Skin up Eldora? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-02-2010   #1
Boulder, 80301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 100
Skin up Eldora?

This will be the first season in 12 years that I will not be driving I-70. I was thinking about getting an AT setup and sticking close to home for a change (pregnaunt wife). Does anyone have the 411 on skinning up Eldora, will I get hassled?


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Old 11-02-2010   #2
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 217
The way I see it, The lift ticket is to get you up to the top. If you don't ride the lift then why would you need a ticket. Not sure if the ski area is privately owned land. If so then they may be able to get you for trespassing. You can bet that some one affiliated with the ski area will take offense to you using the area with out paying for a lift ticket. After all it is a business and they want every one to THINK you have to pay to play.

I'm sure there are other opinions out there on this. As there always is on a public forum.
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Old 11-02-2010   #3
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 503
If you use the 'Jenny Creek' forest service trail you will not have any problems. However, if you use the nordic trails or the slopes you will be hassled. Last year the policy was; first offense = escorted off the property, second offense = forced to purchase a trail pass and escorted off the property, third offense you will be meet by the sheriff and charged with trespass.

When you use the Jenny Creek trail you are asked to park outside of the big gate. Cars that are found inside the parking lot after closing time are assumed to be lost skiers and the ski patrol has to go looking for them.

As a long time employee (20 years plus) I have seen the kind of confrontation, accidents and just plain stupidity that has led to this policy. Things like illegal after hours snowmobile racing (that incident resulted in private property owners canceling Eldora's lease. Took two years of negotiation to get it back!) Things like guns being drawn on a lone women patroler skiing sweep. Forest fires started by illeagal campfires, damage to historic miner's cabins. A snowcat needing to remove a vehicle from the nordic trail system after some idiot decided to go 4 wheeling (while skiers were still on the trail!)

If you or your family had a medical emergancy it's the Eldora ski patrol that will come to your rescue, isn't it reasonable that they get some compensation for that? Without the revenue from tickets sales Eldora is unable to cover the huge cost of snowmaking, the permit fees that allow tree cutting for open slopes, the grooming that removes rocks and puts snow cover on thin areas, the clearing of dangerous deadfall trees, and the coordination of leases with the forest service and private property owners.

It's all of this work and expense that provide us with the oportunity to ski someplace without driving I-70. Eldora is not exactly a money machine, some years the they barley cover operating costs. Wouldn't it be a shame to see Eldora go bankcrupt and have it go the way of 'Berthod Pass' Hidden Valley' and so many of the other small ski areas?

A $19 nordic trail pass will give you full access to the nordic trails and allow you to use the beginners downhill slopes for decents. If this seems too harsh, you can use the many miles of backcountry trails that are nearby. Of course this means you don't get to ski early on man-made snow, or have the piece of mind that a snowmobile will show up when you get injured. And the place where you park won't be plowed, and you can't replace a missing glove in the gift shop, there won't be hot choclate or a beer nearby. Those lift tickets pay for a whole lot more than the ride up.
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Old 11-02-2010   #4
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 357
I have done the Jenny Creek ascent once. And skied a run down to the base area. If you are after a backcountry experience, there are better options out there.

If you think you are going to ski for cheap, buy a pass. I am a fan of Eldora.
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Old 11-02-2010   #5
Boulder, 80301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 100
Thanks for the response. I would like to go alone sometimes so I was not too keen on hitting the BC. I will try the Jenny Creek route. Thanks again everyone!
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Old 11-02-2010   #6
Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 267
Can you skin up to the top along the ski trails if you have a season pass?
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Old 11-02-2010   #7
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 503
My understanding is; if you have a valid pass (or ticket) and your gear meets the req's the colorado skier safety act (ie, metal edges, ski brake or safety strap) you can skin up to the top of the slopes and decend on any slope. There are safety issues with mixing uphill and downhill traffic, as a result you need to stay on the side of the trail, not in the middle. The roped off area to the left of the bunny hill is provided for uphill traffic.

You can climb all of the way to the Gazebo on top of Corona lift by using the the Jenny Creek and Lookout snowshoe/nordic trails. With this route you access most of the slopes and you never climb where patrol will have issues.

In past years it seems that each department has a slightly different view of the official rules. If you do get stopped, remember that politeness counts for a lot in such situations. Patrol just wants everyone to be safe. For the most part they are really good people at heart that have dedicated there lives to helping others for minimum wage. Remember, they don't make policy, they just get to inforce it. They would prefer to settle most issues with a bit of talking. It's the hot heads that loose their temper, argue or disregard warnings that feel the full force of the authorities.
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Old 11-02-2010   #8
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Skin up before they start the lifts.
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Old 11-02-2010   #9
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
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Bad advice Possum. Snowmaking and grooming crews do their stuff overnight. The lifts may not open until 9:00 but crews are working on the mountain 24/7. There are serious safety issues involved here. Snowcats have really bad visibility and the driver CANNOT see or hear you. Climbing up before hours is a good way to get run over. Snowmaking is also very dangerous, high pressure water and air hoses everwhere. Sound over 120 decibles, loud enough to cause permanant hearing loss if you don't wear ear protection. Open manholes and trenches. Several people died at other ski areas last year in snowmaking accidents. Patrol and lift op's are really busy in the mornings before opening, trying to get stuff ready by 9:00.

Also, after the tragic shooting death two years ago; unauthorized persons that appear on the grounds before opening are going to get extra scrutany. You will certainly get to meet the Sheriff.
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Old 11-02-2010   #10
Boulder, 80301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 100
Thanks for all the advice. Is there somewhere close to Boulder/Longmont that you would recommend that is relatively safe? I am just looking for an hour or two up and one run down. As I mentioned I would like to go alone at times so I am not looking for serious BC.

Thanks again!
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