COVID-19 tips for skiing and snowboarding this winter

The joy of skiing and snowboarding lies in quick decisions and a fleeting sensation. But to feel the joy of this winter, skiers and borders need to plan ahead.

This is due to the many measures that winter resorts have imposed on scrambling to prevent COVID-19 infections. A ski resort in California was cheered up by the first heavy snowfall of the season, which fell to 18 inches in Sierra on November 7. However, Western experts say resorts reduce capacity and rely on pre-booking and guest flexibility.

“The biggest thing we’re telling people this year is to know before we go,” said Chris Linsmeier, spokesman for Colorado Ski Country, which represents 22 resorts in Colorado. I will.

Of course, most resort employees have more cleaning and disinfection, and daily temperature checks. There is a lift line with a distance. This means that for skiers, they line up from tip to tail. Many resorts need a face cover everywhere they are not eating or drinking. This could be easily adapted if you already prefer bandanas and gaiters.

However, just as the COVID-19 limits for all counties and states are slightly different, all resorts are slightly different. For example, in California, face covering in public indoor spaces is mandatory for children over the age of two, while in Colorado, masking obligations begin at 12.

Whenever you bring your skis or boards, pay close attention to the resort’s website (almost all have a COVID-19 protection section) and its social media feeds.

With many western winter resorts ready to open, here’s how the pandemic is changing things.

Especially for lift tickets, advance reservations are required. It is mandatory in many places. In Colorado, Rinse Meyer said: [resorts] Advance purchase of lift ticket is required. Mammoth Mountain, which opened on November 13, is not selling walk-up lift tickets this season. There is neither Utah’s Deer Valley nor Colorado’s Vail.

When it comes to season passes, resort policies are very different. For example, at Mammoth Mountain, the owner of the Icon Pass does not need to book, but at Vail Resorts, the owner of the Epic Pass does.

There is one thing that hasn’t changed. If you ski on weekdays, the slopes will be empty.

It looks like a snowboarder is surfing over the snow on the steep slopes of Mammoth Mountain.

(Gina Ferrazzi / )

Expect touchless transactions everywhere. Thanks to the radio frequency identification scans of tickets and paths, they are already increasing and will be ubiquitous. The Sugar Bowl Resort in Lake Tahoe is one of the places to set up RFID liftgates this season.Many Marriott Guests The resort will be able to check in using the Marriott Bomboy mobile app and avoid the front desk and use the phone as the key to the electronic room. Many ski resort restaurants have access to menus and eat as if ordering by phone.

The ski school will survive. Groups are small and some places only accept advance reservations, not walk-ups. In addition, some resorts may require private lessons for young children to reduce the risk of infection. Most resorts in Colorado have a class limit of 10, according to Linsmeier. Most classes are half a day instead of a full day to avoid eating together. Many California resorts have similar plans. “There is no doubt that we need to plan more lessons in advance,” said Annelies Bergin, Communication Director at Ski Utah.

Equipment rental does not want to be a marginal business. They also do their best to avoid the last-minute mob scene. And the early 2019 trend of renting ski wear and gear seems to be over, Linsmeyer said.Many visitors may spend money on alternatives such as black tie skis Accepts reservations online or by phone and delivers disinfected rental equipment to customers at 41 western resorts, including Mammoth and Lake Tahoe.

A snowboarder rides a chairlift covering his face at Mammoth Mountain

A snowboarder rides on a chairlift covering the required face at Mammoth Mountain.

(Gina Ferrazzi / )

Capacity is reduced indoors and in elevators, gondola and buses. Authorities want it to reduce the crowd at the resort’s busiest “pinch point.” Rather than letting strangers sit next to each other, the lift operator probably leaves one seat for the double, a middle seat for the triple, two seats for the quad, and up to three seats for the six-seater.

The Jackson Hall aerial tram in Wyoming usually carries 100 passengers, but this winter it is limited to 25 at a time. The Utah Transit Authority, which operates ski buses between Salt Lake City’s airports and many resort areas, has reduced passenger capacity, increased cleaning, added driver barriers, and set up contactless payment systems. ..

Fortunately, Michael Reitzel, president of the trading group Ski California, said, “Once you’re on the slopes, you don’t have to worry much about distance.” “If you’re skiing within 6 feet of someone, you’re doing something wrong.”

More take-out meals and a boom in food trucks. Especially at lunch time. North Lake Tahoe Resort Asun. We’ve compiled over 150 restaurants offering takeaway and a downloadable guide. In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Pizza Rangers will soon be joining the Taco Beast Snowcat Food Truck, which serves lunch and roams the mountains. Reitzel of Ski California said: There are some resorts that say, “I don’t eat indoors at all.” “

The blue dye in the snow provides guidelines for the social distance of the lift line as seen from the Mammoth Mountain gondola.

The blue dye in the snow provides guidelines for the social distance of the lift line as seen from the Mammoth Mountain gondola.

(Gina Ferrazzi / )

The number of outdoor meals is increasing. The dining room is roped in, so more dinner is served in tents, yurts, and other hurriedly modified structures.At the River Ranch Lodge in Alpine Meadows near Lake Tahoe, “we have a tent, which will help us spread,” said bar manager Christian Rojek.

According to The Denver Post, Mountain Village, near Telluride, Colorado, has refurbished 20 old gondola with lighting, heating, ventilation and cushioning for 6-8 people that can be ordered from 12 nearby restaurants. It is used as a “dining cabin” with seats. Aurum Food & Wine will serve meals in Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in new yurts where up to eight people can each enjoy their meals. According to Linsmayer, a common rule of thumb is “everything outdoors.”

More car time, less tailgating. Instead of raising gear at the lodge, you might wear boots on your car. After a few hours, there will be a brown bag and a takeaway lunch. Many skiers and boarders drive towards the slopes and base their car on the slopes to avoid weather, congestion and shuttle buses. Therefore, some resorts require parking reservations. Copper Mountain, Colorado, which opens on Monday, is already accepting parking reservations.

But that doesn’t mean a tailgate party. The resort is expected to monitor the plot more closely, and the Arapaho Basin, Colorado has closed reservations for a popular parking / party area known as the “beach.” “Please,” the resort said on its website, “”Do not tailgate or hold a party in the parking lot this season. “

Everything can change. Due to the rapid rise in infection rates in most of the United States, many snow states and counties have tightened restrictions on reopening on November 11 and 16, just as many California counties have tightened reopening restrictions. May be strengthened. The season is shaking. Skiers and boarders are already changing their plans hourly, depending on the physical climate. Now they also need to consider the public health climate.

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