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Let My People Ski (Uphill)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Despite litigation fears, many U.S. resorts embrace uphill skiers.

 

http://www.skinet.com/skiing/articles/let-my-people-ski-uphill

post #2 of 11
You can ski uphill here as long as you stick to approved routes.
post #3 of 11

No, You have the entire other backcountry to go and play in. I payed for my pass to ski, not dodge hippy free heelers.  

post #4 of 11

Here at Stowe skinning is unrestricted. The majority of the area is on State Park/State Forest land. I don't think it can legally be restricted by Vermont law, but I may be wrong about that. Skinning/hiking at Stowe is so commonplace that there are notices on the doors of the Patrol shacks listing after hour emergency numbers.

 

I'd very much like to see somebody at Cannon or something of the like really push that restriction. Cannon is in the White Mountain National Forest, and the Franconia Notch State Park. If somebody started skinning, and the resort pushed it to the point of arresting the person, I can imagine that would blow up in the management's face. It's rather hard to arrest somebody for being on open state land.

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
I'd very much like to see somebody at Cannon or something of the like really push that restriction. Cannon is in the White Mountain National Forest, and the Franconia Notch State Park. If somebody started skinning, and the resort pushed it to the point of arresting the person, I can imagine that would blow up in the management's face. It's rather hard to arrest somebody for being on open state land.

 

Like you said, Cannon is part of WMNF and FNSP land...  It's possible that Cannon's ski-season lease on the land allows them to impose additional restrictions on the land though, including saying "no uphill travel".  i.e., Cannon leases the land at which  point they are free to impose whatever additional restrictions they want (assuming such powers were written into their lease agreement, and given the lawyer-happy land we live in and the potential danger of uphill and downhill traffic mixing, it wouldn't surprise me if they do have provisions in their lease to do whatever they want).

post #6 of 11

This is the Sun Valley's Up hill Policy. Seems to work for the most part. People around here will always find a reason to bitch but this has calmed most down. 

Uphill Access Policy

As Partners in Recreation and approved by the US Forest Service, Sun Valley’s Uphill Travel Policy allows access for uphill travelers outside of operational hours. Across the country, increasing uphill traffic within ski area boundaries has driven the implementation of Uphill policies. While uphill travel within ski area boundaries may seem innocuous, it poses “significant” safety concerns for uphill and downhill recreationalists, ski area operations and ski area staff. For this reason, uphill travel is not permitted in any fashion at many ski areas. Sun Valley’s policy reflects our commitment to seek a balance between mitigating safety concerns of uphill travel as a recreational use within the downhill ski area/Special Use Permit area with the reasonable needs of operating a sustainable and successful alpine ski area, for which we have been granted a Special Use Permit from the US Forest Service.

Sun Valley continues to work closely with the Ketchum Ranger DistrictSawtooth National Forest and theBureau of Land Management, local organizations, to build awareness and provide public education regarding uphill travel and recreational uses. Our Goal is to find a reasonable balance between and among user groups who share a common interest in recreating within the Sun Valley Special Permit area in a safe, non-confrontational and sustainable manner.

Bald Mountain Policy – During the Season & During Operating Hours

Uphill travel by the way of foot, snowshoes, trax, or skis is not allowed between the Hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Users will need to be descending at 9:00 am.  Exclusions may apply for unusual circumstances. These exclusions may include but not limited to special events, maintenance, etc.

Bald Mountain Policy – Pre-Post Season

Safety considerations, maintenance or operational requirements, grooming operations, snowmaking operations, special events, avalanche hazard mitigation work, wildlife or resource considerations, or construction, may cause public risk management issues to exist.  To protect the public from potential hazards that may exist from time to time, prior to the opening of the ski season, the ski area is authorized, with Forest Service pre-approval, to close areas subject to those potential hazards and to post signs at uphill access points closing those areas.

Bald Mountain Policy – During the Season & Outside Operating Hours

Outside of operating hours, there may be circumstances in which the ski area may eliminate uphill traffic or limit or restrict uphill traffic by designating specific times or days or routes that will be available for such use.  These circumstances might include safety, maintenance or operational needs, grooming operations, snowmaking operations, special events, avalanche hazard mitigation work, wildlife or resource considerations, or others.  The ski area is authorized, with Forest Service pre-approval, to perform any or all of these actions as deemed reasonable and necessary by the ski area.

All participants within the permit boundary are considered skiers and are subject to Idaho Statute title 6 chapter 11, 6-1106 Duties of Skiers.

Uphill Travel Protocol

 

1. Yield and stay clear of ski area machinery, i.e. grooming machines, snowmobiles and snowmaking equipment. When encountering winch operations, (lights and signs) re-routing is required.

2. Mountain users should use reflective clothing, Headlamps and blinking lights when possible. Animals should have blinking lights when possible.

3.  Adhere to Trail Closures. Blaine County Ordinance 86-4 states; No skier except a member of the ski patrol or employee of the Forest Service, Sheriff or ski area operator in the course of his employment, shall enter or go upon any closed area.

4. Dogs are preferred to be left at home for their safety. Should they participate, they should be on a leash through the private land at the base and on a leash or under control of voice command at all times while on Forest land.  Please have the courtesy to pick up after your pets. Pet waste stations are available on private land at the base.

5. If you pack it in, please pack it out. Help us keep the Forest clean for future users.

Know the code! It's your responsibility.

Go Sun Smart offers you tips on how you can easily protect your skin and eyes. So, when you go to work and play, Go Sun Smart!

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVmike View Post
 

This is the Sun Valley's Up hill Policy. Seems to work for the most part. People around here will always find a reason to bitch but this has calmed most down. 

Uphill Access Policy

As Partners in Recreation and approved by the US Forest Service, Sun Valley’s Uphill Travel Policy allows access for uphill travelers outside of operational hours. Across the country, increasing uphill traffic within ski area boundaries has driven the implementation of Uphill policies. While uphill travel within ski area boundaries may seem innocuous, it poses “significant” safety concerns for uphill and downhill recreationalists, ski area operations and ski area staff. For this reason, uphill travel is not permitted in any fashion at many ski areas. Sun Valley’s policy reflects our commitment to seek a balance between mitigating safety concerns of uphill travel as a recreational use within the downhill ski area/Special Use Permit area with the reasonable needs of operating a sustainable and successful alpine ski area, for which we have been granted a Special Use Permit from the US Forest Service.

Sun Valley continues to work closely with the Ketchum Ranger DistrictSawtooth National Forest and theBureau of Land Management, local organizations, to build awareness and provide public education regarding uphill travel and recreational uses. Our Goal is to find a reasonable balance between and among user groups who share a common interest in recreating within the Sun Valley Special Permit area in a safe, non-confrontational and sustainable manner.

Bald Mountain Policy – During the Season & During Operating Hours

Uphill travel by the way of foot, snowshoes, trax, or skis is not allowed between the Hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Users will need to be descending at 9:00 am.  Exclusions may apply for unusual circumstances. These exclusions may include but not limited to special events, maintenance, etc.

Bald Mountain Policy – Pre-Post Season

Safety considerations, maintenance or operational requirements, grooming operations, snowmaking operations, special events, avalanche hazard mitigation work, wildlife or resource considerations, or construction, may cause public risk management issues to exist.  To protect the public from potential hazards that may exist from time to time, prior to the opening of the ski season, the ski area is authorized, with Forest Service pre-approval, to close areas subject to those potential hazards and to post signs at uphill access points closing those areas.

Bald Mountain Policy – During the Season & Outside Operating Hours

Outside of operating hours, there may be circumstances in which the ski area may eliminate uphill traffic or limit or restrict uphill traffic by designating specific times or days or routes that will be available for such use.  These circumstances might include safety, maintenance or operational needs, grooming operations, snowmaking operations, special events, avalanche hazard mitigation work, wildlife or resource considerations, or others.  The ski area is authorized, with Forest Service pre-approval, to perform any or all of these actions as deemed reasonable and necessary by the ski area.

All participants within the permit boundary are considered skiers and are subject to Idaho Statute title 6 chapter 11, 6-1106 Duties of Skiers.

Uphill Travel Protocol

 

1. Yield and stay clear of ski area machinery, i.e. grooming machines, snowmobiles and snowmaking equipment. When encountering winch operations, (lights and signs) re-routing is required.

2. Mountain users should use reflective clothing, Headlamps and blinking lights when possible. Animals should have blinking lights when possible.

3.  Adhere to Trail Closures. Blaine County Ordinance 86-4 states; No skier except a member of the ski patrol or employee of the Forest Service, Sheriff or ski area operator in the course of his employment, shall enter or go upon any closed area.

4. Dogs are preferred to be left at home for their safety. Should they participate, they should be on a leash through the private land at the base and on a leash or under control of voice command at all times while on Forest land.  Please have the courtesy to pick up after your pets. Pet waste stations are available on private land at the base.

5. If you pack it in, please pack it out. Help us keep the Forest clean for future users.

Know the code! It's your responsibility.

Go Sun Smart offers you tips on how you can easily protect your skin and eyes. So, when you go to work and play, Go Sun Smart!

 

That's a good straddle-the-fence policy.  It allows uphill access but limits it during the times when paying customers are going downhill.  Seems sensible and open-minded to me.

 

We don't have that policy at Jackson Hole.  On any given day, early-morning snow-control work could bring an avalanche down on the heads of people skinning uphill.  Primarily for that reason, uphill access is prohibited within the ski area boundaries.  

 

OTOH, there are at least a couple of million acres of National Forest land right outside the ski resort boundaries where people can skin or snowshoe or x-c ski to their hearts' content any time of any day.

post #8 of 11

You can ski uphill at Mt. Baker all you want but almost nobody besides Duncan the hill manager does it (actually, he snowshoes) since there is lots and lots of OB area.  Anyway, it wouldn't be "core" enough.

post #9 of 11
Whitefish Mountain Resort Uphill Traffic Policy
Please Note the Following Special Order from the US Forest Service:


It is prohibited for any skier, hiker, or person otherwise, to approach within 100 feet of grooming machines, whether stationary or moving; or snowmaking equipment, to include but not limited to fan guns, high-pressure water lines, and high-voltage electrical cables, within the Whitefish Mountain Resort permit boundary. Order D08-112-L-10, Title 36 CFR 261.53(e) This Special Order is ALWAYS In Effect.

Before Ski Season: Please heed the Forest Service Special Order, Uphill Traffic Policy and the Uphill Skier Responsibility Code. There are no other route restrictions, and uphill travel should be pursued at one's own risk.

During Ski Season: Uphill traffic within the boundaries of Whitefish Mountain Resort and only on the two designated routes during the time periods indicated here:

Toni Matt Route 6AM-4PM ONLY
This route follows the western (left-hand, if traveling uphill) edge of Toni Matt from the Lift Plaza to the Summit and is marked by 12" red diamonds with an arrow and the word "UPHILL" printed on them.

East Route 9AM-7PM ONLY
*This route begins at the Base Lodge, crosses the bridge towards the Ski and Ride School and Clinic building and ascends lower Inspiration, Expressway, Moe-Mentum, and Fill Hill to the Summit. It is marked by 12" red diamonds with an arrow and the word "UPHILL" printed on them. Please park in the Willow Lot.

Outside of Operating Hours (BEFORE 9AM and AFTER 4PM) skiers MUST proceed down the approved route for the time skiing down.

After Ski Season: For the 14 days following "Closing Day" at the resort, uphill and downhill traffic within the boundaries of Whitefish Mountain Resort will be restricted in the following ways:

East Route 8AM - 4PM ONLY

No Route Restrictions before 8AM and after 4PM

LEGAL INFORMATION: Whitefish Mountain Resort is the holder of a Special Use Permit on U.S. Forest Service land in the Tally Lake Ranger District. That permit states that: "The Special Use Permit authorizes the resort to provide public opportunities for skiing and snowboarding and natural resource-based outdoor recreation in National Forest Settings ... The lands within the special use permit boundary shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes; except for any restrictions the resort and Forest Service agree to be necessary as documented in the Operating Plan ... The resort is responsible for public health and risk management within the resort boundary." All dogs at Whitefish Mountain Resort, including on Forest Service Land, must be leashed and controlled at all times, pursuant to Federal Regulation 36 CFR 261.53(e). During ski season, dogs are not permitted outside of parking areas at the resort.

The Uphill Skier's Responsibility Code

Skiing (a term which includes snowboarding and all other forms of sliding on snow), whether uphill or downhill, involves inherent risks that cannot be eliminated. However, there are a few rules of conduct that can decrease the risk involved. When traveling within ski resort boundaries, follow the Skier's Responsibility Code (printed on the back of all lift tickets and season passes, as well as on trail maps), and follow these additional guidelines for uphill travel:

ALWAYS
Travel uphill only on the designated route, marked with red diamond-shaped signs.
Stay completely to the edge of ski trails; do not hike or stand in the middle of a ski trail.
Observe posted signs, warnings, and trail closures.
Be alert for & yield to downhill skiers.
Yield to and/or avoid all ski area machinery.

NEVER

Stop in high-traffic zones, where you are likely to obstruct a trail, or where you are not visible to downhill traffic.
Hike, stand, or otherwise position more than two people side-by-side across the fall line.
Bring pets out of parking areas during ski season.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

 

OTOH, there are at least a couple of million acres of National Forest land right outside the ski resort boundaries where people can skin or snowshoe or x-c ski to their hearts' content any time of any day.

 

For curious folks who don't have backcountry experience (and requisite avalanche training, equipment and partner) it's nice to be able to experience skinning up on resort groomers. Relatively safe way to get a feel for the reality of it, and decide if it's something you really want to pursue, or maybe riding those lifts ain't so bad after all.  ;-)

 

That said the resorts don't really get anything out of it, so I can easily understand why they would "just say no". That's the easiest way to manage anything, be it a ski area, or whatever, and unfortunately increasingly common in this day and age. There's a lot of potential liability, and we live in a very litigious world now.

 

That said personally I think it's great that some ski areas are trying to be accommodating. Uphill is not for everyone, but it's great for the body and soul, and even makes what would normally be a mundane downhill run a special pleasure.


Edited by jc-ski - 1/7/14 at 6:08pm
post #11 of 11

Plus you can get a bowl of soup at the top.  

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