Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Summit at Snoqualmie revised uphill travel policy
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Randito
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Randito
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PostTue Nov 30, 2021 11:14 am 
Executive Summary:

1) Uphill travelers must register and obtain an uphill travel pass .  There is a $5 processing fee for obtaining a uphill travel pass.  An uphill travel pass is required even if you already have a lift pass.
2) Uphill travel no longer permitted within the Alpental boundaries for the entire winter season.
3) Uphill travelers restricted to parking in specifc parking lots during peak days (Holidays and weekends until March 6th)
4) Uphill travelers at Summit West, Central and East must use desginated routes when the ski area is operating.

http://summitatsnoqualmie.com/uphill-travel-policy

Link for ordering an uphill pass

https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/uphill-travel-policy?keyword=UpHillPass

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dixon
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PostTue Nov 30, 2021 2:21 pm 
Thanks for sharing Randi. Any idea what caused the change? I'm presuming an increase in uphill travel last season an/or accidents?

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Randito
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Randito
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PostTue Nov 30, 2021 2:33 pm 
I can only speculate.

However the last several years have seen vastly increased numbers of uphill skiers.


A decade ago there were just a hand full of nut jobs  coming up and skinning up along the edges of runs during weeknights for conditioning.


But starting about 5 years ago a "Skimo Beer League" started and that group has now grown that there have been dozens of people churning uphill in spandex.   They have had the good sense to mainly use areas not open for lift skiers for their courses.

However I've also observed significant strings  of people  skinning uphill under the lights while teaching on Wednesday nights @West and some of these folks not always respecting the roped off areas for City League's race courses.

dixon
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kw
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kw
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PostTue Nov 30, 2021 7:25 pm 
Snoqualmie's also just a bit obsessed with these $5 passes to try to limit people using their slopes, they may be the only ski area I've ever seen which made you buy an extra $5 pass to use their terrain park, so it's not too surprising they've decided to add this for skinning up.

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mosey
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PostTue Nov 30, 2021 11:32 pm 
I'm a bit surprised their permit allows them to prohibit usage of public land beyond their infrastructure. huh.gif

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kw
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kw
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 1:13 am 
Looking more into the specifics on the website, this is a lot more draconian than I thought. This entire area (image below) is now effectively closed to everyone except those who have paid to descend from Chair 2, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from December through May. I'm very surprised the USFS approved this without any sort of public outreach, though I guess that's not particularly unusual for them. Hard to really call it public land anymore since Boyne has basically put a fence up around nearly a thousand acres for almost half the year.

Closure
Closure

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Randito
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Randito
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 7:56 am 
Check out Mission Ridge's uphill policy.

The entire permit area is closed to uphill travel 7AM to 5PM on days they operate-- including the demand that uphill skiers have returned to the base area by 7AM.

https://www.missionridge.com/uphill-policy-2021-22

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Randito
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Randito
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 8:04 am 
Mt Baker's policy also excludes uphill travel within the permit boundaries when they are operating (and also when they are doing avalanche control)

https://www.mtbaker.us/safety-education/mountain-safety/uphill-travel-guidelines/

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 10:09 am 
My Economics professor always asked the rhetorical question, “and why do the do this?” he then answered his own question, “ To Make Money!”. This explains most actions in a capitalist society. Face it downhill skiing is a dying industry except destination resorts. Between global warming, exorbitant lift prices, switch to season tickets, rise of XC/AT skiing,  and loss and consolidation of venues ski schools on weekends for school kids has become almost extinct. You have to hook them when they are young, young adults do not want to look like idiots on the slope learning to ski. Ski areas are forced to do anything to make a buck. Do you think the price of “grooming” stickers on SnoParks near ski areas is a coincidence. Ski areas are adding MTB parks, fancy summer diners,  and scenic gondola rides to try and make up.

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Tom
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 2:04 pm 
$5 a year?  Sounds like it's mostly to cover processing costs.

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 4:12 pm 
Foot in the door. Sno Park went from $40 to $50 and grooming permit from $40 to $70 and people wine about gas going up15%.

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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 5:04 pm 
Couldn't find any uphill restrictions at the Loup.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 6:32 pm 
Malachai Constant wrote:
Foot in the door. Sno Park went from $40 to $50 and grooming permit from $40 to $70 and people wine about gas going up15%.

Given that uphill travelers within the ski area boundary get a place to park, avalanche control and groomed snow -- $5 year is a heck of a deal.  Especially compared to the $120 needed to shell out for sno-park parking at Hyak, Cabin Creek or Lake Easton.

I would prefer to see Washington adopt the Oregon model,  where everyone needs a sno-park permit,  including lift served skiers and the sno-park funds are used to plow the lots at places like Timberline.   Oregon sno-parks are $25.

Washington does collect a lot of sales tax revenue from the sale of lift tickets and seasons passes -- which help pay for plowing the roads to places like Crystal and Mt Baker -- without the ski area there would be no reason to plow those roads.

My other idea for generating revenue to pay for plowing parking lots, etc is to impose a two drink minimum at the bierstube,  but the car insurance industry would surely lobby hard against that.

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altasnob
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altasnob
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 7:46 pm 
As Randito points out, most ski areas ban uphill travel in their ski area permit area, or if they allow it, restrict it to a specific route and only when they believe conditions permit (like Crystal). I don't think this is draconian or an attempt to make profit but comes down to safety. When Alpental is open, there is no safe route up through the ski area permit area. You are either traveling uphill in avalanche terrain with ski patrol potentially controlling slopes with explosives above you, or you are hiking up a crowded, icy, groomed trail with out of control downhill skiers coming down at you (and not expecting uphill travel). It's a recipe for disaster.

Note, one can still travel from Alpental to Source Lake, Pinapple Pass, and all the other true backcountry areas around Alpental that are outside the ski area permit area. And you can do this regardless of whether the ski area is open or not. Alpental is also nice enough to let uphill travelers use the plowed cat road at the start of the route to Source Lake, but then asks uphill travel take the lower route once the plowed cat track ends.

kw wrote:
I'm very surprised the USFS approved this without any sort of public outreach

Alpental doesn't have to seek USFS approval to institute this policy. Their lease allows them to restrict uphill travel for safety reasons. If the public really doesn't like this policy, the time to challenge it would be when USFS is renewing Alpental's special use permit.

Lindsay
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thunderhead
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PostWed Dec 01, 2021 9:29 pm 
annoying that passholders have to fill out another stupid form, but not too bad otherwise.

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