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Uphill Access News – 1/13/21

Dear Cooper Uphill Access Community,

I’m Patrick Torsell, Senior Director of Mountain Operations at Cooper. I’ve been skiing my entire life, and I share your passion for those sweet turns, day and night. As uphill access has grown in popularity over recent years, many ski areas across the country have found it necessary to severely limit—or even prohibit altogether—uphill access. I’m glad we are still able to enjoy uphill access at Cooper. In order to preserve this privilege it is essential that we all work together. We appreciate your cooperation with our 2020/21 Uphill Access Policy, which has the full support of our US Forest Service. Here are some reminders to ensure that we can all continue to enjoy this wonderful mountain:


  • Uphill access is free between 4:00pm and 7:30am
  • A day pass or season pass is required for uphill access during operating hours, and you must enter via the Port of Entry near the base lodge which opens at 8:00am.
  • No access is permitted between 7:30am and 8:00am


  • You are bound by the Colorado Ski Safety Act and the Skier Responsibility Code when you are accessing terrain within the ski area boundary, day or night, open or closed.
  • Dogs and pets of any kind are strictly prohibited 24/7 until one week after closing day, spring 2021. Even at night. Please leave the pooch at home.
  • Be respectful of our shared environment. Pack out what you pack in, and use concrete vault outhouses (or a suitably inconspicuous location) if you need to relieve yourself. Unfortunately, some uphillers have been using the areas around our on-mountain buildings for this purpose. This is unacceptable, and if it continues it will result in further limitations to uphill access. Our hardworking staff have to work around our buildings all day, and working around your urine is neither sanitary nor decent. Don’t ruin it for everyone.
  • Stay far away from grooming equipment and other on-mountain equipment for your safety and the peace of mind of our operators.
  • Do not ski on groomed runs. The snow on freshly groomed runs requires time to set before opening, and our guests arrive expecting fresh, untouched corduroy each morning; it’s part of what they are paying for. If you like to rip fresh cord, you’re welcome to buy a day or season pass and arrive for first tracks in the morning. You can find the grooming plan on the TV screen at the bottom of the Tenth Mountain Double.
  • Follow the designated uphill routes and remain as close to the tree line as possible. Front Side route: looker’s left side of Trail’s End; Piney Basin route: looker’s left side of Ambush; Tennessee Creek Basin route: looker’s right side of Low Road. Watch for downhill traffic while ascending.
  • Stay off closed trails and runs. It is your responsibility to research and know which terrain is open and which is closed. A trail report is updated daily at
  • Be courteous to guests and employees, be safe, and have fun! Follow any instructions given by Cooper employees.

If we can all follow those guidelines, we can continue to enjoy Cooper uphill and downhill, day and night. Please also note that we make updates to our uphill access policy from time to time, so please check regularly to stay informed.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may feel free to contact me at ptorsel[email protected], or Michelle Mueggler with the Leadville Ranger District of the United States Forest Service at [email protected].

uphill skier