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UPDATE: Uphill Travel Policies at Vermont Ski Areas

Many Vermont ski areas have updated their uphill travel policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy Bolton Valley Resort)

UPDATE: (Updated 04/02/20) Given the current situation with all Vermont alpine ski areas closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, skiers and riders should be aware of several important factors when making the decision to participate in uphill travel to "earn your turns."

Alpine ski areas in Vermont are CLOSED. That means that in addition to no lodge, restaurant or other customer services, there are no ski patrol personnel conducting operations on the mountain. Any necessary emergency response/rescue services must come from outside agencies already dealing with the current health crisis; this could equate to delays and/or reduced capabilties from responding personnel. Those faced with emergency situations should dial 9-1-1 to initiate assistance.

Trails at closed ski areas are NOT GROOMED, and as a result may present variable surfaces that could be challenging and potentially hazardous to skiers and riders.

SKIERS AND RIDERS CHOOSING TO RECREATE AT CLOSED ALPINE SKI AREAS DO SO COMPLETELY AT THEIR OWN RISK AND RESPONSIBILITY. BEFORE VISITING A CLOSED SKI AREA, CHECK ITS WEBSITE FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE POLICIES AND REGULATIONS FOR UPHILL TRAVEL AND TRAIL USAGE.

If you do go, be sure to follow Governor Phil Scott’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order which includes if leaving home, Vermonters (and everyone) should adhere to social distancing policies, including remaining six feet from others. This means not carpooling, congregating in parking areas, lodge decks or anywhere on the mountain.

Below are the updated policies for uphill travel and backcountry/sidecountry access at Vermont alpine ski areas:

Bolton Valley Resort
"Bolton Valley is closed for the winter season. This includes resort wide operations, services and our designated uphill routes and backcountry terrain - it is all closed at this time due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We can't wait to see you all around the mountain again soon, but for now, are following the guidance of state and local health officials who do recommend you continue to get outside and exercise, but do so as close to your homes as possible. Thank you for your understanding and support." 

https://www.boltonvalley.com/nbu 

Bromley Mountain
"Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Bromley Mountain is currently closed to all activity. No uphill travel, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or sledding is allowed. Equipment and environmental hazards exist. There are no services available. Any injury will further tax a system that relies on a small group of dedicated rescue personnel serving not only the mountain but all its neighbors. Please be safe, for yourself and for the community."

https://www.bromley.com/the-mountain/policies/uphill-travel-policy/

Jay Peak Resort
"We are in the business of creating experiences, and like nothing better than to be out recreating with all of our friends. Fresh air and exercise are essential components to remaining healthy during this time of healing and self-isolation, but we encourage everyone to do so in a conservative manner. Our healthcare system will be under pressure this spring, and this is not the time to be taking risks. Due to these reasons, and in response to the Stay-at-Home order from the governor, Jay Peak has closed all access to ski trails and uphill travel is prohibited until further notice."

https://jaypeakresort.com/skiing-riding/mountain/safety#paragraph-1903

Killington Resort/Pico Mountain
"Uphill Travel at Killington and Pico is closed for the season. Thank you for your understanding."

https://www.killington.com/the-mountain/mountain-info/uphill-travel

Mad River Glen
"
Over the last few difficult weeks we know that many of you have enjoyed skinning, hiking, skiing, and riding at our mountains. While we fully embrace outdoor recreation, we have reluctantly made the decision to end uphill travel for the rest of this season at both Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, effective immediately. As we have become two of the last resorts permitting this activity, we are concerned that this will now bring even more people into our community at a time when it is not in anyone’s best interest. Last weekend both Sugarbush and Mad River Glen saw a large volume of visitors traveling here from around the state and beyond. Though many were practicing social distancing, many others were not following the proper guidelines. Given the favorable weather this weekend, we would anticipate even larger numbers if we don’t close uphill travel.

We know that outdoor exercise is something that we all enjoy and what is strongly recommended by the medical community and exempted under the Stay at Home order by Governor Scott. However, as the worst of the Coronavirus is still in front of us, we believe that this is the most appropriate action to take at this time. Being good community members and looking out for the best interests of the community is a core value that we both hold. We thank you for your understanding and ask that you help us spread the word and keep people safe. We look forward to the return of normalcy. In the meantime, stay healthy."

https://www.madriverglen.com/uphill-policy/

Magic Mountain
"Magic is now closed for the season. Stay safe, healthy and practice social distancing. We will all be together in the near future again enjoying what we love so much.."

https://www.Magicmtn.com/snow-report

Middlebury Snow Bowl
"In light of the Stay Home, Stay Safe announcement from the Governor, the decision has been made to close the Snow Bowl to all users. A barrier has been placed across the parking lot with signage. This means NO skiing, riding, skinning, hiking, sledding until at least April 15. Please respect this decision and stay home and stay safe."

https://www.middleburysnowbowl.com/

Mount Snow Resort
https://www.mountsnow.com/ski-ride/snow-report/ (scroll to bottom and click "more info")

Okemo Mountain Resort
https://www.okemo.com/the-mountain/about-the-mountain/mountain-safety.aspx

Smugglers' Notch Resort
"Uphill traffic at Smugglers’ Notch Resort is now closed. Following similar closures at all ski areas, we are concerned that allowing this activity will result in a level of participation that is not consistent with guidelines from the Vermont Dept. of Health and the Stay at Home order from Governor Scott. Additionally, eliminating risk is crucial to keeping our local rescue agencies available and safe during this crisis. With the peak of the COVID-19 crisis still ahead, we believe that discontinuing uphill access is the only responsible course we can take for our community.

Currently, there are no on-mountain services, rescue, or grooming operations. Surface conditions may change at any time. Sledding and motorized vehicles (including snowmobiles) are not permitted on any trails at Smugglers’ Notch Resort. Thank you for understanding."

Website: smuggs.com/pages/winter/winter-closing.php

Stowe Mountain Resort
Uphill access is currently CLOSED on all portions of Stowe Mountain Resort until further notice.

These closures mitigate the risk to our first responders and protect our local resources.  Your safety and the safety of our community is our top priority.

WITHOUT SKI PATROL AND TERRAIN MAINTENANCE IT IS UNSAFE FOR SKIERS, RIDERS, THOSE SLEDDING AND FIRST RESPONDERS. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING ALL POSTED CLOSURES.

https://www.stowe.com/the-mountain/about-the-mountain/mountain-safety.aspx

Stratton Mountain Resort
"All uphill travel at Stratton is closed, and gathering on the slopes for any activity is barred to comply with current state orders and for your safety.  We understand how important outdoor recreation is, and we look forward to the day we can welcome you back to the mountain. 

Currently, there are no services available and equipment and environmental hazards exist. There is no skiing, riding, snowshoeing, sledding or snowmobiling allowed.  For your safety, compliance is required. 

We must work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and support our community that relies on a small group of dedicated rescue personnel serving not only the mountain but all our neighbors."

Sugarbush Resort
"Over the last few difficult weeks we know that many of you have enjoyed skinning, hiking, skiing, and riding at our mountains. While we fully embrace outdoor recreation, we have reluctantly made the decision to end uphill travel for the rest of this season at both Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, effective immediately. As we have become two of the last resorts permitting this activity, we are concerned that this will now bring even more people into our community at a time when it is not in anyone’s best interest. Last weekend both Sugarbush and Mad River Glen saw a large volume of visitors traveling here from around the state and beyond. Though many were practicing social distancing, many others were not following the proper guidelines. Given the favorable weather this weekend, we would anticipate even larger numbers if we don’t close uphill travel.

"We know that outdoor exercise is something that we all enjoy and what is strongly recommended by the medical community and exempted under the Stay at Home order by Governor Scott. However, as the worst of the Coronavirus is still in front of us, we believe that this is the most appropriate action to take at this time. Being good community members and looking out for the best interests of the community is a core value that we both hold. We thank you for your understanding and ask that you help us spread the word and keep people safe. We look forward to the return of normalcy. In the meantime, stay healthy."

Suicide Six Recreation Area
"We are currently closed for the season for all recreational activities including uphill travel until further notice. We encourage everyone to do their part to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 by following the state and federal government recommendations. Stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you next year."

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