What to know: Summit County uphill access opening dates, routes and rules
Arapahoe Basin opens uphill Friday; Breckenridge's Peak 8 open for uphill
Editor’s note: The below article has been updated to denote that uphillers are asked to return downhill at Keystone Resort by 8:30 a.m., on days lifts spin at 9 a.m., and by 8 a.m., on days lifts spin at 8:30 a.m.
FRISCO — Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on Friday joined Breckenridge Ski Resort as Summit County ski areas that have opened uphill access for the 2019-20 season.
A-Basin Chief Operating Officer Al Henceroth wrote in a blog post Friday morning that uphill access at A-Basin is permitted only during non-operating hours for A-Basin’s lifts. That means skiers and snowboarders looking to head uphill can do so each morning until 8 a.m. and each evening after the ski area closes its lifts.
At A-Basin, popular lower-mountain uphill routes include groomed beginner and intermediate runs Sundance, High Noon and Ramrod, all of which are open.
New this season at A-Basin, those who do not have an A-Basin season pass are required to purchase a $30 uphill-access pass, which is good for the season and comes with a reflective orange arm band that must be worn. A-Basin season passholders can get the uphill pass for free.
“On the hill, you will encounter equipment, vehicles, closures, bamboo, roughed up snow and other natural and man-made obstacles,” Henceroth wrote in his blog. “This time of year, with snowmaking and grooming going on, be extra careful. Use a headlamp and ski slowly downhill.”
Though uphill access is not open during lift hours, that could change later in the season. For more information and to reserve or purchase your uphill pass, visit arapahoebasin.com/the-mountain/uphill.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Over at Breckenridge, free uphill access has opened for the season but is only available on Peak 8 terrain. At Breckenridge, uphill access is permitted only outside of the resort’s public operating hours, meaning uphill users can access open terrain from 5 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., at which point they must be skiing down the mountain.
The resort highly encourages uphill users to call the Uphill Access Hotline at 970-547-5627 for information about seasonal restrictions and ski area operations that might impact uphill access.
On Peak 8, uphill-access routes for the season include Gondola Ski Back to Lower 4 O’ Clock to Springmeier to Vista Haus as well as Claimjumper to Pika to the T-bar. Open routes are subject to change based on conditions and terrain closures.
Keystone Resort spokeswoman Loryn Roberson said the resort’s free uphill access has yet to open due to early season mountain preparations and snowmaking. Once early season operations are complete and the resort has adequate terrain to safely permit uphill access, Roberson said the resort will announce an opening date. Last season, during a snowy November, Keystone opened to uphill users Nov. 29.
Similar to Breckenridge, uphill access at Keystone is open only outside of the resort’s operational hours, meaning skiers and snowboarders are highly encouraged return downhill by 8 a.m., on days lifts spin at 8:30 a.m., and by 8:30 a.m. on days lifts spin at 9 a.m. Once uphill access is open, Keystone permits uphill users to park for free in the River Run Gondola Lot for access to the River Run base area. Over at the Mountain House base area, free parking is available in the Porcupine Lot until paid parking starts in the morning. When Keystone opened uphill access last year, routes included River Run Village to the top of Dercum Mountain via River Run to The Edge to Spring Dipper, and via Schoolmarm from Mountain House.
Uphillers are encouraged to call 970-496-4033 for the latest information. For more information, visit bit.ly/keystoneuphill2019.
Copper Mountain Resort
Copper Mountain Resort spokeswoman Taylor Prather said the resort will open its free uphill access routes when snowmaking is complete. That usually occurs sometime between mid-December and early January. Conditions permitting, uphill access then will be open before and after lift-operating hours.
The resort requires all uphillers to obtain a free Copper Mountain Uphill Access Season Pass. To obtain the pass, guests must complete and sign an uphill access waiver and wear a reflective armband in plain sight while going uphill. New this season, the resort is asking uphill users to register at coppercolorado.com for the armband pass. Guests can then pick up the pass at Copper Sports in Center Village.
The resort provides free parking for uphill users from 6-9 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Uphill users are encouraged to check with Copper ski patrol to ensure access at 970-968-2318, extension 66131.
From East and Center Village, Copper’s uphill routes include Skid Road, Main Vein, Rhapsody, Copperopolis and Collage, ending at the restrooms at the top of Collage. From Center Village, another route ascends Carefree to Coppertone, ending at the tree island at the top of Coppertone where the trail intersects Highpoint. And out of West Village, uphill users looking to access the Janet’s Cabin hut — accessed via a National Forest Access Point gate at the resort’s west boundary — can ascend up Roundabout to West Ten Mile.
For more information, visit: bit.ly/copperuphill2019.
Loveland Ski Area
Loveland Ski Area spokesman John Sellers said the Clear Creek County ski area, which neighbors Summit County at the Continental Divide, will open uphill once snowmaking is complete — usually in early to mid-December.
All uphill access at the ski area’s Loveland Basin terrain requires uphill users to have a free Uphill Access Card. Come December, passes will be available for pickup at ski patrol headquarters between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Loveland’s uphill access is not permitted during operating hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
At Loveland Basin, there is one designated route for uphill users, Route A, which goes to the top of the Ptarmigan lift via the Home Run, Tango Road, Turtle Creek and Fire Bowl runs. Uphill users should be cognizant of a sign on the trail map at the bottom of Lift 2 indicating whether Route A is open.
For more information, visit bit.ly/lovelanduphill2019.
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