It seems a little crazy – ski resorts placing limits on uphill-travel, but the number of snow enthusiasts using the ski slopes during off-hours has dramatically increased recently. With the rise in popularity of resort-based ski mountaineering, resorts across the country are fashioning policies to regulate access in the hours after the lifts stop.
Uphill skiing is the practice of climbing trails in the early morning or evening hours, achieving altitude on two legs rather than on a ski lift. Some resorts charge a fee for the access, but several in Colorado are open without charge. Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone have embraced the growing popularity and allow uphill traffic free of charge, as long as participants obey guidelines and follow the skier responsibility code.
A-Basin and Copper Mountain require guests to acquire a hiking pass and sign a waiver, but they do not charge for the permit, which is valid all season. Copper, Keystone and Breckenridge no longer allow anyone to bring their pets along while ski hiking. Dogs are still welcome at A-Basin which will continue to allow uphill-traveling skiers to have their pets accompany them under voice command when the mountain is not otherwise operational.
Breckenridge, Copper and Keystone are limiting uphill travel to the hours outside of their normal operation. And the three resorts are closed to uphill traffic while snowmaking operations are underway. Representatives from the three resorts said they will make announcements when they resume off-hours uphill travel.
A-Basin is open to uphill traffic in the mornings before opening and after the lifts close in the afternoon. The resort will allow uphill traffic during regular business hours on High Noon, as soon as more terrain is open.