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Park City Mountain warns uphill privileges at risk as skiers, riders ignore safety requirements

Uphilling rewards skiers and riders with beautiful sunrises (above) and sunsets, but only go as far as Angle Station at the top of Town Lift.
Connor Thomas
Uphilling rewards skiers and riders with beautiful sunrises (above) and sunsets, but only go as far as Angle Station at the top of Town Lift.

Park City Mountain says it may have to suspend uphill privileges after numerous skiers have deviated from the run this year.

Park City Mountain opens for uphill travel from 6 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.

For those unfamiliar, that means hiking up on foot or on modified equipment—“skinning”—before skiing or riding back down. There’s only one way up, and one way down: Homerun.

Skiers and splitboarders commonly go down Treasure Hollow, and up and down “Phil’s Hill,” the steep section that cuts through the last switchback on Homerun. But neither route is allowed.

Treasure Hollow in particular is frequented by Park City Mountain’s snowcats.

“[Uphill] has certainly grown in popularity, and we have quite a few folks that are out early in the morning, in the evening after we're done with our lift operations,” Snow safety manager Toph White said, “but we've had folks that are deviating from the uphill and downhill route.”

And that means close calls with groomers and avalanche mitigation, where ski patrollers use explosives to trigger slides. White said skiers have gone on runs with active winch cats… groomers that anchor and rappel down steep slopes.

White said that’s unsafe, and low visibility only adds to the danger for all involved.

“We certainly don't want any of our employees to get hurt or injure anybody,” he said. “We want to make sure that we're keeping our users safe.”

So the resort is reminding users how to safely skin up and ride down.

And if skiers don’t abide by the rules, the resort may have to suspend uphill travel. Spokesperson Emily McDonald said that’s not the goal.

Here are the rules:

  • Uphill is open from 6 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.
  • The designated route is from the bottom of First Time, up Homerun, to Angle Station, which is at the top of Town Lift.
  • The downhill route is the same, just in reverse.
  • Climbers stay to climbers’ left, and skiers stay to skiers’ left.
  • Wear a headlamp and reflective clothing is recommended.
  • No dogs are allowed.

Safety is even more important during uphill hours because ski patrollers aren’t working then. No injuries have been reported so far, except for skiers or riders colliding with climbers.
The parameters, White said, will help keep it a fun and safe environment for everyone.

“I think quite a few locals use it. I know that a lot of our employees do as well. And having been out there, I've seen people that are out there just getting a lap in before or after work. It's a great social hour as well,” White added.

Text “UPHILL” to (435) 244-7169 for updates and news about uphill skiing at Park City Mountain.

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