“While skiing down the Wildcat trail last year on a particularly busy weekend day at Wildcat, I noticed a foursome skinning up the edge of the run somewhat caught-up in the chaos that was descending apon them, perhaps by choice?... Perhaps JS could elaborate on his response?”
CS, I’m not sure which Wildcat trail you’re referring to.
If it’s the groomed trail at the Wildcat ski area:
- Wildcat’s consistently expressed policy is that everyone has the right to skin up their trails. Late last March, when we did our 19-mile Tour de Valle, we skinned up Wildcat toward the end of the day. (We probably would have wimped out and taken the lift, but they refused to sell us one-way lift tix since Jackson Ski Touring was officially closed for the season despite the abundance of snow.) I choose a route that was generally the right pitch and quite wide, except for a section that included the Middle Wildcat trail - kind of scary there, since you get to see just how bad and out-of-control most skiers are when you’re looking up at them constantly. If I had to do it again (and note that I probably won’t!), I think I’d take a route that relies more on Polecat, which although probably a longer route, should also be a safer route.
If it’s the “backountry” Wildcat Valley Trail:
- I’ve seen people skinning up it. Jackson Ski Touring clearly intends the trail to be used for going down (after paying for a one-way ticket from Wildcat, hence the quotes around backcountry), but I don’t see anywhere on the map or website that it’s expressly a one-way trail (which many nordic areas frequently designate on their maps). It definitely is a narrow and twisty trail, with many marginal skiers, so probably not the best skin route.