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Flathead National Forest Posts Uphill Skier Policy and the Forest Service Special Order

2015_08_19-12.22.04.396-CDTWhitefish, MT., November 16, 2017 – In an effort to continue access to public lands, maintain a long practiced traditional activity and provide for public safety, Flathead National Forest and Whitefish Mountain Resort remind skiers and snowboarders to follow the Uphill Skier Policy and heed the US Forest Service Special Order, which requires uphill skiers to keep their distance from grooming machines and snowmaking equipment and follow route restrictions.  Route and timing restrictions go into effect this Thursday, November 23.  The policy is in effect 14 days prior to Opening Day, December 7, and remains in effect 14 days after Closing Day, April 8.

In preparation for Opening Day, snowmaking and grooming operations are ongoing as conditions allow.  Resort officials remind the public that equipment such as snow guns, hoses, grooming machines, snowmobiles and high voltage lines can present real and serious hazards to skiers and must be avoided.

Again this year, parking for uphill skiers is limited to the Spruce Lot only.

The following is an excerpt from US Forest Service Special Order:

Special Order from the US Forest Service: 36 CFR 261.53(e) – Public health or safety – Within the permit area of Winter Sports, Inc. Permit number TAL01, for the protection of public safety, it is prohibited for any skier, hiker, or person otherwise, to be off the two approved routes or in areas closed as described here:

 General (Year-round):

It is prohibited for any skier, hiker, or person otherwise, to approach within 100 feet of grooming machines, whether stationary or moving; or 50 feet of snowmaking equipment, to include but not limited to fan guns, high-pressure water lines, and high-voltage electrical cables.

Pre & Post Season Regulations
This is in effect for 14 days before and after the scheduled “Opening Day” or “Closing Day” of Whitefish Mountain Resort.

 The East Route – Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the only approved route for uphill and downhill traffic. There are no uphill or downhill route restrictions before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m. pre- and post-season.

The East Route begins at Spruce Parking Lot, crosses the bridge toward the Ski and Ride School and Clinic building and ascends lower Inspiration, Expressway, Moe-Mentum, and Fill Hill to the summit. It is marked by 12″ red diamonds with an arrow and the word “UPHILL” printed on them. There are no uphill or downhill route restrictions before 8 am and after 4 pm pre- and post-season.

The Uphill Skier Policy and the Forest Service Special Order can be found at www.skiwhitefish.com/uphill-policy and www.fs.usda.gov/activity/flathead/recreation/wintersports. Skiers are asked to read and abide by this policy and order.  Any uphill travelers not following the special order (using approved routes, at approved times, approaching closer than 100 feet of grooming equipment or 50 feet of snowmaking equipment) can be ticketed and face up to a $100 fine for a first offense and stiffer penalties for repeat offenders.

Pre-season and post-season dogs must be on a leash, during ski season dogs are prohibited.

Please help the Forest Service and Whitefish Mountain Resort continue to allow this access by following the policy and encouraging your friends to do likewise.

 

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