Uphill Access FAQ
By Kari Brandt, Diamond Peak Patrol Director
Diamond Peak is happy to offer our Uphill Access program for another season. This program is a great way to get some exercise in, experience the mountain with fewer people, enjoy a hike with friends, or get a lap in before or after work. It is important to follow the uphill policy while accessing the mountain and we have compiled some frequently asked questions below. Be sure to read and understand the full Uphill Access Rules & Restrictions before accessing the mountain.
To ensure the safety of everyone on the mountain, individuals who choose to skin, snowshoe and hike must have a valid 2023-24 Diamond Peak season pass OR a valid IVGID Recreation Pass, AND must purchase a 2023-24 Uphill Access Pass, available from the Diamond Peak Ticket Windows daily between 12pm and 4pm once the resort is open for the season.
Uphill access will open by January 1, but possibly sooner depending on when snowmaking operations are completed. Check the Uphilling page for details.
Who can access the mountain via the uphill program?
Uphill Access Passes are available to IVGID Recreation Pass holders and Diamond Peak Season Pass holders. There is an additional charge and additional paperwork to receive an Uphill Access Pass.
Why is the uphill program restricted?
A quality experience has always been a core value of Diamond Peak, and the same thing holds true for the uphill program. Restricting access has allowed us to offer a better experience and helped to mitigate some of the risks of too much uphill use on the mountain.
Why are we only allowed to uphill at certain times of the day?
In the middle of the night our grooming team is working hard to produce the amazing corduroy that our guests love. There is a special snow cat, a winch cat, that uses a cable and winch to groom our steeper trails. This cable goes across the run and is hard to see from above. We put signs up to warn people of the cable, but the best way to mitigate the risk of a collision with this cable is not having any people near it. The cable moves around in unpredictable ways, and impact with it can result in serious injury or death. We want to prevent this.
If I have a season pass, do I need a separate Uphill Access Pass?
Yes. The uphill program is a different program and a different pass. If you want to participate in the uphill program you also need to get an Uphill Access Pass and agree to the policy.
Why do we have to ski down the same route we hiked up?
Outside of operating hours, hazards are not marked like they are when patrol is on the mountain. As you hike up, you can do your own hazard assessment to know what you will be encountering on the way down. Remember that conditions are also always changing so there may still be differences on your way down. Ski or ride with caution at all times!
Why do we have to wear a headlamp when it is light outside?
This helps with your visibility for the snowcat operators. Given the size of these machines, there are some blind spots and limited visibility. Having a headlamp on helps with that visibility so our operators can see you better. It is also your responsibility to stay at least 100 feet away from all grooming equipment.
Why doesn’t uphill access open earlier in the season?
We offer uphill access after our snowmaking season is completed. Active snowmaking equipment adds more hazards to the slopes that we want to keep the public away from. There are high pressure water hoses and active electrical wires running across the snow surface. Cutting either of these with ski or snowboard edges can result in serious injury or death.
Snowmaking piles are also more variable than other snow until our grooming team has the opportunity to push out the piles. Having people in this terrain significantly slows our snowmaking and grooming process, delaying opening that terrain for you all. We want to be able to provide a quality product for all as efficiently and safely as possible, and we always strive to open the uphill program as soon as it is safe to do so.
Is skinning at the resort safer than the backcountry?
Whenever you access Diamond Peak using the uphill program, you should use the same safety measures and decision making that you would in the backcountry. Skiing and snowboarding is inherently dangerous no matter if that occurs in-bounds or out-of-bounds. Being in-bounds does not make skiing/snowboarding safer, your decisions while on the mountain make it safer!