What Tahoe ski season will be like during coronavirus?

2020-21 Tahoe ski season during Covid-19 coronavirus

As of September 12, 2020 we are about ten weeks away from the start of the 2020/21 ski season which typically kicks off during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and the question on the minds of many skiers’ and snowboarders’ is:

What will the 2020-21 Tahoe ski season will be like during coronavirus with resorts implementing COVID-19 safety measures?

Tahoe area ski resorts indicated that cleaning and sanitation will increase in frequency and rigor and that physical distancing and masks will be required in indoor areas, base areas, lift mazes, on chairlifts and on shuttle buses.

Only related groups can ride together on chairlifts; there will be occupancy limits at indoor spaces and on shuttle buses, and Ski & Ride School will operate with reduced capacities.

Most resorts will have a reservation system to limit resort and slope-side capacity. Resort visitors will be required to make a reservation before arriving at the mountain. Resorts will limit the number of people allowed on site daily. Many will require you to buy your lift pass and book your time on the slopes at least a day in advance; you can no longer just show up on a powder day and buy lift tickets the day of.

Those with season pass will still need to reserve slope-side days. Resorts will likely sell-out for several days in advance especially on powder days. How does Epic Pass resort reservation system works?

Also as many transactions as possible will be conducted online prior to arrival to reduce interactions.

Tip for fresh POWder days & holiday weekends:

Plan ahead by making reservations if you want to ski on a holiday weekend, since resorts are limiting their visitor capacity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Megan Michelson, a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle, details what Tahoe ski season could look like during coronavirus/COVID-19:

“Winter sports can still happen in the COVID era. Skiing and snowboarding are relatively well suited to a viral outbreak. They take place outside, generally away from others, and skiers are used to wearing face coverings and gloves. But life at ski resorts — assuming they’ll be able to open safely this winter — will not look the same. Many resorts were able to open for limited summer operations, like biking and hiking, and Southern Hemisphere ski resorts in places like Chile and New Zealand opened with strict COVID guidelines. With guidance from public health experts, California ski resorts are now working on reopening plans and how to best protect guests, employees and ski-town communities.

“Things will be different this winter, but we are a highly adaptable industry, having faced droughts, excessive snowfall and road closures,” says Katie Hunter, director of sales and marketing at Sierra-at-Tahoe. “We believe that winter outdoor recreation, when practiced safely, will be a source of healing for people.”

Goggle tans no more
Masks will be required at most ski resorts in congested areas. Vail Resorts — which operates Tahoe’s Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood — is requiring face coverings in designated zones, like inside the lodge, in lift lines and in ski school corrals. “Just as other tourist destinations have required, we must ensure that face coverings are not optional if you are walking around with a drink or snack in your hand,” Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz wrote in an open letter to guests.

Proper masks are preferable to the standard skiers’ Buff. “Synthetic fibers like those in a Buff are technically not as good as a cotton mask, which has more three-dimensional structure to block the potentially virus-laden droplets more efficiently,” says Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine and an infectious disease specialist at UCSF. “But in community mask wearing, fit and convenience trump quality of the mask. For skiers, it’s perfectly fine to use the neck gaiter if it means you will wear it when you need to.”

Give a ski’s length in line
Physical distancing guidelines will also be in place. You’ll find signage and marked spots on the ground to remind you to give at least 6 feet of space while you wait for food, rentals, lifts and other services. You’ll load chairlifts and gondolas only with those in your existing group. (Singles will likely need to ride solo or with empty spaces in between.) Lift lines will inevitably move slower and stretch farther in length.

In the lodge, you’ll find signage that could indicate one-way traffic or specific doors for entering and exiting to eliminate congestion. Yes, everything will take a little longer, but that’s OK. Take a deep breath and be thankful you’re out there.

What day is it anyway?
While everyone used to live by traditional Monday-through-Friday work and school schedules, with schools and jobs going remote, expect to see more crowds midweek and less of a hustle on weekends. With many city dwellers relocating to the mountains with remote jobs, the typical Friday-night traffic flow to Tahoe may be reduced. Best news? If you’ve already relocated to the mountains, your kid can now ski for PE on a Monday and you can squeeze in a midday powder session between Zoom meetings.

Plan your ski days ahead of time
Ticket sales may be capped to limit the number of skiers on the hill each day. Homewood, for example, plans to limit season-pass sales and cap daily lift tickets during peak periods. So this is not the season to spontaneously go skiing. Plan well ahead and purchase lift tickets online and in advance.

“When there are capacity restrictions, you can expect advance registration systems,” says Adrienne Saia Isaac, spokesperson for the National Ski Areas Association. “Ski areas will be responsible for creating clear, up-to-date messaging across their channels, and skiers and riders will need to check the ski area’s website before they hit the slopes to learn about whatever local regulations may be in place.”

Lunch will be served on the tailgate
Ski-town and on-mountain restaurants are pivoting to offer more takeout and outdoor dining options. Think grab-and-go windows, food trucks and patio seating. You’ll still be able to enter lodges and order food, but you’ll find more heat lamps and outdoor firepits to encourage you to dine alfresco. You’ll also see a lot more people packing their own lunch and eating at their car or slopeside condo. In towns like Truckee or South Lake Tahoe, gone are the days of weekend crowds surging popular bars and restaurants. You’ll order food and drinks to go and bring it back to your cabin.

“For skiers, many settings are low risk — particularly those in the open air and while enjoying the slopes,” says Chin-Hong. “One area that is especially at risk is the après-ski setting at the lodge where people may be eating, drinking. I would avoid that area if possible and take your hot chocolate outside or back to your room.”

Goodbye, carpooling
Carpooling to the mountains with people not in your household is a thing of the past, so you may see an uptick in cars heading from the Bay Area to Tahoe. When in the mountains, you can still ride public transportation like buses or on-demand rides to the ski hill, but plan on wearing a mask, sitting far from others and keeping the windows open. Most likely, you’ll be driving your own car or staying close enough to the mountain that you can walk to the lifts. Before you go, check resorts’ apps or websites for up-to-date parking and transportation tips.

Lifties gone robotic
Resorts are moving many services to digital to reduce face-to-face contact. Take Sugar Bowl. The resort has invested in radio-frequency identification scanning gates at all primary chairlifts for this winter, as well as new self-service stations for other services to promote contactless transactions. It’s official: Gone are the days of human ticket checkers scanning your pass in line. This winter, you’ll purchase or reload your lift ticket, sign up for ski lessons and talk to guest services online or via the resort’s app.

You can always cancel
New cancellation policies and beefed-up refund guarantees are now in place to give you peace of mind in case the ski season gets shut down due to COVID or you need to cancel plans for any reason. Vail Resorts introduced Epic Coverage, which comes free with every Epic Pass this season, to provide refunds for certain resort closures, as well as job loss, illness or injury. Ikon Pass — which works at Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain — now comes with Adventure Assurance to let you defer use of your pass for any reason to next year.

Sierra-at-Tahoe has a Play it Forward Guarantee that lets you credit this year’s pass to next season due to any unforeseen circumstances, and Homewood’s new guarantee offers prorated refunds on passes if the mountain is forced to close before March 1 due to non-weather events.

Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows has tentative plans to open on Nov. 25. “Our team is doing everything we need to do to be ready to offer skiing and riding for the upcoming winter season,” says Ron Cohen, president of Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows. “We are planning for a dynamic environment, building a full set of tools to be able to best respond to whatever comes our way, so that we can continue to offer outdoor recreation to all of our dedicated skiers and riders.” – SF Chronicle.

Looking to join a shared ski lease or are you a ski lease organizer? We’re trying to gauge sentiments, consider sharing your input with the following survey..

Like many of you, the ski/snowboard community is trying to adjust to the new normal with the COVID-19 pandemic still at the top of many of our minds. You can help us by sharing your opinion about ski lease housing options.

Please take a few minutes to help us at SnowPals understand your thoughts for the upcoming 2020/2021 Ski Lease season. Your opinion matters and will help ski Lease operators better adjust. We will publish the top level results for everyone to benefit from.

Access the survey at

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RRXDFTP

Advance thanks,

– Your friends at SnowPals

Survey questions created by Mike K., ski lease organizer.


Ski resorts opening dates and operations are contingent on state and local public health restrictions and guidelines during the pandemic; read the latest on COVID-19 pandemic emergency alert to see what businesses are opened:

City of South Lake Tahoe

EL DORADO COUNTY

North Tahoe/Truckee, CA

Placer County Reopening Requirements

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“The Tahoe-Truckee region is governed by 6 counties, a city, a town, two states, and the federal government. This can create a lot of confusion even when we aren’t operating under COVID-19 restrictions. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers.

Keep in mind, guidelines and laws are changing almost daily; check the latest update at

https://takecaretahoe.org/covid-19/

Every ski area around the world is taking stock as to whether they can operate safely and financially viably this winter in a pandemic. So far the vast majority are deciding yes, but a few have decided “No” – keep track of rolling ski resort updates as they pertain to COIVD-19 restrictions.

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Preseason Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Injury Prevention Exercises

Bought a ski season pass and waiting for the snow season to start? As of this article’s publication, July 15, 2020 we are looking at about 18 more weeks until the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when most Tahoe resorts open their doors. Make the most of this window of time to get in shape for the ski and ride season.

Have you felt your legs become like jelly/exhausted only half way down the mountain? Implement the following ski and snowboard fitness conditioning program to get in top shape for the ski season.

With COVID19 concerns, you can do these exercises at home while sheltering in place.

Here’s how: add these key ski and snowboard functional conditioning components to your workouts to get in shape..

(1) Interval cardio training exercise aka High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
(2) Lower body strength and agility exercises
(3) Core exercises: abs and back
(4) Stretching and yoga flexibility exercises

and lastly an optional..

5th component: five minutes of mindfulness meditation for grounding 😉

Implementing the above ski/ride conditioning workout will:

✔ Get you in top shape to ski and snowboard
✔ Develop muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance to enjoy a full day of skiing and riding
✔ Develop strong and toned muscles to prevent common ski and snowboarding injuries

*Remember to consult your doctor before engaging in any strenuous exercise program.

Are you in shape to last the entire day of skiing / riding? Ever felt out of breathe while skiing and riding? Have you had to stop only 1/5 of the way down the mountain because your leg muscles were exhausted? For sports specific conditioning, it’s best to perform functional exercises that mimics the movements you’ll perform skiing/riding.

It’s easy to gauge your fitness by doing a set of the exercises below and assess how you performed.

For lower body, the following ski conditioning exercises is from a Backcountry article:

Aptly named “Leg Blaster” – a complex of bodyweight leg exercises for dryland ski training. “Eccentric training causes more muscle damage than concentric training. More muscle damage = more muscle soreness the next day. Basically, it’s not the hike up the mountain that will make you sore tomorrow, it’s the hike back down.

The best thing about Leg Blasters is, no equipment is needed. We deploy two versions of the Leg Blaster workout: the “Full” and the “Mini.”

Mini Leg Blaster
10x Air Squats
5x In-Place Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jumping Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jump Squats

Full Leg Blaster
20x Air Squats
10x In-Place Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jumping Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jump Squats

Work up to 5x Full Leg Blasters, with 30 seconds rest between each effort for your dry land ski training. Be careful. Leg Blasters train eccentric leg strength and can make you terribly sore, so don’t start at the end.

Instead, perform Leg Blasters 3x/week, with at least a day’s rest between training sessions, for the 4 weeks before the season starts. This means 12 total training sessions.

Here’s the progression:

Sessions 1-2
10x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts

Sessions 3-4
2x Full Leg Blasters, then 6x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts

Sessions 5-7
3x Full Leg Blasters, 4x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds between efforts

Sessions 8-10
4x Full Leg Blasters, 2x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts

Sessions 11-12
5x Full Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts

Here’s how to perform these exercises: watch the video below

Only have three weeks to train? Don’t jump ahead. Start at the beginning of this progression and get as far as you can before the ski hill opens. This isn’t a gentle progression. It’s going to make you sore.

Train hard, and earn your early-season turns!” – “Preseason Ski Conditioning; Train Eccentric Leg Strength“.

Interval Cardio Exercise aka High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) YouTube Videos

+ 20 minute High Intensity Interval Training Workout For Beginners Home Workout No Equipment Required


+ SKI Fitness and Conditioning HIIT FAT BURN Home Workout 45 minute


“HIIT stands for High-intensity interval training and describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest.

During this 45-minute ski fitness and fat burning workout, we will be alternating between 30 seconds of activity followed by 30 seconds of rest.

Get ready to condition those legs for skiing/riding, build your fitness and burn fat fast!

Science has shown that HIIT style interval training produces 4 times more gains in fitness performance than traditional steady state endurance cardio training.

The scientists say HIIT workouts are not only better at improving fitness but also better at burning fat and building lean muscle than traditional steady state endurance cardio training. So you will burn fat and build muscle at the same time during this workout while conditioning for skiing!

You’re not only going to be burning more calories during the workout you will also burn more after the workout due to something called ‘the after-burn effect’.

The after burn effect is simply the calories you burn after exercise. The more intense the exercise, the greater the after burn effect. HIIT does a great job of shocking the body’s natural repair systems into overdrive which burns more fat, more calories and builds more lean body muscle than traditional steady state endurance cardio training.

This workout doesn’t require use any equipment but you have the option of using an exercise mat, step, and choice of weights.

This HIIT cardio home workout includes loads belly fat burning exercise for women and for men.” – Joe Creek

Full Body Conditioning Exercises for Snowboarders

Fitness Blender created an excellent 28 Minute Snowboard Workout – Conditioning Workout Routine:

“This snowboard workout routine focuses on building base strength and endurance necessary for hitting the slopes hard. Not only is this a great preseason conditioning routine, it also is great for improving strength and endurance throughout the season.

You will want to do this snowboard conditioning workout 2 to 4 times a week. If you have not been training at all during the off season then start with just one set of each of these exercises for the first week, then build up, adding one set each week until you are up to all three.

After that you may want to do two rounds a day if you like to stay on the mountain all day, in order to help build up the extra endurance needed for prolonged physical activity. Though this routine does work to improve cardiovascular activity it is primarily anaerobic, so adding light to moderate cardio will be needed to improve your aerobic cardio endurance, which is also utilized when on the mountain.

You will be going through three sets of ten different exercises in groups of two at a time. The number of repetitions will vary depending on the motion but are generally around 12 to 16.

Each one of these motions directly relates to a specific action while snowboarding to help gain the most functional benefit without wasting time or effort.

Isolation Jump Squats: These are meant to help train your legs to quickly adapt and recover from rapid changes in terrain such as sudden raises or drop-offs or when covering tracked-out areas off of the groomed trails.

Russian Twists: This rotational movement helps build strength in the abdominals, transverse abdominals (obliques), and lower back, which is heavily utilized when in the terrain park but is equally important for basic down hill and back country.

Agility Dots: This exercise is a must-have for almost any sport as it not only builds endurance and coordination throughout the leg but also does wonders for building lateral stability in the knee. This move is best when done with a single leg, but you should always start with both legs if you have never attempted it before.

Tricep Dips: Being able to get up off the ground is just as important as staying up. This motion will help build arm endurance and strength, making it easier for you to get back on your feet.

Single Leg Lateral Hops: These build lateral strength in the knees as well, but develop more lateral power than the agility dots.

Squat Calf Raises: This helps build endurance in those calves and legs to keep you on your toe edge.

Single Leg Ventral Hops: Similar to the lateral hops, this helps build knee support and more strength through the hip than the agility dots.

Squat Toe Raises: This helps build endurance in the shins and legs to keep you on your toe edge as well as improve balance and control.

Jump Turns: These not only help build overall leg strength, body control, and balance, but they will help you power through back country trees or do a quick 180 hop to change your leading leg.

Plank to Side Stars: This exercise is primarily meant for core control but it is also excellent for building balance when your body orientation, inner ear, and visual intake are all changing simultaneously.” – Fitness Blender.

Core Conditioning Exercises for Abs, Obliques and Lower Back

Fitness Blender’s core exercises is a great way to develop core strength:

“This routine can be done any time of day though if done first thing in the morning you may want to take the time to warm your body up a bit extra before you start. Other than that there are no suggested restrictions as long as you have built up your endurance to be able to do it in conjunction with any other physical activity. With these workouts and a healthy diet, you can definitely see drops in body fat and scale weight as a side benefit of getting fit for hitting the slopes.” – Fitness Blender.

Stretching and Yoga Flexibility Exercises

“Stretching is a very important and often overlooked component of training for the winter sports season. Skiing and snowboarding both use a wide range of movements that are sporadic, sudden, and potentially stressful for muscles and ligaments. Make this stretching routine a priority while you are training for the sport, and before and after a day on the mountain, and you will significantly reduce the likelihood of soreness and injury.” – Fitness Blender.

Yoga for Riders | Yoga for Skiers | Yoga for Snowboarders 10-minute pre-ride sequence

* Got a season pass? Want to join a shared ski house/cabin lease? List your ski lease or advertise your vacation rental. Browse Tahoe area ski leases or vacation rentals.

* Common question: if the ski season ends up bringing record low snowfall levels for the Lake Tahoe area, which season pass is a best value buy so I can have the option to ski other destinations blessed with fresh powder?

Check out THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS which includes 17 DREAM SKI RESORT DESTINATIONS. TWO DAYS AT EACH with no blackout dates. That’s a total of 34 lift tickets included with the pass. Unlimited 50% off single day lift tickets after the 2 days of lift tickets per resort, plus exclusive lodging deals at each resort destination.

* Join us for upcoming preseason parties/meetups to expand your circle of ski and snowboarding buddies for trips to Tahoe and beyond.

* Had a tough work day? We’d like to end on a fun note; can you dance like this? 😉

Watch MAROON 5 – “Girls Like You” ft Cardi B Dance | Matt Steffanina & Kaycee Rice Dance Choreography YouTube Video

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