uphill travelers

Sun Valley Resort and the U.S. Forest Service are advising uphill travelers on Bald Mountain to follow regulations and designated mandatory routes.

With an increasing number of people hiking, snowshoeing and skiing up Bald Mountain during the ski area’s off hours, Sun Valley Resort and the U.S. Forest Service are reminding uphill travelers that they have to follow specific regulations and routes established to promote safety.

In a letter to the community issued Saturday, Sun Valley Resort President and General Manager Tim Silva and U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Kurt Nelson asked people who recreate on Bald Mountain to familiarize themselves with the policies and routes to ensure their own safety and that of the resort’s on-mountain operations team.

“The popularity of after-hours travel on Bald Mountain has grown significantly this season, and we anticipate it continuing to do so with the warmer weather of spring,” the letter states. “With the increase in popularity comes a significant concern with after-hours skiers and riders straying from the designated uphill and downhill routes.”

Silva and Nelson state that a major concern is recreationists encountering grooming equipment and other machinery that pose significant hazards.

“Snow cats may be working in various locations, often times assisted by a cable stretched out for hundreds of yards in the dark,” the letter states.

Sun Valley Resort operates the ski area on Bald Mountain through a use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management own the ski area’s land. The resort’s uphill-travel policy—as well its downhill-travel rules—are approved by the Forest Service.

During the ski season, uphill travel by the way of foot, snowshoes or skis is not allowed between the operating hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Users must be descending by 9 a.m. 

Other guidelines for winter-season uphill travel include:

• Uphill travelers must follow designated routes while going up and down the mountain. The routes are marked with yellow markers indicating the path of travel.

• Users must yield the right of way to, and stay clear of, ski-area machinery (grooming machines, snowmobiles and snowmaking equipment).

• Users must wear reflective clothing, a headlamp and a blinking tail light at all times.

• Users must adhere to trail closures.

• Dogs are prohibited on Bald Mountain from Nov. 1 through April 30.

“Let’s make sure we preserve our access to Baldy in the evenings and early mornings by staying safe and staying on the designated routes,” the letter states.

To read the full Bald Mountain Uphill Travel Policy and view the route map, go to sunvalley.com.

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