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Gib
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March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« on: 03/16/20, 08:27 AM »

Sorry, still a bit of a neophyte - I should have started a new thread here
We are getting a bunch of questions already about uphill travel policy during this "intermission" in our season.  Snow Safety, Maintenance, and hill crews have all agreed that we will continue status quo for at least this week.  That means it gets even better at West, Central and East because we won't have groomers and winch lines to watch out for.  At Alpental, we will try and take advantage of some daylight this week and work on just those things.  We have some new winch infrastructure that hasn't been implemented yet and needs both more work and more testing.  We also have heavy equipment to move both up and down the slopes and that can only be done with winches.  So we will leave Alpental closed this week to uphill travel while the resort is shut down and make a commitment to you to do this week-by-week.  I anticipate one to two weeks and we will either open back up for some lift-served laps, or conversely, try to increase public access for you in some way.  Thanks for your support -Gib/
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Enzolola
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #1 on: 03/16/20, 08:45 AM »

Great update Gib, thanks.
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tomd
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #2 on: 03/16/20, 08:59 AM »

Gib , thank you for all your hard work , Always  .
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tele.skier
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #3 on: 03/16/20, 11:07 AM »

That means it gets even better at West, Central and East because we won't have groomers and winch lines to watch out for.
 

That's not a clear answer to me. So, are we allowed to skin inbounds at west, central, and hyack?


At Alpental, snip,...  So we will leave Alpental closed this week to uphill travel while the resort is shut down and make a commitment to you to do this week-by-week.  I anticipate one to two weeks and we will either open back up for some lift-served laps, or conversely, try to increase public access for you in some way.  Thanks for your support -Gib/

thanks for the heads up on alpental, Gib.

************************
So, to update the answer to my own question because Gib's comment didn't address the status of the hyack, central, and west, I went an took a look at the Summit website which said:


MARCH 15, 2020 | 2:45PM
Alpental Restriction Status

Uphill travel restrictions REMAIN ACTIVE. These restrictions will remain in place through at least Friday, March 20, 2020. We will reevalutate these restrictions at that time. Uphill travel is not allowed within the Alpental permit area when the mountain is closed. Uphill travel at Alpental is still strictly prohibited until stated otherwise. Uphill travel at Summit West, Summit Central, and Summit East is permitted. Scroll down for more detail about restrictions.


I can't imagine parking in any of those lots would be a problem
« Last Edit: 03/16/20, 07:28 PM by tele.skier » Logged

the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile
Gib
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #4 on: 03/20/20, 11:50 AM »

I apologize that we are still day to day.  Suffice it to say that the current COVID situation has the possibility of more seasonal operations changing almost hourly.  This week we were unable to get all the prep work done for our winch missions so we worked on the hill itself.  Thanks for giving us the ability to do so.  That being said we need another week to move generators, bulldozers and winches around on the mountain at Alpental.  We need to continue with winter rules in effect for the next week which means no uphill at Alpental through at least Friday the 27th of March.  The Forest Service has also been looking at our uphill activities as possibly "congregating" so please keep travel to small parties and good spacing at East, Central, and West.  If we are good stewards I think they will let us continue the outdoor activities.  Thanks for your understanding. - Gib
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Gib
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #5 on: 03/20/20, 12:04 PM »

Sorry if the answer wasn't clear above.  Yes to inbounds at West, Central, and East - please just watch for workers.  We still have snowcats out and about, and the lifts are still starting and stopping without notice so please stay away from facilities.  Thx
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Jim Oker
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #6 on: 03/20/20, 08:40 PM »

Thanks for the ongoing updates. Good luck with the work in the week ahead. We had great fun at Hyak Tuesday and West today.  And though we met several nice folks we didn't know before (along with a few old friends), everyone was spaced quite far, except at points like tops of climbs where we got close  enough to talk but WELL over the 6 foot mandate. Much safer than getting gas or buying toilet paper :-)
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Gib
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #7 on: 03/27/20, 03:54 PM »

We changed out the signs today and updated the websites.  Uphill at Alpental is now allowed. Our operating season for 2019-2020 has officially ended with our on-hill work this week.  Thank you to everyone who supported those efforts.  Please remember - winter is not over.  With no avalanche hazard reduction being done, 6 inches of new snow and a bit of wind can create a significant hazard quite quickly. We still have a very substantial snowpack and recent springs have been quite active.  We always want to support the touring community, but we are also the ones who get the call when things go wrong. Please be conservative and be careful out there -Thanks again for the ongoing support / Gib
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pipedream
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #8 on: 03/27/20, 09:48 PM »

Oh the irony. The day uphill travel restrictions are lifted is the day the USFS clamps down on access. From what I've seen, effective 12:01am Sat. 3/27, all trailheads, campgrounds and day-use areas on USFS land in the state of Washington are temporarily closed until further notice or Sept. 30th, whichever comes first Cry
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Moral of story is don't ski when you can snowboard
CCmtn
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #9 on: 03/27/20, 10:18 PM »

Oh the irony. The day uphill travel restrictions are lifted is the day the USFS clamps down on access. From what I've seen, effective 12:01am Sat. 3/27, all trailheads, campgrounds and day-use areas on USFS land in the state of Washington are temporarily closed until further notice or Sept. 30th, whichever comes first Cry

While ski areas are not specifically mentioned in the announcement, I'm guessing it's fair to assume they would classify as either day use areas or trailheads?
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markharf
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #10 on: 03/27/20, 10:36 PM »

I'm not sure what the fuss is about. The governor's order as of last Monday was that you can't drive there anyway. No excuses; doesn't matter how much you need it, want it, crave it, or find it essential to your personal mental health. So unless you happen to live within walking or biking distance of Alpental, you cannot legally get there.

I am aware that people are breaking the rules all day long. I see them driving to various recreational venues here, too. I'm not making a case on moral grounds; my concern is that breaking the rules--easily justified by anyone determined to ski--will provoke even more draconian controls on us all. In fact, the governor's announcement last Monday followed close on the heels of his people consulting with locals around the state about the degree of compliance (or lack thereof) with the existing voluntary guidelines that they observed locally.



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frank
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #11 on: 03/28/20, 02:37 PM »

I'm not sure what the fuss is about. The governor's order as of last Monday was that you can't drive there anyway. No excuses; doesn't matter how much you need it, want it, crave it, or find it essential to your personal mental health. So unless you happen to live within walking or biking distance of Alpental, you cannot legally get there.

I am aware that people are breaking the rules all day long. I see them driving to various recreational venues here, too. I'm not making a case on moral grounds; my concern is that breaking the rules--easily justified by anyone determined to ski--will provoke even more draconian controls on us all. In fact, the governor's announcement last Monday followed close on the heels of his people consulting with locals around the state about the degree of compliance (or lack thereof) with the existing voluntary guidelines that they observed locally.





Disagree.. unless I'm not privy to some other info?  The Governor's order from Monday explicitly says you may leave home to participate in hiking, walking etc..

"To implement this mandate, I hereby order that all people in Washington State are
immediately prohibited from leaving their home or place of residence except to conduct or
participate in (1) essential activities, and/or (2) employment in providing essential
business services:
a. Essential activities permitted under this Proclamation are limited to the
following:
1) Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family or household members
and pets, such as groceries, food and supplies for household consumption and
use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, and products
necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of the home
or residence.
2) Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of family,
household members and pets, including things such as seeking medical or
behavioral health or emergency services and obtaining medical supplies or
medication.
3) Caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household or residence,
and to transport a family member, friend or their pet for essential health and
safety activities, and to obtain necessary supplies and services.
4) Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running or
biking, but only if appropriate social distancing practices are used."

Edit: I'm putting this on a separate plate from the federal lands order of 3/27 or 3/28

And interestingly enough, on Thursday 3/26 I arrived at the start of the middlefork Rd (before mailbox TH) to see it fully barricaded with signage from WA-DOH stating that the entire valley beyond that point was off limits.  Every state DNR trailhead that has a gate was locked up.  This is was 3 days after Jay Inslee's order on Monday 3/23 which says you can go hiking... 

In summary, state says go hike if you want, then proceeds to close state managed hiking access points without any further amendments or alterations to the order..?

I think a byproduct of this rapidly evolving policy change and patchwork of new regulations by different governing entities will result in many LEO's being confused and overwhelmed themselves.. in some cases laying down enforcement/restricting the public from certain activities that might not be a violation of any current policy.

Frightening times. 
« Last Edit: 03/28/20, 03:55 PM by frank » Logged
hankj
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #12 on: 03/28/20, 02:56 PM »

quickly second the previous post, but only in the interest of clarification.  I read the entire order, and there's nothing in it that say you can't travel by car to "engage in outdoor exercise."  Markharf I'd appreciate if you cold share where you found the information that you can't drive to exercise outside.

From the perspective of common sense, no one is going to get coronavirus skinning around a ski area if they drive alone and maintain space from other users.  Not gonna happen.  I suppose you might need to stop for gas and touch a gas pump.  I'd pack my own food for sure.

If bc skiing is enough of a contagion concern to be banned, then all take out food should for sure be immediately banned: it's not necessary, and carries probably 1000 times the transmission risk of skiing up a hill or walking in the woods. It's more dangerous than the supermarket because to survive on takeout you need ~10x exposures compared to loading up at the supermarket.

We still apparently need unlimited burritos and french fries, but moving around in nature is so dangerous and extraneous? hmmm.

I'd hate though to endanger first-responders.  In thousands of trips to the wood, I've never needed help.  The risk of skiing though certainly is bigger than walking the dog around the block.  Is it really that much of a concern?  If so then so be it, the State can lock me up inside for the rest of the year I guess ....
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markharf
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #13 on: 03/28/20, 06:32 PM »

I guess I'm reading the order differently from some of you, i.e., you can drive wherever you need to go for certain specified purposes (essential occupations, medical care, food, etc.) and can walk or ride a bike for recreation. It seems pretty clear to me that the governor didn't intend to tell us that we can drive wherever we want in order to ski, bike, swim, hike, climb, windsurf, paraglide, or pursue [inserrt your favorite form of recreation here].

But apparently that's not as clear to others as it seemed to me. I suppose that if enough people drive to and from their favored recreational sites, the order will eventually be clarified--I'm guessing in the direction of more restrictions, not less.

I've been reading about lockdowns which allow walking or bike riding within a kilometer or two of home. That doesn't sound like much fun to me. Other places (in Europe, so far) allow people out of their homes on foot only if they're carrying affidavits--and sometimes evidence--that they're buying food or medicine. Think that won't happen here? Hell, I never thought things would go as far as they already have, here in the land of the free.

My main interest here isn't to stake out some sort of high moral ground; I'm really mainly interested in forestalling more restrictions. There are only a few places locally where trails of any sort are still open, and I'd like them to stay that way. People are angry, and one angry passerby blaming all those carefree recreationalists for his/her lost job or dead grandma can create a lot of trouble for the rest of us.

I doubt I'm going to convince anyone to see this differently. That's ok. I don't mind eating an appropriate serving of crow if it turns out I'm wrong, either. We'll see.

Mark
 
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frank
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #14 on: 03/28/20, 09:04 PM »

I guess I'm reading the order differently from some of you, i.e., you can drive wherever you need to go for certain specified purposes (essential occupations, medical care, food, etc.) and can walk or ride a bike for recreation. It seems pretty clear to me that the governor didn't intend to tell us that we can drive wherever we want in order to ski, bike, swim, hike, climb, windsurf, paraglide, or pursue [inserrt your favorite form of recreation here].



Again I disagree.  He first states that you may not leave your home, unless it is for an essential activity, and follows with defining/describing the essential activities.  Grocery store, family help, doctor, hardware store, hiking etc.

Quating you again "you can drive wherever you need to go for certain specified purposes" - Nowhere does it say that you can drive to the grocery store on his order.  With some of the logic your using, I would also have to assume he intended for grocery shoppers to arrive on foot.

There's nothing that separates certain activities from others, in terms of the transportation method for accomplishing a given activity.

'Walking' and 'Hiking' -both terms being used here, might suggest to the average human that he is okay-ing walking in your neighborhoods/towns, and hiking in your forests/mountains/natural areas.  Do some of the readers visualize that as I do?  In general, walk= hood/town.  Hiking=  traveling into the foothills, mountains, vault toilets, and signage that is painted brown with yellow or white letters scribed into the wood.. ?

The most-dense populations are in cityscapes.  Definitely part of Inslee's target audience.  Those people typically drive to the foothills and beyond to go for a hike, and surely he wasn't just speaking to some people who live in wilderness rim or earnies grove..  I dunno.  Nothing to me seems to imply that the biking and hiking must start from the front door. 

With respect,
frank
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frank
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 03:22:09 PM »

In response to a previous post by can't remember who that was deleted...

Different forests are managing, or can manage differently from one another.
Key words are dispersed use (bushwhacking, parking at a random spot on a Forest road and wandering into the woods), day use, trailheads, developed recreation area etc..  These 3 examples have differences to be noted, and all are under the USDA which gave them power to create their own version of a safety policy.

Wenatchee okanogan:

Date(s): Mar 27, 2020

To be in alignment with State and federal guidelines relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 27, 2020, all Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest developed recreation sites are closed until measures are lifted.

Developed recreation sites now closed include campgrounds, Sno-Parks, restroom facilities, day-use areas, recreation rental facilities including cabins and fire lookouts, and trailheads.

In addition, Forest offices are currently conducting public business by phone, email, or web-based transactions; critical in-person business is being handled by appointment only to minimize person-to-person contact.
____________________

Mt Baker Snoqualmie:

Date(s): Mar 27, 2020

To align with state and local stay home to save lives measures, trailheads, campgrounds, and day use areas* within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest will be temporarily closed.  These closures are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. “We are following CDC and departmental guidelines regarding COVID-19, are closely monitoring the situation and will evaluate potential impacts to the Forest and respond as needed.” said Jamie Kingsbury, Forest Supervisor with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.  The closure order is in effect through September 30 unless rescinded earlier.

Forest Service offices are currently providing virtual services and staff are available to answer questions by phone or email.
--------------------

Columbia River gorge national scenic area:

Date(s): Mar 26, 2020

To align with state and local measures directing people to stay home to save lives, we have temporarily closed all National Forest System lands within the boundaries of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area to public access. It is prohibited to enter, be within, or park within National Forest System lands in the National Scenic Area. It also includes BZ Corner and Husum Falls sites, which provide access to the Lower White Salmon Wild & Scenic River. This area closure means that dispersed use and unofficial “user” trails are also off limits. The closure carries the full weight of law and can be enforced with citations - see the Forest Order and Map.

In terms of legalities, people have more rec. opportunities than I think they realize.  Just do the research on the land you intend to travel on so you know what your talking about in the unlikely event an LEO confronts you during an outing.  Yeah, it'll mean getting craftier with parking locations and how you initially get onto a particular trail, but you can keep it within the guidelines that they have implemented.  I have seen only a few land managers do a full on ban for being on any part of said land.
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Lowell_Skoog
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WWW
Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 06:56:04 PM »

It's called a stay-at-home order.

If you listened to the governor's speech when the order was issued, it was clear (to me at least) that for essential exercise he meant walks, bike rides, etc, near home. Also, it's not just Washington:

How Skiing Through a Pandemic Can Create a Community Crisis

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/sports/skiing/coronavirus-skiers-avalanche-warning.html

quote:

“It is not a competition to see what you can get away with,” said Polis, who had ordered the resorts to close on March 15.

“If you need to recreate and you love our outdoors,” he added, “do it in communities close to your home. This pandemic is not a vacation. It’s not the time to drive two or three hours from Denver to mountain communities, many of which are reeling from the crisis.”

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hillybilly
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 07:12:15 PM »

With all due respect Lowell it is not well written policy and is clear as mud. Seattle has world class skiing at about an hour's distance or less. Not the 2 and 3 hour I70 bandwagon that CO deals with. It is not explicitly stated and absolutely left up to interpretation, demonstrated here.

Those remarks are that of Polis and not Inslee. It was a remark in passing offering guidance only but is questionable how well it applies in the context of Washington State. "Close to home" can be anything around here. There is no reason to get frustrated at folk who interpret this differently.

As a personal opinion, if you are on a tour, cause a scene, and place strain on our SAR and community medical teams you are not acting in the best interest of your community.
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frank
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 08:57:04 PM »

Lowell:

quote:

“It is not a competition to see what you can get away with,” said Polis, who had ordered the resorts to close on March 15.

“If you need to recreate and you love our outdoors,” he added, “do it in communities close to your home. This pandemic is not a vacation. It’s not the time to drive two or three hours from Denver to mountain communities, many of which are reeling from the crisis.”
_____________________

Law enforcement is to enforce the actual policys (as in their text within) that arise from these politicians statements.  Just trying to separate emotional words from legal words/documents. 
____________________

Hillbilly:

As a personal opinion, if you are on a tour, cause a scene, and place strain on our SAR and community medical teams you are not acting in the best interest of your community.
____________________

Agreed.  My goal here with recent posts is stop misinformation about what is and isn't currently legal in this rapidly evolving situation.  An earlier post claimed that all FS lands were closed.  That isn't so, as of now, and people ought to be aware of what they can and can't do legally, so they can make a reasonable decision for themselves.

There's a lot of fear and anxiety in people right now, and going to natural areas is obviously one of the most effective tools to help alleviate those stresses, and bring calmness to themselves, aiding in the good functioning of our immune systems.  Not to mention the cardio/exercise side of it..

My mother is a RN at the downtown swedish, and the last thing I want to do is have to walk into her hospital (or any H) because I had to shred and ended up breaking my tib-fib or what have u.

Ski conservatively, walk, run, hike... Just stay in your comfort zone, keep your distance, and take things down a couple more notches.

Buses still operate, grocery stores are open.. perfect petri dishes.

Driving in your car to mile 'x' on a logging road and wandering down by the river for a while.. should things like that really be outlawed right now? 

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ps44
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Re: March 16th, 2020 ALPENTAL Uphill Travel
« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 09:21:02 PM »

Frank:
Well said.
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