Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

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powderpirate
Posts: 7
Joined: September 23rd, 2010, 3:42 pm

Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby powderpirate » November 30th, 2013, 5:19 pm

I would like to initiate a discussion on this topic. Inviting Kpac members, USFS, Snowbowl and ski patrol. First of all the policy currently is not clear. If the lifts are running there is no hiking. However what about if some are running and others are closed? Is it OK to hike up the trails on closed lifts until they are open? I see no safety reason why that should not be OK. Can we negotiate a reasonable compromise with USFS for example having a designated hiking route during these times? That way everyone knows where there are uphill hikers. Say the north edge of Logjam or the south edge of Ridge. Or the allowed uphill route of the day could be posted on the bulletin board so if there is any activity that may be potential danger to us they could route us the other way. It is very frustrating being a skier in AZ at times and many of us work hard to be able to ski on our days off. It does not seem fair to get psyched to have a great day, get up to Snowbowl early, and Agassiz lift is on wind hold. And be told we can't even hike up? OK guys chime in.

Kaptain Safe T
Posts: 315
Joined: October 30th, 2010, 8:57 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby Kaptain Safe T » December 1st, 2013, 6:26 am

There are plans in the works to have a get together with all interested parties...stay tuned for more information.....looking forward

topbud
Posts: 5
Joined: December 12th, 2012, 1:01 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby topbud » December 2nd, 2013, 10:09 pm

There has been much confusion on the uphill travel rules. I asked ski patrol and the AZ Snowbowl security and there were 2 totally different answers. I have not asked the USFS because they were not around to be asked. The "security" was talking about dogs off leash being a hassle for skiers and employees. I see that, I do not travel uphill with dogs. When we get "psyched" for a storm and drive to the lot to find out that the lifts are on hold and we can not travel uphill, it is very disappointing. Many people leave Flagstaff before the resort opens to get the "first chair," the website and phone line do not mention wind hold. The electrical sign at the bottom of Snowbowl Road and 180 does not even say if there is wind hold until the resort is open. (I have actually never seen that sign say anything because I tend to be in the parking lot early hoping for "first chair"). As a long time Flagstaff resident, a pass holding patron of ASB (for many years) and as a tax payer, I would like to have a voice about "our mountain" and its recreational opportunities.
I will be watching this forum and looking forward to being heard.
-Tony

powderpirate
Posts: 7
Joined: September 23rd, 2010, 3:42 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby powderpirate » December 4th, 2013, 7:16 pm

Thanks Tony for your comments. There were problems today as people were skiing the Agassiz Headwall, a run which is clearly closed from the top of Sunset Lift. Some of them claimed they had hiked up meadows and ridge to ski it. (Why would they chose Agassiz Headwall over Blackjack if they did hike up that high?) If a run is closed and is clearly marked as such you should not ski it even if you hiked up above the closed sign. This kind of behavior only hurts our chances of getting or keeping our hiking privileges. It would be nice to hear from Ski Patrol or Snowbowl personnel on some other potential problems so we can consider and discuss them prior to the forum.

Kaptain Safe T
Posts: 315
Joined: October 30th, 2010, 8:57 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby Kaptain Safe T » December 6th, 2013, 6:29 am

Public Safety is the biggest concern for the us on the Mountain.....The snow fans are plugged in to 440 volts....people are skiing across these cords causing damage to the cords and possibly putting there lives in danger of electrocution. Yesterday skiers were skiing on Volcano /Lava while is was being winched with the wire cable attached to the snowcat.....another potentially dangerous situation as the cable can pop out of the snow under tension and take a head off easily......Rules of use are in effect at this time.....No uphill travel in the "Special Use Area" during the hours of 8 am and 5 pm...You can access the Wilderness at Lot 9 to get on Humphreys trail. Closed trails means Closed trails.......There is too much at risk trying to open more terrain with hikers everywhere....I also refer everyone to the summary and notes posted by Troy concerning snowpack......Hoping to open more terrain soon

raisingarizona
Posts: 172
Joined: November 28th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby raisingarizona » December 6th, 2013, 12:48 pm

This makes sense, I know you guys are trying to get a lot done and we appreciate that. The powder starved Arizona skiing community is chomping at the bit and ready to get after it so the sooner the upper mountain can be opened the better really. It is unfortunately the only place to ski as of right now. The Humphrey's Peak trail is a decent access point when there is enough snow to ski something but for now it's too thin to do anything you can actually call skiing. I can't speak for everyone but I can remain patient while you guys get things open.

Looking around yesterday I was impressed with the operations up there. I'm stoked to have an operational ski area even when mother nature doesn't fully supply. It looks like a lot more terrain could come into play soon especially with a bit more natural. As far as back country skiing is concerned there isn't a lot to be had right now or at least anything of quality. We need to burn some skis and praise Ullr!

zesue
Posts: 19
Joined: October 21st, 2010, 3:12 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby zesue » December 7th, 2013, 5:24 am

Fortunately there are a few quality low altitude ski lines to be had, no where near Snowbowl. I think a discussion among all concerned parties would be great, the early season skiing up at bowl can be excellent and safe (in-bounds). Frankly I don't want to rub any of the ski patrol the wrong way, as hopefully if things ever went wrong in the resort or the bc they would be the ones taking risks to save our asses (knowing full well my friends and I are responsible for our perspective fates). If their were a designated route most hikers would indeed use it, even if this was to change due to Avi control or other operations. Hiking in-bounds while the lifts aren't turning shouldn't be that complicated. Any way i hate typing, but would welcome a discussion on this matter as the pow seems to be just around the corner.

Kaptain Safe T
Posts: 315
Joined: October 30th, 2010, 8:57 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby Kaptain Safe T » December 8th, 2013, 6:12 am

We opened to the top of Agassiz yesterday and will get more terrain open today....Good discussion is evolving and thanks for understanding the challenges. Come on up and help us get that new pow skied up .....Deep Sunday 12-8-13

Willy
Posts: 47
Joined: October 24th, 2010, 6:27 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby Willy » December 8th, 2013, 9:22 pm

raisingarizona wrote:It is unfortunately the only place to ski as of right now... As far as back country skiing is concerned there isn't a lot to be had right now or at least anything of quality. Ullr!


Image

Willy
Posts: 47
Joined: October 24th, 2010, 6:27 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby Willy » December 8th, 2013, 9:27 pm

On-slope traffic signals?

raisingarizona
Posts: 172
Joined: November 28th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby raisingarizona » December 8th, 2013, 11:39 pm

Willy wrote:
raisingarizona wrote:It is unfortunately the only place to ski as of right now... As far as back country skiing is concerned there isn't a lot to be had right now or at least anything of quality. Ullr!


Image


I think we may have different ideas on what is quality.

raisingarizona
Posts: 172
Joined: November 28th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby raisingarizona » December 9th, 2013, 7:32 pm

I think we are at an interesting point with uphill traffic at the Bowl. The ski area is trying to work on doing their best to get terrain open and running a business but there a lot of people trying to just get some exercise and get a skin lap in, I don't believe that most of them are serious back country skiers, they just want an opportunity to climb up and ski down and this form of skiing/riding is at an all time high in popularity. Unfortunately our options for that said experience here in Flagstaff is almost unheard of unless using the snowbowl road and ski area to do so. We just don't have any other options. The ski area is dealing with safety issues and possible law suits and if they didn't recognize that they would be bad business people. So........what are the options? Would you be willing to follow certain policy's and procedures if you still were given the opportunity for uphill traffic?

I believe that the captain wants to make some thing work but Snowbowl will need a buy in from this user group as well. Can we try to make something work that may seem less at first but is so much more for the long run? I hope so.

I think that the area is looking at possible liability issues and possible law suit potential and they would be stupid to not think about that, can the folks interested in uphill travel work with the area and the forest service and come up with a agreed solution? Once again I hope so. Can those users follow said rules and restrictions during certain periods of the season and storm cycles? Again, I would like to think so.

Willy
Posts: 47
Joined: October 24th, 2010, 6:27 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby Willy » December 10th, 2013, 7:25 pm

"There a lot of people trying to just get some exercise and get a skin lap in, I don't believe that most of them are serious back country skiers, they just want an opportunity to climb up and ski down and this form of skiing/riding is at an all time high in popularity."

True. All time high. And the Snowbowl deserves props for working proactively to figure it out. We're lucky for their cooperative orientation to backcountry and recreational skinners. As seen elsewhere, it could be much worse.

"Unfortunately our options for that said experience here in Flagstaff is almost unheard of unless using the snowbowl road and ski area to do so. We just don't have any other options."


Wrong again. But please keep promoting this idea.

"I think we may have different ideas on what is quality."


True. Recent days show you prefer keystrokes to powder turns.

"Would you be willing to follow certain policy's and procedures if you still were given the opportunity for uphill traffic?"


Clear, workable policy is the way through this. And, it's "policies" not "policy's" -- plural not possessive.

azroots
Posts: 7
Joined: January 2nd, 2011, 1:06 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby azroots » December 10th, 2013, 8:15 pm

Seems like everyone was trying to be constructive. Way to be a hater.

raisingarizona
Posts: 172
Joined: November 28th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby raisingarizona » December 11th, 2013, 9:25 am

Oh dang......we got us a real bad ass here!

I really hope you stay with us and keep posting Willy, I think you are great and make visiting this site more entertaining. Cheers!

chops
Posts: 1
Joined: December 10th, 2013, 5:06 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby chops » December 11th, 2013, 9:53 am

Trying to make rules that take into account both liabilities for all parties involved and the needs and desires of multiple users with varying degrees of strong opinions is very difficult. An open dialogue such as this is the best way to start.

As a devil’s advocate….quick question to highlight the complexity of the situation: No uphill traffic in the special use area….so no more boot pack to upper WL and all the “official trails” in upper bowl that are now listed on the trail map??? Is a traverse that trends gently uphill thru upper bowl also not permitted? Hmmmmmm. If you have a pass then you are free to travel uphill? Very grey area.

How is this policy policed?

Hard situation to come up with answers for all. Just saying….

I am curious about the official USFS policy though. I thought it was only “recommended forest service policy”….and it is not a hard and fast rule yet as required by the USFS. Is that correct?

Stoked on the quality of the coverage …. We have been getting pretty lucky with early season poppers from mother nature the last few years. The coverage is wide open relative to normal conditions in Vermont ;)

zesue
Posts: 19
Joined: October 21st, 2010, 3:12 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby zesue » December 11th, 2013, 10:43 am

I hope Vermont gets hit around Christmas, heading over there to meet up with my brother for some BC boarding. I've heard 30 feels like 0 here, so bringing every thread.
Back to the uphill traffic quandry. The special use area sites in the middle of our wilderness, (and i love the fact that there are runs here). But....this is our wilderness not the Snowbowls so be treated as if I don't belong here really rubs me the wrong way. This is'nt simply a privite enterprise on privite land. Forest Service should be representing the people of Flagstaff first and the Snowbowl a distant second, we pay for this service. Don't get me wrong i pay for tickets on powder daze and love it. I realize i'm in a tiny minorty by hiking for 90% of my turns (on my poor mans heli).
I would be willing to sign a waiver in order to access safe boarding through the resort and following reasonable guidelines in order to do so. I'm even willing to pay for overpriced pitchers at the lodge when done.
The easiest solution for Snowbowl/Forest service is what is being implemented now this is not the best solution for hikers obvously and probably hurts the business in a small, insignificant way. Really this is about doing right by skiers and boarders that have accessed this terrain for many years and need their fix.

splitboarder
Posts: 174
Joined: November 9th, 2010, 9:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby splitboarder » December 11th, 2013, 10:42 pm

With 440volt cables on the snow and likely a huge insurance policy, AZSB has been pretty accommodating with uphill traffic this season. Things are changing around there and for them (and maybe the USFS?) to go out of their way to accommodate us uphillers is rather spectacular...

Parking in the first lot on the right and reading the "uphill message board" then skinning up the "new access point" just South of Sunset chair has been a breeze. It is new and different, but like most things in my life, once I overcome my ideas of how things "should be" and start enjoying how they are, I have a great day on the mountain. There is a much bigger picture going on than me getting an uphill workout and first tracks... and once I understand the bigger picture, it is much easier to safely and gracefully get those first tracks... That is true for the BackCountry as well...

I think AZSB could dial in their uphill message board a little better, but I think they are still figuring our their work and communication flow between patrol, snowmaking and security... I really don't know.

Just had my first run of the season out in the cinders. Found ok to good snow conditions, and big smiles at 7000 over in the direction of sunset crater - to bad sunset crater is off limits...
ya got to know and follow the rules to know how or when break those rules gracefully....
Troy Marino is a splitboarder and on the KPAC board of directors.
KPAC Snow Summary.
Future Guidebook?!

raisingarizona
Posts: 172
Joined: November 28th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby raisingarizona » December 12th, 2013, 7:23 am

There already is a message board? I honestly didn't know that.

zesue
Posts: 19
Joined: October 21st, 2010, 3:12 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby zesue » December 13th, 2013, 9:55 am

The last comment I heard before the recent post by Splity was that uphill traffic must use the Humphreys trail :?: . A route south of sunset sounds amenable to me. Funny how the big or small picture changes when self interests are served.

The message board is great unless you drove up and find out that the resort is closed (with little explanation) restricted access is fine. So far this year I have not hiked the resort, conditions there have seemed poor to ok so I go elsewhere and have found good boarding.

Talking with ski patrol on the way up or before leaving has always been a good way to gain knowledge about conditions within the resort and any safety concerns there in. Most patrollers seem to understand the drive to get up early and up the mountain, obviously sharing all our passion.

powderpirate
Posts: 7
Joined: September 23rd, 2010, 3:42 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby powderpirate » December 15th, 2013, 8:46 am

Some have suggested an "Uphill Pass" issued by Snowbowl or USFS much like the back country pass. Sit people down, explain the rules and sign a waiver. Sign in at the message board. Message board updated daily. Keep it simple: Tell us where NOT to hike or ski that day. Maybe charge a nominal fee.

Willy
Posts: 47
Joined: October 24th, 2010, 6:27 pm

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby Willy » December 24th, 2013, 2:23 pm

With stories of holiday violations and fines now circulating, it would be useful to post a description of and rationale for the new uphill rules on this forum before too long. (Obviously ASB folks are not long on time this time of year.) Clarity about the policy, its reasoning and consequence of violation will yield buy-in and awareness and reduce the potential for accidents or conflicts. Relative to other ski areas ASB has been very tolerant of uphill traffic to date; clearly articulated rules can help uphill users return that favor through adherence.

Avoiding this problem altogether, there remain (as was and often is the case long before peaks bc is ridable) hundreds if not thousands of acres of good turns to be had in the mid country, beyond the boundaries of ski-area-access myopia.

raisingarizona
Posts: 172
Joined: November 28th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Uphill traffic at Snowbowl.

Postby raisingarizona » January 13th, 2014, 6:34 pm



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