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treknclime

Mt. Bachelor Closed to Uphill Traffic!!

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troysmith80 posted this on tgr

I just spoke on the phone with Alex Kaufman, Marketing Director at MtB. I wanted to know if i go up tomorrow, and summit is closed (obviously it will be), can i skin up from the top of rainbow/skyliner/pine? He said the uphill access policy is currently being discussed and they are having meetings with the FS and MtB staff to sort out what the rules should be.

 

I said that for what it's worth, i understand why they don't want people going up where people are coming down, but that i'd like to be able to hike above the open lifts.

 

He said that for now, the rule is as it's always been, hiking above the open lifts is not allowed.

 

He speculated that one possible outcome of the meetings might be that a specific climbing route would be designated and opened, but that people would have to stick to the route.

 

He said the biggest problem is a relatively small percentage of users who turn signage around or knock it down, and enter areas that are closed for control work or other safety reasons. And that as the total number of people who want to hike is increasing, so to is the number of these numbnuts. Same old story, the few ruining it for the many.

 

I said i'd be willing to used closed areas under the condition that they are not patrolled or regulated. He said that doesn't really work because when it comes down to it, if somebody needs help out ther, the patrol IS going to go try to help them--waiver or no waiver. In doing so, the patrollers may expose themselves to danger.

 

Well, i hope they at least designate a route and allow hiking on the route.

 

He said he is open to input that he can take into the meetings. If you have ideas, email him. Tell him we want reasonable access! akaufman@mtbachelor.com

 

 

Edited by steepconcrete

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Steepconcrete quoted troysmith80 and wrote:

 

"I said i'd be willing to used closed areas under the condition that they are not patrolled or regulated. He said that doesn't really work because when it comes down to it, if somebody needs help out ther, the patrol IS going to go try to help them--waiver or no waiver. In doing so, the patrollers may expose themselves to danger."

 

That's the attitude (the ski area's) that is paining me like a thorn in my foot! Because it's functionally punitive. The ski area doesn't want to be in a position to spend money (staff ski patrollers diverted) to rescue non-customers. So they declare "no-trespassing" in the ski area (which is public land, BTW) and they have FS approval. And it all violates the Area Access condition of the permit. That position is understandable from a business perspective but it violates the permit and the gov allows it. That's not the purpose that public lands are designated for - public access is, not public closure. Plain and simple.

 

John Speth

 

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Bachy stating that people are knocking signs down/turning signs to access summit is straight up B.S. I'm sure they're a few giving patrol a hard time and blatantly ducking ropes. Being one of the summit "poachers" myself, and knowing a few of the others, nobody is doing that. We're accessing the summit LONG BEFORE any signs are put up, and before ski patrol is even on skis. This is part of the issue. We're dropping the bowl before they even get up there, and they are pissed to see tracks. I'm avy savvy, i feel like i make good decisions up there. Your telling me i can't hike the summit, rip my line and be down before the first chair turns? Seems like privatization of public lands, and the F.S. should be ashamed to be part of it. I never take it out on patrol, they are just doing their job, but they can't lay a hand on me. I really don't believe that Bachy is that concerned about safety, it's just their scapegoat to keep people off the mountain.

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I hear you, jlag.

 

In my previous posts, I didn't mention what I believe to be the be root of all this friction: it's the ski area's new Falcon GT Avalauncher. Shortly before Meadows started using their Howitzer, they declared no-uphill. It was clear to everyone that no-uphill was declared so that the ski area could protect itself against legal problems due to injuroes caused by their avalanche weapon. Dave Rathbun's (Bachelor GM)statement quoted by this threads' OP coincidently states they also started using a new avy control system.

 

I doubt the no-uphill declaration and the acquisition of new avy control equipment happening at the same time was a mere coincidence. The new no-uphill policy appears to be a business risk reduction strategy with FS approval. It also violates the use permit. And the feds are ok with it.

 

The guys at CRAG recommend a peaceful approach in which the ski areas provide climing corridors. A better idea than a fight. However if the climbing corridors amount to a few crumbs like Meadows gives, it's not so good.

 

John Speth

 

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I typically go to Mt. Bachelor several times a year, stay in local accommodations, spend money in local businesses, etc. I have never skinned on Mt Bachelor, never intend to. It was more of a venue to get my ski legs under me early in the season before proceeding further northwards.

 

Nonetheless, it is self serving rules like this one, made by corporate decision makers, denying public lands (however they choose to define Bachelor in legalese is another conversation) from citizens that makes me resolute to never spend another dime on Mt Bachelor until they un-fuck themselves. Consider my revenue stream gone. Small change, I know -but the point is made.

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It seems to me they should be given the right to restrict up traffic to a couple spots. Maybe it would make them feel better even if they shouldn't even get that right. :rolleyes:

 

In any case I too like downhill areas for practicing downhill skiing form, but past that they ain't that interesting. Ok they do provide a place to ski on sketchy avy days, and maybe a spot for a drink after skiing, but that's about it.

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I typically go to Mt. Bachelor several times a year, stay in local accommodations, spend money in local businesses, etc. I have never skinned on Mt Bachelor, never intend to. It was more of a venue to get my ski legs under me early in the season before proceeding further northwards.

 

Nonetheless, it is self serving rules like this one, made by corporate decision makers, denying public lands (however they choose to define Bachelor in legalese is another conversation) from citizens that makes me resolute to never spend another dime on Mt Bachelor until they un-fuck themselves. Consider my revenue stream gone. Small change, I know -but the point is made.

 

 

They lost my business too.

Money-grubbing assholes

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"However if the climbing corridors amount to a few crumbs like Meadows gives, it's not so good."

 

Steven's Pass (Hwy 2) has apparently adopted a similar policy. I was turned around last weekend by patrol - and other options / offerings were not mentioned.

 

A friend of mine who "hosts" on the mountain was unaware of the change; however, he opined that, while on the surface it would be couched as a safety issue, the real reasons are likely related to overcrowding and money. Apparently there has been complaints that the resort has too much traffic as it is (hence the cont. rate increases). Also, he noted that the chair on the backside of the mountain is unregulated. Therefore, if you skin the front side you could ride for free all day on the back.

 

I don't know. I skin for the exercise. If I wanted to do laps on the hill I'd buy a lift ticket. I proposed an "AT pass" for a nominal fee (>$20) to let us hike the hill.

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a fee to hike the hill. NO WAY. One of the reasons I got AT gear is that I did not have to pay to ski. If they are really going to do this the next step is to stop people who don't ski the resort from parking in thier lots. I guess the FS is going to have to open more snow parks or alow those of use to skin to park along the highways.

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Apparently there has been complaints that the resort has too much traffic as it is (hence the cont. rate increases). Also, he noted that the chair on the backside of the mountain is unregulated. Therefore, if you skin the front side you could ride for free all day on the back.

 

I don't know. I skin for the exercise. If I wanted to do laps on the hill I'd buy a lift ticket. I proposed an "AT pass" for a nominal fee (>$20) to let us hike the hill.

 

Too much traffic? That argument has no weight. You can skin all day on the other side of the highway, no problem. A major snowshoe hiking area too. So a few extra skinners isn't a traffic issue.

 

As far as the unregulated lift, well that could be a reason all of the resorts have. Many upper lifts at the resorts are unregulated and if you skin in to them you can ride them all day without paying. I can see this as a reason the resorts are fighting for uphill closures.

 

I totally oppose an uphill pass.

 

On another note, Alpental bombs the valley. Which is not part of the ski area. (I haven't been to Bachelor, but I believe the upper bowl is not either.) Many guidebooks advise you to talk to Alpental Ski Patrol before doing fun things up the valley in case they are doing avy work. You know, so you don't get shelled. If this was truly an issue with avy work safety, then us skinners should be proactive and check with ski patrol before heading up. (Hey, I'm like you, I don't wanna tell the cops I am going out to break the law either but...)

 

The patrollers I've met usually are not bad people. They might be miffed because you got first tracks and they didn't. But perhaps if we are more proactive, they won't think we are poaching lifts etc. and it may cut down on restrictions.

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I don't really feel like last nights meeting w/Bachy, USFS and concerned uphillers went anywhere. The only positive i saw was them realizing how many folks are willing to show up. And just how intereseted uphillers are in some sort of access.

 

Bachy cries safety, safety, safety. But when other uphill options are suggested avoiding safety concerns they are willing to listen, but with not much concern. For instance the winch-cable grooming is an obvious safety concern. Those cable can really hurt someone, fine we realize. But they only operate them 1 area at a time, so uphiller could avoid them w/basic communication. Mr Bachy stated the problem is you just never know which area will be winch cabling, and it can change minute to minute. At this point i had to pull my feet onto the chair to avoid the B.S. that was spewing forth. Lame excuse, and helped me understand his agenda. I could go on and on. But at least we're somewhat organized, and very politely suggesting a different plan.

 

He made it loud and clear, with F.S. official at side that just because it's public land doesn't mean we can do whatever we wanted.

 

JL

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A few years ago Snoqualmie Pass started telling back country users they couldn't use the Alptenal "back country" return route that follows the climber's left side of the creek that drains the Source Lake valley. This is the primary winter access route for Chair Peak and the other area climbs. When they struggled to enforce this rule, the announced that only people with lift tickets would be allowed to use their parking lots. This revealed that there is *no* public parking area on the north side of I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass, so during that time if you wanted to climb around Chair Peak, Snoqualmie Mt., etc, you were expected to park on the south side of I-90 and then walk over a mile on the road to the summer trailhead.

 

I requested a copy of their lease, from which the forest service redacted all the financial information, and it does indeed include a clause that allows them to remove or exclude anyone for any reason from the area of land leased for the skiing operation.

 

Thankfully they quietly relented on this issue, so it didn't come to a court fight, but these leases are really getting out of control: Private companies should not be allowed to deny access to public land for 'any' reason.

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We're accessing the summit LONG BEFORE any signs are put up, and before ski patrol is even on skis. This is part of the issue. We're dropping the bowl before they even get up there, and they are pissed to see tracks. I'm avy savvy, i feel like i make good decisions up there. Your telling me i can't hike the summit, rip my line and be down before the first chair turns?

There's your "the few" not thinking about the many. You really think that's a good idea? Over time, events which are possible but not likely tend to happen occasionally. Like a skier becoming immobilized for one reason or another, then later being buried or exploded by control work. The resort has to consider these possibilities and regulate to prevent them from ever happening. Your decision doesn't sound very savvy, how would you expect the resort to respond?

 

And no, I am not for the closure to uphill traffic, but there should be a certain amount of sensitivity and diplomacy exercised by skiers who choose to "tour" in a ski area.

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wow to each his own...but the avalauncher is not going to even be used in the place jlag was talking about skiing.

 

Maybe true but that's not the bigger problem. The bigger problem is that the FS is slowly giving away public access to a public resource. The more they whittle away at access permissiveness, the harder it will be to reverse it when it becomes too much.

 

I would like to see ski areas allow uphill access in corridors where the uphill public would use them. The corridors would be defined to eliminate uphill vs. downhill conflicts. The Timberline climbing corridor on Mt Hood is a good example. The way Mt Hood Meadows does it is how it shouldn't be done, IMO.

 

My point is that I think the Area Access condition is non-negotiable. It's a basic concept: the ski area is permitted to operate a ski area on public land. If that busines endeavor interferes with the Area Access condition they must provide reasonable accomodation where possible. they just aren't trying very hard because they are in bed with the FS.

 

John Speth

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Nate, I doubt jlag is skiing up there by himself. I think the scenario that a skier could become for one reason or another immobilized and for one reason or another his buddy also had became immobilized and later they were buried by avy operations is a slippery slope, so to speak. There are inherent risks in all things skiing and we try to mitigate to some degree. What most people here are saying (I believe) is that they don't want Bachy to take away their right to access this public land using (a measure of) "safety" as justification.

 

Sounds to me like you are asking jlag to sensitively and diplomatically be quiet and ski somewhere else.

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I don't ski at Bachelor, but what I thought jlag was saying is that he and others are skiing areas where patrol would typically do control work, prior to patrol arriving on the mountain. If I'm mistaken and jlag is poaching some uncontrolled area my apologies. Otherwise, I think it would be very very easy for the resort's risk manager to imagine a scenario in which a skier is injured or has an equipment failure or loss which leaves them stranded someplace prior to control work. They can't consider jlag's experience, skills and abilities in this decision-making process. If he does it, there's no stopping some gaper from doing the same. They'd have to respond in some way to prevent this from happening. Yeah, it's an affront to personal freedoms and I don't like it any more than you, I'm just saying I can understand why it would happen.

 

That sort of thing (if I understand what jlag is saying) is very highly likely to put access at risk, and not because patrollers are upset by seeing tracks before they get on the lift. It sounds like I'm not intimate enough with the situation there to comment effectively, so take my perspective with a grain of salt.

Cheers, and best of luck fighting the restriction as I do not agree with it either.

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I actually have ridden up there by myself, but i wouldn't drop the bowl or any other area that is that prone to ripping. I'm usually up there with another, with avy gear of course. We assess snow, ski cut and make appropriate decisions. The mountain is not liable for me up there, i heard it right from the president's mouth the other night.

 

The Avalauncher doesn't reach the bowl, it's for the lower moraine. And i'm dropping long before they start with that thing. They just got it this year, so before i just had to make sure i was out of there before patrol got up there with charges. I think a really important fact that needs to be considered here is how infrequently Bachy can get the summit open. They struggle to get that thing open between rime and wind. Most of the days I'm "poaching" are after it's clear they won't get it open so we skin up.

 

No need to apologize Nate, i actually appreciate your viewpoint and respect it. Your right, some idiot might follow me up there. But do really want to govern PUBLIC LAND for the least common denominator? Put in b/c gate, check folks for peeps/shovels, whatever. One thing that everyone has to remember, legendary folks(around here at least)have been skinning to the summit for over 20 years!! And never an incident reported. The folks that are venturing up there know what they're doing. Bachy went from absolute no policy to the most restrictive one possible. I'm not supportive of all out free for all, please don't get me wrong. But respectfully as adults we should be able to meet half-way.

 

JL

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jlag, maybe you can get them to put you and your buddies on the clock for your ski cutting efforts.

Again, good luck fighting the man (it really sounds like Bachelor has gone sideways since the procurement), this will most likely be a continuing trend and I hope the outcome at Bachelor works out well as it will probably impact us all in some way down the road. With the increasing amount of uphill traffic at ski areas, these issues are likely to continue cropping up.

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.... makes me resolute to never spend another dime on Mt Bachelor until they un-fuck themselves.

 

Un-fuck themselves - Love it, love it, love it!!! :)

 

Seriously, Bachelor's "new management" claimed to be appealing to the general public and the season pass holder for the past two years - Whatever!!! Things have been getting worse and worse for the season pass holder over the past few years. Bachelor can't open half of their terrain on the average day due to weather conditions, and now they won't even allow the die-hard backcountry enthusiast to access it themselves.

 

 

So over Bachelor!!!!

 

 

 

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Fuck 'em. You seen this hills across the road?? That's where the goods are.

 

I was at Willamette pass a few years back, they had just gotten 4ft of new snow over the week and I was not about to wait in line for first chair. Some buddies and I started skinning up, and as the patrollers were going up on the lift they were all yelling at us not to be doing that. I made sure to yell extra loud as I got first tracks down their run. Everybody at all resorts get cranky with up hill traffic.

When I have a resort day, rarely do I bring my skins unless I am truly going out of their boundaries and just using their lifts to save me a few hours of walking. When I want to skin, I don't even think about doing it at a resort. They are two separate things in my mind.

The FS likes the money and Bachelor is full of rich people from Bend.

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A sincere thank you to everyone to contributed their voice on this board, TAY, and at the meetings in Bend, which resulted in the upcoming opening of an uphill route up Mt. Bachelor on January 19th! Well done, folks! And, another sincere thank you to Dave Rathbun, Mt. Bachelor President and General Manager, and the National Forest Service, for finding some middle ground upon which to build a positive relationship. Kudos to all!

 

Policy Details

 

Area & Uphill Map

 

If you plan to take advantage of the uphill route, please note there are many details in the new uphill policy that are worth noting...and respecting. As Rathbun said, "I’ve received feedback that this updated policy is a positive, new starting point. I also agree that it is by no means the finish line."

 

Hopefully future adjustments to the policy will address all user needs, as the ski area includes the new uphill policy into their operating plan. Let's do our best to be positive and helpful to all while on the hill, to further encourage maintenance (and expansion) of the new policy. Yahoo! Have a great time!

 

 

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