Snow-Sports: what safety measures should I take during COVID-19 for myself, family and friends?

Last Updated on January 14, 2021. with family & friends to help keep them safe.

    el-dorado-county-covid

Source: Heavenly and Sierra at Tahoe are resorts located in El Dorado County – https://news.google.com/covid19/map

    placer-county-covid

Source: Northstar, Squaw Alpine, Sugar Bowl are resorts located in Placer County – https://news.google.com/covid19/map

Check the current COVID case count for your county and CA’s Covid Tier assignments at

https://news.google.com/covid19/map.

Check El Dorado (South Tahoe).

✔ Placer County (North Tahoe).

*Remember to check your county’s COVID Tier and travel restrictions before you plan your trip. To ski, snowboard at Lake Tahoe resorts, advance reservations are required (no day of lift ticket sales available) because ski resorts have to limit resort’s visitors’ capacity as a Covid mitigation measure.

Still going to the grocery store? With new virus variants spreading, here’s what to do to mitigate your risk level.

View a U.S. Map of COVID-19 cases

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map

Lodging Share During the Pandemic FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION (FAQ)

A frequently asked question SnowPals.org get asked is..

Our group will be sharing a Lake Tahoe rental/ski lease lodge for the winter season and I’d like to ask you what safety measures should I implement during COVID-19 to prevent my friends and family from getting infected with the coronavirus (which will ruin everyone’s enjoyment of snow sports this winter)?

Great question and an important one because although deaths related to Covid19/coronavirus have decreased significantly, however, the rate of infection is still rising quickly as the winter months flu season starts and there is no united or coherent federal leadership and guidance on Covid prevention as states issue various guidance from no masks required to masks mandated.


Before we delve into safety measure tips, let’s first examine the impacts of coronavirus..

Long-term effects of COVID-19

According to the Mayo Clinic, long-term effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus) includes problems with mood swings and fatigue..

Many people who have recovered from SARS have gone on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, a complex disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest. The same may be true for people who have had COVID-19. – Mayo Clinic

Costs for a Hospital Stay for COVID-19

“FAIR Health estimated the costs based on ICD-10 procedure codes and revenue codes associated with flu and pneumonia (lung inflammation caused by infection). We analyzed data from our database of over 30 billion private healthcare claim records, the largest such repository in the country. We found the average charge per COVID-19 patient requiring a hospital stay to be $73,300. That charge is the estimated cost for a patient with no health insurance. It’s also the cost for a patient seeing an out-of-network provider and whose health plan has no out-of-network benefit.

The average estimated in-network amount per privately insured patient is lower: $38,221. The in-network amount is the amount that the providers in the plan’s network have agreed to accept as full payment. It includes both the amount the plan pays and the amount the patient pays. The amount the patient pays is based on the cost-sharing provisions of the plan.

These numbers are useful to know to help you understand how much the COVID-19 pandemic is costing our country. But it’s also important to know that they’re not the actual amount you’re likely to have to pay if you or someone in your family gets COVID-19. If you have insurance, your costs will be determined by the cost-sharing terms of your health plan. If you don’t have insurance, your costs will vary based on your specific case. And you may be able to negotiate a lower amount with your providers.” – https://www.fairhealth.org/article/costs-for-a-hospital-stay-for-covid-19


Symptoms of coronavirus/COVID

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

“COVID-19 is a respiratory condition caused by a coronavirus. Some people are infected but don’t notice any symptoms. Most people will have mild symptoms and get better on their own. But about 1 in 6 will have severe problems, such as trouble breathing. The odds of more serious symptoms are higher if you’re older or have another health condition like diabetes or heart disease.

Here’s what to look for if you think you might have COVID-19.

Common Symptoms

Researchers in China found that the most common symptoms among people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 include:

Fever: 99%
Fatigue:70%
A dry cough: 59%
Loss of appetite: 40%
Body aches: 35%
Shortness of breath: 31%
Mucus or phlegm: 27%

Other symptoms may include:

Sore throat
Headache
Chills, sometimes with shaking
Loss of smell or taste
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

Trouble breathing
Constant pain or pressure in your chest
Bluish lips or face
Sudden confusion
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish lips or face

You need medical care as soon as possible. Call your doctor’s office or hospital before you go in. This will help them prepare to treat you and protect medical staff and other patients.

Strokes have also been reported in some people who have COVID-19. Remember FAST:

Face. Is one side of the person’s face numb or drooping? Is their smile lopsided?
Arms. Is one arm weak or numb? If they try to raise both arms, does one arm sag?
Speech. Can they speak clearly? Ask them to repeat a sentence.
Time. Every minute counts when someone shows signs of a stroke. Call 911 right away.

Lab tests can tell if COVID-19 is what’s causing your symptoms. But the tests can be hard to find, and there’s no treatment if you do have the disease. So you don’t need to get tested if you have no symptoms or only mild ones. Call your doctor or your local health department if you have questions.

Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.” – WebMD

Is COVID-19 similar to the common cold?

“Coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. However, SARS-CoV-2 can cause serious illness and even death. Why people’s COVID-19 symptoms vary so greatly isn’t fully understood.

What is the difference between the flu and COVID-19 regarding how long it takes to develop symptoms?

Flu
Typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection.

COVID-19
Typically, a person develops symptoms 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary.

If you suspect you have the above symptoms, take a self-assessment.

The New York Times reported:

The U.S. recorded more than 90,000 new coronavirus cases yesterday, a new daily high. That’s more than one new case every second, The Times’s Mike Baker notes.

Stephanie Ruhle On COVID-19 Diagnosis: I Did All The Right Things, But I Still Got The Virus | MSNBC YouTube Video:

Some good news: Survival rates among severe virus patients are improving. At N.Y.U.’s hospital system, the death rate dropped to 8 percent in August, from 26 percent in March.

COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRESS UPDATE

READ the latest news on the progress of an effective COVID-19 vaccine (link opens in new window to show vaccine news update)

Coronavirus vaccines 101: What you need to know

What is a vaccine?

How will vaccines for the new coronavirus work?

Are these vaccines safe?

If a vaccine is working, how soon will a person who gets it be protected?

Why bother with a vaccine if we can just slow-burn until herd immunity?

Why do I keep hearing people talk about vaccines that are “safe and effective?”

How soon will coronavirus vaccines be ready?

How soon could I get a vaccine?

What’s a clinical trial? And what are these trial “phases” anyway?

Who will get vaccines first?

Will coronavirus vaccines have side effects?

UC HEALTH answers the above questions in a clear and easy to understand explanation 😉 – https://www.uchealth.org

Preventative Safety Measures

To prevent Covid infection/transmission, aside from keeping social distancing, our recommendations are sourced from leading career doctors and scientists:

(1) Agree on a set of safety protocols but most importantly, all members of the ski lease must stick to following them without fail. As a group collectively agree to and implement ‘preventive health measures like frequent hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask when going out in public, to help protect themselves and to reduce the chances of spreading the infection to others.’ – Read Harvard Health’s Recommendations

Have available at all corners of the ski cabin/ski lease from ski lodge entrances to bedrooms, hand sanitizer bottles readily available to use in all community areas/located by high touch shared items, microwave, door knobs, etc.

Work collectively means it’s critical to keep everyone in the loop and to communicate clearly with daily updates especially if a member have recently been in high risk situations/exposed to Covid. Make use of Group Coordination and Collaboration Calendars and Tools to keep everyone in the loop.


(2) Use HEPA air purifiers – one for each bedroom, one for the living, dining room area which can remove up to 99.97% of bacteria, molds, and viruses. ‘And long enough exposure to the UV light in an air purifying device can disable some viruses, including COVID-19.’ – https://www.mdanderson.org.

Find an AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) Certified Room Air Cleaner. Performance is key when choosing the right air filter for your home. – https://ahamverifide.org/directory-of-air-cleaners/

(3) Buy and use the best available N95 masks, CDC approved, NIOSH certified N95 masks

(4) Check your central air/heating system to see how air is directed/identify air flow vents and see how air is directed into each room of your home. If your air vent is blowing air from mid-torso to head level, consider having a qualified handyman or AC/Heating specialists install air flow duct accessories that will direct the outbound air directly to the ground. Why? It has been shown that air flow directly to the ground is key in preventing virus transmission by directing the air to the ground instead of to the torso and head level where infected asymptomatic person(s) virus exhalation can be captured and spread by the air flow of the AC/Heating unit.

See screen-capture photo of how airflow on an airplane effectively does this:

    heating-unit-air-flow-covid

Effective use of HEPA certified air purifiers to eliminate coronavirus:

    hepa-filters-covid

Safe travels start with science

“Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use
The latest research is showing that aircraft cabins are among the safest of public indoor environments. According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the risk of COVID-19 exposure on board our planes is almost zero thanks to advanced air filtration systems, required mask-wearing and diligent cleaning protocols.

Since airlines began putting these measures in place in spring 2020, “there has been little evidence to date of onboard disease transmission,” according to researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Their report notes that when the “highly effective” ventilation systems are running from boarding until deplaning, which is our practice at United, the risk of exposure falls below that of activities like grocery shopping and dining out.

And even when the plane is full, on average only 0.003% of infected air particles could enter the breathing zone of seated, masked passengers, according to the DOD study.”

Reference:

Read Harvard’s study
Read U.S. Department of Defense’s study

How using a humidifier to maintain your house’s humidity at 40-60% is optimal in reducing the risk of viral infections in the common flu and Coronavirus infections:


How taking Vitamin D supplements during the winter months help to boost your immune response to viral infections including Covid-19?

YouTube Interview with Professor Roger Seheult, MD; Dr. Seheilt explains the important role Vitamin D may have in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Dr. Seheult illustrates how Vitamin D works, summarizes the best available data and clinical trials on vitamin D, and discusses vitamin D dosage recommendations.

Roger Seheult, MD is the co-founder and lead professor at https://www.medcram.com

He is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine and Assistant Prof. at Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Dr. Seheult is Quadruple Board Certified: Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine


How maintaining regular exercise helps to boost your body’s immune system?


How effective are masks in terms of preventing Covid infection/transmission?

Mask Standards and Effectiveness Bottom Line


– Single use masks (normally one layer, very thin) are typically only effective at capturing larger dust particles, but can do so fairly well.

– Surgical mask standards have higher requirements for capturing virus-sized (0.1 micron) particles, however they vary by region.

– Pollution masks (respirators) typically capture >90% of virus-sized particles. You can use the rating system in the table above to see the exact proportion each certification requires. This includes ratings such as N95, KN95, FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. – https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/comparison-mask-standards-rating-effectiveness/

n95-masks

COVID-19: Droplet or Airborne Transmission? Penn Medicine Epidemiologists Issue Guidance

CDC updates guidance on aerosolized COVID-19 spread


Where do you buy your N95 NIOSH certified masks?

https://www.idcband.com/en-us/respirator-face-masks/

* Disclosure: SnowPals.org does not get any kick-backs/commission for any of the links in this featured article btw.

Comparison of Mask Standards, Ratings, and Filtration Effectivenesshttps://smartairfilters.com

(5) Collectively agree to get Covid tested 24-48 hours of first meetup at the ski lease cabin(in the meantime, shelter in place until you get your test result); share test results prior to first meetup, after which all ski lease members keep a contact journal of daily activities and share any incidents of concern. Keeping a social contact and activities journal can be time consuming but if it means everyone in the ski lease is more mindful of his/her contacts and activities they engage in that can be cause for concern/considered high risk, can then be shared among all members. Communication is key. Find free Covid testing near you (opens in a new window using Google search).

Which ski lease group did the most research and analysis on best practices for Covid safety protocols?

http://www.snowpals.org/leases/covid-adjusted-south-lake-tahoe-ski-lease-share/

Feel free to contact Mike (the ski lease organizer – see contact link in above URL) to share tips.

Additional Reading

Tahoe Ski Season Survey & Insights
Read about specific coronavirus safety measures Tahoe resorts are implementing to keep staff and visitors safe


CNN TRAVEL COVERS skiing in times of COVID..

the ‘lodge’
Flexibility is key
Ticket to ride
Planning for the worst

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/skiing-seasons-changes-coronavirus
🏂

✔ Keep track of United States vs California’s COVID19 cases as winter flu season starts.

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center: Homecoronavirus.jhu.edu

Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19 pandemic.

Who’s going to pay for Covid-19 treatment?

FDA’s information on the effective use of UV Lights and Lamps: Ultraviolet-C Radiation, Disinfection of Coronavirus

✔ Estimating potential spending on COVID-19 care, a report by Brookings Institute www.brookings.edu

What is the trend for snow sports during these times?
What did New Zealand do to control COVID-19 to successfully get to zero new infection; how did they managed to keep it that way, and what we can learn from them?

Please feel free to with friends and family ♥ to keep them safe 😉

😎❄️☃️⛷🏂⛸

Engage in Critical Thinking

– Critical to democracy & survival of citizens of these United States of America

TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL – Official Documentary Trailer On-demand on Hulu

On Demand October 13
On Hulu October 20

On January 20th, 2020 the US and South Korea both discovered their first cases of COVID-19. However, 9 months later, the novel Coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 200,000 Americans and caused staggering economic damage, while in South Korea, there were no significant lockdowns and, in an urbanized population of 51 million, only 344 lives have been lost. Where did we go wrong? As the presidential election nears, Americans are increasingly enraged by a lack of clear leadership, endemic political corruption and left to wonder how did the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world manage to fail so thoroughly in its response to a global pandemic?

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, directing with Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger, interrogates this question and its devastating implications in Totally Under Control. With damning testimony from public health officials and hard investigative reporting, Gibney exposes a system-wide collapse caused by a profound dereliction of Presidential leadership.

It will be a generation before we know the full extent of the damage wrought by this pandemic, but Totally Under Control will stand as the definitive account of the Trump administration’s incompetence, corruption and denial in the face of this global pandemic.


Tahoe Ski Season Survey & Insights

list on SnowPals to get results

Looking to share a ski lease or are you a ski lease organizer? We’re trying to gauge interest, 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 Season. Your opinion matters and will help ski Lease/ski club operators better adjust.

Our ski lease share housing survey concluded on 9/21/20. The following are the top level results:

    1) Did you participate in a ski lease last season for 2019/2020?

41% YES

    2) Has the Covid-19 crisis & ‘work from home’ changed your ability to ski mid-week? (Select the option the best describes your situation.)

48% Yes, it has changed, I CAN NOW ski mid week!!!

    3) What type of membership are you looking for?

66% Full time

    4) Are you planning to participate in a ski lease for the 2020/2021 season? Given providers can offer a safer alternative (with Covid-19 exposure minimization as the focus) to a traditional lease?

57% Maybe, it depends on the what the offering is

    5) If you were to join a lease this year, how would you join?

48% As an individual

    6) If ‘No’, please share with us why you have decided against participation in any ski lease for 2020/21? (Enter ‘N/A’ if you answered ‘Yes’ or ‘Maybe’ previously.)

Survey responses:

“Not sure it will work for us. open to reviewing available options, though.”

“I would be comfortable with a ski lease with MY friends, but am wary about joining with strangers due to COVID.”

“This is not the year to risk my family’s health to go boarding. We’ll be hitting the mountains, but most likely traveling up “day of.”

“Currently undecided, waiting to see how pandemic restrictions will be for the winter – if infections will or will not get out of control. It’s really a cost/risk/benefit analysis so still on the fence.”

“Uncertainty about ski resorts operating.”
Due to uncertainty around ski resort opening and constraints around leases, I will figure out after the season has started what I’ll do.
“Covid concerns”

“Limited funds/money for leisure budget this year”

“Not safe to be in a ski lease”

“For my family, it’s a lot of work to ski with a toddler, and they’re not good at social distancing or hygiene. The resort plans kinda sound like a mess, and it’s hard to plan backcountry days when only one of us can go at a time.”

“I don’t trust a group of random skiers to truly be covid safe unless it was proven”

“Covid – too much expanded risk. Last year’s lease had wonderful people – including icu nurse, home healthcare provider. May contribute financially to our ski lease group so it’s in existence a year from now.”

“Haven’t decided yet. Waiting to see if we get COVID infections under control especially during flu season/winter months.”

“I would only join with people I know and trust who agree to keeping the ski lease closed to others.”

    7) If you were to participate, which Tahoe area?

South Shore: 28% or about 1 out of 3

North Shore: 55% or about 1/2

    8) What are your concerns about joining a ski lease this season?

39% Related to the people I would be joining with (related to Covid-19 exposure)

33% Related to the possibility of limited access to the house vs. the cost to join (because of possible Covid-19 limitations)

    9) Which one of these ski lease configurations would be most interesting to you? (Given cleaning and safety options were put in place).

Smaller Bubble Lease:  Leasers in small bubbles (4 to 6 lease members). A smaller lease with NO OVERLAP between bubbles of leasers between the weekend and mid-week leasers. Possible guaranteed room for you and your partner. Example: Weekend+ Bubble A (Friday through Monday) has access the first weekend, Midweek has access for 3 days (Tuesday through Thursday), Weekend+ Bubble B has access for the next weekend, repeat.

For reference/access the survey at

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

Advance thanks,

– Your friends at SnowPals

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


What are on most people’s minds in regards to 20/21 ski season as winter is coming?

Tahoe winter season poll survey results are in; see how many Bay Area residents plan to sit out 20/21 ski season vs how many people plan to ski, snowboard and how often vs how many people plan to ski, engage in snow-sports in the backcountry?

tahoe-ski-survey

Poll survey result reveals that 14% of people are planning to sit out this ski season due to COVID concerns, 54% plan to take 11+ trips, and 25% 1-10 trips while 7% plan to ski, ride backcountry or participate in other snow-sports.

Season Pass holders’ message is clear: ski, ride as much as possible contingent on Tahoe resorts’ operations staying opened.

Please feel free to with friends and family ♥ 

😎❄️☃️⛷🏂⛸

Looking to share a ski lease or looking for a Tahoe area rental for the winter?

Browse vacation rentals or ski leases.

Good Value Tahoe Niche Property Rental Listing Alternative to VRBO, Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey?

http://www.snowpals.org/2020/good-value-alternative-to-vrbo-and-airbnb/

🏂🏔❄️


Got a ski lease or vacation rental you’d like to list?

List your vacation rental or ski lease.

What will the 2020-21 Tahoe ski season be like during coronavirus/COVID-19?
Read about specific coronavirus safety measures resorts will have in place.

 

 

♥ Share this page with friends and family via twitterfacebook.

What Tahoe ski season will be like during coronavirus?

2020-21 Tahoe ski season during Covid-19 coronavirus

As ski resorts open, the most commonly asked 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.

If you’d like to book your resort visit for fresh POWder days & holiday weekends, the best strategy is to..

Plan ahead by making resort visit reservations if you want to ski on a holiday weekend or whenever there’s new snow in the forecast since resorts are limiting their capacity during the coronavirus pandemic. Check El Dorado (South Tahoe), Placer County (North Tahoe) & your county’s COVID Tier and travel restrictions before you plan your trip. Will you be sharing a ski lease or vacation rental? Tips on how to reduce your risk of COVID coronavirus when sharing accommodations.

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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