Kicking Horse Mountain Resort unveiled a new uphill travel corridor from the Pioneer chair to the base of the Stairway to Heaven chairlift.
The track was created to help mitigate lift lines at the base of the mountain and offer the opportunity for people to avoid the Gondola by hiking the mid-mountain.
The uptrack will only be offered this season, with no plans to bring it back for the 2021-22 season, when the resort hopes to return to normal lift loading procedures.
“It was born out of the unique necessity of this season,” said Toby Barrett, manager of revenue and guest experience at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
The idea came from the staff at Kicking Horse as its maintenance will be a part of the usual sweeps done by trail crew and mountain safety.
Maintenance will be primarily ensuring that markers are staying in place and that the route finding is user friendly, as well as keeping an eye on how the route interacts with downhill traffic on the mountain.
Barrett says this is the only place on the hill where uphill travel will be permitted and that those who are using the uptrack need to be mindful of other skiers when they are hiking up.
“This is still an alpine ski resort and traffic is typically downhill, so be mindful,” said Barrett.
So far, Barrett says that those he has spoken to about the track have received it positively and are happy for the chance to get some exercise and avoid the lift lines.
The addition of the uptrack is just one of many adjustments Kicking Horse has had to make this year in response to COVID-19.
Overall, Barrett says that all the regulations are being respected, although he would like to see people be more mindful of social distancing and remaining in their cohorts.
“Overall, feedback has been quite positive and thankfully supportive, we’ve had to do our work everyday reminding everyone everyday of our measures but people are usually pretty responsive and compliant and the community I feel has been really supportive,” said Barrett.
“We feel privileged to be able to operate currently and we’re feeling amazing that we get to play out on the mountain while doing our part to keep our community safe and allowed to keep having a fun ski season.”
Barrett says it has also helped to reduce the amount of day tickets sold.
Full information on the resorts COVID-19 policy can be viewed online at kickinghorseresort.com.