Breckenridge Ski Resort to skiers: Uphill access isn’t yet open | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge Ski Resort to skiers: Uphill access isn’t yet open

Snowmaking equipment sits at the base of Springmeier run Thursday at Breckenridge Ski Resort. The resort reminds the public that uphill skinning access still isn’t open yet.

Breckenridge Ski Resort reminded skiers and snowboarders on Tuesday that uphill access to trails is not yet open this season due to early season mountain preparations and snowmaking.

"We will make an announcement as soon as the resort is ready to open for this activity," John Buhler, the resort's vice president and chief operating officer, said in the release.

"For the safety of our guests and employees," he continued, "it is very important to abide by the resort's guidelines for uphill access and we appreciate everyone's patience as we work to complete early season mountain operations before permitting uphill access."

Speaking Tuesday, Breckenridge spokeswoman Sara Lococo said she is not aware of any skiers or snowboarders who have attempted to skin up the trails yet this season.

"(But) we typically get a lot of questions about uphill access in early season," she added. "So it's great to get the information out there to the locals."

The resort added that uphill access will open, at a yet undetermined date, when early season operations are complete and the resort has adequate terrain to safely permit it.

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According to Sam Collentine of OpenSnow.com, only 1 percent of Breckenridge's skiable acreage was open as of Tuesday morning. That included two of 35 lifts open and two of 187 trails open.

Open Snow also forecasts no new snow at Breckenridge until 1 to 2 inches are forecast to fall Thursday night, with the freezing level potentially creeping down to between the mountain's base and summit.

Then on Friday, Open Snow forecasts 2 to 4 inches of snow during the day and 3 to 5 inches at night as the freezing level creeps further down to below the mountain's base by evening. Another inch may fall Saturday morning before the rest of the weekend is forecast to dry out.

As for this season, the resort said Peak 6 will be closed to uphill access for the 2017-18 season.

Designated routes for uphill access this season will include:

Peak 7: Fort Mary B to Claimjumper to Lower Forget Me Not to the top of Independence chair and returning down the same route.

Peak 8: Springmeier to Upper Four O'clock to Lonewolf Access to T-Bar Hut and returning down the same route.

Peak 8: Gondola Ski Back to Lower Four O'clock to Springmeier.

Peak 8: Lower Four O'clock from town to Springmeier.

Peak 9: Silverthorne to Lower American to Bonanza to the top of the Beaver Run chair or the top of the Mercury chair and returning down same route.

Peak 10: Silverthorne to Red Rover to Crystal to the top of the Falcon chair and returning down the same route.

The mountain also notes all uphill guests on Peak 8 must be at or below Vista Haus by 7:45 a.m. due to ski patrol work.

Breckenridge only permits uphill access outside of its public operating hours, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. And all uphill users must also be clear of the mountain by 8:30 a.m.

The resort also does not patrol trails outside its normal ski area operating hours, meaning emergency services may not be available to uphill access skiers.

The resort advises uphill access skiers to not access any areas where machinery is operating, as snowcat winching operations may be in progress. The resort added that its strobe lights out on trails also signify to avoid an area altogether.

Fat tire biking and mountain biking is also prohibited on the mountain during the winter season.

Permit parking for uphill access is allowed in the gondola lots, Stables Lot at Peak 8 and the Beaver Run parking lot between 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Any cars that utilize the lots need a free uphill access parking permit. To obtain one, the resort says to visit the gondola ticket office during normal operating hours or call 970-496-5455.

There is no parking permitted between the hours of 2 to 6 a.m., in any resort lots.

Breckenridge's 2017-18 uphill access policy can be found at Breckenridge.com, under the 'Mountain Information' section. And the resort says that all uphill users must also call the resort's trails/winch cat hotline at 970-547-5627 before accessing the mountain.