mwv insider Blog

Uphill Skiing Policies at Ski Areas


photo c/o Corey David Photography

Alpine Touring has had a meteoric rise in the last few years.

It’s concept of skinning up a mountain, or hiking up one with your skis on your back to ski down it is nothing new. The White Mountains of New Hampshire, are an original birthplace of backcountry skiing. Avid skiers and experienced outdoor enthusiasts have gathered at the base of Mount Washington to skin up or hike its many trails, and experience skiing down its glades and gullies, and down its famed “Sherburne Trail.”

Naturally it would make sense that this kind of outdoor adventure would find a way to translate to the contained ski areas within the White Mountains. Currently being used as a hybrid term in the ski industry for skinning up lift-assisted mountains, Alpine Touring has become a widely used ticketing option for alpine skiers at private and public ski areas. Backcountry skiers looking for a more accessible way to skin up and ski down mountains; those in a time crunch who want to fit in the challenge of hiking up and skiing down a mountain on their lunch break; and first-time backcountry skiers looking for practice before hitting the big and wild mountains, are all part of the catalyst bringing so much hype to Alpine Touring.

Photo c/o Wiseguy Creative Photography

Many ski areas in the Mt. Washington Valley offer a ticketing option for uphill skiing, but want to be clear about the parameters that those tickets provide. Like anything when it comes to playing in the outdoors, there is inherent risk involved. It’s important to respect nature’s power, as well as the guidelines set forth by individual mountains offering an uphill option. Below are links to each mountains uphill policy.

Attitash Mountain Resort

Black Mountain

Bretton Woods

Cranmore Mountain Resort

King Pine Ski Area

Pleasant Mountain

Wildcat Mountain

As a general rule, you must purchase an uphill ticket, and certain mountains set specific time-frames or certain trail routes for when this activity is permitted on the mountain. It’s important to understand that these parameters are put in place to protect you and other skiers. Here are three reasons why purchasing a ticket, and respecting the mountain’s uphill policies  are important.

  1. It’s hard to patrol skiers who are enjoying the mountain in two different directions. While one group of skiers is quickly whizzing down the mountain, another group may be slowly hiking up the mountain; which opens up the possibility for a dangerous collision. Time-frames put forth by each mountain are meant to mitigate how long those alpine touring and those downhill skiing are enjoying the mountain at the same time.

    It’s also important to note that in some cases, uphill skiing is only permitted outside of business operating hours. This means there is no ski patrol available to assist you in case of emergency. You are on your own, and must call 911, as well as wear appropriate gear including proper layers and a beacon.
  2. For the most part, when you ski at individual ski areas you are skiing on private land. Your ticket acts as an invite to enjoy this private land made available by the owners and shareholders of the mountain. Misuse of that ticket by dodging ticket sales, or skiing in roped off territory could suspend you from being able to enjoy the mountain for the rest of the season.
  3. When you purchase an uphill skiing ticket you’re directly supporting the efforts of the mountain. That cost goes back into business and the local economy. Ticket prices range from $10.00 a day to  $22.00 a day to $100.00 for the whole season. The fees are nominal and they are required.

Granite Backcountry Alliance (GBA) also works to maintain glades and build more to improve access to backcountry skiing. It has created a trail network of over eight glades throughout the White Mountains. GBA works with state and town officials, as well as private landowners to make these glade zones available.

As with anything in life, practicing respect when it comes to using this land is of the utmost importance. As users we hold part of the responsibility in ensuring that glades like this continue to exist. At any moment private land-owners can revoke the right to use their land for these purposes, and this is where kindness, gratitude and regard for the rules in place come into play.

One thing you can do to contribute to the general good-will of the forest and the valley - even when you're not on the slopes - is sign the MWV Pledge! This is a ten-principle responsibility code that outlines the important factors for recreating in the outdoors.

For complete trip planning resources and information, visit or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk to a Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce rep.  To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to

More posts on
This is some text inside of a div block.
Related posts

You might also like