible. To avoid parking lot plowing operations, uphill users accessing Monarch outside of operating hours are asked to park in the area next to the Water Treatment Plant during ski season.

Other Notes:

•Dogs are not allowed at Monarch during operating hours, and are advised against after hours.

•Monarch Mountain allows fat biking after hours.

•Terrain parks are closed afterhours. 

Check out the calendar of races for the upcoming Cosmic Race Series, with events hosted by Eldora, Copper, Crested Butte, and Monach Mountains! 

For information on resort policies in other states, see the United States Ski Mountaineering Association's List of Uphill Policies by state

Preview & Photo 2: © Fred Marmsater

Photos 1 & 3: © Loveland Basin

Photo 4: © Monarch Mountain

11/20/2017 3:40 PM
Posted in Skiing By Team Sportiva

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Ewan

posted on 11/21/2017 1:41 PM
Such draconian, awful access laws over there. Very lucky to live in Scotland, somewhere that can't tell people they can't go up a mountain. We can go anywhere we like on skis, because nobody can tell us what to do on our mountains provided we're being responsible. Something US could do with learning.
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