Backcountry may account for the sport’s biggest boom, but uphill, in-bounds traffic isn’t far behind. Some resorts have banned dawn patrollers from skinning up, and plenty have begrudgingly stayed neutral, but a few forward-thinking resorts have embraced the trend. Crested Butte sells a day ticket for uphill use ($10) and offers a map of designated climbing and descending routes, some of them dog friendly. Once up the hill, skiers are rewarded with freshly groomed corduroy on any of the resort’s open frontside runs.
Though Brighton doesn’t actively promote uphill traffic, it’s one of the few resorts in Utah that permit it—which explains why the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association trains here. You can skin up to Brighton’s 10,750-foot Clayton Peak and descend via black-diamond runs under the Great Western lift. The best policy around, though, belongs to tiny Magic Mountain in Vermont. The 195-acre hidden gem—which offers an impressive 1,700 vertical feet—encourages people to test their limits by climbing the mountain at no charge. They just ask that skiers spend some money on a beer or a burger afterward. We’ll drink to that.