Brundage Blog

From the President’s Desk: What to do about Uphill Travel?

03/06/14

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We want to welcome you to a new feature of our Snowblog; we’re calling it “From the President’s Desk”. Our goal is to create a forum where we can seek input from our guests, to share ideas and come together to address issues that face the ski area.

We want to begin with the topic of “Uphill Skiers”. Brundage Mountain does not currently have an official policy on uphill traffic. By uphill traffic, we are referring to the skiers and snowboarders who ascend the mountain using climbing skins, (also known as ‘earning your turns’).

Here at Brundage, most of the uphill travel occurs before the lifts open. We have a handful of skinners climbing the hill each morning. On powder days, that number can jump into the dozens. While climbing before the lifts open reduces the hazards from possible collisions with downhill skiers or riders, it doesn’t remove the hazards from having uphill travelers on the slopes at the same time as snowcats are grooming them.

We’ve also had a considerable amount of feedback on the amount of tracks that can be seen on our slopes on powder days. We do have employees on the mountain performing safety checks and traveling to their work stations, but uphill travelers can significantly add to the number of slopes that get tracked out prior to the opening of the chairlifts.

We’ve done some research on uphill travel policies to see what kind of solutions other ski areas have found to these issues.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the policies:

  • Uphill travel prohibited at all times
  • Uphill travel is prohibited during the ski season, but not pre- and post- season
  • Uphill travel is allowed on one or two designated routes
  • Uphill travel is allowed at designated times (before and after lifts are running) and on designated routes, but you must have an uphill pass
  • Uphill travel is allowed for anyone who has filed a signed waiver with the resort and who wears a complimentary reflective arm band

Before deciding on the best policy for Brundage Mountain, we want to hear your thoughts. Would you prefer one of the options listed above? Is there a better solution not listed that you would like to see instated here?

UphillTravel

We would love to hear your opinions as we discuss the best option for Brundage Mountain, and we look forward to getting your input on future issues, as well.

Please feel free to leave your comments below. We do ask that everyone who comments does so respectfully and in accordance with our blog comment policy, which you can read here.

Thanks in advance for your help shaping the future of Brundage Mountain!

Bob Looper

President and Managing Director

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