Planning a Ski Trip in 2020

Ski Trip Planning - Ski Lift

Know Before You Go

Planning a ski trip can be fun and exciting as you anticipate your upcoming adventure. But planning during Covid-19 takes us into uncharted territory. However, if there is one thing this year has taught us, it’s that being able to pivot and adjust are the only ways to continue living. The one important thing to remember though is you have to know before you go!

With the winter season fast approaching, most of us are waxing our skis and boards and going through our gear champing at the bit to hit some fresh powder. So how exactly do you plan a ski trip in 2020? For starters, just about all resorts are setting restrictions so the idea of showing up and hitting the slopes are likely over. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to ski!

Tip 1 – Get a Season Pass

Ask any of your friends, and chances are they have a horror story about a Covid-canceled family vacation. No one wants to get refunds on airfare, return all those cool ski jackets they bought for the whole family, and everything else in between. So how do you add some security to your trip? Get a versatile pass instead. 

Two of our favorite options include:

Melvin Wahlin - Ski Trip Skiier

Ikon Pass

Included Destinations with Ikon Pass

A great option to get you into some of the biggest resorts around, the Ikon Pass is doing its best to keep guests in the know for all resorts. They have a handy reservation page that has the latest opening schedule for their destinations along with Covid-19 protocols.

All resorts are different, and while many are following CDC guidelines, many are setting additional rules and restrictions. Because of this, it’s also a good idea to check the resort for their specific restrictions. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and all other Alterra Resorts, for example, is temporally eliminating the sale of "walk-up" tickets, which is why a pass is helpful.

Others, like Killington, are screening all employees to ensure guest safety, while also limiting high capacity chairlifts to ensure physical distancing.

It's also important to note that many people are already planning their trips – so be sure not to wait until the last minute. You can purchase your Ikon Pass now at Peter Glenn!

Simon Matzinger - Backcountry Skiing

Epic Pass

Included Destinations with Epic Pass

In a recent letter to guests, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz outlined some important changes to the 2020/21 Epic pass and a kick-off date of November 6, 2020, at Keystone (weather permitting). Some safety changes for this season including physical distancing on chairlifts and gondolas, health screenings for ski and ride school, and a set focus on keeping everything safe for the entire season.

Additionally, guests get access to priority reservation days along with exclusive access to ski and ride early sessions. The Epic Pass gets you access to some of the biggest resorts around, including 7 total days at Telluride. They also have regional passes along with the Epic Day Pass that can include anywhere from 1 to 7 days of skiing fun. 

Tip 2 – Learn About State & Local Regulations

Just as resorts have their own set rules, so do state and local governments. This season is going to be a great year for skiers and snowboarders alike to hit their local mountain. Not only does this give you an option to ski more often, but also you should have a good understanding of what’s going on in your area.

Visit Almaty Snowboard Friends

As an example, Vermont, home to Killington and Stowe Mountain Resorts, is having out-of-state visitors (from certain states) with no symptoms quarantine until 14 days have passed. They have outlined additional restrictions on their website, making it easy for you to plan accordingly before hitting the slopes.

Luckily, there are some states that are close enough to another state with different rules that make it easier to ski. New Hampshire, for example is “lifting the two-week self-quarantine for those traveling to New Hampshire from surrounding New England States (Main, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island.)

Tip 3 – Pack with Options

Altera Mountain Company - Lifestyle Snow Goggles

While you’re on your trip exploring the town and the slopes, it’s important to pack multiple options so you can always swap out your gear. That means having multiples of items like face masks, neck gaiters and face coverings, and gloves. Most gaiters are easy to wash, so if your room or resort has a laundry room, you can always cycle through your gear – we also have plenty of facemask options to choose from to accommodate the entire family.

Tip 4 – Know When to Go

Everyone loves a weekend ski trip, which is likely why the crowds are always going to be at their peak. With many destinations limiting capacity, it may be time to consider changing up your trip days. As a general rule of thumb, you should always avoid major holidays and long holiday weekends. Instead, plan your next trip for mid-week. Not only will the crowds be thinner, but chances are you’ll be able to spend more time on fresh powder.

Tip 5 – Be Safe & Have Fun

Colton_Jacobs - Ski Trip Family

No matter what, the most important thing to remember is to be considerate and have fun. Few things can beat a day on the mountain with friends and family, so doing your part to keep resorts open is essential. This all starts by following CDC Coronavirus Guidelines. The best part of skiing and snowboarding is that you're already likely complying with recommendations such as face coverings and social distancing. Above all, be safe, and be sure to visit Peter Glenn for all your winter needs!