The 2020 Season Will Be Like No Other. Things Will Be Different. Will You Be, Too?

You know the scene: COVID rules in play at resorts, mostly involving reduced capacities, reservations, limitations on indoor activities, restricted food service, and the whatever else ski area managers have created to protect customers.  It ain’t business as usual.

We’d like to know how this is going to impact your behavior this upcoming snow season. Do you find yourself thinking of buying more or fewer equipment items? Are you deliberately planning less outings? More outings? Will ski alone? Will all of these new rules combine to make you skip this season entirely? What are you planning to do to adapt your routine if you venture out to an Alpine resort? Share your thoughts with your fellow readers.

How will you change your usual snowsports/skiing/outdoor habits this winter to accommodate COVID rules?




  1. jay boucher says:

    Probably a lot more cross country skiing and less downhill. Most, if not all ski days will be within driving distance to where we live, which is not a bad things since we are located in west central NH and with 2 hours of plenty of great ski areas. I can’t see dealing with the BS at ski areas where you have to use your car for putting on and taking off your ski gear, eating lunch, etc. I also can’t imagine wearing a mask in the ski line and/or on a lift with a face full of frozen snot. Maybe we’ll just take up all the offers from our friends in warmer climates to visit them and spend the winter golfing instead of skiing………..

  2. Chuck Hodsdon says:

    Ought to be a smart merchant who will market a variety of masks or bandanas so that a family that can ride lifts together have similar unique masks or bandAnas.

  3. Larry Schneider says:

    As for me I dropped my Vail season pass and yearly 3 week February room booking. I will go skiing a few days. If the input of the Corona virus stuff is just too much aggravation and dislikable ,I will cancel out the year. At my age I do things for enjoyment not to be disgusted all day. Same for my annual week at Disney.

  4. Laurie Flamino says:

    I usually travel west twice a year for bigger mountain skiing , to ski with my daughter and good friends. I’m from New England.
    This year I plan on skiing close to home. Holding off on air travel unless the Covid situation improves. I’ll greatly miss those trips but prefer to be cautious so I can ski for a long time to come. Hoping for the best and following the safety guidance to get some turns in.

  5. Hollace Widdowfield says:

    My husband got an uphill pass at our local area in addition to his Ikon pass. He figures we can go up early (as early as 6:00am), he can do an uphill/downhill run and be back by the time the lifts open. I don’t have the stamina for that, so I will hang out in the little camper and meet him at lift opening. We have not heard yet what our local hill has planned, but we usually only ski during the week so we should be OK.

  6. Tom Kauffmann says:

    At this moment, I am unsure since my day trip area (Solitude) has not published it’s COVID-19 guidelines, yet. That being said, after reading the guidelines from Park City, a Vail Resorts’ area, my only concern is with the “reservation and daily lift ticket restriction” systems. I am wondering how these will be implemented since it appears to me there may be complications in using them. On the positive side, though, it seems air travelers are still hesitant to fly and this could mean the Salt Lake City area skiers may have wide-open and empty slopes. So I guess I’ll bring my skis in for their annual tune-up and binding check, sit back and wait to see what develops!

  7. Normand L Reynolds says:

    I live in Golden, CO, 45 minutes from Loveland Basin. A season pass for 70+ is $99. Midweek it’s pretty empty. I plan to go up frequently and early, take lunch in my pocket, boot up in the car, and pee in the woods.

  8. Ed Schultz says:

    I’m still looking forward to snow & skiing. I will probably will ski more locally in central NY so getting back & forth to my car for boot changing and eating might be easier, & less people. Also maybe not as much reservation hassles. New England at 5 hours away and with Epic & Icon probably not this season, too pricey for the distance to travel. Also will do Gore & Whiteface. Hopefully the snow gods will be kind to us. Ed

  9. I am optimistic that it will just about normal for. I live a mile from my regular hill in central Vermont. I’ll boot up at home, ski for 3-4 hours and be home for lunch. I hope everybody is respectful and patient. The ski areas have a tough job ahead of them maintaining safety for their staff and customers while complying with state and local guidelines. The National Ski Areas Association has published a guideleine to set expectations called Ski Well, Be Well. You can =find it at

  10. I live in a ski town. I’m planning to ski more this year than all my previous put together. Expect to be on the mountain most days.

  11. Connie Grodensky says:

    We plan to ski at our local mountain, Mt. Bachelor, as midweek skiers, as often as we can. Not thrilled with booting up at the car and hoping that changes. I also think that locals will rule the mountain this winter, but I do feel sorry for those who have no local mountain. It will be an interesting year for sure. Happy trails!

  12. The “plan” as it stands is to ski my home mountains only and not travel. Will use my own vehicle as a base avoiding the base lodge and carrying lunch in a backpack (the beer should stay nice and cold in the vehicle). If everything gets shut down again I have scoped out a very nice skiable area near a highway that 3 people could make a great day of. If Plan B blows up it is crosswords and puzzles.

  13. Live within 2 hr of Cannon. Ski it regularly. But if hassle becomes too much I will NOT put up with it. If they enforce no indoor warm ups and toilets or shut bars down, then I am out. Will hope a plane and sit on sunny Florida beaches until the democrats and liberals all go away and leave us with only
    LIVE FREE OR DIE skiers in NH!

  14. probably day trips–hoping midweek will still be empty but not sure due to distance learning.

    prob will bring own food

    much will be determined by protocols if resort

  15. I plan to ski primarily at my favorite mountain, OKEMO, in Vermont. I will ski fewer days and monitor not only snow and weather conditions but watch how other skiers are navigating through this difficult time and how it might impact on me. If people follow the new Covid rules, like wearing masks and distancing as well as showing respect for their fellow skiers ,it should work. Having a slope side condo factors out the concern of lodging and where to eat.

  16. Kelli Majiros says:

    I’m not instructing this year so I bought an Epic season pass for $169 as a retired military dependent. I live about 30 minutes from our local hill and plan to ski midweek in the mornings and go home for lunch. I prefer cross-country, but we haven’t had much of a winter in the northeast for much of that for quite a few years now.

  17. I plan to start my ski day earlier and likewise end earlier to try and avoid crowding. The parking lot and that first chair will be the most impacted until you can spread out around the hill.

    It’s going to be a packed lunch to enjoy it on the hill to avoid sitting in a stuffy clammy lunch room.

    And I plan to have one mask I can quickly pull in place for lift lines and chair rides, and another surgical-style mask for restroom visits or other occasions when I much be indoors. I also plan to ride chairs with only my pod or solo and avoid enclosed lift options where possible.

  18. Eileen Fishkin says:

    This will be a difficult year. I love Killington and Okemo in VT. The state is requiring people from all other states to quaranteen for 14 days upon entering the state. As a NJ resident, not feasible. Can I say I spend the winter at my son’s place in VT? Killington requires booting up and the reverse at your car. At 86, I am not so sure that is possible. Normally 2 trips to western resorts. But NJ is now requiring quaranteen for 14 days upon return from Utah, Colorado, and other western states! I belong to the 70+ Ski Club. I cannot imagine how this will work!

  19. Honest answer is I don’t know. I do all my skiing at Okemo in Vermont. They have plans in place as a result of COVID. I they work as planned, I’ll ski the same as last year, about 35 days. I have a ski in/ ski out condo, so I have no need to go into the base lodges and will most likely go nowhere near them. One benefit( for me, not my adult children) is my grand kids are doing remote learning And can attend school while in Vermont. They will be able to ski a lot more with me than any other year.Lets hope the mountains safety plans work.

  20. Marc Liebman says:

    Actually not much. We don’t go out a lot a night either for dinner or partying, so from that perspective not much is going to change. Also, we generally ski mid-week and not over big holiday weeks. We also pick areas that are not crowded, so again, not a big deal.

    What will change, however, is the mode of transportation. I’m driving which limits where I can go in a day to the eastern Rockies or NM.

    Not getting on an airplane because it is a flying petri dish. Before I retired 5 years ago, I flew 180K+ miles a year and would wipe down the trays and armrests with a disinfectant right after I sat down. If I had to use the bathroom, same thing! So, if you think they were germ infested before Covid, now’s not the time to get on one now.

  21. Seriously? Aren’t NY/NJ on an approved list in VT?
    Maybe I can say the same as you – I’m staying at your son’s place! 🙂 ?-)

  22. Reporting from Australia on the just ended season. The snow season was shorter than usual. And the season pass for over 70s did not kick in until a few weeks after lifts started spinning. Limits on ticket sales and interstate visitors in theory meant thinner lift lines, even with the fewer riders allowed per chair. An unexpected thing was midweek car traffic. People working from home during COVID-19, took to mid week skiing. But with fewer newbies, the standard of skiing-boarding allowed the crowd to spread out over the resort. I was on new slalom skis, so more intense and shorter ski days! Great season. A downside, was the packed out car parking, meaning at times a long booted up walk from car to lift.

  23. Victor Polonski says:

    I usually go skiing with about a dozen friends to VT in January but this year it will only be myself and one other. The guy that organizes a Snowmass trip every year is not skiing this year so I am going to Vail instead. I live in Florida so I will travel via air to both locations.

  24. Our local hill closed early last season and I suspect they used COVID as an excuse since the late season is not much of a money maker. I always pack a lunch and boot up at my truck. If they limit seating on the quads it’s okay with me. I doubt we’d fly anywhere but since we live in Idaho we can drive to many fine areas if need be. I’ll wear a mask on the lift if required but I am not going to wear one on the slopes. I rarely go into the lodge.

  25. While I will comply with local virus countermeasure requirements, I plan to make this season as normal as possible, including a western trip in April.
    I will not add myself to the ranks of the paranoid or over-reactors to this pandemic. As a senior, I know I have fewer ski years ahead of me than behind, and I’m hopeful that January will bring a more sane approach, and with it perhaps ski areas returning to more normal operating practices. The “new normal” canceled my retirement job as a P/T ski instructor job in VT 🙁

  26. I reserved my place for a trip to Steamboat in December. I’m a bit unsure but plan on getting a face shield as well as a really good face covering. Perhaps I’ll have to quarantine from my hubby upon my return but I sure am itching to go. Also, we’re thinking of driving out east from our home in Illinois. We figure we could stay at a ski-in, ski-out so we could come back to our lodging for lunch. We don’t want to have to hang out too much with loads of people. Yeah, that’s why I’m flying on a plane with my ski club and a bunch of strangers:)

  27. Can Snowplow says:

    I need a Warren Miller take on our C19 dilemma. Buy a car and trailer and demand ski areas to allow parking my rig so I can bring my own lodge with me. Resurrect the thunder mug, and be self contained. Bring a Coleman cooler to keep liquids from freezing. If ski areas offer Tesla charging stations for E-cars then i should tap into same for my rig, as we are all in this together, right? Warren lived during Tesla’s years, and I’m here during Tesla Car’ reign. We all need to put our 1960’s Ski Bum thinking cap on instead of just a mask.

  28. I live 10 miles from Snowbird. I’ve got my season pass and I’m ready to go.
    Last year my goal was 100 days. I got in 55 before everything shut down.
    I’m going for 100 again this year. Because of work, I can’t get on the mountain until 3PM. At that time it’s dead so I should have no problem getting on the tram or chairs. Virus be damned. It’s going to be a great year!

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