SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Signs are posted warning people to not park along Loveland and Berthoud Passes, but that’s not stopping a lot of people from packing into parking lots, making social distancing a challenge. Despite the warnings to stay away, parking lots along popular backcountry ski and snowboarding areas are full.

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“Too many days caught inside the house. Wanted to get out and get a fresh breath of air,” Zak Clark, a Summit County resident, told CBS4 from the top of Loveland Pass.

Clark and his friends who live together came to Loveland Pass to ski on Sunday. It was a move they say they made while keeping social distancing in mind.

“We live in a house at eight. We live with everyone so we figured if we are going to do it, we might as well pod up, go ski as a pod,” Clark explained.

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While getting exercise is allowed, visitors coming to the mountains from elsewhere in the state is being discouraged.

It’s not just the threat of continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, but the strain people in the backcountry could put on local first responders and medical systems if something goes wrong. It’s the reason Summit County leaders are begging visitors to stay away right now.

Gov. Jared Polis asked people to get exercise close to home, not head to the mountains.

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“Respecting the law and respecting each other and what’s going on. It’s such a serious matter. I think it’s good what we’re doing out here. We’re making an effort at the same time is good to have fun,” Clark said.

Colorado State Patrol and local police are out patrolling the area heavily. So far, they are giving warnings, not tickets, but also hope people from the Front Range don’t come up here in the first place.

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