Loveland Ski Area in Colorado has just received the green light from U.S. Forest Service officials to expand their cat skiing operations. This newly granted permission will allow skiers and riders to access 580 beautiful acres of the upper Dry Gulch area. Approximately 370 acres are within the Loveland Ski Area boundary and an additional 200 acres lie just northeast outside of the boundary.
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This new guided service will differ from Loveland’s preexisting Ridge Cat, which transports skiers and riders up to Gate 4 North for free on a first-come, first-serve basis. The new snowcat service will require reservations in advance as well as an additional charge that has yet to be determined. The snowcat will offer two trips per day, with a maximum of 16 participants per trip.
There will be additional avalanche mitigation in the 200 acres of terrain that lie outside of the resort. However, backcountry skiers and recreationists who choose not to use the snowcat will still have free access to the area as long as avalanche mitigation is not underway.
To ensure that this backcountry area is protected, there must be at least two feet of snow on the ground for the snowcats to operate and Loveland will not be permitted to clear any trees. The U.S. Forest Service has carefully considered the potential environmental impacts of this project and will continue to monitor the effects of this new guided service into next season.
Ultimately, this an exciting step forward for Loveland Ski Area and will grant incredible access to terrain that many folks wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.