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Closed For Downhill, Some U.S. Resorts Open Uphill Access

Uphill-Snowmass A number of U.S. resorts keep folks on slopes by permitting uphill access during virus closures. (Aspen Snowmass)

As all but a handful of U.S. resorts either suspend operations or shut down for the season, a number of them still permit skiers and riders to climb their slopes and get a few turns.

Most designate routes up -- a few more restrictive than under normal conditions -- and warn that ski patrol, avalanche controls, and on-mountain medical facilities aren't available. A few say they will open fully for uphill enthusiasts either if the resort reopens or after the official end of the season.

SnoCountry looked around the country and came up with a sampling of resorts where skiing and riding without a lift to ride, as of March 18. If not listed, then assume uphill access is prohibited at this time. Note, however, that the situation is fluid, so check with resort websites before heading out.

If you have uphill aspirations in the East, both Killington and Pico Mountain will let you on the hill only if you already have a season uphill pass. Sugarbush is OK, too. Best to check websites for the latest at Eastern mountains.

In Colorado, day-trip mountains like Monarch, Sunlight, Cooper/Chicago Ridge and Ski Hesperus welcome uphill-ers on certain routes. Among the destination resorts, Steamboat, Telluride and Aspen Snowmass follow post-season rules but also specific routes.

In Utah, only Beaver Mountain, Brighton and Cherry Peak allow uphill-ers. Policies and routes follow the same as during offseason closures.

In Wyoming, Jackson's town hill Snow King shifted over to hiking up, and Grand Targhee management decided to open the hill for uphill-ers "The ski area is considered 'backcountry terrain,'" the resort posted. "There will be no first aid or rescue services available from the resort."

In California and up the West Coast into the Pacific Northwest, most resorts are closed and have shut down uphill, too. A scattering few still have lifts running, and a few have indicated that uphill would be permitted if they close. Again, checking a website will produce the latest notifications.

NOTE: Many mountain resort community health care systems are strapped due to the ongoing coronavirus. IF you choose to earn your turns, please be responsible, stay close to home and err on the side of caution.

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