Uphill skiing at ski resorts has become very popular over the past few seasons. Skiers looking to get a workout or test out some new backcountry gear have been flocking to groomed runs to gain some vert.
All of this uphill traffic has put resorts from Californa to Vermont in a difficult position. Though the skiers are not using the lifts, which require a ticket, they are using trals groomed by snowcats and watched over by ski patrollers. There is also the risk to not only the skiers making their way up the hill but the skiers coming down as well.
Arapahoe Basin in Colorado will now be charging skiers and splitboarders $30 to skin up the resort’s trails.
A-Basin Chief Operating Officer took to his blog on Friday to explain the new policy and fee:
Uphill Access has long been a fun and exciting component of skiing and riding at The Basin. A few years ago, the popularity of skinning and hiking uphill was growing dramatically. We realized it was time to review and analyze the program. Ultimately, we introduced a more formalized program that required users to obtain a free uphill access pass.
We expected we’d give out a couple of hundred passes. We were wrong. So far we have issued nearly 10,000 Uphill Access Passes. I think this is really cool. People love it. It is another good way to enjoy the mountain. I am one of the regular users. Over time, usage has continued to evolve. Managing uphill access has turned into a fair bit of work. We don’t mind the work, but there is a lot of real work involved.Over the last year, we have spent a great deal of time reviewing the program and planning its next steps. Much of the Uphill Program remains the same. There are four notable changes for the 2019/20 season.
- Each user is required to get a new Uphill Access Pass annually
- Uphill Access Passes are $30/season except passes are free for Arapahoe Basin Season Pass holders
- Passes can be purchased online at arapahoebasin.com
- Uphill Pass users are required to wear a reflective armband issued with the passPasses can be purchased on our website. Typically, uphill access opens for the season in mid to late November as more terrain becomes available There will be an Open House and Q and A on Uphill Access in the A-Frame Saturday, November 2 at 9:00 AM.
Season pass holders will not be required to pay the fee.