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The Aspen Times reports that, while a lot of ski industry remains wary of uphill traffic by skiers using climbing skins, Aspen Skiing Co. not only embraces uphilling, it’s promoting it. Aspen is offering clinics for uphillers for the first time this season. The resort rents alpine touring gear at its Four Mountain Sports at Aspen Mountain.
Uphilling is allowed at all times at Snowmass and Buttermilk/ Tiehack but uphillers must reach the summit of Aspen Mountain or to the Merry-Go-Round Restaurant at Aspen Highlands by 9 a.m. or turn around. There are designated routes during hours of operation at each of the ski areas except Snowmass, where only Adams Avenue is closed to uphillers.
During pre-season, one uphiller estimated he encountered 300 people on the slopes one day. That’s more paying customers than Highlands accommodates on some weekdays during the season, he said. The resort noted that no ski area services, including ski patrol, are available during hours that the ski areas are not open. Uphillers are asked to call 911 for any emergencies during non-operational hours and they are responsible for their own safety.