With ski season rapidly approaching, Whitefish Mountain Resort is reminding skiers and snowboarders of its uphill policy, which designates the specific areas to access Big Mountain during winter.
On Wednesday, the resort’s uphill policy took effect. From now until the resort opens, skiers and snowboarders wishing to access Big Mountain between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. must use the designated East Route for uphill and downhill traffic. The East Route begins at the Base Lodge, crosses the bridge toward the Ski and Ride School and clinic building and ascends lower Inspiration, Expressway, Moe-Mentum, and Fill Hill to the summit.
There are no uphill or downhill route restrictions before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m. during pre-season and post-season.
Once the resort opens, there are two approved routes for uphill and downhill travel. Toni Matt, which is marked by 12-inch diamonds showing the route, is open for uphill travel from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Downhill travel is allowed between 6-9 a.m. The East Route is open for uphill travel from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and downhill travel from 4-7 p.m.
It is prohibited for anyone to be off the two approved downhill routes outside of the allotted time periods.
Resort officials ask the public to be aware of equipment, such as snow guns, hoses, grooming machines, snowmobiles and high voltage lines, that present potential hazards to skiers wishing to travel uphill for turns.
Opening day is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 7.
This year, uphill skier parking is only permitted in the Spruce Lot.
Throughout the entire year, it is prohibited for anyone to approach within 100 feet of grooming machines, whether stationary or moving; or 50 feet of snowmaking equipment and high-voltage electrical cables.
The Flathead National Forest has the authority to issue $100 citations to anyone who violates the uphill policy on Big Mountain. Repeat offenders face stiffer penalties.
Whitefish Mountain Resort is one of 122 ski areas across the country operating on U.S. Forest Service land under a special use permit. It is also one of a few ski resorts in the region that allows people to ascend ski runs and ski down for free.
Tips for Uphill Travel
— Travel uphill only on the designated route, marked with red diamond-shaped signs.
— Stay completely to the edge of ski trails; do not hike or stand in the middle of a ski trail.
— Observe posted signs, warnings, and trail closures.
— Be alert for and yield to downhill skiers.
— Yield to and/or avoid all ski area machinery.
— Stop in high-traffic zones, where you are likely to obstruct a trail, or where you are not visible to downhill traffic.
— Hike, stand, or otherwise position more than two people side-by-side across the fall line.
—Bring pets out of parking areas during ski season.
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