It started with California’s Mt. Baldy, which resumed its ski season on April 22 with all the COVID-19 precautions in place, including masks for all and proper distancing in lift lines. (Don’t get too excited, SoCal friends—resort already transitioned to summer ops after May 12.)
Next was Oregon’s Timberline and Mt. Bachelor ski areas after the state's governor, Kate Brown, signed an executive order allowing ski resorts to reopen as of May 15. But things sure do look drastically different than the pre-pandemic good ol’ days.
Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Currently Open
At Timberline, all comers must make a reservation 24 hours in advance, a process which includes filling out a health questionnaire. In addition, skiers can only visit with people from their household (and ride lifts with those people), they must wear masks inside (or outside when they can’t stay six feet from others), and all skiers have to wear goggles or glasses, gloves, and face coverings on the slopes. Liftlines are all appropriately socially distanced, of course. For now, terrain parks are not open.
Hungry? The day lodge is operational, but there’s no seating—indoors or outdoors—so plan to eat back at your car. Après? Yeah, not so much. Detailed info on the new procedures here.
Washington State's Crystal Mountain is scheduled to reopen for those with reservations on June 1, 2020. Like Timberline, skiers and riders will need to make reservations on the resort's website two days before their intended ski date. Additionally, the resort will have access checkpoints where proof of same-day reservations needs to be presented before access to the parking areas is granted. You can read more about Crystal's plan to re-open here.
At Oregon's Mt. Bachelor, the season resumed on May 16 and ran until May 24. The mountain is now open for uphill travel, but all facilities remain closed and there's no legendary tailgate scene. Get all pertinent details here.
Colorado Ski Area to Reopen
On May 25, Colorado Governor Jared Polis granted Arapahoe Basin permission to reopen with limited operations. The Summit County ski area, whose regular season isn't scheduled to wrap until June 7, will start spinning lifts again on Wednesday, May 28 for skiers and riders who have made advanced reservations. Reservations will be capped at 600 per day, and skiers will be required to follow social distancing guidelines.
Learn more about A-Basin's reopening here.
Governor Polis' decision to allow ski areas to reopen came too late for many Colorado ski resorts hoping to make a spring comeback, including Wolf Creek (which applied for an exemption to open in early May but was denied) and Aspen Highlands.
Montana's Only Summer Ski Area Plans to Open
Looking to summer, Montana’s Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area is planning to open on May 30, if the state's powers-that-be give the go-ahead. Beartooth, if you haven’t heard of it, only operates in the summer, and just might be the perfect pandemic ski area: no facilities and two single-person surface lifts. Check the area's Facebook page for updates.