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Headin' Uphill Rapidly Rising In Popularity In Colorado

Uphill-Colorado-Ski When the lift stop and the sun begins to fall, many Coloradans strap on the skins and head uphill for some solitude. (Crested Butte Mountain Resort))

Whether it be Covid-distance crowds, the high price of lift tickets, or simply a need to breathe the Great Outdoors, the participation in uphill skiing has exploded in Colorado this season.

In response, Colorado resorts typically dictate where and when you can climb, and put signs on trails open for downhill runs. All resorts have an uphill hotline or website page with what's open for uphill travel on any particular day. And all warn after-dark uphillers to be on the lookout for snowcats, snowmobiles, and maintenance personnel who work the slopes at night. Most dedicate a few uphill routes, and several cap how high you can climb, like Telluride at top of Lift 10.

Of Colorado's 20 ski and snowboard resorts, about half of them require an uphill pass/armband separate from a day or season pass. Echo Mountain, Purgatory and Silverton Mountain do not permit uphill traffic at any time.

Recently resorts have begun charging for the uphill privilege. Usually, season pass holders can go up for free, but some charge an add-on cost. Here's a look at those that require a payment:

  • Arapahoe Basin and Copper both let season pass holders (including Ikon) go up for free, but or day traffic, it costs $59 for all-season uphill access.

  • Weekday and non-holidays only, Eldora offers a $179 season uphill pass and $99 add-on to regular-season pass -- both online-only -- and $25 daily at ticket window only.

  • Ski Hesperus sells a $35 uphill season ticket for Power Pass holders, $45 ala carte.

  • Monarch sells a $20 pass to non-season ticket holders.

  • Powderhorn uphillers must buy online a $5 daily or $29 season pass.

  • Steamboat requires a $20 season uphill pass.

  • Sunlight, one of the resorts that permit 24-hour uphill access, and offers $10 daily or $50 season ticket, with season pass holders free.

  • Winter Park requires everyone to buy a $15 uphill armband online (proceeds to local search-and-rescue) for the whole season.

For newcomers, all four mountains in the Aspen-Snowmass complex offer a two-day uphill clinic.



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