Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Summit at Snoqualmie revised uphill travel policy
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jinx'sboy
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jinx'sboy
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PostWed Jan 24, 2024 7:20 pm 
Schroder wrote:
CheapSkier wrote:
They still want me to pay $50 to use public lands.
That's the way it works when land is leased out. They can set the rules.
When they ask you for $50 to use public lands - you can tell them to go pound sand! Retired FS guy here….long time dealing with Special Use Permits - and Ski Areas, specifically - for many years. Ski Areas operate under a Special Use Permit, which is not a lease. One of the standard Clauses in ANY Sp. Use Permit is a ‘boilerplate’ clause that says something like…“the area included in this Permit is NOT exclusive. Public use is allowed, unless it interferes with rights and activities authorized by this permit.” I’m paraphrasing. So - yes, they can prohibit IF your use might limit or interfere with their permitted use. Does your uphill travel at night interfere with their need to groom trails at night?….maybe…? Should the run(s) be closed?….possibly. But in any case, such closure would HAVE to be backed by a Closure Order. Permit holders, like a ski area, have NO authority to ‘close’ anything. In order for any area of public land to be closed - even inside a permit area boundary like a ski area - there HAS to be a Closure Order signed by the Forest Supervisor. There may well be one….its worth looking into. These ‘closure orders’ are public documents, easily available. The ski area may try to buffalo you and say ‘this area is closed by our permit’…or ‘by our operating plan’…or ‘by our Master Plan’ approved by the FS. Also, don’t accept the Ski Area explanation of…“State Law says…”, or…”County Ordinance # says….”. That’s all BS, too. Again, there is only ONE WAY any public land is closed to the public; by a Closure Order. Ask to see it - the local Ranger District will certainly have a copy. There may be one for the situations listed here. If so, it will/should specify exactly WHAT area is closed, and to WHICH uses/users, and WHAT exact time periods.

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daugman
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daugman
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PostSat Mar 09, 2024 8:57 am 
I know the Nordic Pass route and it being free to snowshoe on. But anything else on Snowshoes at Snoq appears to be forbidden unless you rent snowshoes from them, and their rental department is only open Fri, Sat, Sun. I can find nothing on how to legally cross any of their terrain without renting.

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daugman
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daugman
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PostSat Mar 09, 2024 9:14 am 
Then the Nordic Pass route- apologies for not posting the GPX. You enter on driveway in the Hyak neighborhood (don't park there) and follow Blue diamonds up to Nordic Pass. Caveat, in some places the blue diamonds are hard to spot, in most very abundant.

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snoqpass
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PostMon Apr 08, 2024 10:20 pm 
jinx'sboy wrote:
When they ask you for $50 to use public lands - you can tell them to go pound sand! Retired FS guy here….long time dealing with Special Use Permits - and Ski Areas, specifically - for many years. Ski Areas operate under a Special Use Permit, which is not a lease. One of the standard Clauses in ANY Sp. Use Permit is a ‘boilerplate’ clause that says something like…“the area included in this Permit is NOT exclusive. Public use is allowed, unless it interferes with rights and activities authorized by this permit.” I’m paraphrasing. So - yes, they can prohibit IF your use might limit or interfere with their permitted use. Does your uphill travel at night interfere with their need to groom trails at night?….maybe…? Should the run(s) be closed?….possibly. But in any case, such closure would HAVE to be backed by a Closure Order. Permit holders, like a ski area, have NO authority to ‘close’ anything. In order for any area of public land to be closed - even inside a permit area boundary like a ski area - there HAS to be a Closure Order signed by the Forest Supervisor. There may well be one….its worth looking into. These ‘closure orders’ are public documents, easily available. The ski area may try to buffalo you and say ‘this area is closed by our permit’…or ‘by our operating plan’…or ‘by our Master Plan’ approved by the FS. Also, don’t accept the Ski Area explanation of…“State Law says…”, or…”County Ordinance # says….”. That’s all BS, too. Again, there is only ONE WAY any public land is closed to the public; by a Closure Order. Ask to see it - the local Ranger District will certainly have a copy. There may be one for the situations listed here. If so, it will/should specify exactly WHAT area is closed, and to WHICH uses/users, and WHAT exact time periods.
That's all great but only Alpental and Summit West operate primarily on USFS land, however Summit Central is on private land as well as a significant portion of Summit East. Part of the problem now is the sheer numbers of people upholding and the seemingly large portion of them don't want to adhere to the rules. People aren't using the designated routes while the areas are open, they are bring their dogs on the hill while it's open aside from almost all of them off leash there's dog sh## everywhere at Summit East, there has been multiple close calls with Winch Cats at night, in the past people were uphilling at Alpental while avalanche control work with explosives was being done, people have entered the Back Bowls other than the designated gates and have been below patrollers doing ski cutting.Businesses without a SUP to operate on USFS land are teaching avalanche classes are bring their paying customers into the ski area without even asking if it's okay. Some people think it's okay to skin up to the top of Summit East then go ride the Hidden Valley Lift without a pass or ticket because theres rarely someone checking. Ski Areas across the country operating on USFS lands under a SUP have adopted polices regarding the use by uphill travelers with Forest Service approval, they aren't just making it up to scare people away. Anybody complaining that $50.00 is too much should remember they get plowed parking, they can go in the lodges and use the facilities, the grooming machines are making a nice trail for them to walk up, Ski Patrol has made the terrain safer for them to travel and if they should get hurt patrol will still help them. Wa State law specifically says that if you enter a closed run within the permitted ski area it is trespass in the 3rd degree,http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=79A.45.070 it's only been used a couple times due to the seriousness of the customers actions ( going into a closed area while patrol was doing avalanche control and the explosives had been lit). Encouraging people to ignore that are in place with the approval of the USFS isn't helpful and can be detrimental to future access. Regardless of what you are saying Ski Areas are enacting these polices with the approval of the USFS because there really isn't much they can do without it. If they tried to do it without approval it would get back to them very quickly. "Retired FS guy here….long time dealing with Special Use Permits - and Ski Areas, specifically - for many years.".. then you should know in addition to ensuring the SUP is being adhered to by the parties actual inspections of the ski area is done both formally every season and informally on a random basis. If the ski areas were blatantly violating the agreement corrective action would be taken. I'm pretty sure if the public disagrees or is unhappy with the ski areas policies the administrator would/does hear about it and pretty quickly too. You probably won't find any closure orders because the land isn't being closed to the public but there are some rules regarding the use of it and you don't get to come and do whatever you want whenever you feel like, you still have to follow the rules like everyone else. Designated runs and terrain within the permitted area are closed all the time for any number of reasons such as poor snow conditions, safety issues like avalanche mitigation needs to be performed, no lighting on the run during night operations, low coverage, grooming being done. The only time I've seen a Forest Closure affecting a ski area was during the COVID epidemic and it applied to everyone

jaysway, solohiker, car68
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Randito
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Randito
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PostTue Apr 09, 2024 8:37 am 
In areas within the Special Use Permit boundaries the public isn't allowed to go sledding or razz around on snowmobiles. Those that feel entitled to tell the Summit to "pound sand" can try ignoring the rules and if confronted by Summit staff contest the action in court. That's how the law in these sorts of things gets clarified. If you think $50 is expensive....

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