Issues in Uphill Skining and Skiing at Downhill Areas


Taos Ski Valley

Now with Aspen formally embracing what we have been doing for decades, this is a good time to share a few pointers. For years I have been kicked off the mountain by several New Mexico and Colorado areas for skinning uphill. We don't offer much to their business model. Since enough skiers and boarders are skinning up the slopes the areas are starting to realize it may be a marketable item. Aspen is giving instruction on skin/ ski and you can get in a group led by an instructor. This lends itself well to our x-c / backcountry branch of skiing. Locally Santa Fe and Sandia allow it as long as we keep from being a nuisance. I want to share a few thought on making this a workable relationship.

  1. A big plus to go before or after the lifts are open . This reduces chances of uphill / downhill conflicts.
  2. Always try to keep on the least used trails and far to the side of the lane when ascending to avoid downhill skiers. Make sure no skiers are coming downhill before crossing to another trail at intersections . Remove skins out of traffic areas.
  3. If you take your pooch be sure to bring a leash and keep the dog far out of the way of downhill skiers. Try to bring your dog only when the ski lifts are not operating. Always, always bring a plastic poop bag.
  4. Taos2

    Taos Ski Valley

    If when ascending you see a rock or branch on the trail be a good neighbor and throw them off the trail. A little good will goes a long way.

  5. Remenber we are generally not paying for lift tickets so be courteous to the ticket downhillers. A good attitude means a lot.
  6. Try to give back a little to the area. I've helped shovel steps at the lodge several times when I arrived early. Buy a hot chocolate or snack from the area . And when we get a good dump buy a lift ticket if you can swing a ½ day.
  7. If you see another uphiller going in the middle of the lane / with loose dogs/ etc. Try to point out in a nice way how they might be more courteous.

Any suggestions will be helpful and welcome. Lets try to keep a good thing going.


1 Comment

  • In my humble [not dog hating] opinion, skinning with a dog while the ski area is open jeopardizes access for everyone. Yes, I’m even including skinning with a dog on a leash while the ski area is open. All it’s going to take is one dog bite of a paying ski area customer to potentially shut down the ski area to ALL skinning.

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