Uphill Traffic and Opening
Until we get close to opening, we leave Alta open to all sorts of sliders - uphill, downhill, sledders, hikers, bikers, skiers, boarders - with the reminder that Alta is a backcountry experience as evidenced by a few folks already caught in slides earlier this month.
Then we came to Monday, November 16, when with Forest Service support, we closed our permitted area for final preparations (avalanche explosive work, winch cats, continued snowmaking, cats and snowmobiles delivering product and grooming). Often this closure happens at a time when there is enough snow for folks to have other places to choose, such as the south facing side of HWY 210, Catherine's Pass area and Supreme (until we get closer to opening that area).
Now that we're open, we do not allow uphill travel until the end of the season. During the ski day it does not work for us to have people walking or skinning up against downhill skiers. With the 24 hour operation we have in the winter, even if the lifts are not running, we have avalanche mitigation, grooming, snowmaking, snow hauling, plowing, winch cables strung across slopes, garbage and supply hauling that present safety issues for our employees and skiers if there was uphill traffic. With all of these operations activities, we're glad there are other options available for dispersed users.
We leave access up the summer road to Catherine's Pass open unless we feel there's avalanche hazard to the road and our ski runs. Even if we close the summer road, there are still places to go on the south facing side of Hwy 210.