*This article is meant for those already living in close proximity to mountain communitites. We do not in any way endorse people traveling to mountain communities to go skiing during this time of social distancing and limited travel. Stay healthy, stay safe.
Schools are closed, the majority of Americans must adhere to preventive guidelines like “social distancing,” but all is far from lost. If we adhere to the recommended guidelines, experts agree we’ll be able to come out of this alright and perhaps– a better country for taking serious measures to hamper the growth of COVID-19 and future viruses like it.
Related: How To Protect Yourself From COVID – 19 [Centers For Disease Control And Prevention]
Part of getting through this trying time means self care and doing so in a responsible way that keeps you and others safe. Since lifts are closed, skiing is relegated to backcountry and resort-based ski touring and splitboarding. And while not all resorts are currently allowing uphill travel at this time, there is a growing number of ski areas that are allowing the practice, albeit under recommended guidelines. Ski.com is here to provide you with the how and where of uphill skiing during this abbreviated season.
Ski Resorts Allowing Uphill Access:
Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, CO
- Killington, VT [UPHILL PASS REQUIRED]
- Loveland, CO
- Steamboat Resort, CO
- Whitefish, MT
- Whistler Blackcomb, BC [DETAILS]
- Winter Park, CO [LIMITED]
Ski Resorts NOT ALLOWING Uphill Access:
- ALL VAIL RESORTS
- Alta, UT
- Arapahoe Basin, CO
- Big Sky, MT
- Copper Mountain, CO
- Grand Targhee, WY
- Heavenly, CA
- Jackson Hole, WY
- Northstar, CA
- Park City Mountain, UT
- Squaw Valley, CA
Obviously, skiers who are exploring the backcountry or resort domain need to ski extra conservatively right now as search & rescue teams and other medical personnel do not need an injured person taking away from the task at hand. Beyond skiing itself, social distancing guidelines remain in effect EVERYWHERE and that means while ski touring too!
Keep These 5 Things In Mind While Ski Touring During COVID – 19
Use Alternate Access Points
In the time of COVID – 19, perhaps one of the more important parts of safe ski touring is getting creative with alternate access points for wherever you might be skiing. At the resort, this means avoiding the big access points such as the main base area and avoid the places where there would otherwise be crowds. In the backcountry, this may mean intentionally parking in spots that are a tad bit more inconvenient but a lot more isolated from other groups.
Keep Your Distance
Once ski touring, it’s important to keep AT LEAST 6 feet between individuals at all times. While you might be itching to high five your buddy after a human-powered powder run, please air five instead from the appropriate distance.
Don’t Push Your Immune System
Part of preparing for this virus means staying healthy and not pushing our bodies to the brink. Limit time outside in extremely cold weather and know your limits when exercising in the great outdoors.
Before getting out of the house, remember that if you’re traveling, there’s always a chance of transmission. Even though you’re headed into nature, it’s never a bad idea to wash your hands before, during, and after traveling. You never know who touched that gas pump last…
Consider Your Surroundings
Understanding your surroundings is of utmost importance when skiing during this senstive time. Put off exploring that new zone you’ve been eyeing all season. Refrain from skiing too fast. And please keep your skiing and riding in control at all times. For those skiing within resort boundaries, there are no patrollers to help you if something does go wrong.