Resort issues warning to pre-season uphill skiers; area around new lift construction closed
A skier makes a turn on Big Mountain last week after hiking up prior to the resort opening for the season. (JP Edge photo)
Daily Inter Lake | November 30, 2022 1:00 AM
Whitefish Mountain Resort has issued another warning to hikers and uphill skiers, reminding them that entering into the construction zone for the new Snow Ghost Express chairlift is forbidden.
In a statement issued Friday, the resort reiterated that the presence of work crews and lift cables represent a serious threat to skiers’ health and safety.
“Even when no workers are in the immediate vicinity, these heavy steel cables can move suddenly and rapidly, resulting in serious injury or death,” said the statement.
“We understand the excitement of seeing this project up close, but it’s not worth the risk to your personal safety,” said marketing director Matt Gebo in the statement.
Resort spokesperson Chad Sokol described this as a persistent issue over the last few weeks and one that has the potential to interfere with chairlift construction. The lift is expected to be completed by the time the resort opens Dec. 8.
“Skiers have been observed in the construction zone day after day by resort staff and members of the construction crew, who immediately have to stop working when this occurs and wait until the area is clear again,” Sokol wrote in an email.
According to Sokol skiers found in the construction areas have been issued verbal warnings.
THURSDAY MARKED the beginning of the two week preseason period, when uphill travel becomes more tightly restricted.
Until the operating season begins on Thursday, Dec. 8, the Benny Up Route is closed, and all uphill and downhill traffic is limited to the East Route between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“We urge uphill skiers to begin their ascents from the Spruce parking lot near the Base Lodge, as required by our uphill policy,” wrote Sokol. “Some have been starting from the village and crossing the new lift line in order to reach the East Route, which is prohibited.”
The statement goes on to remind skiers that guests must always stay at least 100 feet from grooming machines, at least 50 feet from all snowmaking equipment, and must yield to downhill skiers and snowboarders.