After lifts stop turning, uphilling Park City’s ski resorts is a no-no
On Sunday, April 7, the chairlifts of Park City will stop turning, but snow may not necessarily stop falling.
Even after a bountiful winter’s snow continues to coat the landscape of Utah’s premiere ski town and as ski resorts in other states extend their seasons, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort are reminding local powder hounds that their slices of the Wasatch Range are off limits, and that those with the need to ski will need to head elsewhere in Utah or plan a trip out of state.
In the absence of operational chairlifts, skiers would need to climb uphill manually using a variety of methods, one of which is known as “skinning.” While skinning is useful in the backcountry, both resorts say it constitutes trespassing when done on their property in the offseason.
Deer Valley spokesperson Emily Summers said in an email that the ski resort will start preparing for its summer operations as soon as the lifts grind to a halt.
“There will be equipment all over the mountain, plowing, conducting Lift Maintenance work, removing signage, warnings, padding, etc.,” Summers wrote. “Therefore the mountain is closed to all snowsport activity.”
Jessica Miller, a spokesperson for PCMR, gave the same reason — that the resort will need to get ready for mountain bikes to take the place of skis and snowboards.
“In observation of safety, we ask that people please respect the mountain’s operations as we are actively working on-hill to break-down from winter operations and ready the mountain for summer operations,” she wrote.
On Friday, PCMR reported a base snow depth of 113 inches and a total year-to-date snowfall of 359 inches. Deer Valley’s website showed a base depth of 116 inches and a year total of 353 inches.
Some of Deer Valley and PCMR’s similarly sized sister resorts aren’t quite ready to leave winter behind. In the Colorado Rockies, Vail Resorts-owned Breckenridge, for instance, has announced it intends to remain open through Memorial Day after a strong winter for powder. And after California’s Sierra Nevada received near-Biblical snowfall totals this season, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, an Alterra property, is keeping its slopes open until well into the summer — July 7.
“One of the great benefits of the Epic Pass is the ability to check out other resorts all on the same pass,” said Miller.
Deer Valley season pass holders will be able to take advantage of the included Ikon base pass, Summers said. That bundle includes access to the 38 Ikon-affiliated resorts as well as to each of the four Cottonwood Canyons resorts. Of those, Alta, Solitude and Brighton all remain open after April 7, while Snowbird has not yet announced an end date.
Sundance Resort and Powder Mountain will also cease operations on April 7.
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.