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Sunlight Closes Uphill Access, SkiCo Has No Plans To Do The Same For Now

Mar 23, 2020

A sign at Buttermilk indicates that the mountain is closed in accordance with the Governor's order. A man skis uphill in the background.
Credit Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Colorado’s ski resorts are closed by order of the Governor, but some adventurous residents are still “uphilling” by hiking or skinning up the slopes. On Friday, Vail Resorts shut down uphill access at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte. Sunlight Mountain in Glenwood Springs did the same Sunday.

In an email to Aspen Public Radio, Aspen Skiing Company spokesman Jeff Hanle said the resort would only close uphilling access if it was “advised to do so by state or local health agencies.” 

 

SkiCo previously said it would take direction from health officials if it were to close mountain operations, which they eventually did when the governor mandated that all resorts close.

Sunlight said its closure is “in accordance with public health recommendations issued by the state and Garfield County” and out of caution due to changing conditions. 

A spokesman for Sunlight said large numbers of people congregating on the mountain and in parking lots were “not holding true to the spirit” of requests to maintain distance from others. 

Local health officials and SkiCo CEO Mike Kaplan have urged uphillers to exercise caution on the slopes, saying that injuries would put extra strain on first responders and healthcare workers who are needed to meet medical demands brought on by coronavirus.