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Skinning Inside The Ropes With No Lift Needed

Uphill-Vermont-ski-vermont Plenty of uphill access in Vermont, including Magic Mountain. (SkiVermont.com)

Heading up the mountain on skis has gained popularity around the nation. Most resort have designated trails, access times and a set of rules (check website) – but it's free to travel uphill.

Vermont's Magic Mountain permits skinning up at all hours, and dedicates an uphill route that begins by the Green Chair. All uphillers must stay to sides of trails. A free permit ticket must be picked up at ticket window during operation hours. Unique to Magic is the “Hike One, Ride One” token. Available at the top of Red Chair, the token gives uphillers a free chairlift ride from the bottom.

Heading up the ski hill after the lifts have closed is increasingly popular all over SnoCountry. (SkiUphill RunUphill)

At Telluride, the uphill access season extends well beyond the 2019 seaso. From April 8 to May 25, those who climb for runs can skin up open trails inside the Colorado mountain's ropes. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When the sun goes down -- or before it comes up -- that's when the uphillers get up and going. (Colorado Ski Country USA)

Uphilling skiing at Breckenridge begins after 5 p.m on designated routes on four of the resort's five peaks; only Peak 6 is roped off. After-hours skiers and riders must stay to the center of trails and away from grooming machinery.

Late-closer Loveland has one designated route that goes to top of Ptarmigan lift. All uphill travel occurs while the lifts are closed but requires a free Uphill Access Card to be picked up between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Over in Utah, Snowbasin will stay open until late April. Uphill acess is 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. so skiers and riders must have lights. Routes start on baby slope Powder Puff and top out at Needles Lodge. Uphillers must stick to middle of trail, and uphill route is the downhill route.

Diamond Peak has five routes for hardy uphillers to take on. (Diamond Peak/Facebook)

The Tahoe season is running late this season – good news for uphillers. At Diamond Peak, two access periods – 5:30 to 9:00 a.m., and 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. – and free pass is required. There are five designated routes, three easier ones on lower half, and two that reach the summit. If 2 inches fall overnight, no morning access.

It's important to follow the local rules and obey signs to be safe while skinning. (Skicb.com)Oregon's always has a long season, which is lucky for uphillers. The Cone area is open 24 hours for uphill skiing, and its lower route shares access to the other two – Pine Marten and Summit – that combine to get uphillers to the very top. Pine Marten and Summit are only open while the lifts are running. Kiosk at bottom of Red Chair alerts to any closures.

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