Loveland is the latest ski area to ban uphill skiing after huge crowds this weekend

Loveland is the latest ski area to ban uphill skiing after huge crowds this weekend

Loveland ski area will be closed to uphill skiing as of Wednesday by area officials and the U.S. Forest Service, which governs the public land on which Loveland operates.

This past weekend, U.S. 6 above and below the ski area was lined with dozens of cars as skiers sought to use the area for uphilling, even though the parking lot was closed. Ski operations have been closed there and at other Colorado ski areas since March 15 by order of Gov. Jared Polis.

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Uphill access will be prohibited for a period of time covered by the governor’s executive orders thus far (which has closed ski areas until April 6) and “any subsequent amendments extending that timeframe,” according to a news release.

Video of the highway lined with cars this weekend has been widely shared across social media and Colorado news outlets, prompting widespread alarm that uphill skiers were failing to maintain social distancing.

RELATED: Video shows long line of cars parked at Loveland Pass, sparking social distancing debate

“It was obviously extremely busy,” said John Sellers, Loveland ski area’s marketing director. “It’s not really supporting the directive of minimizing group size and potentially putting too much of a burden on local law enforcement and emergency services.”

Uphill skiing also has been prohibited at four ski areas in neighboring Summit County: Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain.

Sunlight ski area near Glenwood Springs also has closed the mountain to uphill skiing, according to the area’s Twitter feed, but trails in nearby Babbish Gulch are open for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking.

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