Steamboat Resort announces multiple price points for uphill users, updated policy
There will be two price points for uphill users at Steamboat Resort during the 2021-22 season. Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Vice President of Mountain Operations Dave Hunter said all Ikon or Steamboat Resort passholders will pay $29 while nonpassholders will pay $49 for an armband, which allows uphill access.
For passholders, that’s a $9 increase over last year, which was the first year Steamboat Resort implemented a fee system and restricted access hours. The rest of the policy remains the same from last year, with access only allowed between 4:30 p.m. and 9 a.m., no dogs and recommended routes.
“In the end, our night operation staff and our uphill users, their safety is our No. 1 concern,” Hunter said. “Obviously, there is a lot of work that happens overnight, and you need to be cautious and cognizant of those mountain operations and activities and avoid them at all costs.”
“We appreciate your continued support,” he added.
Armbands are in stock and available for sale at the ticket office. Armbands and waivers can also be found at SteamboatResort.com/uphill. The reflective bands, a different color than previous years, must be visible at all times while at the resort. The uphill page will be updated to show when access is allowed, which is dictated by conditions.
Once again, Steamboat Resort plans to give a portion of the proceeds from uphill passes to Routt County Search and Rescue. Last year, the resort gave $20,000 to the group.
Erika Dickerman, a recreation specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, also appeared in the town hall, assuring the community that it is within Steamboat Resort’s rights to charge for facilities, services and infrastructure.
“The ski resort puts a lot of effort into building the resort to begin with, not to mention snowmaking and grooming, which is why we all love to get out there early in the morning and use the mountain for uphill access,” Dickerman said. “So, they are allowed to charge for that service. If that’s something that is difficult and not something you want to participate in, there are hundreds of thousands of other acres on our national forest that you can use for backcountry access if you so choose.”
Hunter also debuted the resort’s new educational safety video, featuring Jake Ingle, a slope maintenance and snowcat operator. He explained the importance of sticking to the recommended route, as snowcats and winch cats can be dangerous.
Winch cats are more dangerous, since they are attached to a cable that helps them groom steep terrain. The cable is narrow and dark colored, so nearly impossible to see in the dark. What’s more, as the groomer changes position, the cable can snap 50 to 100 feet in either direction.
The video is about five minutes long, and all uphill users are asked to watch it as a means to better understand the relationship between the uphill community and the mountain operations staff.
Charlie MacArthur is called an uphill enthusiast as he appears in the video, acting as a liaison between the uphill community and the resort. He was happy to work with Steamboat Resort staff in crafting the guidelines and goals of uphill access.
“We should be grateful that the resort is doing this outreach,” MacArthur said. “They’re listening. They’re looking for the best way to incorporate their primary motives with those of the uphill community, and it doesn’t have to be that way. From my standpoint, I’m appreciative that they’re doing it.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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