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Uphill skiing at/near resorts?

This may sound like a dumb idea, but I raise the question nevertheless.

What is the common resorts' outlook on folk who skip the lift and ski uphill at the resort? Not the policy per se, as the vast majority of ski resorts don't allow it (in Tahoe area only Sugarbowl has an allowed route for skinning and Kirkwood allows it after hours), but what if you are caught skiing downhill with no lift ticket but with a backpack with skins in it? 

The scenario what I am pondering is skinning up outside the bounds and going down inbounds (i.e. doing the opposite of the sidecountry skiing), just for the sake of logging vertical feet/working out/testing new equipment and not having to worry about avalanche control, etc.




7 Replies

Hi @Dmitry - each resort is different, and has different rules and protocols in place, so I would read between the lines carefully since improper usage could result in heavy fines and/or jail time. 

Some resorts allow skinning up before the lifts start churning. Again, each resort is different so check into your favorite ski areas to see if this is allowed, which part of the ski area it's allowed in, and if there are any uphill passes or tags you need to carry. Most resorts that allow uphill in the morning require that you begin your descent before recreational skiers start using the lifts to diminish crashes and accidents. 

As far as accessing side country to get to the resort, again read between the lines for each resort's rules and regulations, but I'm going to guess most will say this is a "no-no." Also remember that the side country is not maintained, so please make sure you are prepared with your beacon, probe and shovel, plus your avalanche awareness education and understanding of current avalanche forecasts . And do not go alone!

Be safe, whatever you decide to do!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

great training but I'm pretty sure you'll need to buy a lift ticket, those slopes don't groom themselves 😉

REI Member Since 1979

that said, if you're training for ski-touring, you might be able to skin up 'outside' the boundary and on down in the forest/valley, whatever.  Just be aware of avalanche conditions, activate you beacon.

REI Member Since 1979

Hi @Philreedshikes,

The resort in question is Dodge Ridge Ski resort, and, having read the discussion, I opted to ask them directly (still waiting for reply).

I've XC skied the Pinecrest (basically, the trail system around the resort) on a few occasions, and my recollection is that the forest around is so dense that I perhaps can make it uphill but whether the sidecountry slopes are skiable is debatable. There are few places where it looks like I have a shot, but the route involves cutting through the resort area. In an earlier discussion someone suggested touring to the Bell Mountain, but I'd like to access the area first by poking around the resort vicinity and comparing the observed vegetation density to the aerial photos.

Dodge Ridge is not particularly popular place compared to Tahoe area and that makes it attractive from my perspective.


The vast majority of my ski touring has been distant from groomed slopes and lifts, so no problems, conflicts, or issues.  If you are going to ski on groomed slopes, be nice and play by their rules.

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OK, got the response from the Dodge Ridge (for the record).

The uphill skiing on the ski run is not allowed, but otherwise it  sounded like they don't care how I get to the top of the run, but to ski on it I need to have a regular lift ticket.

Come to Whitefish and there are dedicated routes for uphill and you can get a cheap $12 uphill lift ticket.  May have similar situations around the country's other resorts.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.