Several years ago, we instituted a new Uphill Travel Policy that allowed skiers and splitboarders alike to ascend the mountain on designated routes outside of operating hours. Reception was quite positive. And we were happy to do it. The goal of the policy was first and foremost to provide some clarity around uphill, but more specifically to provide a fun alternative activity for outdoor enthusiasts. At the time, it was a somewhat niche group of people.
But over the last few years, and particularly during the peak of the pandemic, we’ve seen interest in uphill travel spike. That’s not just at Sugarbush. You will hear the same story at ski resorts and from backcountry coalitions around the country. Knowing that, we felt it was time to reevaluate our policy, take in the feedback we had heard over the past few years, and make some exciting new changes.
So without further ado, we’re proud to announce that we have a new Uphill Travel Policy, which most excitingly includes the addition of a new anytime skinning route, including during operating hours, over at Mt. Ellen. This will allow skinners access to the mountain 24/7, assuming our routes are open based on conditions. The Mt. Ellen uphill route starts near the bottom of the Sunshine Quad to continues along through the woods (marked by orange flags) up to the top of the Green Mountain Express Quad. In the daytime, this will give skinners access to any of the open terrain serviced by the Green Mountain Express, while outside of operating hours skinners can choose between Lower FIS, Tumbler, Cliffs, Hammerhead, Encore, Cruiser, Lower Cruiser, and Straight Shot. There will be times when we’re winching on Cliffs, in which case several of those trails will be closed and specifically called out in our snow report.
At Lincoln Peak, we’ll be keeping our previous policy in place. Uphill travel will be allowed on designated routes outside of operating hours. We believe this provides a nice complement to the Mt. Ellen route by keeping uphill travel at Lincoln Peak on snowmaking trails, acting as a buffer against poor natural snow depths. Similar to Mt. Ellen, you may now access any open terrain on your way down.
We hope this is exciting news for a number of you, and we look forward to continuing to find ways to evolve our policy. In the meantime, dust off the skins, stretch out the hip flexors, and enjoy that uphill travel. You can view the full uphill policy here.