Posted inNews, Outdoors

Aspen Skiing Co. can charge skiers an uphill access fee, Forest Service rules in decision that could have ripple effects

By Scott Condon, The Aspen Times Aspen Skiing Co. acted within its rights as a special use permit holder on national forest to implement a new fee for uphillers, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Roger Poirier, recreation staff officer for the White River National Forest, said ski area operators are required to file an […]

Posted inColoradans, News, Outdoors

Teenage Summit County ski mountaineer breaks North American record for most vertical feet climbed in 24 hours

Grace Staberg said she was “pretty tired” as the first rays of sun hit the slopes of Copper Mountain Tuesday morning.  “I felt like slowing down,” said the 19-year-old, a few hours after setting a North American women’s record by skinning 56,153 vertical feet in 24 hours. “It was really helpful to have people who […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

Backcountry gear is scarce in Colorado as skiers hedge against another disrupted downhill season

Sarah Hay arrived in Aspen in March, only to find resorts dormant. She tried hiking up Aspen Mountain with her snowboard, but didn’t make it far.  This season, she’s ready.  She was at the Cripple Creek Backcountry gear shop in Aspen Highlands recently when she heard the manager say they were down to just one […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider

Retailers are seeing spike in backcountry gear sales. That has avalanche educators, search teams worried.

AVON — Doug Stenclik is stacking skis and lining up a new point-of-sale system at Cripple Creek Backcountry. He wasn’t planning on opening his Avon and Aspen Highlands ski shops in September, but skiers have been buying early and often. “It’s not slowing down, only picking up. So it’s real,” says Stenclik, whose online sales […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors, Outsider

Bluebird Backcountry is expanding just as uphill skiing is expected to explode during coronavirus

Erik Lambert and Jeff Woodward are expanding their Bluebird Backcountry uphill-only ski area into a full season with 1,200 acres on Bear Mountain north of Kremmling. After a 14-day test season last spring drew more than 1,000 skier visits to Bluebird Backcountry’s innovative lift-free, backcountry-lite ski area, Woodward and Lambert will offer 62 days of […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors

Want to ski at a Vail Resorts mountain during coronavirus? You’ll need a reservation.

Vail Resorts on Thursday unveiled the details of the plan for skiing at its 34 North American resorts — beginning Nov. 6 at Keystone — and, as we suspected, the 2020-21 season will be unlike any before.  Here are the not-surprising changes:  Masks are required for everyone on the mountain.  Physical distancing will be the […]

Posted inBusiness, COVID, News, Outdoors

“Locals only” coronavirus closures of Colorado public land may not be legal. But mountain communities say it’s needed for safety.

More resorts are banning uphill traffic as skiers flock. And as a second snowy weekend approaches with the entire state now under stay-at-home orders, more health departments and sheriffs are following that lead with both orders and requests to limit outdoor activity by visitors from afar.  San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad on Saturday took […]

Posted inBusiness, COVID, News, Outdoors

Early closure of ski resorts triggers “feeding frenzy” for uphill touring and backcountry ski equipment

VAIL — Sean Glackin’s phone exploded within minutes of the news that Vail ski area was closing. The outdoor retailer’s entire rental fleet of alpine-touring skis was quickly rented by a flood of uphill skiers the following day. “It’s like a feeding frenzy. It’s kinda nuts,” said Glackin, the owner of Alpine Quest Sports in […]

Posted inBusiness, Crime and Courts, News, Outdoors, Technology faces boycotts, social media backlash over trademark lawsuits. But the company remains mum.

Outdoor enthusiasts aren’t letting go of their backcountry without a fight. As news spreads about’s recent slew of legal actions against small business owners using the word “backcountry” in their names, so is public outrage. LATEST COVERAGE Nov. 6 — breaks its silence amid trademark lawsuit controversy to apologize and say “we made […]