Winter here in Vermont decided it was going to be awesome this year and a lot of people are psyched! Unfortunately, many of us have to work and the incredible snow conditions aren’t reason enough for our bosses to give us a free pass. That means that if you want to get out there and get yours you have had to set the alarm for an ungodly hour and sneak in a tour before work. What’s cool is that there are so many people out there earning their turns. What’s not cool is that the increase in traffic can sometimes cause issues between skiers and on-mountain personnel. These incidents are typically very easy to avoid, and we just wanted to share a few tips, courtesy of Bolton Valley, to help you stay safe and have fun on your next early morning session. Please read through these tips from Bolton Valley and be sure to share them with your ski buddies. The different mountain resorts have been very good about embracing and allowing uphill travel this year and we wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that trend.
Now, without further ado… Here are some tips from Bolton Valley!
Always be aware of grooming operations
This one should be pretty self-explanatory, but sometimes people don’t realize that even though the mountain may be closed during off-hours, there’s still operations going on. We groom all night long here at BV, and that means you’re likely to come across a groomer if you’re hiking our uphill route in the dark.
Stay off trails that are currently being groomed
If you’re getting strapped in and see groomer lights on the trail in front of you, stop and wait for him to finish his work before heading up the hill. Likewise, if you’re about to head back down a trail and you see a groomer on it, wait for him to pass by and then proceed with caution. Groomers always have the right of way, so please respect the work they’re doing to get the mountain ready for morning.
If you see a groomer, yield
If you start down a trail and happen to encounter a groomer, stop on the far side of the trail and wait for him to pass if he is traveling uphill. If he is traveling down hill, move to the far side of the trail and slowly pass the groomer. Be sure to make eye contact with the pilot before you ski past and stay far away from the groomer. Do not cut back in front of the groomer at any time during your downhill run. These machines are heavy and fast and, trust me, you wouldn’t want to tangle with one.
Wear bright colored ski gear if possible
If you’ve got bright colored or reflective gear, wear it. That will make it easier for groomers to see you and for your friends to keep track of you as well.
Ski in groups
Pick a line and everyone stick to it. Think of it as your own little wolf pack. Skiing closer together will not only make it easier to keep track of each other on the way down, but it will help our grooming staff as well. It’s much easier to see four people skiing together than spread out individually all over the trail.
Be smart. Be respectful.
Don’t be that person who cuts off a groomer on your way back down the hill. Don’t ski right behind a tiller to get fresh corduroy. Remember, it’s dark when we groom, so our pilots can’t always see you if you’re too close. Keep your distance, respect them and everyone will have a good night. The uphill policy has been fun this season, so let’s make sure we’re all on the same page so it can continue in future years as well.