Uphillers’ pooches will be prohibited preseason at Aspen Highlands
As uphilling season inches closer with each snowstorm, Aspen Skiing Co. wants people to be aware of a new rule at Aspen Highlands this winter.
Dogs won’t be allowed to accompany uphillers at Aspen Highlands prior to the start of the ski season this year, according to Vice President of Mountain Operations Rich Burkley. No offense to dogs, he said, there’s just a conflict with Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.
Like usual, Highlands won’t open until later in the ski season. This year, it is opening Dec. 10. In the past, the late opening has made it a popular destination for skiers who use climbing skins to get up the slopes for a run down. Many skiers bring their dogs. The problem is the lower slopes also are used for training for the ski club’s racers.
Burkley said there are some conflicts with dogs being off leash while the ski club is using the ski area. However, the biggest problem is with dog waste that the canines’ human friends won’t pick up, he said.
There’s also a problem with dog waste littering the slopes of Tiehack, an immensely popular uphilling destination in early morning before the lifts operate and in the evening after the ski area closes. Burkley said too many people aren’t picking up after their pooches.
There are no plans to prohibit dogs on Tiehack before or after ski-area operations because it would be too difficult to enforce, Burkley said. So, Skico is appealing people to be cool and pick up waste.
Dogs will no longer be allowed on the slopes of Snowmass during ski-area operations this winter. Skico formerly allowed dogs on leashes on a designated route.
Other than tweaking rules about dogs, Skico’s uphilling policies are unchanged and among the most welcoming in the ski industry. Uphillers are welcome at Snowmass and Tiehack during ski-area operations. They must be at the summit of Aspen Mountain by 9 a.m. At Aspen Highlands, uphillers must reach the Merry-Go-Round restaurant by 9 a.m. to continue.
Burkley said Skico will again emphasize that uphillers must be careful to avoid snowmaking, grooming and other mountain operations whenever they are on the slopes.
Uphilling regulations can be found at https://www.aspensnowmass.com under each mountain’s information.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
Mountain Rescue Aspen is expanding its education efforts to try to keep people safe in the backcountry during winters and summers. It will host a workshop on Dec. 8 titled, “How to Plan a Backcountry Tour.”