Aspen Skiing Co. revealed their pass options for the upcoming season yesterday, which included the announcement that they will be charging customers to ski uphill.
The pass will cost $69 for the season, and anybody wishing to power themselves uphill (skinning, snowshoeing, or walking) at any of the resort’s four mountains will be required to purchase it. Premier passholders will get the pass included with their purchase.
“An Uphill Pass, no matter how many days you use it, will be $69, with $10 of this fee going directly to our local search and rescue organization, Mountain Rescue Aspen. The Uphill Pass is included at no charge to all Premier Passholders; they simply need to opt-in when they purchase their pass.”
– Resort website
Uphill Passholders will be required to wear an Aspen Snowmass provided armband with a photo Aspen Card visible within the sleeve while participating on the four mountains.
Skico says that they are introducing the pass because as the popularity of earning your turns and uphill travel—including hiking, snowshoeing or skinning —has increased significantly, so has the need to manage uphill access. The pass will enable them to facilitate skier, hiker, and employee safety, operational management, and offer better communication about designated routes, mountain information, conditions and closures.
“We have seen a large uptick in the volume of uphill traffic and use of our slopes in the past few years so it is time to put attention to managing the process for all guests. There are inherent costs involved in this, including signage, ski patrol workload, route maintenance, as well as impacts on parking and facilities. A structured uphill program with pass will provide a means to educate all guests to rules, communicate closures when they occur, inform conditions, routes, terrain management, special programs and events.”
– Resort website
Uphilling will be permitted daily from 5 am through 10:30 pm. On Aspen Mountain, uphillers must be at the top by 9 am, and at Highlands to the Merry-Go-Round by 9 am. Temporary closures of specific routes and/or all uphill access across the resort may occur for safety, grooming, capacity, or other reasons. There may be blackouts due to early season snowmaking and mountain preparation, avalanche, crowding, events or other issues that will be communicated via email, social media and on the Aspen/Snowmass website.