Snowmobiling illegal in ski area; skiing OK

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— In response to a number of inquiries and at least one incident of people snowmobiling within the boundaries of the Steamboat Ski Area, U.S. Forest Service officials are warning snowmachiners that the practice is illegal.

A news release from Diann Ritschard, public affairs specialist for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, warns that "anyone caught snowmobiling on the ski area may receive citations and fines." Janet Faller, a Forest Service employee who administers the ski area's permit for use of forest service land, said the rules exist primarily for safety reasons.

Faller said as temperatures increase, so does the likelihood of snowmobilers running into hidden obstructions on unmaintained ski trails and elsewhere.

"During the ski season, the (Steamboat) Ski Patrol is maintaining the ski area and marking obstacles," Faller said. "Now there could be unknown hazards or unmarked hazards."

As workers prepare the ski mountain for summer, a number of manmade hazards that don't exist during the winter might arise, Faller said. That includes vehicles plowing roads for easier access or hauling equipment on mountain trails.

To avoid those hazards, Faller recommends snowmobiling on Buffalo Pass or Rabbit Ears Pass, which are open for public use. Depending on melt patterns, higher elevation trails could stay open as late as June, Faller said.

"There's still lots of snow up there," she said. "But a lot of it depends on what happens with the weather. With any spring, when you get spring thaw, you start to get some stuff exposed."

Hiking up the slopes of Mount Werner to ski or snowboard is allowed, Faller said. For all winter activities, the Forest Service advises checking conditions before setting out, and carrying extra food, water, dry clothing and other supplies, as conditions can change quickly and with little warning.

The Forest Service also encourages snowmobilers to take straps for towing and snowshoes.

Comments

jeff roman 6 years, 8 months ago

snowmobilers encounter unkown terain all year long.from the early fall rocks,to the late season creeks.obstacles are just part of the game.when ski corps lease agreement of profiting on public land ,in motorized legal terain ended on april 6th,how can this land not revert to being legal,motorized,public land

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twostroketerror 6 years, 8 months ago

Some kind of liability issue here? We used to sled/ski the Butte after season, and no one had any issues w/ it. Or is it that some one(s) with pull lives up on the mtn and doesn't want to hear 'all that racket' thru June? Sledin' in a t-shirt today.....

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corduroy 6 years, 8 months ago

as far as I know, snowmobiling has never been allowed on Mt Werner.. I'd assume due to the people skiing it.. so you don't HIT us! This is why both Buff pass and Rabbit Ears have designated areas for both skiing and snowmobiling, and Buff Pass does have one area for both.. personally I get pretty nervous on skis hearing the roar of a snowmobile

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jeff roman 6 years, 8 months ago

the article here says this is illegal.where is that written.is this a rule,a suggestion,or a law

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corduroy 6 years, 8 months ago

from http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/recreation/winteractivities/index2005.shtml (the Forest Service)

"Snowmobiling: Many miles of groomed and ungroomed trails offering breath-taking scenery and a refreshing winter experience are available to the snowmobiler in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests. Snowmobiling is not allowed in Wilderness Areas or Research Natural Areas. Registration stickers for snow machines are required for both resident and non-resident riders in Wyoming and Colorado. Riders in Wyoming should contact the Wyoming Department of State Parks at 307-777-6560. Riders in Colorado should contact the Colorado Department of State Parks at 303-791-1957. Trail maps and information are available at district offices."

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bcpow 6 years, 8 months ago

The spring corn season has finally arrived at the resort. Sorry that the mechanized folks can't appreciate it. My dogs do though.

Shouldn't SBVOR being mouthing off about the socialist forest service or something?

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olaf satre 6 years, 8 months ago

I have ridden sleds up there (after it closed) all my life... haven't hit anyone: ever. Most of the time we don't even see anyone up there, and when we do we steer very clear. I am not too excited about this new rule.

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jeff roman 6 years, 8 months ago

sorry corduroy,youre feeble atempt to answer the question could be tied up in the courts for years.the ski area is niether wilderness nor a research area.you should learn to share

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skijor 6 years, 8 months ago

I suggest a compromise for all: Allow sleds/snowmobiles on designated parts of the mountain (ie. Priest creek, Wally's) on the condition that they first bring a skier/boarder with them from the base and drop them off at the top of Storm Peak.

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spukomy 6 years, 8 months ago

With all the other options, why would you want to sled on Mt Werner? Answer: Because noone else can. Until everyone is invited. Imagine all those sleds then. There's over 100 inch base at Buff. The whoopdedoos are cumbersome, but, if you can't find fresh turns there, you aren't trying.

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raver 6 years, 8 months ago

It's the Steamboat SKI resort,not snowmachine and ski resort.there's plenty of terrain in colorado for snowmachines,not on the mountain,some knucklehead snowmobilier could cause a huge tragedy if they were allowed on the mountain.Remember when Ashley was killed in Vail?

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jeff roman 6 years, 8 months ago

When Ashley was accidentally killed at Vail, it was a mountain worker,,,,,,who belongs on the mtn and NOT a recreational rider after the ski runs were officially closed. You cant compare that incident to the small risk that exists after official closing. The risk increases greatly when "after closing" skiers/ boarders are on the mountain and purposely launch themselves in front of an oncoming snowmobile just to be irate. Come on folks,,,,think about it. We can all be safe,,,,,not stupid. Why cant we all just get along?

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skijor 6 years, 8 months ago

Do skiers and boarders really launch themselves in front of oncoming snowmobiles??? Where does this fascinating ritual take place??? Personally, I agree that motorized and non-motorized can potentially get along. Unfortunately, my experiences on Rabbit Ears Pass, where snowmobilers regularly poach the fresh powder at parts of Fox Curve, gives me pause that each can police their own.

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