Skiers and snowboarders are reminded to follow the uphill hiker rules on Big Mountain as Whitefish Mountain Resortís ski season approaches.
A Forest Service order requires uphill skiers to keep their distance from grooming machines and snowmaking equipment year-round and follow route restrictions when in effect. Route and timing restrictions go into effect Thursday, Nov. 22. The policy is in effect 14 days prior to opening day, Dec. 6, and remains in effect 14 days after closing day, April 7.
In preparation for the ski season, 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.
Any uphill travelers not following the special order 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.
Route restrictions in effect for 14 days before and after the scheduled opening and closing days are as follows:
The East Route Ė 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.
Parking for uphill skiers is limited to the Spruce Lot only. 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.
There are no uphill or downhill route restrictions before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m. pre- and post-season.