DENVER – Uphill access at Loveland Ski Area will be prohibited starting just after midnight Wednesday just days after dozens of vehicles lined the parking lot at the ski area and along U.S. 6 up Loveland Pass.
The ski area and U.S. Forest Service said uphill access will be prohibited while Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order closing ski hills remains in effect – which as of Tuesday is through April 6, though it could be extended. The closure will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
“Loveland Ski Area encourages guest use of public lands and supports uphill access throughout the ski season. To honor the intent and language of the executive order and other state direction on minimizing group size, as well as meeting the needs of local law enforcement and emergency service providers, Loveland Ski Area will prohibit uphill access,” Loveland Ski Area spokesman Dustin Schaefer said in a statement.
Officials across the state have urged people to stay out of the backcountry while there is still avalanche danger and while the state's ski areas are closed. Schaefer also shot video of the crowds near the ski area and pass over the weekend clogging the highway to ski and snowboard in the backcountry and at the ski area, which happened after the state directed people to limit gatherings to 10 people or less and to socially distance themselves from one another.
“While the ski area can limit uphill access through its existing operating plan on a temporary basis for management activities such as end-of-season tear down or emergency management situations, it is submitting this operating plan amendment given the significance and timing of the COVID-19 outbreak and the predicted length of this prohibition,” Schaefer added in a statement.